Game of Thrones Arya spinoff

With the ending of Game of Thrones only a few days behind us, discussion is already turning to what HBO plans to do next in that rich fantasy world. One thing fans can definitively cross off their wish list, though, is a spinoff following the adventures of Arya Stark.

In a new interview, HBO programming president Casey Bloys specifically dismissed that idea. Read what he had to say about the show’s divisive ending, the Game of Thrones prequel show that’s already in development, and more below.

Speaking with Deadline, Bloys shot down the possibility of a Game of Thrones Arya spinoff that would track her adventures exploring “what’s west of Westeros”:

“I understand where that comes from, I totally get it. But in terms of wanting to be careful not overdoing it or not killing the goose that lays the golden egg, [showrunners] Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff]’s show as it stands in eight seasons, I want to leave it as it’s own work of art and not have shows directly, having Arya do that. I think it’s best to try the prequels in other areas of George [R.R. Martin]’s massive universe — just feels like the right thing to do, let the show stand on its own.”

Sounds like HBO has already learned a lesson that Lucasfilm is finally starting to understand: when you have a huge fictional universe to explore, it might be a good idea to explore different time periods and different corners of it in future installments instead of making such explicit connections to what’s come before.

HBO already has one Game of Thrones “successor show” that’s moving forward: Jane Goldman‘s prequel set long before the events depicted in the mothership series. “We are going to do that pilot and take our time and do it right,” Bloys said, confirming that production on that pilot begins in June and that they’ll assess the future of other possible spinoffs after that. As for whether or not there will be more than one show on the air at the same time set in the Thrones universe, Bloys said that wouldn’t happen:

“I doubt it, I don’t think so. I certainly do not want to overdo it. We have so many varied shows coming up in 2019 and ’20 and even into ’21. I think Game of Thrones is a fantastic property but I don’t want to just be the home of prequels and sequels and all that stuff. I think you want to be really careful about how you do it. That’s why we’ve been working on the Jane pilot for a long time, because we want to do it right. I think the last thing fans would want is something that was rushed out just to make it to air.”

In terms of fan reaction to the final season – which has ranged from our largely positive reviews here at /Film to a fan petition to remake season 8 with “competent writers” that’s gained over a million signatures – Bloys says he wasn’t surprised to see such a wide range of responses:

“To tell you the truth, for a show this big and this sprawling and for a show that has this passionate a fan base, I don’t think there is any way that all fans would’ve been happy. I think based on online reaction, which you do have to take with a grain of salt, it does seem split and I think that’s about right — some people are going to love it, some people are going to hate it. But the point is, everybody is feeling really passionate about it.”

Check out the full interview on Deadline, which also touches on whether or not the production filmed alternate endings and that water bottle that snuck into the series finale.

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