As the legions of Game of Thrones fans are no doubt aware, HBO's series is moving towards its endgame with only two shortened seasons left in the pipeline. With the television series now having completely overtaken the narrative of George R.R. Martin's source material, the pieces are beginning to fall into place for a conclusion, with Daenerys finally crossing the sea, Jon Snow reclaiming Winterfell, and the threat of the White Walkers no longer just a background problem.
Game of Thrones has proven popular with fans and critics, smashing a variety of records in the process. As such, it's perhaps understandable that with the end now in sight, reports have persisted that HBO is looking into developing a spinoff series, to fill the Westeros-shaped gap that will soon be in its schedule.
According to THR, during the launch of HBO Spain, HBO CEO Richard Plepler has once again confirmed that discussions for a another series set in the universe of Game of Thrones are underway, albeit in the very early stages. Plepler states:
“It certainly has not escaped Casey and myself that there might be some brand extension [for Game of Thrones] that would be exciting. It certainly has not escaped the producers... Right now we’re focused on finishing the series with the kind of energy and excitement that everyone has come to expect. We’re going to do that while at the same time parallel processing very embryonic stages of other possibilities.”
While the CEO's comments don't give much away regarding what the "brand extension" may involve in terms of setting, period, and characters, the fact that discussions are underway with two seasons of Game of Thrones still to air certainly suggests the network is very keen on the idea. More importantly, Plepler's comments that the concept of a spinoff hasn't escaped the producers is promising news for fans.
Certainly, with George R.R. Martin's detailed world of fantasy, there is no shortage of potential plot-lines and source material for a spinoff series to work with -- a fact that Martin himself has addressed in the past. Logically speaking, a prequel would seem to make the most sense and would allow familiar faces to make cameos without having to rely on the pitfalls of returning actors and maintaining continuity that a sequel might bring. Many reports have suggested that topics such as Robert's War, the Children of the Forest, or the Targaryens in their dragon-fueled heyday would be areas ripe for exploration.
Although many fans are likely to be excited at the prospect of Game of Thrones continuing on television in some form, others could argue that such a project would be nothing more than a cynical attempt to squeeze as much revenue as possible from a loyal fan base. Many great series have attempted to extend their franchise via a spinoff series and for every Frasier or Better Call Saul, there's a Joey or AfterMASH. If, however, the original creative team does stay on, there's a fair chance that the Game of Thrones spinoff will be more Frasier than Joey.
Game of Thrones season 7 is set to premiere in the summer of 2017 on HBO.