game of thrones

While everyone anxiously awaits the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere (which airs July 16th, if you’ve somehow forgotten/need the reminder), some fans are already moving their thoughts to the eighth and final season. Going further, some are already getting hyped over the rumored prequel series.

Enter HBO programming director Casey Bloys, who sat down with Entertainment Weekly to throw a bit of cold water over that excitement. First, Bloys noted that it might be a fairly long time until we even get to see the final (six episode) season of the show:

So as of now, the final season could air in 2018 and/or in 2019 depending on their needs?

Yeah. They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.

It might not air until 2019!!! Granted, it’d probably be early 2019, but asking fans to go more than a year for the final six episode run seems like a tall order. It’s not unprecedented, of course; Mad Men is a recent example of a prestige series that took extended time off between seasons. Mad Men also featured two truncated final seasons, as well.

Fortunately, it wasn’t all bad news, as Bloys asserts that the wait will be more than worth it:

Creatively, it’s my understanding that the final season is going to be extremely cinematic — so much so that there was an urge behind the scenes for years to end the show with a movie. But it sounds like instead of doing that you’re effectively making six one-hour “movies” for HBO.

One of the hallmarks of the show has been how cinematic is it. The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive and in many cases more so, than film. What they’re doing is monumental. When you see these battles in season 7, and what I imagine season 8 will be, it’s a big, big show. We’ve done a lot of great shows, but this one combines the complex characters we love with a huge cinematic scope. I think this is the first show to prove that can be done — and we’re the first people to pay for it.

As for those prequels, there were early rumors that HBO might do multiple versions, perhaps even as many as four. Now it seems as though that’s merely the number of ideas HBO is considering, while the eventual order will just be for one of them.

“I want to put the prequels in context,” Bloys began. “It should go without saying I love having a show with this much intense interest around it. Even the smallest bit of information is a big deal and I appreciate that. But I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process. I haven’t even seen outlines.

“In the press at large, everybody said, ‘there are four spinoffs’ and they assume that means each one is happening and we’re going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That’s not what’s going on. The idea is not to do four shows.”

But, near the end of the interview, an interesting idea was proposed that Bloys didn’t deny: having one spinoff series, but in the anthology format, so the show could go for multiple seasons, each season telling a unique, standalone story from within the Game of Thrones universe. That’s actually a tantalizing prospect, especially considering how deep George R.R. Martin’s world is.

Whatever is coming in the future, though, remains a long way in the future.

[EW]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.