Even though Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss previously hinted that HBO’s award-winning series only had about 15 or so episodes left, HBO over the weekend confirmed that the beloved fantasy drama will draw to a final and likely bloody conclusion after season 8.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s press tour this Saturday, HBO’s new chief of programming Casey Bloys said that HBO will not seek to extend the show beyond what Weiss and Benioff currently envision.
“Yes, [Weiss and Benioff] have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do,” Bloys said in remarks transcribed by Entertainment Weekly. “Believe me, as the new [programming executive] coming in, if I could get them to do more, I would take 10 seasons. But we want to take their lead on what they think they can do and what the best version of the show is.”
So now the question becomes: just how many episodes of Game of Thrones truly remain?
While Weiss and Benioff said that they would ideally like to put together just 15 more episodes, that plan would result in a rather short 5-6 episode arc for either season 7 or season 8. Fans of the series, however, might find solace in the fact that while season 8 will be the show’s last, HBO relayed that the exact number of episodes remaining is still up in the air.
It will undoubtedly be sad to see Game of Thrones ride off into the sunset, but HBO isn’t about to let their prized cash cow disappear altogether. When asked about the possibility of a GOT spinoff, Bloys said that it’s certainly something that HBO is open to. The only question is whether or not the creative team behind GOT can see the promise in embarking on such a project.
“We’ve talked about it,” Bloys explained. “It’s something I’m not opposed to, but of course it has to make sense creatively. I’m not sure the guys can really wrap their heads around it when they’re just about to start production [on season 7]. It’s a pretty intense production, they’re about to start production soon. I’m open to it. The guys weren’t opposed to it, but there’s no concrete plans for it at this point.”
On a related note, the airing of season 7 of Game of Thrones will likely be delayed by a few weeks because many scenes can only be shot in the dead of winter. But to whet our appetite ever so slightly, HBO last week released a trailer (albeit with no real footage) for the show’s upcoming seventh season.