At SxSW this week, the showrunners for Game of Thrones said they’re looking forward to HBO’s spin off series… but they won’t be involved.
Quite a bit went down last week in the world of Game of Thrones. We got a release date and a new teaser. But these were merely to stave off fans demanding said things from showrunner David Benioff and Dan Weiss at the SxSW panel a few days later.
Instead the panel was filled with non-spoilers, or the sorts of spoilers that sound interesting but are sort of washed over in the moment when they finally arrive on the show, like a metal band playing wights. But one interesting quote that sort of got lost in all the drama over whether Sophie Turner’s hair color meant Sansa was dead, or if Ed Sheeran would be a musician or a wildling was when the focus turned to the possibility of a spin off.
With the showrunners confirming what we already knew in terms of the length of the final two seasons (that it’s only 13 episodes, really one extra long season cut in twain), they were asked about the inevitable spin off that HBO has been hinting at.
"There’s always going be an urge — the characters who maybe will survive — there’s always going to be this temptation to keep doing it; to do the spin-off show or do the sequel show and everything. And I think HBO might well do one and I’m looking forward to watching it. I think it’s better for them to get new blood in with new visions."
Let’s hope he and Weiss stick to that too. Not that we here don’t love the show, or their work. (Though there are many out there who take issue with their treatment of women in the show). But let us not forget that Peter Jackson, upon completion of The Lord of the Rings trilogy said much the same thing, citing his exhaustion from the project, the desire to do something other than Middle Earth for a while, and if The Hobbit movie came to pass, it should be done with someone with a fresh vision.
And we all know how that went.
Funnily enough, it went just about as well as when George Lucas tried to bathe in the same river twice with the Star Wars prequels.
Fans of Game of Thrones want a prequel. Though it should be noted that polls seem to find that where they want it set varies: from the original Targaryen conquest of Westeros, to the Tagrayen civil war known as “The Dance of Dragons”, to Robert’s Rebellion a generation before. But there’s a danger to the same hands that made the original going back and attempting to bottle lightning twice. The last thing anyone in the fandom wants is risking seeing GoT suffer the same struggles that other major fantasy fandoms have been through when the creators can’t let go of the story and let the next person pick up the baton and run with it. Let us hope that Benioff and Weiss are speaking as those who have seen those mistakes and taken them to heart.
Game of Thrones Season 7 returns July 16th, 2017 on HBO.