In July, HBO will launch the penultimate, seventh season of Game of Thrones, it's hit dark fantasy drama. The seventh season of Game of Thrones will see Daenerys Targaryen finally make her way from Essos to Westeros to reclaim the Iron Throne, while the Nigth King's White Walker army marches south, bringing winter with him.
However, while Game of Thrones is nearing its conclusion, HBO isn't quite ready to leave the World of Ice and Fire behind completely just yet.
The premium cable network recently announced that it has commissioned four separate scripts to be developed as possible Game of Thrones spinoffs. These spinoffs may or may not ever make it to air, but their very existence is groundbreaking as HBO has never attempted to develop spinoffs or sequels to any of its past original series.
HBO hasn't released any firm details about what these Game of Thrones spinoffs will be about. The only firm information we have is that Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will receive some credit for any of the shows that eventually make it through production, but both have already stated that they will not be involved in any proactive ways with any possible spinoffs. "I think HBO might well do [a prequel or spinoff] and I look forward to watching it and I think it be great, but I think they should get new blood in," they said at SXSW.
In a blog post last night, George RR Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series on which Game of Thrones is based, broke his silence on the spinoffs and provided several new details about what the Game of Thrones spinoffs will be. Or, more specifically, he revealed specifically what they won't be, dispelling a few common fan theories about where HBO could take the franchise next.
Martin's post make it clear that he does not like the term "spinoff," for a variety of reasons.
"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. It is a world, and a pretty big one, and if there were eight million stories in the naked city back in the 50s, just think how many more there are in an entire world, and one with thousands of years of recorded history."
Martin specifies that all of the shows currently in development take place prior to the events of Game of Thrones and will focus on different characters.
"None of these new shows will be 'spinning off' from GOT in the traditional sense. We are not talking Joey or
Martin also seems to be implying that at some fo the prequel ideas take place on a completely different continent than Game of Thrones, further separating the new shows from heir predecessor.
Despite being busy with writing The Winds of Winter, Martin is still involving himself in the development of these new HBO series, and one of the scripts being written is based on his own pitch.
"Yes, I am involved, and have been for months," Martin wrote. "I had my first meeting with HBO about the possibility of a successor show back in August, when I pitched them two possible series. (One of those is among the concepts being developed, one is not). In the months that followed, other writers were brought in and pitched other ideas. Ultimately HBO decided to go ahead with four separate developments, to be written by Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray."
Martin goes on to say that he is working directly with each of the writers.
"It was stated in some of the reports that I am working with two of the four writers. That's not quite right. I've actually been working with all four of the writers. Every one of the four has visited me here in Santa Fe, some of them more than once, and we've spent days together discussing their ideas, the history of Westeros and the world beyond, and sundry details found only in The World of Ice & Fire and The Lands of Ice & Fire... when we weren't drinking margaritas and eating chile rellenos and visiting Meow Wolf. They are all amazing talents, and I am excited to be working with them. In between visits, I've been in touch with them by phone, text, and email, and I expect there will be a lot more back-and-forth as we move forward."
While it was originally reported that HBO was working on four separate prequel scripts, Martin reveals that there's now a fifth being worked on.
"We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five," Martin wrote. "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."
Martin has already written three Game of Thrones prequel novellas, known collectively as the "The Tales of Dunk and Egg" and collected in the hardback A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
Fans may think that makes Dunk and Egg an easy choice to inspire a prequel television series, but Martin says none of the scripts currently being worked on are about Dunk and Egg. However, that doesn't mean those stories won't be adapted in the future.
"We're not doing Dunk & Egg," Martin stated. "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."
Robert's Rebellion, the war that set up the events of Game of Thrones, is also off the table.
"We're not doing Robert's Rebellion either," Martin wrote. "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."
[Photo Credit: HBO]