George R.R. Martin Talks Game of Thrones Spin-Offs, Confirms They’re Prequels

Word broke earlier this month that HBO wasn’t ready to leave the world of Westeros and had begun development on four Game of Thrones spin-offs. Now, series creator George R.R. Martin has taken to his Live Journal to clarify what exactly these shows are and are not, saying:

“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 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.”

Martin went on to confirm the involvement of the four previously-named writers, Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray, but clarified that he’s not just working with two of them but all four writers. In addition, Martin reveals that a fifth script is also in development by an unnamed fifth writer. He did tease the writer’s identity, saying:

“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.”

Hoping to temper expectations, Martin also revealed he doesn’t expect all five shows to be picked up.

“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).”

Furthermore, Martin went on to clarify what the four shows WON’T be, saying:

“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.”

Martin went on to confirm that yes, he is still working on the next book in the series, The Winds of WinterGame of Thrones returns for a shorter seventh season on July 16, 2017.

What do you think of Martin’s revelations about the Game of Thrones spin-offs and what do you think they’ll be about? Sound off in the comments below.