‘Game of Thrones’ Showrunners Tease What’s Next

Season 6 finale spoilers ahead.

Image: HBO
Image: HBO
And just like that, there’s no more Game of Thrones for the next 10 months.

Stepping away from George R.R. Martin’s source material had many wondering whether the quality of the big-budget series would stay its course. Not only did the series continue its solid run, season 6 may have been the best yet, especially when you take into account the two momentous final episodes.

Characters were killed off, Jon Snow’s parentage was confirmed, Arya Stark got some revenge, and Daenerys Targaryen finally set forth towards King’s Landing. Yes, the finale offered up quite a lot in set-up for the closing seasons, which will surely deliver more shocking twists, deaths, and everything in between.

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss sat down with Deadline to discuss the finale and teased where the show is heading next in the process.

Image: HBO
Image: HBO

Apart from knocking off the High Sparrow and his irritating minions, Cersei’s path of vengeance inadvertently resulted in the death of her last remaining child, Tommen. Well, without children to care for and with a crown on her head, it’s safe to assume she’s about to get a hell of a lot tougher.

“…That’s what so much of next season is going to be about; finding out what Cersei’s mind-set is. Who is she?” Weiss said.

“While Cersei has certainly done a lot of horrible things in her life and she could be a very cruel person, the one thing that was redemptive about her was that she genuinely loved her children. Now they’re all gone, and I think that is very interesting for us. Who is she without her children? The answer is something you’ll find out next season. That’s so much of what is to come that I’ll just give it away if I start delving into it now.”

Image: HBO
Image: HBO
Cersei vs. Lady Tyrell:

The destruction of the Great Sept also saw the demise of Margaery, Loras, and Mace Tyrell, which brings Cersei right into the sights of the remaining family member, Olenna Tyrell.

“They are both powerful, ruthless women, one more so than the other, but they were very much about their families and the furthering of their names and their house, for the children they loved,” Weiss said.

“Now, their conflicts have left them both with no future, or at least not the future they had considered their primary goal. It changes a lot of things for both of them, going forward.”

As we found in the finale, Lady Tyrell doesn’t have much left to look forward to – apart from vengeance.

Image: HBO
Image: HBO
The Night King and that Wall:

Joffrey, Ramsey, Walder. The primary, straight-forward villains have been killed, which leaves us with the Night King and his army of undead as the primary baddies, at least until someone else changes/turns up.

“I don’t think of the Night King as a villain as much as, Death. He is not like Joffrey, or Ramsey. He’s not really human anymore,” explained Weiss.

“To me, evil comes when you have a choice between that and good, and you choose the wrong way. The Night King doesn’t have a choice; he was created that way, and that’s what he is. In some ways, he’s just death, coming for everyone in the story, coming for all of us. In some ways, it’s appropriate he doesn’t speak.”

The season six finale saw Bran’s half uncle, Benjen Stark, take his leave, saying that the Wall’s magical protection prevents the dead from passing. The books describe a device named the Horn of Joramund, which could have the power to topple the wall. Deadline pointed out that the Wildlings searched for it early in the series and asked the showrunners whether that will play a part in the future.

“We don’t want to give away too much. There are the books, and the show, and it would be a disservice to both if we went into too much detail on whether we’re going to use this or that,” Benioff said.

“What is laid out in this season is, very clearly, that the wall isn’t just a physical structure keeping the army of the dead out. If the Wildlings managed to make it over, which they have, and the Night King has so much more in the way of both power and troops who’ll do literally anything he says…we’ll keep it at that for now.”

Image: HBO
Image: HBO
Shorter seasons:

The showrunners also confirmed what has been rumoured for a while: the final two seasons will split 13 episodes, 7-6. It’s a shame really, considering we’ve had 10 episodes per season thus far. But, it’s about story first.

“We wanted it to be one giant story, without padding it out to add an extra 10 hours, or because people are still watching it,” Benioff explained.

“We wanted to do something where, if people watched it end to end, it would make sense as one continuous story.”

Get ready:

“…We’ve known the end for quite some time and we’re hurtling towards it,” Benioff said.

“Those last images from the show that aired last night showed that. Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros; Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them. The pieces are on the board now.”