Westeros has really taken on a life of its own. We already know that Game of Thrones season 7 , which premieres this July, is going to be shorter than expected. Instead of the usual ten-episode slate we’ve gotten every year since the show started, we’re only getting seven episodes. Season 8 will be even shorter, with a mere six episodes capping off HBO’s hugely successful series. But the good news for fans? A Game of Thrones spinoff series could be in the works.
Showrunner David Benioff and DB Weiss were present at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin last weekend. That’s where they dropped hints of the world of Westeros growing. Stark sisters Sophie Turner (Sansa) and Maisie Williams (Arya) were present as well.
“We had dinner last night, and we were all saying we should go do different things,” Benioff had said, but then added, “The characters who maybe will survive – there’s always going to be this temptation to keep doing it… to do the spinoff show or do the sequel show and everything. And I think HBO might well do one.”
A High Bar
This adds fuel to the fire, as HBO executive Casey Bloys has already brought up the idea of a Game of Thrones spinoff before. “It’s such a big property that we would be foolish not to explore it, but it’s a pretty high bar,” he said in an EW interview.
Bloys does, however, maintain that the quality of any such project would be paramount: “We’ll take some shots at it. I’m not going to do it just to do it. It has to feel very special. I would rather have no sequel and leave it as-is than have something we rushed out.”
As for Weiss and Benioff: both showrunners have shared that they’ll be stepping down after season 8. So, HBO would need to find some very capable hands if they want to realize a Game of Thrones spinoff.
What Stories Could Be Explored
The question of course, should a spinoff or a prequel be greenlit, is: what story should be told? Westeros is a land that is just brimming with stories and characters. Its rich history offers more than a few choices.
HBO could explore the recent past, revealing stories about the time of Robert’s Rebellion, featuring younger versions of Ned, Robert, and Catelyn. We’d then see more of Rhaegar and Aerys Targaryen II, both of whom are heavily tied to the story, despite only being seen in visions and flashbacks so far.
The lesser-known Houses could be explored: Martell, Tyrell, and Greyjoy, who haven’t had as much time in the spotlight as the Starks and Lannisters.
Finally, the Game of Thrones spinoff could always go north of the Wall – where stories of Mance Rayder’s rise to power are just waiting to be told.
While waiting to see any more of Westeros, we’ll at least have Game of Thrones season 7 to chew on. The new season begins this July 16.