“Game of Thrones” premiered its seventh season earlier this month.
In television, making it to seven seasons is an honorable feat. Making it to seven seasons while sustaining a fan base that seems to get even more dedicated season after season is remarkable. It’s pretty common for shows that have lasted this long to lose fans who have started to get bored.
That said, not everything can last forever, except of course “The Simpsons.” It’s already been announced that this season of “Thrones” is the penultimate one. Next season will be the final one.
This has compelled many to ask what comes after. It can’t all just end, can it? There are way too many storylines to tie a pretty bow on.
Thankfully for “Thrones” fans, the eighth season won’t be the end of it all. Like with so many that have cultivated such a rabid following, there will be a spin-off. And because “Thrones” is nothing if not a show that indulges in excess, there will be four spin-offs.
Not only will there be four spin-offs, the “Thrones” producers will bring an entirely new concept to HBO, but that concept has proved to be controversial.
Want to know more about these spin-offs? Read on!
Right now, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the four planned spin-offs. There are no titles. None of the concepts have been revealed. No actors have even been cast.
So is there anything we *do* know? Yes.
For one thing, none of the actors/characters on “Thrones” will be featured in the spin-offs.
If you’re thinking that’s unusual for a spin-off, you’re not wrong. The overwhelming majority of spin-offs feature characters from the original show, even if that character wasn’t necessarily a principal character. The character Mork only appeared on one episode of “Happy Days,” yet “Mork & Mindy” is often considered to be a spin-off from “Days.”
So how can the “Thrones” spin-offs be spin-offs if they don’t feature common actors and characters?
Well as some of the more dedicated fans of the show will consistently remind you, the show barely covers the vastness of author George R.R. Martin’s universe. “Thrones,” of course, is based on an entire series of novels, known as “A Song of Ice and Fire.” That series consists of five novels, all of which are long. Really long. The first novel is just shy of 700 pages, and each novel has been longer than the previous one.
That means that even after six seasons, it’s arguable that “Thrones” has only scratched the surface. Like Tolkien did with middle earth, Martin has spent a career creating a large landscape in his writing. The show’s producers have plenty to pick from.
When Will They Air?
Now just because we know very little about the cast and storylines of the four planned spin-offs, that doesn’t mean the producers don’t have a gameplan; they may have decided to simply be secretive.
If they *haven’t* nailed down exactly what they are going to do, it appears they have some breathing room.
According to executives at HBO, the final seasons of “Thrones” are taking precedence over the spin-offs. Casey Bloys, the head of programming at HBO, suggested that it would be at least a year after the “Thrones” series finale before fans see any of the spin-offs.
As of right now, the eighth and final season of “Thrones” will be aired in 2018. There will be six episodes, but it is unclear when the episodes will air. However, every “Thrones” season up to this point was broadcast in the spring and summer.
What About the Other Show?
While there’s a lot of uncertainty regarding the spin-offs, there’s actually quite a bit know about the other show that “Thrones” producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff are developing that has nothing to do with “Thrones.”
And it’s causing a lot of controversy already.
The show is tentatively titled “Confederate.” According to Benioff and Weiss, the show will present an alternative history, where the south won the Civil War and slavery is still legal.
Naturally, given the subject matter, and the fact that “Thrones” fans are some of the most vocal, social media platforms like Twitter lit up.
The criticisms came hot and heavy. Many claimed that they didn’t trust the producers to properly and sensitively tackle the subject matter. This claim is amplified by the fact that the “Thrones” producers have often been accused of not being diverse enough in the way they cast the show. Ask actor David Oyelowo about that.
In response to the criticism, Benioff, Weiss, and collaborators Malcolm and Tramble Spellman, have tried to diminish fears. In an interview with Vulture, Weiss said, “That sin [slavery] is still with us in many ways. ‘Confederate,’ in all of our minds, will be an alternative history show. It’s a science fiction show. One of the strengths of science fiction is that it can show us how this history is still with us in a way no strictly realistic drama ever could.”
Many have come to the defense of the show, taking a “wait and see” approach. According to the producers, we will all likely have to wait to see for a while. Production of the show will not start until “Thrones” is done.
It’s unfortunate when an iconic show like “Thrones” comes to an end. Of course, one could effectively argue that it’s even more unfortunate when an iconic show stays on-air long enough to depreciate in quality.
“Thrones” will take a graceful bow, it appears. While reception to this newest season has been more tepid than usual, the fans are still as dedicated as ever.
And it also appears that those fans will have more to dedicated themselves to in the future.