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As much as we’d love for the latest Game of Thrones rumor to be true, Kit Harington has not been approached about starring in a spin-off of the HBO hit, sources say.
But reps for the show and actor say there is zero truth to this.
HBO been pretty adamant that there’s no current Thrones spin-off or prequel plan. But that could eventually change with the just-announced departure of top programming executive Michael Lombardo, who told EW a firm “no” when asked about a spin-off last month. “If that were to happen it would have to come from [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] really feeling something, or [author George R.R. Martin] really feeling that it was the right thing to do,” he said. “Not knowing how this particular story ends, I don’t know. There are plenty of characters, secondary characters, [who] you could build a world around. We’re always going to be drawn to a strong creative vision. But we are not going to do that unless we feel their passion.”
Thrones showrunners recently agreed with HBO. “No, we don’t talk about that stuff,” Dan Weiss said. “The job at hand is too enormous and challenging to be further diffusing ourselves by thinking about spin-offs, and theme park rides, and ice ballets … but if anybody has a good pitch for a good Game of Thrones ice ballet, let us know.”
On the heels of that, Martin told EW he was open to the right spin-off idea. “There is certainly no lack of material,” Martin said. “Every episode of The Naked City — one of the television shows I watched as a kid — ended with a voice-over: ‘There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.’ There are eight million stories in Westeros as well … and even more in Essos and the lands beyond. A whole world full of stories, waiting to be told… if indeed HBO is interested.”
HBO actually has a decades-long track record of declining to order spin-offs. Legacy hits The Sopranos, Sex and the City, True Blood, Six Feed Under, and Entourage all concluded without birthing another show (occasionally a movie, but not a series). Thrones, however, is arguably a very different case. As Martin points out, the sprawling mythology of Westeros, combined with having an unusually large number of characters, makes the show ripe with possibilities. Plus Thrones is HBO’s biggest hit of all time — ratings have climbed each year, which is highly unusual — and the drama racked up a record number of Emmys last year. Plus, while spin-offs used to have an unseemly and opportunistic taint to them during the CSI era, today’s media and fandom see creative expansion in more favorable terms — Netflix has Marvel heroes, ABC has Shondaland dramas (with shows that are connected by a certain storytelling style, if not the same characters), Disney has Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and NBC has its Chicago procedurals.
In any case, the clock is beginning to tick if HBO wants to keep new Westeros tales on the air each year. Thrones producers have proposed wrapping the current series at 73 hours, with a final 13 episodes split between seasons 7 and 8 (the UK stories also claimed the series would wrap with season 7, which is not true either). It’s not yet clear if HBO will agree to the end-date plan.
But while a Jon Snow spin-off isn’t currently in the works, you know what is totally true? That EW.com is going to have plenty of exciting coverage for Sunday’s episode, “The Door.” We have a deep-dive recap and interviews with key cast members coming after the episode airs on the East Coast. Bookmark our GoT story hub, and follow @jameshibberd for updates.