No Game of Thrones Prequel Spinoff Until At Least 2020, Says HBO

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The Television Critics Association press tour is always a juicy source of new information about the forthcoming season of Game of Thrones, and this year was no exception, with HBO programming president Casey Bloys repping the network yesterday and speaking about season 8 and the prequels to come.

When it comes to making the prequels, of which there are five currently in development, Bloys says, “I’ll do anywhere from zero to five!” and laughs. “Though probably more likely one. But we’ll see.”

He explains further, providing more of a timeline. “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.”

With the final season set to air in 2019, that means we won’t see a prequel show until at least 2020.

Speaking of Game of Thrones ending, Bloys knows how the show finishes. It comes up when talking spoilers. “It’s called a spoiler for a reason. If you read it, you’re going to miss out. I know how Game of Thrones ends and I’m still going to sit through it and think it’s the best ride ever. It comes from wanting the fans to have the best ride they can.” Sure sure, but some of us are still going to enjoy our spoilers!

As for episode length in season 8, that’s still unclear but he says the final episodes will all “air six in a row” and be broadcast “[o]n the air, for subscribers” as opposed to an IMAX release.

The episode length “really will be dependent on when the showrunners get the cuts and what they’re happy with. Everything on Game of Thrones is driven by their desire to make the best show possible. When we’re going to air, how long the episodes are — we’re taking their lead on what they need,” Bloys says.

As for season 8’s final six, the programming presidents proclaims, “They’re great. It’s fantastic. The fans are going to be very, very happy.” And when Game of Thrones finishes, that chapter is definitively over as far as Bloys is concerned.

When asked about revivals down the line, he says, “That’s not happening. This story, A Song of Fire and Ice, is done. There’s no revival, reboot, spinoff talk.”

Unless you count a prequel as a spinoff, I guess.

46 responses

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    1. With the final season set to air in 2019, that means we won’t see a prequel show until at least 2020.

      I haven’t been expecting one before a year or so after. However, I have been hoping that one will begin airing about a year or so after… I would like it to be announced and begin production shortly after GoT finishes so we it to follow and discuss. It would suck if there’s months of nothing after the series finale.

        Quote  Reply

    2. Ten Bears:
      Don’t tell me they’re waiting for GRRM to submit his script for the pilot he’s co-writing.

      I can picture George submitting some scribbled out drawings on a napkin and that probably took him 3 months to work on…

        Quote  Reply

    3. Apollo:
      Who in hell was stupid enough to ask them about a possible GOT reboot/revival?

      Jeez, some of the media are beyond dumb.

      Breaking news! Hayden Christensen to play Jon Snow in GoT reboot!

      j/k 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    4. Someone help me out here. My understanding is that D&D had in mind a set number of hours running time from day one. I think it’s 70hrs (?). So here you have the chief executive telling us they (GOT) have free reign on the length of episodes:

      ‘… “how long the episodes are – we’re taking their lead on what they need, ” Bloys says. ‘

      I’m wondering why D&D are so fixated on that pre-determined number of theirs. Superstition? Will they be more flexible for 8 than they were for 7? I know longer episodes doesn’t necessarily equate with better episodes. One of the best of season 7 was also one of the shortest, coincidentally. But longer running time can give some ‘breathing room’ for certain sequences. And I’m not even referring to dialog-heavy scenes. IMO it just puts some extra tools in the director’s kit bag.

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    5. Mr Derp: Breaking news!Hayden Christensen to play Jon Snow in GoT reboot!

      j/k 🙂

      YuuuucK!

      … and then cast Ralph Fiennes as Davos and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jaime. <– That's a dig against the terrible Camelot. I still can’t believe some thought that was the better show when it aired its only season simultaneously with GoT season 1.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Ten Bears,

      The sluggard has not even given us his annual apology for not having Winds of Winter done! Of course, if the spinoff is about a novelist who cannot finish things, then maybe George is just living the script for them.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Apollo: Who in hell was stupid enough to ask them about a possible GOT reboot/revival?

      Jeez, some of the media are beyond dumb.

      The question was not about reboot, but revival. The answer was one of those “I’ll answer that question and two related ones just to cover my bases” answers.

      That said, I can see the revival, with old Jon and old Sam sitting in some tavern, and Jon saying “Did I ever tell you guys about the time…” to be drowned out with “YES!!” “1000 times!” “Please stop talking!” etc.

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    8. Ten Bears:
      Don’t tell me they’re waiting for GRRM to submit his script for the pilot he’s co-writing.

