For fans of Game of Thrones, it's been a great decade, with yearly trips to the totally immersive world that is Westeros on screen. As HBO's flagship series for nine years and counting, the premium cable network has been eager to keep the party going, taking the unprecedented step of commissioning a spinoff. No less than five pitches were commissioned to write pilots, with a prequel cast and preparing film later this year. But will there be a Game Of Thrones sequel as well?
The series currently in production and starring Naomi Watts in an undisclosed lead role is not a sequel. It is a prequel set 10,000 years in Westeros' past. This is an era before there were Seven Kingdoms. There's no Winterfell, no King's Landing, and no Wall, the three central locations in Game of Thrones. This "Age of Heroes"-set show is supposed to focus on the first time the Night King came down from the far snows and attempted to massacre the living.
But there were four other pilots written. Moreover, when Game of Thrones ended, with Arya sailing away to find what's west of Westeros, it seemed like a natural set up to write a prequel, based on a character who has been a fan favorite from the start, not to mention bringing in both Stark siblings as well in guest star appearances.
But according to HBO programming president Casey Bloys, a sequel is not in the cards. Speaking to Deadline, he insisted no sequels are planned:
I understand where that comes from, I totally get it. But in terms of wanting to be careful not overdoing it or not killing the goose that lays the golden egg, Dan and David’s show as it stands in eight seasons, I want to leave it as it’s own work of art and not have shows directly, having Arya do that. I think it’s best to try the prequels in other areas of George’s massive universe — just feels like the right thing to do, let the show stand on its own.
Technically, this is not news. When four pilots were commissioned, which then expanded to five, it was made very clear that there would be no sequels. So far, it seems the network is sticking to that choice.
That being said, no one can be sure what's really going on in the background. The AT&T merger with HBO parent company WarnerMedia has caused a sea change at the network, with a focus on quantity, instead of one massive flagship show at a time. Moreover, while Bloys claims in this interview that only the prequel with Watts is going forward at this time, Martin has directly contradicted that on his NotABlog. In his last post on the current prequel, he stated two more ideas are in active development, hinting they both draw from stories in his Fire & Blood novels, which cover 300 years of Targaryen history.
No one knows what's really in store for HBO and Game of Thrones. Perhaps, like with Tyrion, fans should ask again in ten years.