The final episode of 'Game of Thrones' may have seen Arya take to the high seas to explore what's west of Westeros - but there will be no spin-off featuring the youngest Stark girl.

For many, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take up the story of one of the series' most-loved and heroic characters, but HBO has ruled it out.

The network's President of Programming Casey Bloys emphatically told The Hollywood Reporter that an Arya spin-off was not on the cards.

"Nope, nope, nope. No," he said. "Part of it is, I do want this show — this Game of Thrones, Dan and David's show — to be its own thing. I don't want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it. I want to let it be the artistic piece they've got. That's one of the reasons why I'm not trying to do the same show over."

He added: "George has a massive, massive world; there are so many ways in. That's why we're trying to do things that feel distinct — and to not try and redo the same show. That's probably one of the reasons why, right now, a sequel or picking up any of the other characters doesn't make sense for us."

He did, however, confirm that a pilot for the first prequel - thought to be called 'Bloodmoon' - was shooting next month, and that two others are in development. This would align with rumours emerging last week that work had begun in Belfast on the prequel (although it may not be shooting yet, it would be in pre-production if filming is taking place next month).

He added that there were "two more" prequels in development and would not rule out the possibility of all three prequels being made, in a best-case scenario with their scripts and pilots performing well.

"All theoretical and all high-class problems! Who knows?!," he said. "I'm not ruling it in, and I'm not ruling it out! I'm trying my best not to give you definitive answers to fuel speculation."