      As far as I heard Bryan Cogman is writing it, GRRM is just co-developing it.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Adaephon Ben Delat,

      ”But longer running time can give some ‘breathing room’ for certain sequences. And I’m not even referring to dialog-heavy scenes…”
      ——————

      I agree. But if it were up to me, each episode would have 20 minutes of Sandor and Arya trading barbs, before Sandor gives in and lets her have the last word.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Wimsey:

      That said, I can see the revival, with old Jon and old Sam sitting in some tavern, and Jon saying “Did I ever tell you guys about the time…” to be drowned out with “YES!!” “1000 times!” “Please stop talking!” etc.

      …and a redheaded waitress remnding him “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

        Quote  Reply

    11. My native language is not English, so I might understood this wrong:

      As for episode length in season 8, that’s still unclear but he says the final episodes will all “air six in a row” and be broadcast “[o]n the air, for subscribers” as opposed to an IMAX release.

      Does that mean all episodes will be broadcast at 1 time after eachother? Without the one week break.

        Quote  Reply

    12. Clob,

      I’m glad I’m not the only person thought that show was pants. Morgan having a French accent put me off rather. I think Jamie Campbell-Bower can be a decent actor but Hammyrot wasn’t the vehicle for him.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if season 8 was pushed back to 2019 because HBO wants the prequel to be ready for airing in 2020. HBO’s greatest fear at this point in time is losing subscribers. A prequel needs to happen within a year after the end of GOT season 8..preferably with a trailer for the prequel series airing immediately after the season 8 finale. That way fans who have just finished the show will stay hooked for the new prequel.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Clob: That show would definitely need a cameo by comedian Jim Jefferies (the guy that claims to use the word “cunt” the most). 🙂
      https://twitter.com/jimjefferies/status/371339355463241729?lang=en

      Perfect!

      Not only that, Jim Jeffries has the quivering lip, shaking in his boots, scared sh*tless look down pat. I could picture him as a clueless soldier who inadvertently insults the Hound, and turns around to see a scowling Sandor raising his axe and calling him out.

      PS As I’m sure you’ve seen, Jim J has a riff on the word “c*nt” and how it has a different connotation in Australia and Great Britain. Over there, it’s not so much a foul slang for a woman’s genitals, as it is a generic insult, similar to “jerk”, “as*hole”, “dick”, “sh*thead” etc. in the U.S.

      PPS. I just realized you embedded a link to Jim J; perhaps it’s to the video in which he explains what I just alluded to in my PS?

        Quote  Reply

    15. Adaephon Ben Delat:
      Ten Bears,

      😉 I have a sneaky suspicion which spinoff you would endorse:
      “The Wolf and the Hound: A Song of Ale and Chickens”

      • Ha! It’s funny you should say that. In October, I had scribbled down some admittedly Sandor-centric preferred episode titles for S8 (reproduced below). Episode 1 would be ”The Wolf Girl and the Hound.”

      • Prompted by the deluge of “Dany dies in childbirth” speculation I’d been seeing, a while back I had posted a vodka-aided (vodka-addled?) half-serious, half-snarky fanfic scene from a hypothetical S6e5 episode, “The Dragon Princess”, featuring Jon as a frazzled, sleep-deprived single father of a two year-old daughter, Baby Visenya.
      • But perhaps a prequel with Aegon’s two sisters (Rhaenys and Visenya, as recounted by Arya in her scene with Tywin in S2e7) would be a good sequel. Though my personal preference would be a spinoff sequel based on the largely unexplained Doom of Valyria.

      —————————-
      Tinfoil/Wishful Thinking S8 Episode Titles

      1. The Wolf Girl and The Hound
      2. Dark Sister
      3. Little Bird
      4. Where the Heart Is
      5. The Dragon Princess
      6. Warrior of Light/The Last Hero

        Quote  Reply

    16. I would never have assumed a prequel would come out before 2020, so that’s not surprising.

      Hey now, Hayden Christiansen and JCB are not bad actors at all – they were just in bad adaptations. I can’t see anyone improving on the terrible Anakin character. Even Natalie Portman was brought down a level or 5. Ralph Fiennes though….drool…..The Constant Gardener ended me, hot damn. And then there was the wildly underrated “In Bruges”. 😂

      Hollywood is currently living on reboots remakes and revivals (aka cripples, bastards, and broken things), so I can just see some nonce pitching it.

