If you’re freaking out about the possibility of four Game of Thrones spinoffs, we’ve got good news — George R. R. Martin has revealed that there are actually five potential projects in development over at HBO, and they’re not what you might expect.
The first four, as previously announced, are being written by Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray, with Martin collaborating with the scribes on all four of the potential shows.
“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,” Martin wrote in a blog post on his LiveJournal.
Martin declined to announce the name of the fifth writer — implying that his deal with HBO might not be closed yet — and HBO has yet to comment on the intel from Martin’s blog post, but in it, the author describes the new addition as “a great guy and a fine writer, and aside from me and maybe Elio [Garcia] and Linda [Antonsson], I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.”
Martin also clarified that while five shows are being developed, it’s highly unlikely that all of them will make it to air — at least not all at once: “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,” Martin wrote.
We’ve all been pondering what the spinoffs might be about since they were announced — Mashable even came up with five ideas for the new Thrones shows — but two of the suggestions that we (and many other fans) have landed on have already been eliminated by Martin: Dunk and Egg and Robert’s Rebellion. Womp womp.
“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,” Martin said of the series of short stories, which are centered around a hedge knight and his squire as they adventure around Westeros. “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.”
As for Robert’s Rebellion — the inciting incident that arguably kicked off the current conflict in Game of Thrones — Martin says there wouldn’t be any point.
“By the time I finish writing A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert’s Rebellion,” he wrote. “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.”
Perhaps the most interesting revelation in Martin’s blog post is that all five projects are prequels, not sequels or traditional spinoffs — although the author prefers to refer to them as “successor shows” — and won’t feature characters from Game of Thrones in continuing adventures. In fact, some of them might not even be set on the continent of Westeros.
Martin explained that he first met with HBO about the possibility of other shows set in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe last August, at which point he pitched the network two ideas for potential series.
“One of those is among the concepts being developed, one is not,” Martin teased.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
Eight million “successor shows” might be a stretch, but we’d settle for one.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. on HBO.