Season seven of Game of Thrones has come to an end and fans are clamoring to know what’s next. Not only is the hotly awaited season eight in development, but George R.R. Martin‘s next book in the series is way overdue. Then there’s all the talk about those prequels that HBO is producing. There’s plenty in store for Game of Thrones fans, you just might need a bit of patience.
season 8: The Basic Details
Most, if not all, Game of Thrones fans are preoccupied with when the heck we’re getting season eight. The final season of the HBO drama is expected to premiere sometime in early 2019 – yeah, a year and a half from now. The struggle is real. Plus the final season will only consist of six episodes. Luckily they’ll all be longer than usual — up to feature-length movie size.
We also know for sure that the final six episodes have already been written and the endgame is clearly in sight. According to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jamie Lannister in the series, the full cast returns to film starting this October. Other than that what happens next is, as always, anyone’s guess (and trust us, fans have theories!).
Season 8: Plotlines Left Open
Aside from anxiously awaiting the actual premiere date, we’re all wondering what’s going to happen during the show’s final stretch. Season seven of the hit drama ended with winter officially arriving, the wall falling, and some casual incest on a boat. What’s going to happen next is anyone’s guess, but we do have some clues based on the events of the season seven finale. Spoilers ahead!
The finale saw Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) true parentage officially revealed and his identity as a Targaryen confirmed. This revelation is still unbeknownst to him — which unfortunately not only means he accidentally slept with his aunt — but it could have major repercussions for the Seven Kingdoms when he finds out. Jon has, arguably, the biggest claim to the Iron Throne and could even usurp his aunt (and lover…) Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) when it came to ruling Westeros. Whether he will or not is still up for debate, but the bigger concern is this will affect their budding relationship. Is the ship fans have been sailing for years totally ~ doomed ~ or do these lovers still have a chance?
The finale also saw one major development from north of the wall. The Night King (Vladimir Furdik) and his wight dragon (RIP Viserion) crumbled the wall that has kept them separated for thousands of years. The series’ real “big bad” is making his way towards Westeros and no one even knows. While these people are playing a silly ~game of thrones~, a literal army of the dead is coming their way. Jon and Dany are working on uniting the Seven Kingdoms to fight against them, but that doesn’t mean everyone is cooperating. Cersei (Lena Headey), the current Queen, just pledged her armies to help — and then snatched them away in a bit of nasty trickery. With everyone seemingly less united than ever, who knows how they’re going to defeat the Night King and his army. One thing we do know: you can’t rule a kingdom if everyone in it is dead.
There’s also a plethora of other dangling questions from the finale. Are brother-sister lovers Jamie and Cersei officially done? Will Theon (Alfie Allen), ahem, grow a pair and actually save his sister? Did that final Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) shot mean he loves Dany?! The answers to these and the thousands of other questions will, unfortunately, need to wait until season eight.
Game of Thrones: The Prequel Series
While we don’t know what happens next yet, we may get a look into the past. HBO currently has four (!!!) Game of Thrones prequels in the works. They each have different writers with two involving Martin himself as a co-writer.
George has revealed a few things that will not be featured in the prequels no matter what. One thing he mentioned won’t be in the prequel is Robert’s Rebellion, a fan-favorite choice for its own series. His reasoning is solid though: he’s going to fully flesh that story out in the books, taking away any mystery a show could have. The series will also not explore the stories of Dunk and Egg. Dunk and Egg are the stars of novellas Martin has written set in this universe about 90 years before the events we’re seeing now on GoT. His reasoning for this is pretty simple as well. He’s writing more Dunk and Egg novellas and doesn’t want the show to jump past his novels like Game of Thrones has.
Here’s the sad part: whichever prequel (or prequels?) gets picked up won’t air until after the final season of Game of Thrones has aired. So we’re talking years away. This way HBO won’t be over-saturating the airwaves and exhausting fans with a bunch of GoT programs (not that we’d mind…).
This reasoning also leads many to believe that only one of the follow-up series currently being shopped will come after GoT and we won’t have a few shows simultaneously playing in the same universe like the Arrowverse on The CW — much to the sadness of bigtime fans.
Game of Thrones: The Book Universe
Arguably the most important thing that will come next in the Game of Thrones universe is The Winds of Winter. It’s been six years since the last book, A Dance with Dragons was published and fans are rabid for more. The show has moved beyond where the books left off at this point, but fans still want to see the major beats of the series fleshed out on the page. Though the show will spoil the ending of the books, it’s more about the journey than the destination for book readers, anyway.
George R.R. Martin’s delay in writing his next novel has been highly publicized — and criticized. Martin has been vocal about his distractions in writing the book, turning to his blog to keep fans updated on his progress (or lack thereof). In a recent post he wrote,
I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it’s done. I will confess, I do wish I could clone myself, or find a way to squeeze more hours into the day, or a way to go without sleep. But this is what it is, so I keep on juggling.
And while that’s all understandable fans are getting antsy, George!
Some fans are getting so anxious for the next book that they’re getting pretty creative. A fan has created an AI that takes the writing style and plot points from the existing books and makes best guesses at what might come next. It may not be the real thing, but you can check out the five chapters here to get your Game of Thrones fix.