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Game of Thrones to finish after end of eighth series, says HBO

By Lorna Cooper

Game Of Thrones will end after its eighth season, broadcaster HBO has announced.

Casey Bloys, the US cable network's new programming president, talked about a conclusion to the fantasy epic on Saturday.

He also mentioned a possible spin-off during HBO's panel at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Speaking in Beverly Hills, California, Mr Bloys said the number of episodes for the final season was yet to be determined.

"We'll take as many as the (producers) will give us," he said.

Mr Bloys did not rule out a spin-off, saying "we're open to it, (the producers) aren't opposed to it, but there's no concrete plans right now."

Executive producers David Benioff and DB Weiss have previously hinted that the international phenomenon is drawing to a close.

HBO recently renewed Game Of Thrones for a shortened seventh season of seven episodes, instead of the usual 10.

The penultimate season will be broadcast a little later in summer next year.

The eighth and final season is expected to follow in 2018.

Earlier this month, Game Of Thrones picked up 23 Emmy nominations, the most of any show recognised with a nod.

Adapted from George RR Martin's novels, the series stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington, among others.

The series premiered on HBO in the United States in April 2011.

It is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and interweaves several plot lines with a large ensemble cast.

The first narrative follows a dynastic conflict among competing claimants for succession to the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, with other noble families fighting for independence from it.

The second covers the attempts to reclaim the throne by the exiled last scion of the realm's deposed ruling dynasty; the third chronicles the rising threat of the impending winter and the legendary creatures and fierce peoples of the North.

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