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“Game of Thrones” Ending After Eight Seasons; HBO’s New Chief Defends Sexual Violence Against Women on the Show


Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in “Game of Thrones”; Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO(LOS ANGELES) — New HBO programming president Casey Bloys confirmed over the weekend at the network’s Television Critics Association panel in Beverly Hills that the show will end with its eighth season. The number of episodes for the final season haven’t yet been determined.

He teased the idea of a spin-off, but there are no official plans for that at the moment.

HBO also confirmed that the seventh season of Game of Thrones will premiere in the summer of 2017. That season will include just seven episodes.

Game of Thrones has long come under criticism for its graphic scenes of sexual violence against women, but Bloys disagreed that it’s just female characters being turned into victims.

“Using Game of Thrones, violence is not just specific to women, it’s men and women. It’s indiscriminate,” he said Saturday, when questioned by critics. “I think it’s violence in general. I don’t know that it’s specific to women. Men are killed as well.”

Many pointed to an episode in season five, called “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” when Sansa Stark was raped on her wedding night.

“No, you haven’t seen men being raped,” Bloys said. “But the point I would make in Game of Thrones, for example, is men are castrated. A guy is fed a cake made of his sons. The violence is pretty extreme on all fronts. I take your point that so far there have not been any male rapes, but my point is the violence is spread equally.”

When one critic asked if men would eventually be depicted in the same sexually violent scenarios, Bloys deadpanned, “We’re going to kill everybody.”

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