UPDATE: Bryan Cogman developing Game of Thrones prequel with George R.R. Martin

Bryan-Cogman

When HBO first announced there were four Game of Thrones prequel series in development, there was a big announcement involved, but the mysterious fifth one didn’t get the same treatment, and we haven’t heard about it since. That changes today!

EW just revealed that Game of Thrones producer and writer Bryan Cogman, who has been involved in the show since the very first season, is developing one of the five spin-offs alongside George R.R. Martin, author of the book series. The settings for this or any of the other successor shows are still unknown, though months ago Martin already crossed off Robert’s Rebellion and Dunk & Egg from the list of possibilities.

Of course, this doesn’t mean Cogman’s show will see the light of day. Five different projects are being developed because HBO can afford to do so, but they don’t intend to produce them all; only one of them may be greenlit. And there’s a long wait anyway!

Nevertheless, this is great news for fans of Cogman’s writing. He is responsible for Kissed by Fire, The Laws of Gods and Men, Kill the Boy and Stormborn, among other episodes.

Update: George R.R. Martin has commented about the new development on his Not A Blog:

Truth be told, we’ve had five scripts in various stages of development for months. Which I believe I mentioned….

Bryan Cogman should need no introduction for any GAME OF THRONES fan. He’s been part of the show since the beginning… since before the beginning, actually, since he was first hired as assistant to David Benioff and D.B Weiss way before the series got on the air, before even the pilot had been filmed. From those humble beginnings, he advanced to staff writer, to story editor, to co-producer and producer and supervising producer. Less formally, he has also been GOT’s “Keeper of the Lore,” the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that). He’s written more episodes of GAME OF THRONES than anyone but Dan & David… including some of our very best ones. If D&D have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone.

Martin declines to share what the subject of Cogman’s potential show will be, and confirms that like the previous four spinoffs, the proposed show is a prequel. The author says that “Bryan’s series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I’ll be working with him every step of the way; we’re going to be co-creating the show.”

Martin will no doubt excite fans with the possibility of multiple spinoffs, but he cautions readers:

You should not expect to see all five shows, though, at least not immediately.. much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the GAME OF THRONES network… but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020… and the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope. Then again, maybe… but I should not speculate, you folks get WAY too excited. Truth is, no one knows. Least of all me.

For now, suffice it to say that Bryan Cogman has signed on, and we’re thrilled.

63 responses

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    1. Great news, cogman is definitely one of my favorite writers behind David and Dan, and Mr Martin himself.
      Kissed by fire and the laws of gods and men are GOT classics, some of my favorite episodes.
      Really itching to hear more information on these spin offs later down the line.

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    2. There’s no one I trust more with the future of Westeros on television so it’s a relief to have this confirmed. It’s a no-brainer to have Cogman involved. I’m just dying for them to announce the actual spinoff subjects already. I know we’re likely to only get one ultimately, but damn, the people need to know! 🙂

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    3. Not to be Mr. Buzzkill, but if “HBO can afford” to develop five different spinoffs even if only one is produced…

      ….How about throwing a little extra cash into the budget for S8 of GoT for GHOST? (I saw his picture on the side of a milk carton recently.)

      And of course, I hope Nymeria’s appearance in S7e2 wasn’t just a one-and-done cameo.

      #DragonsAreCoolButDirewolvesRule

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    4. Ten Bears: Not to be Mr. Buzzkill, but if “HBO can afford” to develop five different spinoffs even if only one is produced…

      Development is not the same as production. HBO can easily afford to pay a number of writers to develop five (or, hell, many more) projects. But that’s cheap. Actually producing a show, let alone five of them, is very expensive.

      I concur about Ghost, though. He needs to play a large role this next season, not only to make up for the last few years, but because it’s the last opportunity!

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    5. Haha – predicted it was obviously Cogman back when they wouldn’t reveal.. This is great news..real curious to know what this is!!

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    6. Excellent news! As soon as HBO announced plans for a spin-off, Cogman was top of my list of names to write/showrun whatever they picked. His episodes are always beautifully written and his knowledge of the world GRRM has created is encyclopedic.

      Kissed by Fire and The Laws of Gods and Men are two of the best written episodes in the series, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

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    7. Luka Nieto,

      Ummm… My bad.
      I figured it wouldn’t be inexpensive to pay teams of writers to outline and script pilots.

