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Will There Ever Be A Game Of Thrones Season 9?

After a legendary eight-season run, HBO's Game of Thrones finally came to an end in May 2019. The final season was divisive, with some fans feeling satisfied with how the story came to an end, and others feeling let down with how the series came to an end during its last two episodes. There was even a fan petition signed by 1.7 million people calling for HBO to redo Game of Thrones season 8 without showrunners-slash-writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss at the helm. (However, we don't recommend holding your breath for that, since the network has said a redo will never happen.)

Still, in our current golden age of reboots and re-toolings that have seen even long-dead TV shows come back to life for a few more seasons, it's not surprising that some are pondering the possibility of HBO bringing back its landmark series for at least one more collection of episodes. How likely is it that we'll see Arya Stark's (Maisie Williams) continued adventures in the lands west of Westeros, or get to witness what Jon Snow (Kit Harington) has been up to in the northern wastelands? Will there ever be a ninth season of Game of Thrones? Let's investigate.

The chances of Game of Thrones season 9 are slim to none

Unfortunately, as of now, there's no chance of a continuation of the stories that ended with Game of Thrones' series finale. Before the final season even began airing, the president of programming at HBO, Casey Bloys, made a declarative statement to The Hollywood Reporter when asked about the possibility of the network bringing back the flagship series at some point: "That's not happening. This story, A Song of Fire and Ice, is done. There's no revival, reboot, spin-off talk."

Although that statement was made in 2018 and TV networks have been known to cave to fan pressure, at the time of this writing, there has been no indication that HBO is planning any kind of continuation of the story that ended with Jon Snow killing his lover-slash-aunt Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) after she spiraled into madness and destroyed King's Landing, Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) taking the Iron Throne, Cersei and Jaime Lannister (Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) being crushed to death, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) becoming Queen in the North, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) becoming Bran's Hand, and Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) ruling over the Iron Islands. 

True fans of the world of Westeros still have two A Song of Fire and Ice books to look forward to from author George R.R. Martin: the long-awaited The Winds of Winter and the conclusion to the series, A Dream of Spring. Martin has assured fans that the conclusion to the novels won't be a mirror of how the show ended, but that's cold comfort to those who are only familiar with Benioff and Weiss' version of the story.

However, just because a Game of Thrones season 9 won't happen in this lifetime, it doesn't mean that HBO is done exploring the world of Westeros.

The Game of Thrones prequel that wasn't meant to be

In 2018, it was reported that Naomi Watts had been cast on a prequel series set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thronescreated by George R.R. Martin and Kingsman screenwriter Jane Goldman. Fans of Martin's novels know that despite all taking place in a contemporaneous and linear narrative, there are many details and references to the history of Westeros woven throughout the books. The Game of Thrones prequel series was set to explore a time period known as the Age of Heroes, one of the most prosperous eras in the history of the Seven Kingdoms that unfortunately ended in calamity.

Little is known about the story of the prequel, which was rumored to be titled either Bloodmoon or The Long Night and saw Watts playing "a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret." The network's official summary only alluded that the series "chronicles the world's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour," and would possibly answer some long standing questions — like what exactly are the origins of the White Walkers.

However, after a difficult pilot shoot and a final product that HBO apparently wasn't pleased with, the network pulled plans for the series and chose instead to focus on another prequel project for the beloved franchise.

The Targaryens will soon take center stage

As HBO announced the cancellation of one Game of Thrones prequel project, executives greenlit another with a full 10-episode season order. In a 2019 tweet, HBO announced the new series would be called House of the Dragon, and included an image of a teaser poster with the Targaryen family sigil and the tagline "Fire will reign."

Little is known about House of the Dragon at the moment, other than that it will take place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and focus on the history of the Targaryen family. George R.R. Martin created the series with Colony co-creator Ryan Condal, and as of now, HBO expects it to release sometime in 2022. Like the canceled Naomi Watts-led project, the show is likely to pull from the Westeros history established by Martin in his series of novels. Early rumors have even suggested that the show might explore the Doom of Valyria, a civilization-ending volcanic event often referenced on Game of Thrones.

If the early reports regarding House of the Dragon don't pique your interest, don't worry. When it and the Naomi Watts project went into development, there were also three other potential prequel series floating around at HBO, and one other that was shelved before it went into development. None have been officially greenlit or canceled, but it does indicate that despite not wanting to continue the story of Game of Thrones, the network isn't finished playing in its world just yet.