Game of Thrones may be coming to an end next year on HBO, but in true Jon Snow fashion, this show will never really die. After years of speculation that the network would find some spinoff way to continue the series, HBO confirmed last week that it is currently developing four separate Game of Thrones spinoff ideas to become potential series, with author George R.R. Martin working on each idea with a different writer because it’s not like he has a massive book series to finish or anything. And now, Martin has taken to his blog to offer up some news of his own and shoot down some story ideas that A Song of Ice and Fire fans may have been hoping to see.
First off, Martin makes clear he’s not really a fan of the word “spinoff” and clarifies how these shows will be related to Game of Thrones:
For what it’s worth, I don’t especially like the term “spinoff,” and I don’t think it really applies to these new projects. What we’re talking about are new stories set in the “secondary universe” (to borrow Tolkien’s term) of Westeros and the world beyond, the world I created for A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE… None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from GOT in the traditional sense. We are not talking Joey or AfterMASH or even Frazier or Lou Grant, where characters from one show continue on to another. So all of you who were hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie are doomed to disappointment. Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel. Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than ‘spinoff’ or ‘prequel,’ however, I prefer the term ‘successor show.’ That’s what I’ve been calling them.
Martin confirms that he’s involved in the writing of all four Game of Thrones prequel series, which are being written by Max Borenstein (Godzilla), Jane Goldman (Kingsman), Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), and Carly Wray (Mad Men), adding that his involvement began last August when he pitched two ideas to HBO. What’s more, Martin says there’s now a fifth idea in development, though he declined to reveal the writer:
We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five. We have added a fifth writer to the original four. No, I will not reveal the name here. HBO announced the names of the first four, and will no doubt announce the fifth as well, once his deal has closed. He’s a really terrific addition, however, a great guy and a fine writer, and aside from me and maybe Elio and Linda, I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.
But Martin also clarifies that just because five pilot scripts have been ordered doesn’t mean all five will be made:
Some of the reports of these developments seem to suggest that HBO might be adding four successor shows to the schedule to replace GAME OF THRONES. Decades of experience in television and film have taught me that nothing is ever really certain… but I do think it’s very unlikely that we’ll be getting four (or five) series. At least not immediately. What we do have here is an order for four — now five — pilot scripts. How many pilots will be filmed, and how many series might come out of that, remains to be seen. (If we do get five series on the air, I might have to change my name to Dick Direwolf).
As for the content of the shows, Martin wouldn’t dare reveal what these ideas are, but he does dig into what they aren’t:
We’re not doing Dunk & Egg. Eventually, sure, I’d love that, and so would many of you. But I’ve only written and published three novellas to date, and there are at least seven or eight or ten more I want to write. We all know how slow I am, and how fast a television show can move. I don’t want to repeat what happened with GAME OF THRONES itself, where the show gets ahead of the books. When the day comes that I’ve finished telling all my tales of Dunk & Egg, then we’ll do a tv show about them… but that day is still a long ways off.
We’re not doing Robert’s Rebellion either. I know thousands of you want that, I know there’s a petition… but by the time I finish writing A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert’s Rebellion. There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just the acting out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That’s not a story I want to tell just now; it would feel too much like a twice-told tale.
That puts a pin in one of the prequel stories we said we’d most like to see covered, but there are a few there that still remain possibilities! Since Game of Thrones still has one more season left after this one, I imagine HBO will take its time in developing these scripts so they can be the best they possibly can, albeit in an ideal world they’d no doubt want the first Game of Thrones prequel series to air in 2019 so the GoT content can maintain a yearly schedule. Whether that happens is unclear, but if it does, that means production on whichever idea is greenlit would likely begin sometime next year.