HBO's Latest Move Is Promising for 'Game of Thrones' Franchise's Future

HBO just proved that it will be taking fans back to Westeros far more than many had hoped. According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO renewed its overall deal with author George R.R. Martin, the author behind Game of Thrones. The contract gives HBO first pick at Martin's ideas or pitches for the next five years, and nets Martin a check in the "mid-eight figures."

Martin's ongoing novel series A Song of Ice and Fire was the foundation for Game of Thrones, which changed the TV industry itself. Unsurprisingly, HBO threw a lot of resources at spin-offs from the show, but only one was ordered to series in the wake of Game of Thrones' controversial ending. However, rumors of more projects in Westeros have been springing up, and the renewal of Martin's contract is very promising for those rumors. The renewal also comes just after a couple of other studios announced adaptations of Martin's work.

HBO is currently filming House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel based on Martin's latest book Fire & Blood — which is a fictional history of the Targaryen dynasty. There is also a rumored adaptation of Martin's Dunk and Egg novella series, though Martin himself has previously said that those stories won't be adapted until they're finished.

From there, the rumored projects are based less on Martin's stories and more on the world and characters he has created. According to THR, there is a show about Corlys "The Sea Snake" Valaryon in the works, with showrunner Bruno Heller attached and the working titled 9 Voyages. There is also an even further-back prequel about the warrior queen Nymeria of the Rhoynar, who led her people on a mass exodus to settle in southern Westeros 1,000 years before the events of the main series.

There is also rumored to be a drama about Flea Bottom in the works, exploring the seedy underbelly of King's Landing. Finally, the thinnest rumor of all is about an animated drama set in Martin's world — possibly about the war of Robert Rebellion or an anthology-style series made up of information from The World of Ice and Fire — an encyclopedia-style book.

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Whatever might be coming up in Westeros, HBO is keeping a tight lid on it. Meanwhile, Martin promises that his TV duties will no longer get in the way of finishing his novels — especially after he reported so much progress on The Winds of Winter during quarantine. The next Westerosi show on the air will be House of the Dragon, due some time in 2022.