George R.R. Martin confirms Game of Thrones spinoffs will be prequels, reveals more details

5 min read
49

Game of Thrones

Allow me to let you in on a not-so-secret secret: When something in Hollywood is making a mountain of money, Hollywood will keep making it. With this rather obvious bit of capitalism in mind, it should not have been a surprise to anybody when it was recently revealed that HBO’s big-budget fantasy drama Game of Thrones – arguably the biggest show in the world – has not one but four potential spinoff scripts in development. Correction: Not spinoffs but “successor shows”.

That’s according to George R.R. Martin himself, the author whose A Song of Fire and Ice fantasy series is the basis for the TV show. Martin recently took to his LiveJournal blog to share some details about these proposed shows, and to clarify some misconceptions as he says that “various distortions and misapprehensions have crept into some of the reports along the way. And television being the fast-moving business that it is, there have already been some further developments.”

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.

None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from GOT 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 continues to explain that he has been involved in the development of these potential shows from the beginning. He actually initially pitched two of the series ideas to HBO himself, which prompted other writers to be brought in and pitch others. As was previously reported, four writers – Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service), Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, A Knight’s Tale), and Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers) – were then tapped to develop scripts for these pitches. Martin explains that he’s been working closely with all these writers, meeting with them to get them in-depth knowledge about the world of Westeros. However out of those conversations, something else emerged.

We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA 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.

However, just because they have five writers and five scripts, doesn’t mean there will five shows. These are just potential stories and HBO still need to decide which ones they will eventually place full orders for. As to what they will be about, Martin isn’t talking. He will say though what they’re won’t be about.

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.

Game of Thrones itself will be returning to screens on 16 July for its seventh and penultimate season. This season, like its last, will be shorter than previous runs, but will probably still be out before Martin actually finishes writing the final book in the series, Winds of Winter, which he promises that he is still working on.

Read  WWE Smackdown LIVE Results 07 November – Team Blue assembles

Last Updated: May 16, 2017

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Technically it would be a predecessor show then too.

    • Original Heretic

      I wouldn’t mind seeing the Tragaryan’s arriving on Westeros with their dragons, conquering all, and creating the Iron Throne.

      • Lu

        Or even the war between the Children and the First men

        • Original Heretic

          Oooo, that would be nice.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I’m not a big fan of prequels or spin off series because I always think that if those characters or that story were so interesting, why weren’t we watching it already.

        I also have the sneaking suspicion that this is a bit of a desperation move to keep the massive GoT audience tuned in, because it’s their biggest show, many of their other recent show attempts haven’t done well, and their only prestige genre show other than Westworld which is only coming back next year.

        • Original Heretic

          Oh, this is totally a money-grubbing ploy. No doubt about that.
          But sometimes a writer DOES want to revisit a world and tell more tales from it, especially when the world building aspect is very rich.
          Then again, sometimes writers get stuck in a world and cannot tell any other tales set in other places, akin to Raymond Feist and his Midkemia books.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I gave up on those too. Not because I stopped enjoying his writing, it’s just I looked at the shelf in Exclusive and thought “another one?”, which was a clear sign I was bored.

          • Original Heretic

            He ended it well. Full circle, like.
            First book, Magician.
            Last book, Magician’s End.

            Gotta say, I would still LOVE to see a Magician movie or well-budgeted series.

          • miaau

            Too much, story arcs can be very, very big.

            Remember Alias? Spy show with a very long central story arc over 5 years? Something like that, I think, can work, with diligence and good production values.

          • Original Heretic

            Magician can work as a series, if they split it into two seasons, pretty much how they split the novel, into Apprentice and Master.
            But after that?
            SIlverthorn, one series.
            Darkness at Sethanon, one series.

            After that? Nah, they should stop. After that it’s only for the hardcore fans.
            Or so I reckon.

          • miaau

            Get them. Read them. All of them. AND his writing style improves with the later books, from the first Conclave of Shadows story (Talon of the Silver hawk or something). Much better style than in some previous books.

            They are well worth it..

        • Lu

          Depends on whether it improves the lore of the universe it’s set in. Technically all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films are spin offs and sequels of Iron Man. And while yes, the motivation is income, the result is far better than several isolated films.

  • Original Heretic

    FINISH THE BOOKS, YOU OLD BASTARD!!!!

    • Lu

      Just hope he doesn’t die before he does.

      • Original Heretic

        If he does, I hope he’s left extensive notes for someone else to step in and finish them.
        Robert Jordan passed away before he finished the Wheel of Time series, and Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the series. And it was better for it. Jordan was getting too long winded, when Sanderson picked up it, he delivered a tale that had good pace to it.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Never finished WoT, gave up after Knife of Dreams. What a crock of shit that book was.

          • Original Heretic

            yah man, Jordan’s efforts got piss-poor. He ended up writing 800 page novels that didn’t progress the stories at all.
            But the books that Sanderson wrote in the series, those were damn good and actually finished it off well.

          • miaau

            He did indeed. Three books for the last fight, but it was all ok. I enjoyed those.

            Book 5 was also a highlight for me, for some reason. I enjoyed Rand in the Ascendancy of power.

          • Original Heretic

            I enjoyed them up until Book 5 as well. The build up was great.
            It was during 6 that he started losing it a bit, though I did still enjoy that one.
            After that, though, I stopped. Until the series finished, only then did I pick it up after my brother told me that Sanderson finished it off well.

          • miaau

            I finished it last year on holiday. Skim read the first few books again.

