The end is nearing for Game of Thrones, with HBO confirming that the show will run for just two more shortened seasons, with Game of Thrones Season 7 coming this summer, before Season 8, rumored to be six episodes, closes out the series in 2018. Still, that does not mean Season 8 is the last we'll see of Westeros on the small screen. There have been plenty of rumors about the network developing spin-offs and/or prequel shows based on George R.R. Martin's iconic novels. While nothing is set in stone yet, HBO's programming president Casey Bloys addressed the possibility of new shows over the weekend, and hints that a prequel is way more likely than a spin-off.

Entertainment Weekly caught up with Casey Bloys at the network's TCA Winter Tour panel this weekend, where he addressed the possibility of Game of Thrones prequel and spin-off shows, although nothing is firmly planned at this time. He did add that the network would be "foolish" not to explore additional Game of Thrones shows. Although he thinks a prequel series is definitely the way to go. Here's what he had to say about the matter.

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"It's such a big property we would be foolish not to explore it, but it's a pretty high bar. We'll take some shots at it. I'm not going to do it just to do it. It has to feel very special. I would rather have no sequel and leave it as-is then have something we rushed out. A prequel feels like it has less pressure on it [than a spin-off]. [Author George R.R. Martin's history of Westeros] gives you areas in which to say to a writer, 'If you were going to do this, then go flesh it out,' and we'll see what comes back. But I don't feel any pressure that we have to have something."

The most consistently talked about prequel is Tales of Dunk and Egg. This would be based on a series of prequel novellas written by George R.R. Martin, which begin 90 years before the events depicted in A Song of Ice and Fire novels, on which the TV series Game of Thrones is based. They follow the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, Prince Aegon "Egg" Targaryen who is the younger brother of Maester Aemon. Though Egg is a boy at the start of the series he will eventually grow up to become King Aegon V, or "Aegon the Unlikely".

Back in July, it was confirmed that Game of Thrones Season 8 will be the show's final season, although it still hasn't been set how many episodes the final season will ultimately have. Most have assumed there will be six episodes, since creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had teased in the past that there will be 13 more episodes of the show after Season 6, and with Season 7 already confirmed to be seven episodes, Season 8 is expected to feature six final shows. However, Casey Bloys added that a final episode count has not yet been determined.

"They're still figuring out the shape of the season, what they want to do. I'll take as many as they want to do. If they give me eight, I'll want 10. But it's really up to them. They'll let me know."

Game of Thrones Season 7 is starting production later than usual, to shoot scenes during the actual winter. This means the show will get a summer premiere next year instead of its usual spring launch date. That puts it out of the running for next year's Emmy's, coming off last year where they earned more Emmy nominations than any other show with 23. As for any Game of Thrones spin-off, don't expect any official word on these shows for quite some time, with Game of Thrones Season 7 debuting at some point this summer, and Season 8 arriving at some point in 2018.