It looks like the first of 5 proposed Game of Thrones spinoffs won't be arriving until 2020 at the earliest. While George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has been a cult hit since it debuted in the '90s, few could have imagined that HBO's adaptation would make the author a household name and see each new season eclipse the previous one in ratings. Even in its seventh season, new episodes of the show managed to continually attract more viewers than their predecessors, even when they were leaked ahead of time. Naturally, HBO isn't ready to let the franchise go.
Game of Thrones season 8 won't air until 2019, though that's still nothing like the delay between books as fans wait for Martin to finish the sixth in the series. But the show has long passed the plot of the books and the franchise as a whole may become its own beast as well. We learned last year that 5 Game of Thrones spinoffs are in the works, though only one is likely to make it to air. And while Martin is helping to craft at least one of them, there's no telling where the stories will go or if they'll even use the books as source material. Regardless of what the first spinoff entails, it looks like it's still some way off.
THR were on hand when HBO programming president Casey Bloys spoke at the TCAs regarding the future of Game of Thrones. When asked for details on the upcoming spinoffs, Bloys couldn't reveal anything concrete. He did, however, confirm that at least a year would pass between the end of the flagship show and the beginning of the new series.
"There are five of them. If we do a pilot and series, nothing is going to air on HBO until at least a year after the final season. We're not doing a final season and then, 'Following it at 11 p.m. … .' I've seen some exciting material. We have really great writers working on these; it's very exciting. But there's no timetable. Not everybody is on the same schedule, so I've seen different versions of different things that are potentially exciting. But there's no timetable about when a decision would be made about any of them."
We've heard as much before and it makes sense that HBO would at least spread the two shows out as much as they have for previous seasons of Game of Thrones. Now, however, we know that season 8 won't come until 2019 which pushing back the earliest possible start date for the spinoff. It also sounds as if all of the proposed shows are still in early stages, meaning they still have to be finalized, cast, and shot. And even then only a pilot would be produced, with HBO needing to decide whether to pick it up to series.
While it may seem like a foregone conclusion that HBO would pick up the show, there's no guarantee they'll be satisfied with the pilot. After all, the original Game of Thrones pilot was recast and reshot before it finally made it to air. As for what the show could be about, Martin has teased out plenty of possibilities. From the fall of the Dragonpit and history of the dragons, to the tale of Dunk and Egg, there's a whole world and timeline that's yet to be explored. Beyond that, HBO could spinoff a story or character or their own invention, trusting that the non-book-reading audience will follow a Game of Thrones spinoff regardless of its origin.
Game of Thrones season 8 will air in 2019 on HBO.