One of television’s biggest dramas is entering its final stretch. Speaking to the Television Critics’ Association earlier today, HBO’s Casey Bloys confirmed that Game of Thrones will end after its planned eighth season – though there’s, as one might expect given the size of the show, a lingering possibility of spinoffs.
It had previously been announced that the upcoming seventh season of the series would only comprise seven episodes, which fueled rumors that HBO was plotting a Breaking Bad-esque conclusion to the highly acclaimed fantasy, splitting one final fight to the finish over two shorter seasons. Turns out, there was truth to that – though Bloys also noted that he’s not certain of the episode count for the eighth season.
“The exact number for the seventh season is locked at seven,” Bloys said. “For the eight I’m not sure yet. The guys know we’ll take as many as they can give us.”
Bloys said the plan to wind the show down has been in the works for a while, and praised showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff for their commitment to maintaining a high level of quality throughout the show’s run:
“[Weiss and Benioff] have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do. If I could get them to do more, I would take 10 more seasons. We take their lead on how they think they can do the best version of the show.”
Game of Thrones has already overtaken its source material, which means it will likely be more up to Weiss and Beinoff than to George R.R. Martin how the show (which has remained largely faithful to the books but has been more motivated to blaze its own trail in recent episodes) ultimately sails off into the sunset. That also means that, if HBO and those involved with its conception were, ahem, game, audiences may have many more years of Westeros-set adventures to come.
Discussing a spinoff, Bloys said:
“We’ve talked about it. It’s something I’m not opposed to but it has to make sense creatively. The guys weren’t opposed to it but there are no concrete plans.”
What say you, readers? Should Game of Thrones spawn a franchise, or would you like to see its world contained to one series?