As Game of Thrones approaches its penultimate season — a bittersweet notion for the show's massive fanbase — HBO has offered a glimmer of hope: potential spin-offs.

The American cable network has enlisted a quartet of writers to develop ideas for potential spin-off series to extend the reign of the blockbuster fantasy epic — HBO's highest rated and most-watched show ever. 

Game of Thrones debuts a shortened, seventh season July 16. HBO confirmed last summer that the forthcoming, also-shortened eighth season will be the show's last.

The writers, who hail from the world of TV and film, will have a valuable expert to consult: George RR Martin, who authored the original, epic and vastly populated A Song of Ice and Fire novel series on which Game of Thrones is based.

They are: 

  • Max Borenstein, whose credits include Kong: Skull Island and Godzilla.
  • Jane Goldman, whose credits include Kick-Ass, Kingsman and several X-Men films.
  • Brian Helgeland, whose credits include L.A. Confidential, Mystic River and Robin Hood.
  • Carly Wray, whose credits include The Leftovers, Westworld and Mad Men.

Martin and Game of Thrones executive producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff will all serve as executive producers of any potential new series.

The sky's the limit for the writers, who have been given free reign to explore prequels, sequels or other types of companion series. 

Don't expect to see anything soon, however, since HBO has no set timetable for development. Any pitches will be evaluated after scripts are completed.

"There are so many properties and areas to go to," HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter last fall

"For us, it's about finding the right take with the right writer."