Game of Thrones season 8: HBO defends premiere date, shares spinoff details

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While George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has been a cult hit since it debuted in the '90s, few could have imagined that HBO's adaptation would make the author a household name and see each new season eclipse the previous one in ratings. Spending more than a year to make just six episodes has to be some kind of industry record, but showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have always been determined to increase the series' spectacle every season and deliver a final run that satisfies even its most demanding fans. Naturally, HBO isn't ready to let the franchise go.

As the final season of Game of Thrones isn't set to air until 2019, the spin-offs will presumably arrive in 2020 or later. But the show has long passed the plot of the books and the franchise as a whole may become its own beast as well.

We first heard about the five Game of Thrones prequel spinoffs currently in development at HBO in May past year, and now the cable network has just revealed some intriguing news about the project.

"Here's what I'll tell you", HBO programming boss Casey Bloys explained to Entertainment Weekly.

"There are five of them". However, Bloys revealed that fans wouldn't be getting a backdoor pilot or sort, adding that the spin-off would air "a least a year after "Game of Thrones" airs". "We ave some really talented writers working on them". But there's no timetable. "I have seen some things that I think are potentially very exciting".

The duo wanted as much time as they could to make the strongest - and most epic - episodes that they possibly could. Season 1 actor Jason Momoa, who recently visited the set, assures us season 8 will be "the greatest thing to ever air on TV".

A honest apology to everyone who enjoyed HBO's journey to Monterey, California, past year in Big Little Lies-because the drama's second season will not be airing anytime soon.

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