8:35am PT by Josh Wigler
Week in 'Game of Thrones': HBO Confirms Series' End
All good things must come to an end, even Game of Thrones.
During HBO's presentation at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour, new programming president Casey Bloys made the word on the street official: Thrones will end after its eighth season, a finish line that's already within sight, given the Emmy-winning juggernaut's announced seven-episode seventh season.
"Yes, I think [the showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff] have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do," said Bloys. "If I could get them to do more, I would take 10 seasons, but we want to take their lead with what they could do and what the best version of the show is."
Benioff and Weiss previously expressed their desire to cap Thrones off with somewhere between 10-15 more episodes following the end of season six. While the exact number remains up in the air, at least publicly, there's no confusing the notion: Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister and all the other warring factions are coming to a head, and soon.
Here's what else happened in the Game of Thrones space this week:
The Show Must Go On
At the same TCA event, Bloys addressed the possibility of a Game of Thrones spinoff: "We've talked about it ... It's not something I'm opposed to, but it has to make sense creatively. I'm not sure the guys can wrap their heads around it when they are about to start production. We're open to it — the guys aren't opposed to it, but there's no concrete plans right now." For many fans and spectators alike, a Thrones spinoff feels like a given, what with so much history coursing throughout the world of Westeros, and even source material to mine — such as, for example, George R.R. Martin's short stories known as "Dunk and Egg," set several decades before Thrones, centered on a Targaryen king and his oversized protector, who happens to be one of Brienne of Tarth's ancestors.
Twenty Years in Westeros
Speaking of Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which Thrones is based marked a massive milestone this past week: the 20th anniversary of the first book in the franchise's release. On his LiveJournal, Martin announced a new edition of A Game of Thrones, including illustrations studded throughout the release. Unfortunately, he also provided an update on the sixth book in the series — which is to say, there is no update, other than he is "still working on book six."
Many fans have gone from anxious to impatient to worse when it comes to the delay in The Winds of Winter, the planned title of the sixth book in the Ice and Fire series. For their part, Martin's publishing editor told Newsweek that while she doesn't know details on timing, she promises that "George is working very hard. And as soon as we possibly can after he delivers, we'll publish the book." Not the most promising update, but an update all the same.
As the real world's election news cycle becomes more and more improbable by the day, the prospect of throwing support behind one of the many leaders in Westeros becomes more appealing. HBO has seized on that with a new election initiative for the figureheads currently in positions of power on Game of Thrones, including Lord Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister, and more. Watch the "campaign video" below:
Watch our season seven predictions in the video below:
Follow THR's Game of Thrones coverage for more news, interviews and analysis.