Game of Thrones prequel projects an “embarrassment of riches,” says HBO CEO

HBO CEO Richard Plepler with George R. R. Martin at the Game of Thrones Season 3 premiere

HBO CEO Richard Plepler with George R. R. Martin at the Game of Thrones Season 3 premiere

Richard Plepler traveled to Cannes today to receive the Variety Vanguard Award for “his contribution to the TV business” as HBO’s CEO at MIPCOM, an international trade show. During a keynote discussion with Variety, the HBO boss discussed Game of Thrones or, more specifically, the spin-off prequels in development, in rather glowing terms.

Reportedly, and understandably, Plepler was reluctant to share any juicy details about the eighth and final season of the TV show or the possible prequels, but he did reinforce there are five spin-off projects in development by a number of writers.

The CEO assured Variety that “it’s a fantastic group of writers and talent, most of whom have lived inside the Thrones eco-system so are very, very familiar with its intricacies.” This includes Game of Thrones writer and producer Bryan Cogman, who is involved in one of the projects in consideration, and the series author himself, George R. R. Martin.

Plepler has “seen some early ideas on paper” according to Variety. HBO “are looking some things,” in the words of the CEO. “I have read a couple of early bibles, and I’m excited about what I’ve seen.” For those who are not aware, a “bible” is a document detailing the characters and world of a TV show, used not only as reference to keep continuity but also as an accessible way to pitch the show’s concept to the network.

“I think we will find with this embarrassment of riches an exciting property for us to move forward with,” he said regarding the group of screenwriters involved.

We are excited too! However, before a spin-off is greenlit and goes into production, we still have a final season of Game of Thrones, for which the news keep on coming!

38 responses

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    1. So promising. All I can think of is lame comments like “good luck” and “choose wisely” and “do great.” I’m betting all of my future rabid fandomness on the followup to GoT. 🙂

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    2. In about 15 years I will have to sit down and do the 200 episode “Game of Thrones Universe” chronological order episode watch.

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    3. “The CEO assured Variety that “it’s a fantastic group of writers and talent, most of whom have lived inside the Thrones eco-system so are very, very familiar with its intricacies.” This includes… the series author himself, George R. R. Martin.”
      ————————-

      Torrent of “Finish the damn books already” whinging in 5, 4, 3, ….

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    4. If they end up doing more than one prequel series, I hope that not all will be epic in scale. I’d be perfectly happy to watch an extended Dunk & Egg road trip, or Uncle Gerion’s voyage to the Smoking Sea, or any number of other more character-based stories set on Planetos. Not every one needs to have huge battles or dragons or gigantic budgets for CGI. I mean, the Star Trek universe lives on in many permutations, and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who ever watched it for the special effects.

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    5. George! Step away, nice and slow, from the orange man! Orange men mean nothing good for their minions, which includes you, me, and at least 96% of humankind.

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    6. O/T, but any news on how ex-hurricane Ophelia might have impacted the production?

      I could imagine strong winds doing some damage to outdoor sets. Especially fake snow spread around the Winterfell set, I’d imagine the winds would’ve flown it all away.

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    7. Apollo,

      I was kidding too! All in good fun. We cool? ⛄️

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think TWOW will ever be published. Nor should it: It’s been what – around 25 years? – since GRRM started writing the first book. At this point, his books will be a novelization of a TV show, which sounds like a homework assignment more than a creative endeavor. Plus. I figure most of the “big moments” and long-awaited reveals have already been covered in the show; and the show will reach the common, final destination in S8.

      I can only imagine that when he tries to sit down and write, he hears the voice of B.B. King in his head:

      “The thrill is gone,
      The thrill is gone away…”

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    8. Apollo,

      And right now, GRRM has other things on his mind that take priority; he’s probably thinking:

      “My New York Jets are playing the Dolphins in Miami on Sunday at 1:00 pm. What?! The Dolphins are favored by 3 points? This is an outrage! We crushed them 20-6 in our first matchup only a month ago!”

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    9. The Bastard:
      In about 15 years I will have to sit down and do the 200 episode “Game of Thrones Universe” chronological order episode watch.

