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'Game of Thrones' prequel will not go into production if pilot doesn't fare well, says HBO CEO Bob Greenblatt

With just five episodes remaining in the show's final season, the executives at HBO are trying to crack their brains over how to keep the magic alive

'Game of Thrones' is back after a two-year long wait, but as thrilling as it is to have it back on the screen, there's always the haunting reminder that this will be the show's last and final season. All this time, the only thing keeping ardent fans sane was the prospect of a 'Game of Thrones' prequel that HBO had announced earlier this year. Turns out, the chances of that happening are quite bleak if the pilot episode doesn't live up to certain established standards.

With just five episodes remaining in the final season, the executives at HBO are trying to crack their brains over how to keep the magic alive — both for fans and for the network once the 'golden goose' is done airing for the last time.

Bob Greenblatt, the recently appointed chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, and Casey Bloys, HBO's programming president, shared with Deadline how they are planning to keep the 'Game of Thrones' essence alive once the original series ends. 

Chairman of NBC Entertainment Rob Greenblatt attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_006

One of their biggest hopes is the success of the prequel that had been announced a while ago, which is said to star Naomi Watt and begin filming in June 2019. However, Greenblatt revealed that the pilot episode of the prequel will be a determining factor in whether the show will go into production or not.

"It's a double-edged sword," Greenblatt said about potential stories as spin-offs from whatever happens in Westeros. He continued: "The answer is yes, we're having conversations about how do we smartly continue the Game of Thrones universe, but we have to be really thoughtful about not killing the golden goose and not putting on shows that aren't up to that quality level, and how many is too many. We're having all those conversations. I don't know yet what will come of all this material, but I think they've been smartly developing things that were really good ideas in this universe, and George Martin is involved."

Speaking about the prequel specifically, he mentioned it's "just a pilot so that we can see if it has all the goods and is it worthy of going forward. We're just trying to be really thoughtful about how to expand this universe if it makes sense, and not, like I said, kill the golden goose. The answer is yes."

So brace yourselves, fans, winter is here, and so are Daenerys' dragons. However, if things don't work out with the prequel, this might as well be the last time you see the Game of Thrones magic on your screen.