Game of Thrones just took home its second consecutive Best Drama Series Emmy award last night, and given the show’s late blooming when it comes to these accolades, one imagines HBO would love to see the series continue for just while longer. Alas, showrunners/creators/writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have always said the show has a firm endgame, and this past July Benioff, Weiss, and HBO came to the agreement that the series will indeed conclude after Season 8. However, that’s not necessarily the end of Game of Thrones forever, as HBO has expressed interest in a possible spinoff or prequel series given the wealth of content available in author George R.R. Martin’s books—just don’t expect Benioff and Weiss to stick around.
Speaking to reporters backstage at the Emmys last night (via TV Line), Benioff and Weiss were asked about a possible prequel series, replying with a firm “Thanks, but no thanks.”:
“You might want to ask George about that,” Benioff said, gesturing to Thrones book author George RR Martin, who attended the awards show with them. “It’s a great world that George created. It’s a very rich world. I’m sure there will be other series set in Westeros. But for us, this is it.”
But why give up a dream job like running Game of Thrones, you may ask? Well, given that Benioff and Weiss write nearly every episode themselves and also are on set throughout production, running Game of Thrones is a 12-month-a-year job, unlike most other television series where the actors and writers get a 3 or 4-month hiatus.
Indeed, the production schedule of Game of Thrones (in the past, at least) is as follows: Filming on a new season normally lasts from July through December; then Weiss and Benioff move into post-production while also beginning to outline the next season in January; then as the new season starts to air in April final post-production is underway while Weiss and Benioff are writing all of the scripts for the next season; then production on the next season begins again in July, spanning multiple countries and locations with all 10 episodes shooting concurrently.
In these past five years Weiss and Benioff and have not really had a break, so it’s no surprise that once Game of Thrones ends, they’ll be happy to move onto other things and, you know, see their families.
As for a potential Game of Thrones prequel series or spinoff, there’s certainly a wealth of content at HBO’s disposal, but the network has not yet confirmed that they are moving forward with such a show. However, given, the dearth of hourlong dramas at the network right now—and given that Game of Thrones is their most lucrative series in history—one imagines a greenlight for said prequel series as soon as Game of Thrones ends is a safe bet.
For now, production on the penultimate Game of Thrones Season 7 is underway with a condensed seven-episode order. Then next year, the production schedule will kick into gear one last time for Season 8.
What do you think, folks? Would you watch a Game of Thrones prequel series set in Westeros? Which stories of Martin’s should be culled for a series adaptation? Sound off in the comments below.