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HBO on Game of Thrones' final season & new details on the four prequels

When the seventh season of Game of Thrones debuts on HBO this Sunday, it will be setting us on the road towards the end of the series, but it may not be the last we see of George R.R. Martin's universe. As we know, HBO has been developing four different "successor shows" which could keep the franchise going long after the rightful heir to the Iron Throne has been revealed. HBO president of programming Casey Bloys recently spoke with THR about the potential prequels, which will be the first time that the network will be revisiting one of its original series.

I consider us incredibly fortunate to have a show that this many people have such interest in and that is such a good show. Truly I think it will go down as one of the best shows in the history of television. It would be insane for a network not to at least entertain the idea of a successor shows — I was going to say "prequel" but they're not spin-offs because there are no existing characters going off the flagship. It's not Laverne & Shirley from Happy Days; they are prequels. But it would be insane — with a universe like George has created that is so vast and has so many characters and so many timelines — to not, at least, entertain the idea, which is what we're doing.

Developing four new properties at the same time is an unusual path, especially as there's no guarantee that any of them will see the light of day. Bloys says that they would be "very lucky" if just one of the four potential successors rises to the level which Game of Thrones has set, but what if, theoretically, all four are great? "That's a high-class problem that I'll solve when it comes to that," said Bloys. "But knowing what we know about the development process, that's why we wanted to increase our odds. But I do not see a scenario where we have more than one. But again, high-class problem." It's still very early days in the development process, Bloys hasn't even seen an outline, but the priority at the moment will be the final two seasons of Game of Thrones as Bloys isn't interested in "launching a prequel on the back of the final season."

The final season is going to be its own event. It's going to be a big deal for us and the fans. I'm not interested in using it to launch any other show. We mentioned the spin-offs because obviously there's a lot of interest in them, but it's a very embryonic process, and you know how development goes — it can be a long process. We confirmed their existence because there was a lot of interest, but it's not something that we are fast-tracking to get done to air immediately after the final season. I'm guessing fans will need some time to decompress from how amazing the final season is.

The only thing related to Game of Thrones which will be on the air during that time will be the flagship series itself, and Bloys said that it will be a "good long while" before we see anything else in the Game of Thrones universe. As far as the final season goes, Bloys wouldn't say much, only saying that will obviously be a "very ambitious season" and the "culmination of eight seasons of fantastic storytelling." It's still unknown whether the eighth and final season will air in 2018 or 2019, but one thing Casey Bloys can rule out is any sort of theatrical release, saying "this is for subscribers."

Game of Thrones will return to HBO on July 16th.

Source: THR

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