      A man…can only admit when he was wrong, and ask forgiveness. 😩

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    8. Ten Bears,

      I’m sure they’re getting paid well (especially Cogman?), but there’s still no comparison with the money it takes to actually produce a show, especially when it’s VFX-heavy, like GoT. But hey, your heart was in the right place: getting to at least see Ghost before the story ends, no matter the expense 😛

      (Great Glover reference; a favorite line of mine, thanks to McInnerny’s acting!)

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    9. That is interesting . D&D said a long long time ago they had Bryan aboard because he knew more about The Song of Ice and Fire than they did.
      I wonder if Dave Hill is in on this too?
      Also interesting that Cogman apparently had a deal for something with HBO that was not ASOIAF related , but that happens all the time.
      GRRM mentioned this 5th deal weeks ago , so seems it is real.

      Wonder if we will ever get to see Cogman’s written and shot Ghost scene, for season 7?

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    10. I know I’m very much going against the grain here, but I don’t rate Cogman that highly. Yes, he was very good in the early seasons adapting George’s material, but his episodes from Season 5 (when GoT became less dependent on the books) have been distinctly average. Given that the spin-off is going to be very much original, and not based on the books I’m sceptical of how this will turn out. I’m also surprised that Cogman wants to continue working in this world, because sometimes it is best to do different things and not be massively associated with one thing (which he is anyway, but that association is only going to strengthen with a spinoff). However, I do realise that is is an opportunity too good to be turned down.

      On the other hand, Cogman will have the advantage of a good working relationship with GRRM and HBO, and I’m sure many crew members will be similar too if this goes ahead. Overall though, I wish him good luck, and hope that the prequel is amazing.

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    11. Boojam: Wonder if we will ever get to see Cogman’s written and shot Ghost scene, for season 7?

      Maybe if they cut it for time? But I doubt they would cut such a scene for time. If it was a budget issue, the VFX wouldn’t be finished, even if they filmed the shots with Kit Harington and the separate ones with the wolf who plays Ghost.

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    12. We all suspected that this was in the works, but it’s great to have it confirmed! Bryan Cogman’s awesome – he’s been involved with Game of Thrones since the beginning, he’s written several truly brilliant episodes, and he’s just an all-around good dude. If David and Dan aren’t going to be involved in whatever prequel series HBO is developing, then securing Cogman’s services is the next best thing. Without knowing the subject of any of the potential prequels, Cogman’s project would be my top choice to get the greenlight. Being so intimately familiar with the production and what it takes to make a show of this scale a success, one has to imagine that he has an advantage.

      Also, as much as I enjoyed Cogman’s presence on Twitter, I can hardly blame for getting off the platform a month or so before this news was publicly confirmed. He was already being inundated with people firing questions (most of them good-spirited, but a few sour grapes from the usual suspects) at him on a daily basis. With the final season of GOT about to start production and this new series in the works, that avalanche of inquiries would have redoubled. It was smart of him to cut it off at the source.

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    13. Luka Nieto,

      I think I’m suffering from direwolf killoff PTSD. Four are gone. Lady was killed offscreen and Summer died heroically, but seeing Greywind’s head mounted on Robb’s torso and Shaggydog’s head tossed onto the floor by S*itJon Umber was oh so painful to watch.

      The worst indignity? The HBO Store has packaged the plush toys of Summer, Grey Wind, Shaggydog and Lady, into a “Game of Thrones In Memorium Direcub Bundle”, and marked down the price from $79.96 to $30.00: “Your Savings: $49.96.” 🤧

      -End Direwolf Sulk-

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    14. Sue the Fury:
      There’s no one I trust more with the future of Westeros on television so it’s a relief to have this confirmed. It’s a no-brainer to have Cogman involved. I’m just dying for them to announce the actual spinoff subjects already. I know we’re likely to only get one ultimately, but damn, the people need to know!

      I think it was this year, programming president Casey Bloys, was asked what if more than one of the spin-offs is so good it should be produced. He found that a kind of mind flip but didn’t rule it out.

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    15. Luka Nieto: Maybe if they cut it for time? But I doubt they would cut such a scene for time. If it was a budget issue, the VFX wouldn’t be finished, even if they filmed the shots with Kit Harington and the separate ones with the wolf who plays Ghost.

      Could not tell from Cogman’s comments which way it was, seems he implied it was cut for time. They have done odd things like that at times.

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    16. Boojam,

      They’ve also said we’ll probably only get one, realistically. I would not pin your hopes on getting more than one. Yes it’s technically possible. It’s just not very likely.