        Quote  Reply

    17. SheiraGrey:
      Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if season 8 was pushed back to 2019 because HBO wants the prequel to be ready for airing in 2020. HBO’s greatest fear at this point in time is losing subscribers. A prequel needs to happen within a year after the end of GOT season 8..preferably with a trailer for the prequel series airing immediately after the season 8 finale. That way fans who have just finished the show will stay hooked for the new prequel.

      While you could be absolutely right as I know nothing about production and/or marketing, I’m reminded of Archmaester Ebrose:

      When Six Feet Under ended, the subscribers said, “Oh no, the end is near! How will we survive?”

      When Deadwood ended, the subscribers said, “Oh no, the end is near! How will we survive?”

      And, when the Sopranos ended, you could forgive them for thinking, “WTF! That’s the ending?? The end of HBO is here! How will we survive?”

      HBO will be fine.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Ten Bears: •

      Though my personal preference would be a spinoff sequel based on the largely unexplained Doom of Valyria.

      —————————-
      Tinfoil/Wishful Thinking S8 Episode Titles

      6.Warrior of Light/The Last Hero

      Yep, I’m agreed on Valyria. For me Old Valyria and the founding of the Free Cities is about the only context for a prequel that makes sense, with the Doom to cap off the story arc. Of course, over in Westeros, the tragedy of the CotF, the First Men, and the Andals is just as intriguing a prequel setting.

      As for episode titles I wouldn’t be surprised if S8E6 is “A dream of Spring” with a corresponding score from Ramin Djawadi called, “Dawn”. (or, even better, “Lightbringer”)

        Quote  Reply

    19. Adaephon Ben Delat: Yep, I’m agreed on Valyria. For me Old Valyria and the founding of the Free Cities is about the only context for a prequel that makes sense, with the Doom to cap off the story arc.

      HBO won’t do that sort of story: they do character dramas. So, look for something typical of an HBO series, but (again) set in this universe, and probably in Westeros. The latter seems probable because viewers are pretty familiar with Westeros already.
      The events that transpire will be over a short span of a few key character’s lives and their individual growth is going to be pivotal in those events.

      That leaves open a lot of stuff, obviously, but things too closely tied to the plot of SoI&F probably are out because they are going to want to create the plot to tell this story. It’s possible that they can find a story that fits on with “established” plot, but the odds are pretty low.

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    20. Wimsey: HBO won’t do that sort of story: they do character dramas…… The events that transpire will be over a short span of a few key character’s lives and their individual growth is going to be pivotal in those events.

      Yeah, these are strong considerations. Good points. Especially, the short chronological span over characters lives.

      I’ve always considered Tony Soprano the fulfillment of the 90’s anti-hero. They went one better with “The Wire”, a show populated with anti-heroes, and being subversive, evolving the genre of cop shows. It helped to define the ’00 decade for me.

      Thrones is another evolution IMO (how much depends upon its conclusion) defining the cultural present.
      It also remains to be seen how subversive GRRM is as concerns ASOIF and fantasy.

      I can only surmise that the GOT off shoots form part of HBO’s strategic Prime TV shows to culturally define the coming 20’s
      (and, of course, Return on investment)😀

        Quote  Reply

    21. Ten Bears: • Ha! It’s funny you should say that. In October, I had scribbled down some admittedly Sandor-centric preferred episode titles for S8 (reproduced below). Episode 1 would be ”The Wolf Girl and the Hound.”

      •Prompted by the deluge of “Dany dies in childbirth” speculation I’d been seeing,a while back I had posted a vodka-aided (vodka-addled?) half-serious, half-snarky fanfic scene from a hypothetical S6e5 episode, “The Dragon Princess”, featuring Jon as a frazzled, sleep-deprived single father of a two year-old daughter, Baby Visenya.•But perhaps a prequel with Aegon’s two sisters (Rhaenys and Visenya, as recounted by Arya in her scene with Tywin in S2e7) would be a good sequel. Though my personal preference would be a spinoff sequel based on the largely unexplained Doom of Valyria.

      —————————-
      Tinfoil/Wishful Thinking S8 Episode Titles

      1. The Wolf Girl and The Hound
      2. Dark Sister
      3. Little Bird
      4. Where the Heart Is
      5. The Dragon Princess
      6.Warrior of Light/The Last Hero

      A song of Ice and fire would be a pretty bad ass last episode title 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    22. Adaephon Ben Delat: I’ve always considered Tony Soprano the fulfillment of the 90’s anti-hero. They went one better with “The Wire”, a show populated with anti-heroes, and being subversive, evolving the genre of cop shows. It helped to define the ’00 decade for me.

