It came as absolutely no surprise that HBO wants to continue Game of Thrones in some fashion after the series wraps up with season 8 next year. News that the network is working on not one, but four spinoffs was a bit of a surprise.
In a recent post on his LiveJournal page, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin revealed more details about the series being developed by HBO. The first bit of news is that none of them will star any of the current characters and that they are all prequels. Here’s what he wrote:
“None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from [Game of Thrones] 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.”
The next bit of news is that there is now a fifth series being developed. No deal has been finalized for the writer, so the details about who it is is a bit of a mystery, other than he’s male.
“We had four scripts in development when I arrived in L.A. 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.”
Next up, and pretty unsurprising, is the fact that just because five series of Game of Thrones are being developed, it doesn’t mean we are likely to see all five of them.
“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).”
What HBO is probably doing is hedging their bets. With this development process, they’re more likely to give the greenlight to one series, which could premiere as early as 2019.
George R.R. Martin also refused to tell fans what the stories being developed are, but did reveal which stories aren’t being developed. Here’s what he wrote:
“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.”
One of the most likely possible prequel ideas has to be Aegon conquering the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Another one I expect to see is the first war with the White Walkers set in the far distant past. I’m just a bit sad that it isn’t looking likely for a story set in the Golden Empire of Yi Ti.
Stay tuned for more news on the Game of Thrones spinoffs.