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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

HBO boss defends Games of Thrones’ controversial finale, rules out Arya Stark spin-off

HBO boss Casey Bloys has said that he knew the final season of Game of Thrones would be divisive, and that fans shouldn’t expect more stories featuring the same characters.

tv Updated: May 22, 2019 20:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in a still from Game of Thrones’ final season.
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark in a still from Game of Thrones’ final season.
         

HBO programming president Casey Bloys has ruled out the possibility of there being any sequels to Game of Thrones in the near future; the focus will instead be on exploring uncharted corners of George RR Martin’s expansive universe. This leaves fans hoping for an Arya Stark spin-off in the lurch.

Bloys told Deadline that he wants Game of Thrones to stand on its own, as a work of art. “I wanted to get through the final season and let that stand as a cultural moment. We have the pilot starting in June and then we will decide whether to want to do another one or not. I’m letting those things happen before we decide whether to do another one or not,” he said, referring to the prequel pilot starring Naomi Watts in the lead role, directed by SJ Clarkson and written by Jane Goldman.

Bloys said he doesn’t want to ‘overdo it’ with more Game of Thrones. “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.”

Fans react as they watch HBO's Game of Thrones series finale at a viewing party at Brennan's bar in Marina del Rey, California.
Fans react as they watch HBO's Game of Thrones series finale at a viewing party at Brennan's bar in Marina del Rey, California. ( AFP )

George RR Martin had written in a recent blog post that he has multiple possible pilots in various stages of development on HBO. Bloys said he understands the desire for more stories featuring the characters that fans love - particularly Arya Stark - but he wants to focus on unexplored corners of the universe instead. He said, “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, Dan and David’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’s massive universe — just feels like the right thing to do, let the show stand on its own.”

Game of Thrones ended its eight season run with a divisive finale, which Bloys said he had anticipated. He said, “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.”

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