We have good news and bad news: Season 7 of Game of Thrones is apparently “amazing,” according to HBO boss Casey Bloys, but after it airs, you might have to wait until 2019 for Season 8 — and even longer for any of the potential prequels that HBO is developing.
In a new interview with EW, Bloys laid out the timeline for the final two seasons of Game of Thrones and when we might expect to see a spinoff — reiterating that HBO and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are focused on sticking the landing with the final 13 episodes of the series before the network starts thinking about any offshoots.
“Making Game of Thrones as good as possible is the No. 1 goal, and then we’ll see about these [spinoff] scripts,” Bloys said. “You’re not going to see a situation where the next show in the Thrones universe launches off the back of this one. The show that Dan and David have created will get its proper send off first. We wouldn’t want to take away from that in any way.”
And there’s no guarantee that any of the spinoffs currently in development will ever see the light of day, although the network is obviously hopeful.
“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,” Bloys clarified. “The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [Benioff and Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it. Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired … If any of these scripts come to pass, you’re not going to see anything air anytime close to the Season 8 finale.”
Speaking of Season 8, EW noted that Benioff and Weiss have said that they plan to work on the final season for the next year and a half, and asked Bloys whether the final season could air in 2018 and/or 2019, depending on how long the production process takes.
Bloys agreed, “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.”
(Come on, guys, you’re supposed to be better than George R. R. Martin!)
But before you start hyperventilating into a paper bag, by Bloys’ own admission, it’s far too early to tell when Season 8 might air — and the cast currently expects to start filming again in September 2017. If Season 8 follows the same template as Season 7, filming should theoretically be completed by February 2018, which means it could easily make a summer or fall 2018 premiere date.
There’s no reason to think that HBO would torture us by pushing the Season 8 debut back to 2019 unless the post-production process is particularly complex (or unless they simply do want to torture us, which, given this show, is a valid concern).
But in the meantime, Bloys did give us a little hint about the scope of the final two seasons, which will be every bit as epic as you’d expect.
“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,” he previewed. “I don’t want to oversell, but I can’t imagine anybody being disappointed in this season. It’s amazing.”
July 16 can’t come soon enough.