The Game of Thrones aftershow is moving to Twitter after spending its first season at HBO. The phenomenon of the post-episode talk-fest really took off with Talking Dead, a one-hour recap of AMC’s The Walking Dead hosted on that network by Chris Hardwick and featuring a mix of fan discussion, exclusive clips and interviews. Last year, HBO got into the act with their Game of Thrones aftershow After the Thrones, produced in conjunction with sports talking head (and huge GoT fan) Bill Simmons’ The Ringer and aired on the network’s services HBO Go and HBO Now the Monday after each episode.
Game of Thrones is set to return to HBO this summer for a seven-episode season, but the network is no longer in business with Bill Simmons, who has now struck up a deal with Vox. As for the fate of After the Thrones, just like Jon Snow, it’s getting a second life.
According to Variety, After the Thrones will be resurrected on Twitter with a new title Talk the Thrones. The aftershow will still be hosted by Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan of The Watch podcast. In addition to being streamed live on Twitter, it will also run on The Ringer’s Periscope.
After the move to Twitter was announced, Simmons promised that the new outlet will help Talk the Thrones become more than just an aftershow (via THR):
“We love Game of Thrones and we love the way Twitter is thinking about content right now, so we jumped at the chance to blow out our Thrones show into an interactive multimedia experience — something that reacts immediately to what just happened, almost like a postgame show in sports. Nobody is equipped to do that better than Twitter. It’s the natural evolution of what we had already established with Chris, Andy, Mallory and Jason.”
The HBO incarnation of the Ringer’s Game of Thrones aftershow arrived back when there was still huge enthusiasm about what Bill Simmons and the network would whip up together, but unfortunately Simmons’ HBO talk show Any Given Wednesday was canceled after just 17 episodes. Simmons originally gained prominence as a sports blogger who mixed commentary on sporting events with pop culture knowledge, and later went to ESPN and founded a website called Grantland, but saw both those ventures come to premature ends.
With Game of Thrones going into its penultimate season, there should be plenty for fans to talk about on social media with (or without) the aid of The Ringer and Talk the Thrones. HBO is already stoking the conversation by teasing characters via set photos, promising longer episodes than ever and bragging about breaking records for setting people on fire.