With just a little more than a month before Game of Thrones‘ Season Seven premiere, HBO has announced that its after-show After the Thrones hosted by television critics Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan will be canceled. After the Thrones debuted last year on HBO’s online digital platforms and met with a tepid response. Many criticized it for its simplistic, over exuberant format which was mainly aimed at the demographic of casual viewers of Game of Thrones who can’t keep characters’ names straight. The after-show mainly focused on simplifying and explaining major plot points from the GOT episodes which preceded it and providing pertinent trivia about the world of Westeros for those who hadn’t read A Song of Ice and Fire or surfed a few wiki pages from time to time. Filled with bad jokes and sloppy production value, After the Thrones had difficulty keeping its audiences’ attention, and it’s little surprise that the segment has not be renewed. HBO was clearly trying to tap into the popularity of the Walking Dead‘s after-show, The Talking Dead, which unlike After the Thrones includes in-depth analysis, actor interviews, and lively commentary that seems to attract both casual viewers and die-hard fans of AMC’s zombie drama. Unfortunately, After the Thrones offered little content which couldn’t be found with a quick Google search, and the tone of the show was often abrasively juvenile in contrast with the dark, mature nature of Game of Thrones.
In response to the cancellation of After the Thrones, HBO’s Bill Simmons announced that the after-show would move to Twitter. It’s a mildly confusing decision, but something tells me that After the Thrones‘ viewership isn’t going to go up by being hosted on Twitter. In the end, there’s really no need for a Game of Thrones after-show, unless it contributes something more than a recap and simplification of plot points. The show has survived and thrived this long without one, and fans have found a way to rehash and discuss episodes in numerous ways which range across social media. The after-show was a fun idea, but it doesn’t look like anyone is going to mourn its absence for long. And for those who do miss it, just log onto Twitter.