While Game of Thrones fans finally got confirmation that the final season of the HBO series won’t be airing until next year, there’s reason to take heart. This may be the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, but the Game of Thrones universe is set to continue with at least one spinoff series. Indeed, we learned a while ago that HBO had begun work developing five separate Game of Thrones spinoff shows, some of which are prequels, some of which are spinoffs, and some of which are based directly on material from author George R.R. Martin. But when, exactly, will we see these Game of Thrones spinoffs? Well, in true Thrones fashion, you’re gonna have to wait.
Speaking at the TCA’s yesterday to THR, HBO programming president Casey Bloys revealed that there are no plans to drop a Game of Thrones spinoff close to the debut date of Game of Thrones Season 8—the earliest we’ll see one of these new series is 2020:
“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.”
This is a smart move by HBO. It ensures that subscribers will have to come back the following year for more Game of Thrones content, and will hopefully stick around to check out whatever other material HBO has on tap to air in the wake of Game of Thrones’ swan song.
Martin is co-writing at least two of the Game of Thrones spinoffs currently in the works, and the writers that have been announced as developing these separate projects are Jane Goldman (Kingsman, Stardust), Max Borenstein (Godzilla), Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), Carly Wray (Mad Men), and Bryan Cogman, who’s been writing on Game of Thrones since the first season. Game of Thrones showrunners/creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are not involved in these spinoffs.
But while the first spinoff won’t air until 2020, we’ll likely get some clarity on which one (or two, or three) gets the greenlight before then. These are big shows that take a long time to make, so the odds are pretty good that once the final season of Game of Thrones is airing, the first spinoff may already be in production.
We’ll find out in due time, but for now check out our own suggestions for what stories these spinoffs should tell right here.