            It was worth finishing, just to say I finished it and the tale is now closed, Rand and the others story arcs closed out. I needed that.

            BUT for several years I was apathetic and did not WANT to try. An elderly American I played chess with (internet, never met him) convinced me to try again. I did and I was not sorry, took me tow years from when he told me.

            Shame, this guy was a Doctor, specialised in Obstetrics. He gave us such great, personal advice during our first pregnancy. AND then, I am at the hospital, my daughter is one day old and this old guys daughter messages me on the chess site to say her dad died the night before my daughter was born. It was weird, let me tell me.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I doubt I’ll ever finish this or Feist’s stuff. They’re just too much of a time sink to go through all of them again, especially since I’ve got a ton of other stuff to get through as well.

          • miaau

            I read stuff like this on family holidays. My wife and kids (being kids) sleep much more than I do, so I read for several hours each day, at the holiday flat. Edit* Also, did I mention I read very, very fast, which helps as well.

            It is part of my relax routine, to read a lot like that. I work a very high stress job and am one of those people who finds it difficult to leave it at work.

            I could not have re-read all of those books at home, never, ever.

            Also, e-books on my phone. My eyes do not get tired, even after hours of reading. That is the ticket. Always there, easy..

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            There’s also the fact that it becomes very same-y reading such a massive series. I’ve really been enjoying Daniel Abraham’s Dagger & Coin series, blasted through the first 4 books in the last couple of weeks, but I’ve taken a break now and am reading some silly sci-fi before heading into the final one.

            I’ve got my old Kindle for home use, read for an hour or so before bed, then other books on my phone for when I get spare time at work or I’m out having breakfast alone.

          • miaau

            Oh, I sometimes have two books going at the same time, to help with the same-y effect. It is is big and it happens.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            It’s one of my favourite things to do. Go sit in a restaurant, read while waiting for breakfast, eat, read some more with a nice coffee, leave. Relaxing me-time.

        • Lu

          As with a few of Tolkien’s works too. Though I really like Martin’s style of writing, so I don’t want someone else’s twist on it.

        • Milesh Bhana

          he’s said that if he dies, no-one gets to finish it.

          • Original Heretic

            Ah, so he’s also a selfish old bastard.

        • Matthew Holliday

          He’s told the producers and whoever, like stuff and things that are going to happen and how it ends and stuff, the series is going into territory where there are no books, so they already know, like, things.
          So we’ll probably see more tv type story telling instead of book story telling from the next two seasons. (shudder)

          Martin has mentioned he might write a different ending for the books though.
          Cant tell if its for his own entertainment or ours, since he’s at a point in the story where he cant just kill off people like he used to because he thinks its fun.

          Although Milesh commented pretty much the opposite of what i said just now. So who knows?

      • Hammersteyn

        Just imagine him reading his Tweets, hey old guy, finish the books before you die! If that was me I’d take all the cash I made and live on a island not giving a shit.

        • Original Heretic

          He must be sick of getting that all the time.
          But at the same time, it’s his own fault.

          Ya know, before the series even started, I’d read book 4 back in 2007. That’s 10 years ago!!!! He’s HAD the time, he’s just been bloody wasting it doing other kak.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            He’s clearly inspired Patrick Rothfuss too. The second book in his Kingkiller Chronicles trilogy was published a few months before the last GoT one. Still waiting.

          • Original Heretic

            Well one Google image search of him will tell you why. He’s clearly spending the bulk of his time on beard maintenance.

          • Hammersteyn

            True, also spending all that time in the limelight will draw attention

          • Matthew Holliday

            I can only imagine him laughing at those tweets.
            Hes probably too busy laughing to write the book.

    • Hammersteyn

      He learned well from Gaben

  • Hammersteyn

    Quick, phone Sean Bean, he has work again

    • Matthew Figueira

      Lawl XD but he will probably die in the prequel anyways 😛

      • Hammersteyn

        Well, you only stay dead if they decide snow… I mean so

  • Hammersteyn

    There are no new books, so what to do….. All the prequels!

  • Matthew Figueira

    One day he will finish his actual books… one day.

  • Matthew Figueira

    Also, I ain’t even mad about these shows. Martin has created one freaking detailed world. Lots to explore there!

    • Hammersteyn

      True, I want to see how Dinklage became such a drunk besotted man whore and compare it with my life XD

      • Matthew Figueira

        Omg YES! And I would love them to explore the story of Yondel Manister, the best cabbage farmer Westeros ever saw!

  • miaau

    I own the first 5 books and will buy ALL of the as e-books WHEN they are finished. Then, and only then, will I re-read them all, from start to finish.

    My wife gave me one those books, back when she was my girlfiend, for my 23rd birthday. Storm Something. I turn 40 this year, dammit and that was the 3rd book of the five.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      My sister bought one of those complete box sets of the books. She was very put out when I told her that despite the box set being complete, the serious actually wasn’t.

      • miaau

        Yeah, it is something…… Not sure what, but it is something.

        And that was kind of your Sister

        BUT, seriously, you enjoy reading, take on the Feist Books. If you like, start of Talon of the Silver Hawk and just read online summaries of the Serpent War Saga. The Serpent War saga was a bit, um, Dirty Dozen and Taipan rolled into one. IT is good, but is a harder read than the later books.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          I quit somewhere in the middle of the Serpent War.

          • miaau

            Yeah, not surprisingly. Skip them, really

Check Also

Movies out Today: 24 November 2017

In amidst the Black Friday madness that’s gripped the nation, why not take some time out a…