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Why HBO Is Working On So Many Game Of Thrones Prequels

HBO's programming boss says it would be "insane" not to think about extending the universe.


HBO is working on as many as five pilots for Game of Thrones prequels, and now we know a little more about what the network is hoping to achieve by working on so many. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO programming boss Casey Bloys started off by saying the network is "incredibly fortunate" that Game of Thrones is popular and acclaimed enough for fans to be clamoring for even more. Considering how popular the show is, Bloys said it would be "insane" to not at least think about making more of it.

"Truly I think it will go down as one of the best shows in the history of television," Bloys said. "It would be insane for a network not to at least entertain the idea of a successor shows--I was going to say 'prequel' but they're not spinoffs because there are no existing characters going off the flagship. It's not Laverne & Shirley from Happy Days; they are prequels," he said. "But it would be insane--with a universe like [author Georg R.R. Martin] has created that is so vast and has so many characters and so many timelines--to not, at least, entertain the idea, which is what we're doing."

The reason why HBO is working on multiple Game of Thrones projects is because it increases the odds of finding something that can be as good as the main show.

"So the idea was, if we're going to try it, let's take a couple of shots and see," he said. "My hope is at least one lives up to the level of quality [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] have set," Bloys explained.

The executive also cautioned that it is still very early days for the new Game of Thrones shows. He said he has not even seen an outline for the shows yet, as he is understandably more focused now on Game of Thrones Seasons 7 and 8.

"You're not going to see a situation where we're launching a prequel on the back of the final season," Bloys said. "The final season is going to be its own event. It's going to be a big deal for us and the fans. I'm not interested in using it to launch any other show. We mentioned the spinoffs because obviously there's a lot of interest in them, but it's a very embryonic process, and you know how development goes--it can be a long process.

"We confirmed their existence because there was a lot of interest, but it's not something that we are fast-tracking to get done to air immediately after the final season. I'm guessing fans will need some time to decompress from how amazing the final season is."

It will be a "good long while" before any Game of Thrones prequels air, if they ever do, Bloys said.

You can read the full interview here.

Game of Thrones returns for its seventh season this Sunday, July 16. Images from the first episode were released earlier today.

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