HBO will air the seventh and penultimate season of Game of Thrones in the summer of 2017. Game of Thrones Season 7 will consist of seven episodes and HBO is hoping that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will extend the series’ eighth and final season to more than the proposed six episodes.
That isn’t the only method of keeping the Game of Thrones franchise alive that HBO is considering. HBO is also considering a Game of Thrones spinoff, something HBO has never done with any of its previous series. HBO hasn’t made anything official yet, but Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, offered a status update at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.
“All I can say is that we’re exploring it. We don’t have any scripts, we’re not even close to saying ‘Oh let’s do this.’ But it’s a big enough property that we would be foolish not to explore it,” he told Variety. “It’s a really rich world. We’d be foolish not to look at it.”
Bloys is correct about the richness of the world of Game of Thrones, which was created by author George R.R. Martin. In addition to the novels that make up Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, which is the basis for the plot of Game of Thrones, Martin has also released a handful prequel novellas, including three following the same duo of protagonists, Dunk and Egg, that have been collected into a single volume titled A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. He has also released The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones, a massive history book for the world of Game of Thrones.
In addition, Martin has plans for more Dunk and Egg novellas and another history book titled Blood and Fire, which would chronicle the complete history of House Targaryen. Those new novellas and histories will have to wait until after Martin finishes the final two books of A Song of Ice and Fire, titled The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
All of this additional material should provide plenty of potential story hooks to base a new Game of Thrones spinoff on, and one that would potentially be less restricted by the expectations of canon and fidelity to Martin’s source material.