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    17. Excellent, excellent news. I’m of the opinion that Cogman has been severely underutilized in recent seasons. Like, in earlier seasons when D&D were so focused on establishing the world and capturing the books more closely, Cogman was the guy who got the side projects of smaller, necessary adaptations. And he crushed it regularly.

      Then, as seasons progressed and big adaptions became more central to the writing process, D&D started doing more and giving Cogman less agency in the changes. Which…well…if I go down that road this’ll just turn into a two-thousand-word rant about what Benioff did to the Iliad…

      The point is, this is great (but, yes, obvious) news. Can’t wait to see what he’s doing.

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    18. The prequel has to be about Dance of the Dragons right? It would have all the politics plus dragon battles. I’m not sure what other time period would be as interesting.

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    19. Balon01,

      Completely agree. Hes good at the history and lore stuff but not the overall dialogue in the scenes that he creates. He gets a pass while Dan and Dave take the brunt of the punishment from the fans which i guess is the reason they are the bosses and hes not.

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    20. This makes so much sense. They need someone deeply grounded in GRRM’s world, not someone with a marketing-degree approach to what makes good television. Tyrion’s trial being my favorite GoT scene of all, this news makes me very happy.

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    21. Ten Bears:
      Luka Nieto,

      Ummm… My bad.
      I figured it wouldn’t be inexpensive to pay teams of writers to outline and script pilots.

      A man…can only admit when he was wrong, and ask forgiveness. 😩

      Only for the celestial few is writing a lucrative profession. I speak from experience, down here in the trenches.

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    22. ace of mace,

      Yes i agree with you it has to be something along those lines , with Aegon Targaryen and his 2 sister wives and 3 dragon riders battle for control of the 7 kingdoms that would interest me the most.

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    23. If D&D have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone. – GRRM about Cogman

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    24. mau:
      GRRM said that new show will air in 2019 or 2020. Which means S8 in 2018? 😀

      No. “2018 or 2020” is GRRM-speak for “2036 or 2037, maybe.”

      (Just kidding. I don’t think that GRRM owes us anything. He should be able to watch Jets games and scarf hot dogs to his heart’s content.)

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    25. Ryan:
      And GRRM just announced that he’s co-writing all of them including Cogman’s (which will win), which means WOW will be done in 2032.

      That is great news! I’ve felt GRRM would’ve been better off writing GoT episodes than trying to finish books he no longer has the impetus to write.
      And I’ve enjoyed his scripted episodes of GoT.

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    26. Great news!

      If BCOG is involved, I’m sure the prequel will be top rate and produced and made to the high standard we’ve all become accustomed to with GoT.

      I too am curious to know what the prequel will be, but seeing how good they are now with the SFX/CGI for the dragons, I hope it would include some action with those beasts again 😉

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    27. Great news about Cogman. I get the sense that HBO wants to keep pushing the envelope and make something even bigger and more ambitious than GoT. They’ve perfected a form of epic/cinematic television with this show — production crews working simultaneously in separate countries and multiple effects houses churning out complicated shot after shot. They’re not going to want all that crew expertise, logistics, production facilities, tradespeople and crew members to disperse to the winds after GoT is done. Not to mention the productive working relationships with governments such as in Northern Ireland and Spain. I think the show that gets the greenlight will be one that has the potential to be even larger in scale to the mothership series. I think epic-ness might be the key here. Dance of the Dragons would deliver that.

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    28. Black Raven:
      I too am curious to know what the prequel will be, but seeing how good they are now with the SFX/CGI for the dragons, I hope it would include some action with those beasts again

      Sunfyre:
      I get the sense that HBO wants to keep pushing the envelope

      You heard it here first. First on screen dragon sex.

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    29. Eric Womack,

      But we’ve seen that. Going pre-Doom is the only thing that would be unique in the dragon realm. You need to see how it began, how dragonlords worked, how House Targ was the lowest of the pole, and what her prophetic dream did to save the dragons. That is the most mysterious aspect of the era. Everything else, the interest would be in the North.

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    30. As long as we FINALLY hear the Old Tongue, I don’t care what the spinoff is. I’ve wanted to hear the Old Tongue ever since we met the Thenns, DJP says he’s got it all planned out he just needs the green light. HBO, MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!

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    31. This is great news! I like Cogman as a show writer and just as an actual person.

      I remember he came to this site (when it was that other site we don’t talk about here) and actually answered our questions and I remember he would also comment very often.

      So not only does Cogman have the writing chops, the experience and knows the books inside and out, he is actually part of the community and also has a finger on the pulse of the base core fans like us.

