HBO Will Only Pursue More Game Of Throne Spin-Offs If Creative, Exciting Concepts Come Up [ATX]

Arya Stark once asked "What's west of Westeros?" It's a fair question, but it turns out there's only so much of the "Game of Thrones" world that still needs to be filled in. Amidst a full but ever-shifting development slate featuring several "Game of Thrones" spinoffs and prequels, HBO's VP of Original Programming, Kara Buckley, seems to be putting a lid on the number of new shows we might see.

Buckley spoke at ATX Television Festival today, where /Film's Ryan Scott is reporting. On a panel titled "Futurescape: A Look at What's Ahead in TV," the programming VP answered a question about the "mandate" to bring more "Game of Thrones"-related content to the premium cable network.

"It's tricky," Buckley admitted, referencing the process of finding the right spin-offs while "Game of Thrones" is still in high demand. Here's what she said:

"We developed a lot of ideas, we were still developing a lot of ideas, and I think we're really excited about the one that will air later this summer. But, we don't feel the need to make another one unless it feels really creatively exciting to us. That's my job, at least. And the team that I'm on, that's what we're told to focus on."

The current state of the spin-offs

The spin-off she's referencing that will air this summer is "House of the Dragon," a prequel series exploring the Targaryan family lineage roughly 200 years before "Game of Thrones." The new show is based on George R.R. Martin's 2018 book "Fire & Blood," which is essentially a narrative history of Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) ancestors. The "House of the Dragon" cast includes Matt Smith ("Doctor Who"), Olivia Cooke ("Sound of Metal"), and Paddy Considine ("The Outsider").

The state of the Westeros extended universe seems to be forever in flux, with many projects greenlit over the past few years and a few already abandoned. One prequel pilot was reportedly abandoned after the network had spent $30 million on it, according to James Andrew Miller's book "Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers." Another project that seemed to be earlier in its development, set in the poor King's Landing neighborhood of Flea Bottom, was also shelved. No changes to the current production slate have been announced since the Warner Bro. Discovery merger in April.

Even if Buckley's comment means HBO is slowing down on greenlighting "Game of Thrones"-related projects, there are still a whole host of them to look forward to. The last comprehensive project update came courtesy of Martin himself. The author took to his own website in March to share that shows titled "The Sea Snake" and "Ten Thousand Ships" are still a go, as is a series based on his "Dunk and Egg" novellas. There are also still some animated series in the works.

"House of the Dragon" will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on August 21, 2022.