HBO has confirmed what Game of Thrones fans never wanted to hear: The fantasy-thriller phenomenon will be coming to an end after Season 8.
Recently HBO renewed the series - adapted from George R.R. Martin's novels - for a shortened seventh season consisting of seven episodes.
The eighth season will bring the saga to a close. The number of episodes for that last cycle has not been determined, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys said Saturday at the Television Critics Association's summer conference. "We'll take as many as the (producers) will give us," he said.
After that, a spinoff remains a possibility.
"We're open to it, the (producers) aren't opposed to it, but there's no concrete plans right now," Bloys said.
Thrones won't be back with its seventh season until next summer, missing the deadline for the 2017 Emmy competition, which it routinely dominates. Last year, Thrones scored a dozen Emmys.
"It's always better to win more Emmys," Bloys said. "But the main goal is to do the best show possible for our subscribers and fans."