The much anticipated final season of hit TV show Game of Thrones will air in 2019, bringing its epic eight-year run to an end. But what will that mean for the franchise and its dedicated band of followers?
Back in 2011, when the first episode of HBO’s adaptation of George RR Martin’s fantasy novel series first aired, few could have predicted it would become such a pop culture phenomenon. After all, fantasy tales are (were?) rarely considered appropriate material for mainstream audiences, although the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogies may have changed opinion and opened the door for this project.
The first series attracted decent viewing figures and thanks to some excellent reviews more and more people started to tune in. By season four it had overtaken the Sopranos as HBO’s most watched show.
But with more than 30 million viewers watching each episode of season seven, it was unlikely that the final instalment in 2019 would mean the end of the franchise. And so it proved as HBO announced plans for at least one spin-off series.
As well as more TV shows, fans can also get stuck into George RR Martin’s Fire and Blood, a book charting the history of the Targaryens 300 years before Game of Thrones. The first volume will be released in November 2018 with a second volume to follow.
The continuation of the franchise will prompt more media and GoT related products. Video game makers have already released several games based on the characters and settings in the book and visitors to Mr. Smith Casino’s UK online slots website can play an official Game of Thrones themed slot game featuring the main four houses and of course, the famous iron throne.
In addition, you could build a wall big enough for the Sworn Brothers of the Night’s Watch to defend from the huge amount of merchandise that has been licensed by HBO. Fans can buy clothing, dolls, board games, armour, weapons, jewellery, beer, watches and even a replica iron throne. There is no end to the amount of merchandise dedicate followers can purchase to adorn themselves and their homes.
In terms of the TV series, it has been hinted that the first spinoff will be a prequel set 10,000 years before Game of Thrones, in a period known as the Age of Heroes. This show could focus on how the prosperous world is plunged into centuries of darkness during this time. Hollywood star Naomi Watts has already been signed up to star as the female lead in the show.
Setting the first prequel so far back avoids any direct link with characters in Game of Thrones, but could allow viewers the opportunity to see how the great houses that dominate the series are formed. The show could also chart the story of the Andal’s invasion of Westeros. Four more prequel stories have also been discussed but have yet to be confirmed.