      Yeah, HBO likes anti-heroes. But they seem to like shows in which the main characters are often at odds with themselves. Anti-heroes are one way of doing that. Thrones provides another way, in which the main characters often represent his/her own antagonist. My bet is that the spinoff show will shoot for something like that rather than anti-heroes: but, who knows, maybe they will surprise me!

        Quote  Reply

    23. Erica,

      Maybe but the times have changed. Back then, HBO reigned supreme in these types of thought-provoking shows. Now they have Netflix and Amazon to fight off. Disney is also gearing up to introduce their own streaming outlet in the near future especially after they finally were able to buy off Fox’s movies and TV entertainment sectors. The market is a lot more competitive and will continue to do so if Netflix and Amazon remain on their current paths. Moreover, GOT is a much bigger phenomenon than anything else on TV. Its a show that changed the way we look at TV shows and made Hollywood realize that there is far more potential in creating great TV shows than they ever thought could be possible. The viewership and the ratings are also unprecedented especially since the show’s popularity is more international than any other show HBO has ever produced. The fact that they are planning 5 prequel GOT shows tells me that the higher-ups are a bit more worried that they will end up falling behind. This doesn’t mean that HBO will fail completely if they dont release a prequel after season 8 but that they may end up falling behind Netflix

        Quote  Reply

    24. SheiraGrey,

      I don’t disagree; I knew you could be right. I was just trying to be funny. Didn’t work.

      You make a good point, too. I hadn’t considered the other outlets you mentioned nor how fierce the competition for GOT-quality content is going to be (or is) now that the bar has been raised so high. If HBO, or any of the premiums, fail to recognize this (which I’m sure they do), they risk falling to the wayside. Think Sears.

      By the way, I still remember when there were only 4 channels or so from which to choose before cable became mainstream so I am a bit slow to take in all the choices we now have. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    25. I’m not yet that excited about the spin off/prequel but I guess I will be as the time draws nearer and we get the conclusion of this story.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Clob: All good titles… as long as there’s more Dragon & Wolf-Dragon #epic(place)sex in all of them. 😛

      • While I don’t want to be Mr. Buzzkill, I have a suspicion that S7 boat sex aboard the S.S. Incest may have been a one-night stand. I just don’t think conjugal bliss is in the cards for poor Jon Snow.

      As Beric told Jon in S7e6: “You and I won’t find much joy while we’re here.”
      Maester Aemon said something similar to Jon in S5e5: “You will find little joy in your command.”

      • Semi-related question [👨‍🚀🤖 Tinfoil Alert]
      I am praying the pregnancy dramas are just hype. It would make me puke if the climax of the show is “The Battle of the Incest Bastards” in e5 or e6, i.e., Cersei’s baby vs. Daeny’s baby. Unfortunately, all signs point to Daeny being knocked up with TZTWP (the Zygote That Was Promised).

      Since Cersei expressly told Jaime that her goal is for their baby to wind up as ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, if Sam & Bran’s discovery that Jon Snow “never was a bastard; he’s the heir to the Iron Throne” becomes public knowledge, and Cersei finds out that he knocked up Daenerys, wouldn’t Cersei immediately dispatch a team of commandos to WF on a mission to terminate the mother and unborn child? (Code Name: Operation Talisa 2.0). And take out Jon/Aegon T if they can?

      I really hope I’m way off base. After eight years, it’d be disappointing if GoT devolves into a remake of “Willow” or other Chosen Baby movies.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Ten Bears: While I don’t want to be Mr. Buzzkill, I have a suspicion that S7 boat sex aboard the S.S. Incest may have been a one-night stand. I just don’t think conjugal bliss is in the cards for poor Jon Snow.

      Hmmm: I’m betting that Jon & Daenerys probably spend most of the remaining nights on the boat together, even though we won’t see it.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Pigeon: The Constant Gardener ended me, hot damn.

      That movie totally f****d me up. Great film, but damn. It’s up there with American History X on my list of films I’m really glad I watched, but might never watch again.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Wolfish: It’s up there with American History X on my list of films I’m really glad I watched, but might never watch again.

      Indeed: and what you have just beautifully summarized is the difference between thinking something is good and enjoying it: too often people equate the two! I jokingly call these things “guilty displeasures!”

        Quote  Reply

    30. Wimsey,

      Agreed 100%. I expect HBO would want to do something less epic and more relatable than the Doom. I don’t think filling in blanks in the histories is high on their agenda.

        Quote  Reply

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