"HBO has never made an explicit connection between Game Of Thrones and Westworld, but the parallels are evident," says Sam Barsanti. "They’re both sweeping genre epics, they’re both adapted from some other medium, and they both happily embrace HBO’s looser guidelines and violence and nudity. Even George R.R. Martin wanted to see some kind of crossover between the two shows, but the closest he’s gotten to one is an Easter egg and cameos from Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss in the upcoming season. Game Of Thrones is over, but HBO would be wrong to slide that show’s spotlight over to its other expansive adaptation, because Westworld will not be—and was never going to be—that show’s successor. If anything, it’s a rejection of everything that Game Of Thrones embodied. That repudiation wasn’t necessarily the intention of the first two seasons of Westworld, but now that we can see the entire arc of Game Of Thrones, it seems very clear that their similarities were superficial, and that Westworld has completely different aspiration. If you step back far enough, the plot of Game Of Thrones was like a river, heading directly to one inevitable endpoint. While there were little branching streams with other stories, they all fed into the one story of Jon Snow and Daenerys uniting to fight the Lannisters. We can’t see the entire arc of Westworld just yet, but it feels less like multiple paths going to a single point and more like an ocean of individual stories that don’t necessarily connect in noticeable ways but all swirl together within the same themes."