“Game of Thrones” Season 7 is just days away from premiering on HBO, but the future of the fantasy series has become greater than just the final two seasons of the George R.R. Martin adaptation. Only 13 of the flagship series remain, but HBO confirmed in May that four spinoff series are in development from Carly Wray (“The Leftovers”), Jane Goldman (“Kick-Ass”), Brian Helgeland (“Legend”) and Max Borenstein (“Kong: Skull Island”). Martin is involved with all four “successor shows,” and it remains unclear whether HBO will pick up just one spinoff or multiple.
Casey Bloys, HBO president of programming, is remaining as secretive as you might expect given the scrutiny that surrounds “Game of Thrones,” but he did provide one crucial bit of information in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the future of the franchise. After noting that all four spinoffs are in their very earliest stages of development, Bloys confirmed with THR that “all of them are prequels that will be populated with entirely new characters.”
It’s a brief but buzzy quote given all the speculation around the subjects of the potential prequels. Fans have been wondering if we’d get a story devoted to the adventures of Young Ned Stark, who we met last season while Bran explored the past. Other ideas range from spinoffs centered around the Children of the Forest to the origin story of Melisandre. If the prequels will be populated by entirely new characters, it doesn’t seem likely that any of these stories are the ones being developed.
Bloys’ language is a bit ambiguous, however, as it’s not clear whether “new characters” means made-up ones or simply characters that never made it onto the show but that have appeared in the books. This could potentially keep a Valyrian-centric spinoff on the table.
“Game of Thrones” returns for its seven-episode Season 7 this Sunday at 9pm ET.