In his newest Not a Blog post, George R.R. Martin does us all a big favor by clearing the air about the new Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire “spin-off” ideas under development, announced by HBO earlier this month. HBO stated in the announcement that four potential spin-off series ideas were under development, with four different writers. The news sent Game of Thrones fans worldwide reeling, and fired up our imaginations with numerous possibilities for seeing the show’s universe expanded.
Thankfully, Martin is here to provide some straight-shooting and actual facts!
The first major point: the author confirms that all of the potential new shows under development are prequels, not sequels. He goes so far as to say that, “None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from GOT in the traditional sense…Some may not even be set on Westeros.”
Martin re-confirms his involvement in the new projects (HBO announced as much previously), stating that he first met with HBO about developing a new show back in August, pitching them two series at the time. Martin says, “One of those is among the concepts being developed, one is not.”
Martin takes the opportunity to clear up a slight error in the initial report- and reveals that a fifth writer is involved in the project now!
It was stated in some of the reports that I am working with two of the four writers. That’s not quite right. I’ve actually been working with all four of the writers. 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… when we weren’t drinking margaritas and eating chile rellenos and visiting Meow Wolf. They are all amazing talents, and I am excited to be working with them. In between visits, I’ve been in touch with them by phone, text, and email, and I expect there will be a lot more back-and-forth as we move forward.
And there’s more. 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.
So, Martin has been involved with all four of the scripts, and there’s another player in the game. Now that’s some exciting news, but Martin doesn’t stop there. He also eliminates some possibilities from our spin-off guessing game by confirming that two popular choices aren’t even in the running!
According to GRRM:
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.
So Dunk & Egg and Robert’s Rebellion are off the table. Personally, it’s very disappointing to hear Dunk & Egg isn’t an option but I can understand his reasoning.
It’s a little funny- the more information we get, the less we know.
(And yes, he’s still working on The Winds of Winter!)