Game of Thrones, HBO’s biggest hit of the last decade, recently launched production on its final season, which is expected to air on the premium network in 2019, with a series of episodes that are longer in length but fewer in number. However, that doesn’t mean we’ll have seen the last of the Kingdom of Westeros. That’s because HBO is working on developing multiple spinoffs of the series, based on various aspects of George R.R. Martin lore.
HBO has yet to state exactly which of the rumored spinoffs will actually be going forward, but the network reportedly has no fewer than five groups of writers working on either spinoffs or other Westerosi content that may be developed, the first script of which was recently completed. Now, the CEO of HBO is expressing optimism about the spinoffs and other aspects of life for the premium network after Game of Thrones.
According to Variety, HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler, while receiving an award at the Mipcom event in Cannes this week, addressed what Westeros obsessives can expect to see from the spinoffs, although he didn’t get much into specifics of plots or timetables. In an on-stage interview with Cynthia Littelton in Cannes, after confirming that there are indeed five separate teams working on the spinoffs, Plepler, who had received the Variety Vanguard Award, declined to share specific details, though he did compliment the writers:
“No. Other than to say it’s a fantastic group of writers and talent, most of whom have lived inside the Thrones eco-system so are very, very familiar with its intricacies.
I think we will find with this embarrassment of [writing] riches an exciting property for us to moves forward with... We are looking some things, I have read a couple of early bibles and I’m excited about what I’ve seen.”
Game of Thrones, and its successor series, are very important to the future of HBO, from a profitability, respectability, and prestige standpoint, so it’s probably not surprising that the CEO of the company is expressing optimism. If he weren’t optimistic, this far out, chances are he wouldn’t admit it out loud at this stage.
Still, speculation is certain to run wild as to exactly what form the Game of Thrones spinoffs will take, even if there's no indication of which show they're leaning toward, or when an announcement of the spinoffs is likely.
Game of Thrones is expected to return to HBO in 2019, with the spinoffs to follow at some point after that.