Although it’s still got two highly-anticipated seasons left to go, Game Of Thrones got a new infusion of speculative enthusiasm back in May, when HBO announced it was currently developing not just one, but four separate (and still very hypothetical) prequel spin-off series to the fantasy epic. But while the news definitely built up some hype for the franchise’s post-season-8, fate, it’s also starting to sound like a bit of a headache for network president Casey Bloys. Bloys has given a number of interviews about the prequels over the last few months, and he’s mostly spent them attempting to clear up miscommunications and misperceptions about the spin-off projects.
Case in point: A new conversation this week with The Hollywood Reporter, in which Bloys attempts to “clamp down” on the “spin-off fever” surrounding the franchise. To start, the network president reiterated the fact that he really, truly doesn’t expect three out of the four prequel shows being worked on to make it to broadcast, calling questions about what he’ll do if they’re all just too good not to air a “high-class problem.” He also made it clear that, rather than risk distracting from the series’ big finish, nothing is happening with any of the prequels until well after the show’s eighth and final season airs.
Speaking of Game Of Thrones’ grand finale, Bloys says he has no idea when that will happen, or even if it’ll arrive in 2018 or 2019, leaving the whole thing in the hands of showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss (who’ll be departing the franchise in full once the final episode runs, having already turned down even nominal credit on the prequel shows). He did quash one rumor that’s been going around, though: Unlike previous seasons, GoT season eight won’t air in theaters, with Bloys calling it a “subscriber-only” experience.
And while the HBO president could be forgiven for talking so extensively about his network’s most successful program ever, he also made it clear that HBO won’t live or die based on Westeros’ fate. Citing shows like its upcoming Alan Ball project, its new Watchman series with Damon Lindelof, and the upcoming second season of the tremendously popular Westworld, Bloys says HBO will be fine even if none of the Thrones spin-offs make the quality cut demanded by its legions of tits-and-dragons-loving fans.