      Anything to pass the time between seasons of the GoT reboot. I still can’t believe GRRM is playing Maester Aemon instead of finishing the books.

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    10. Perhaps a sequel wich follows Arya in his travels after season 8…she said about exploring beyond westeros to lands unknown to others..could be interesting an Arya storyline 😁😊

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    11. aldeatcu,

      I seriously hope not, the Arya storyline has been milked to death already!

      (anyway, the five shows on the table are prequels, so unless a faceless no-one can time-travel…)

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    12. Am I the only one who doesn’t want more game of thrones? Oh and how seriously creepy men with orange faces look. Ugh.

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    13. Bear Bones,

      I am kind of in the middle on this one. On the one hand, GoT is great, so why not more? But sometimes it’s best for a show to go out on a high note.

      Also, it’s not just the world that GoT creates which makes it so good. it’s the actors who play them that makes the show what it is. Prequels will not feature Kit Harrington, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, etc., etc., etc., so I think some people need to be careful about assuming anything GoT-related will just automatically be good. As long as those who are making the prequels understand that then I am optimistic about what will come. However, if they think that anything GoT-related can be put on automatic pilot and still be good then I’ll feel some concern.

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    14. Bear Bones:
      “Am I the only one who doesn’t want more game of thrones?”

      1. I’m sure there are others who feel the same way. But what I found intriguing is that you visited a site for “Game of Thrones Community for Breaking News, Casting, and Commentary”, went out of your way to read an article about plans for more Game of Thrones, and then took the time to share with us that you don’t want more Game of Thrones. That’s kind of like driving to a fine restaurant just to tell the maitre d’, “I’m not hungry.”

      2. We now know what you don’t want. I’m curious: What do you want?

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    15. HelloThere:
      Ten Bears,

      No, it won’t just be a novelization.
      It will still be the canon source material, regardless of when it comes out.

      Except the big reveals and ultimate resolution(s) will already have been covered on the show, e.g.:

      • Stannis burns Shireen; defeated anyway ✔️
      • WW origin. ✔️
      • Jon = son of Lyanna & Rhaegar ✔️
      • Jon’s not a bastard; he’s a legitimate Targ ✔️
      • Dorne plotline = meaningless detour✔️
      • Jon’s resurrected (no surprise)✔️
      • Jon ousts Boltons, becomes KitN✔️
      • Sandor Clegane = Azor Ahai TBD
      • Gravedigger = Sandor ✔️
      • Winter will come for House Frey ✔️
      • Final showdowns & aftermath TBD: S8

      … and so on.

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    16. Ten Bears: Except the big reveals and ultimate resolution(s) will already have been covered on the show,

      I don’t grok this line of argument and never did. Literature/storytelling is not all about content, about information delivery. Not to say that GRRM is in a league with Shakespeare; but people keep wanting to see new productions of Hamlet and Macbeth and Othello, and probably always will – even though we all already know who dies in the end! Don’t you have any favorite books that you go back and reread again and again?

      It’s the journey that matters, not the destination. And I’d much rather trudge around Westeros for months on foot (book version) than settle for getting a quick glimpse of it from overhead in a plane (TV version). It’s just not the same experience. I’ll take what I can get while I wait, and the screen version certainly has its own special rewards (such as some superb acting and outstanding production design), but the books are the real prize for me – and I know I’m not alone in feeling that way.

      The notion of GRRM thinking, ‘Oh well, I don’t need to finish this story anymore, someone else already did it for me,’ just seems kind of absurd to me. It’s his lifework, no matter how many other projects occasionally seize his attention.

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    17. Ten Bears,

      The journey to get to these plot points will be very different, and I, for one, want to read the authors intended version, even if I enjoy the TV show.
      This universe is GRRMs vision.
      At most, we can say Game of Thrones, the TV show, is no longer an adaptation. But that doesn’t suddenly reverse the situation. ASOIAF is not, suddenly, a novelization.

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    18. I´m usually complaining about companies milking their cashcows too hard, but
      I´m
      so
      excited! <3

      I just cant get enough and I will weep in joy when they do "A Dance of Dragons" or "Aegons Conquest"

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