      So it be like one of us writing the show but who went to college to do it and is doing it as a career.

      In Cogman I trust!

      P.S. I just hope he watches HBO’s ROME and brings that flavor to the new spinoff show.

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    32. OMG! OMG! PLEASE TELL ME IS THE DANCE OF THE DRAGONS! I AM FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOOOOW!

      I would LOVE to see it on screen! However, how many seasons would it be?

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    33. These are excellent news! It’s good to have someone who is deeply involved with GoT getting involved to this prequel and with Mr Martin no less!

      I’m one of those that would like to see the events that led to the Long Night, more Children of the Forest and Weirwood trees and etc. and all that mythology, coming to life!

      But whatever the prequel will be I’m sure it will be chosen carefully and I’m sure it will be great!

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    34. Ten Bears:
      Luka Nieto,

      I think I’m suffering from direwolf killoff PTSD. Four are gone. Lady was killed offscreen and Summer died heroically, but seeing Greywind’s head mounted on Robb’s torso and Shaggydog’s head tossed onto the floor by S*itJon Umber was oh so painful to watch.

      Hey, I’m with you! I love me some direwolves. I loved watching them on the show and I loved reading about them in the books. Ugh, I miss them. I understand the CGI is very costly but I’m still hoping we’d see at least Ghost before the series finale. I’d be thrilled to see Jon introducing him to Dany. 😀

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    35. AE,

      Ever since Jorah and Tyrion recited that poem about the Doom of Valarya while sailing past its ruins, I’ve been intrigued by its mysteries. What or who caused it? How was everyone snuffed out all at once? How’d that Targ girl get a prophetic vision to skeedaddle? Why were all of the civilization’s technological advancements lost for good? How did the Doom kill dragons? Was it a natural event or a man-made f*ck-up? What’s the big secret behind making Valaryan steel? What are the “origin stories” of Ice, Longclaw, Arya’s dagger, and the other VS “stars” of GoT?

      I’ve always thought the Doom could be the focus of a prequel. Like GoT, there’d be a looming cataclysmic event coupled with human dramas.

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    36. Somewhat off topic, but got sent this link via Facebook. GoT put to Queen’s immortal tune – Bohemian Rhapsody – Its brilliant 🙂

      There’s some direwolves in this for those having withdrawal symptoms due to the lack of them appearing in the show 😉

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    37. Knight of the Walkers: I don’t rate Cogman that highly. Yes, he was very good in the early seasons adapting George’s material, but his episodes from Season 5 (when GoT became less dependent on the books) have been distinctly average. Given that the spin-off is going to be very much original, and not based on the books I’m sceptical of how this will turn out.

      George RR Martin says it will be an adaptation, though:

      “Bryan’s series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history.”

      That suggests it is something he has already written.

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    38. Grandmaester Flash,

      If it’s something GRRM has already written (as per the adaptation comment), my bet is on the Dance of the Dragons (a Targ civil war approximately 200 years before show present).

      GRRM loves the Targs, loves writing about them, and Bryan Cogman is well-versed in the lore. The problem I see for a Dance of the Dragons series is the dragon element = much CGI. But they wouldn’t have to start from scratch, CGI dragons have already been created so it’s a question of reprising what they already have. Not to mention that dragons wouldn’t be present in every scene. Some dragon battles could even be off-screen, the drama would come from some main characters learning the news etc.

      Anyway, I’m not too happy about this news. It means GRRM is ever more distracted from finishing those damn books! I get the feeling he’s lost interest in the Song of Ice and Fire book series and is branching into ever more side projects like Targ history books or new TV shows. Fine, it’s his prerogative, but it’s really frustrating. So frustrating I give up on GRRM and trust D&D to at least give me an ending.

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    39. Leuf:
      You heard it here first.First on screen dragon sex.

      There is dragon sex in the princess and the queen (Dance of the Dragons)…. so you may be right. O.o

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    40. Ten Bears,

      YES!! Thank you for seeing that! I feel kike people are resigned to get an adaption of Aegon Conquest (gee wonder what the plot and endgame would be? #sarc). Or Dance. Both will have no real intrigue, lore or mystery, because we know the major plot beats. I’m not one to want something I already deeply know the schematics of.

      I pray for a summer that never ends and a DOOM plot!

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    41. Even that Angry Linda from Westeros.org was happy with this news, claiming Cogman wrote the few episodes of Game of Thrones she likes.

      Would be nice if something can come out in 2019 given we won’t see S8 until a year or so from now (at the earliest).

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