In the same EW interview where HBO programming president Casey Bloys announced a second season of Westworld (as well as Divorce and Insecure), he also said the network was actively working on prequelizing Game of Thrones, in the same vein of mega-franchises Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.
It would be a first in HBO’s history to spinoff an existing series (although David Milch is working on movie sequels to his beloved show Deadwood) and Bloys cautioned that talks were nascent, even about about the time period of Westeros history they woul delve into.
“I would say it’s still kind of preliminary ongoing talks. There are areas we are exploring, but I wouldn’t point to any one and say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.’”
Bloys was also asked how many episodes would be in Thrones eighth and final season (reports of the showrunners’ intent pegs the number at six), as well as the possibility of a theatrical release for some of the cinematic-worthy episodes “I’ll take as much as we can get,” he said. “I want everything I can get for HBO, I’ll just leave it at that.”
There is no shortage of material to choose from. Author George R.R. Martin has created a sprawling backstory for his A Song of Ice and Fire books and has published some of it as novellas like The Tales of Dunk and Egg and in-universe encylopedias like The World of Ice and Fire.
The likeliest subjects of a Thrones prequel would be either Robert’s Rebellion, the historical groundwork for the events of the series which we’ve only glimpsed narrowly through Bran’s greenseeing, or the Dance of Dragons, which was the bloodiest of the Targaryen civil wars. The latter story would be quite expensive as it took place in a time when dragons still roamed the skies freely as the steeds of the Valyrian conquerors.
Game of Thrones‘ penultimate seventh season consists of seven episodes and will premiere sometime next summer.