Features and Columns · TV

Coming to Terms with The End of Game of Thrones

By  · Published on August 1st, 2016

The Big Idea

Two more shortened seasons. Let’s enjoy them while they last.

Needless to say, I’ve been covering Game of Thrones for a long time. On top of being a cultural phenomenon worth talking about at every opportunity, it’s also a personal favorite world of mine. So as HBO confirmed this weekend that Thrones will indeed only last 8 seasons, you can imagine some disappointment. It’s been one hell of a ride already. From crazy predictions to wild theories to a sensational podcast that I’m honored to co-host to having my loyalty torn between two of my favorite things, season six alone was a ride unlike any other.

Of the many things I will miss about vacationing for 10 weeks per year in Westeros, the discussion in the days that follow every episode will be at the top of the list. Like many fans, the most entertaining part of the process comes after the episode, when we take to Twitter, podcast, article, or even Reddit to discuss what just happened, what it all means, and what happens next.

Eventually ‐ in two summers ‐ there will be no next.

This gives us plenty of time to come to terms with the end of the most popular television show of our lifetimes. It also provides plenty of time for other Westeros-related interests to emerge. Even as HBO programming president Casey Bloys confirmed the eighth and final season, he left the door open for potential spin-offs: “It’s something I’m not opposed to, but it has to make sense creatively. I’m open to it. The guys [Dan Weiss and David Benioff] aren’t opposed to it, but there’s no concrete plans.”

That’s an exciting prospect, but it’s no guarantee. Then again, HBO is in the Game of Thrones business for as long as it possibly can be. A spin-off about Aegon the Conquerer? That’d play well. The story of Robert’s Rebellion against The Mad King? Sure. George R.R. Martin’s Dunk & Egg chronicles? Here’s $5 million per episode.

So while we prepare to land the very large, very crowded plane that is the Game of Thrones Fandom Machine, there’s plenty of hope for the future. Also, there are at least two more books due from George R.R. Martin. We may even get to read them in our lifetime. Personally, I’m not quite ready to let it all go just yet. But I am going to enjoy these remaining two seasons while they last. Frame-by-frame, if necessary.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)