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The massive HBO fantasy franchise — the premium cabler’s most watched show ever — is set for two more shortened seasons before concluding the stories of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and the others warring for power and freedom throughout the Seven Kingdoms. But when Game of Thrones ends, there’s still more story to tell within the world of Westeros, according to HBO programming president Casey Bloys.
“There are so many properties and areas to go to,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter this week at the Westworld premiere in Hollywood. “For us, it’s about finding the right take with the right writer.”
As it stands, however, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will not be those writers. Both Benioff and Weiss made their stance clear at the Emmys this month, when THR asked if they would be interested in running the next inevitable stage of the Game of Thrones franchise.
“You might want to ask George [R.R. Martin] about that. It’s a great world George created and a very rich world,” said Benoiff. “I’m sure there will be other series set in Westeros, but for us this is it.”
Bloys, however, is more optimistic that Benioff and Weiss might whistle a different tune when the time comes for more Thrones. “You’re getting them right when they’re about to embark on production. It’s a big, big commitment for them, not just their creative force, but also their family life. They’re gone for months at a time. So it’s a big, big thing. But should we find a property that makes sense as a spinoff or a prequel — whatever you want to say — I would not expect them to do it, because they’re going to need to decompress for a good amount of time, but it would certainly be nice to have their involvement in some way. At what level? I have no idea.”
Until the dust (or the snowflakes, as it were) settles on Thrones, it’s too early to know what form a prequel or follow-up would take. According to Bloys, HBO isn’t actively investigating where to take the franchise next: “Not yet. There are things that sound interesting, but at this point, we have no writers assigned or anything like that. In a perfect world, Game of Thrones would keep going, and we wouldn’t have to deal with any of this!”
For his part, Martin, the author of the Song of Ice and Fire novels on which Thrones is based, has stressed that there’s no shortage of material to mine for further television exploration of his expansive fantasy universe.
“I do have thousands of pages of fake history of everything that led up to Game of Thrones,” Martin said at the Emmys. “So there’s a wealth of material there and I’m still writing more.”
Watch our season seven predictions in the video below.
Follow THR‘s Game of Thrones coverage for more news, interviews and analysis.