HBO confirms that season 8 scripts are written, teases episode length

Game of Thrones spinoffs are coming…at some point. We’ve known for a while that HBO was developing at least four ideas for spinoffs, because it makes no sense to let a franchise as popular as Game of Thrones just fade away after the finale.

Then, George R.R. Martin came forward and clarified several points of interest:

  • All of the shows under consideration are prequels.
  • None of the shows are about Robert’s Rebellion or the Tales of Dunk and Egg.
  • Martin is directly involved in the development of all of shows. (Although it seems like the degree to which he’s involved changes from idea to idea.)
  • There may be a fifth show in development.

Today, Entertainment Weekly reported on some comments HBO programming president Casey Bloys made at the Television Critics Association press tour, where he confirmed some of these details and dropped others. Namely, he clarified that HBO doesn’t intend to do anything with a Game of Thrones prequel until Game of Thrones itself is over.

The No. 1 priority in all of this is the final season of Game of Thrones. I don’t want to do anything with a spin-off or anything that detracts or distracts from that. That season will happen and my guess is it would be at least a year before you saw anything else. What I don’t want is the attention to be drawn from the final season, which I think is going to be epic and amazing and somehow have the distraction of a new Game of Thrones airing right after that. It’s best to separate it and that’s what we’ll do.

Importantly, we’re still not 100% when the final season of Game of Thrones will air. Bloys declined to confirm whether it would air next year — in 2018 — or in 2019, as has been suggested, saying only that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are still working out production details. He also said that none of the spinoffs would involve current characters on the show, which jives with all of them being prequels.

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However, even though the production schedule isn’t worked out, Bloys DID say that the scripts for season 8 “are written” and also had some interesting comments about the potential length of the episodes — remember, there will only be six in season 8.

I imagine they’ll be longer but … I’m not sure [how long]. We haven’t had that discussion yet because I don’t know how long the episodes are going to be. Two hours per episode seems like it would be excessive, but it’s a great show, so who knows?

We would accept “excessive.” We’re here for excessive.

We’ll keep you updated on all of this. Until then, the next episode of Game of Thrones — “The Queen’s Justice” — airs this Sunday.

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