A return to Westeros? ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel is still a possibility, says HBO

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Way back in July 2015, HBO generated some serious online buzz when a network executive hinted that a Game of Thrones prequel or spinoff series could be in the works after the hit show eventually ends its acclaimed run. More than a year later, that possibility appears to still be on the table as the show enters its penultimate season in 2017.

While discussing HBO’s recent renewal of fall shows WestworldInsecure, and Divorce, Casey Bloys, network programming president, confirmed that talks are indeed underway with George R.R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels that the show is based on, about a potential spinoff series or prequel.

“I would say it’s still kind of preliminary ongoing talks,” Bloys told Entertainment Weekly when asked if there’s a particular element of Martin’s series that a spinoff or prequel project would focus on. “There are areas we are exploring, but I wouldn’t point to any one and say, ‘This is what we’re going to do.'”

If the network does indeed pursue a prequel or spinoff series based on Game of Thrones, it would be a first for HBO, which has a long history of celebrated original programming.

Last year, Michael Lombardo, HBO’s then-programming president, first hinted at the possibility of a show built on the events that came before the first season of Game of Thrones, and suggested the network was open to the idea as long as Martin and showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss were amenable to the idea.

“There’s enormous storytelling to be mined in a prequel, if [George R.R. Martin] and Dan and David decide they want to tackle that,” said Lombardo.

Lombardo’s replacement seems to indicate that this thinking hasn’t changed at the network.

“I’ll take as much as we can get,” Bloys told EW.

Filming is currently underway on the seventh season of Game of Thrones, which will premiere in mid-2017 and run for seven episodes. The eighth and final season of the series is expected to premiere in 2018 and is rumored — but not confirmed — to consist of six episodes.