The world of Game of Thrones is ripe for the spinoff treatment. HBO released a “Dance of Dragons” animated short telling the tale of the Targaryen civil war on the season 5 Blu-ray, and various companions books detailed the mythology of Westeros and the events preceding George R.R. Martin’s original series. The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad notably expanded/continued their franchises with Fear the Walking Dead and Better Call Saul, but according Game of Thrones won’t be following suit — at least, not anytime soon.
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo said in response to the spinoff question:
No. If that were to happen it would have to come from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] really feeling something, or [George R.R. Martin] really feeling that it was the right thing to do. Not knowing how this particular story ends, I don’t know. There are plenty of characters, secondary characters, [that] you could build a world around. We’re always going to be drawn to a strong creative vision. But we are not going to do that unless we feel their passion.
It at least seems the network is committed to quality over quantity and speaks to how they’ve handled previous series in the past. True Blood was canceled as the producers said they could’ve kept going but did not have enough good material to do so. However, we’ll have to see whether HBO will stick with this policy after Game of Thrones comes to completion, which could be sooner than later. The network has been suffering of late with Vinyl and Westworld. HBO sunk a lot of money into the former and the return has not been high, while the later has been pushed a number of times that in turn postponed a return from its production costs. Game of Thrones is HBO’s most successful property, even surpassing The Sopranos.