It is no secret that HBO is one of the premier destinations for quality TV, and there is a reason the premium channel consistently leads other networks in television award nominations. A big part of HBO's recent success is its Game of Thrones adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. Game of Thrones concluded its sixth season this summer and will be returning for two more abridged seasons before calling it quits. And the series' impending finale no doubt has HBO executives looking to fill the void.
While the network has successfully launched another ambitious series, in the freshly renewed Westworld, replacing Westeros is no easy task. As such, it is not that surprising that HBO has been considering a Game of Thrones spinoff series. After all, Martin has created such a vast world that it would seem foolish not to tell more stories -- there's financial incentive to do so, too. Fans' hopes for a spinoff series will only grow as the show nears its inevitable conclusion, but it should be comforting to know that it is not just blind speculation; there have been proper talks.
EW recently spoke with HBO programming president, Casey Bloys, asking whether he has narrowed in on which point in Westeros long history he would consider as best to launch a potential spinoff.
“I would say it’s still kind of preliminary ongoing talks. There are areas we are exploring, but I wouldn’t point to any one and say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’”
The conversation also turned to Game of Thrones eighth and final season, and whether a final episode count had been determined. “I’ll take as much as we can get,” the executive responded. Bloys was also asked whether some of the final episodes could be released in theaters, despite HBO insiders previously indicating that would not happen. “I want everything I can get for HBO, I’ll just leave it at that,” Bloys answered.
There is little doubt that most fans would hope for as many remaining Game of Thrones episodes as possible, though a prequel series announcement could lighten the disappointment of a short series order. It is encouraging, though not surprising, that there have been discussions regarding continuing the franchise already. With so much history to explore in Westeros, it would seem that HBO could be telling its stories for as long as the network desires.
As for when a prequel series should take place? That is a question that millions of fans certainly will have an opinion about. The most recent season of Game of Thrones did utilize flashblacks to, among other times, right after Jon Snow's birth, and featured a young Ned Stark. Perhaps a prequel mini-series on Robert's Rebellion would be of interest? Or a time even centuries earlier? There are many prequel options to consider between now and Game of Thrones' conclusion, so it's good that the network still has a few years to decide. In the meantime, we have two more Game of Thrones seasons to enjoy.
Game of Thrones season 7 is in production and is expected to premiere in summer 2017.