Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the first of which is A Game of Thrones. It is filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast, on location in the United Kingdom, and in Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and the United States. The series premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011, and its sixth season ended on June 26, 2016. The series was renewed for a seventh season, which is scheduled to premiere on July 16, 2017, and will conclude with its eighth season in 2018.
What if instead of concluding after just 13 more episodes, HBO’s Game of Thrones continued for years? Decades, even?! Well, hold the door— because it could happen.
Rather than letting its most popular and award-winningest drama of all time wink off the air with a final eighth season, the network is aggressively trying to transform GoT from a single series into a full-blown multi-title franchise. HBO now just needs to prove that Westeros can inspire another successful tale—and it’s leaving little to chance, developing four top secret followup series from different writing teams (their collective credits include Kong: Skull Island, X-Men: First Class, and A Knight’s Tale). To be sure, the core ingredients are all there: Like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter before it, author George R.R. Martin’s creation has enthralled millions of fans worldwide with a unique expanse of locations, languages, history, characters, and magic. But even with a bingeworthy story in place, there’s no guarantee the cast would be game. Many say they’re ready to move on but also wouldn’t mind seeing a series set before GoT.
“I think a prequel makes a lot of sense— start with a new set of characters,” says Kit Harington, who stars as Jon Snow. John Bradley, who plays former Snow sidekick Samwell Tarly, agrees: “It’s an exciting idea and a testament to the universe George has created that when you read the books, you feel like you’re only reading a snippet of the entire history of this universe. There’s a lot of very interesting stuff that happens before Thrones, and they can go as far back as they want.”
Of course, there’s always a chance that HBO won’t make any of the proposed spin-offs. And if the network brutally killed off the popular series without an heir, well, that would be the most Game of Thronesian ending of them all.