George R. R. Martin is open to a Game of Thrones spin-off.
We reached out to the bestselling author of the A Song of Ice and Fire saga upon which the HBO hit series is based following last week’s news that the series might only have 13 episodes left after the upcoming sixth season. HBO executives and the Thrones showrunners aren’t thinking about spin-offs or prequels at this time, but it’s impossible to imagine the topic won’t ever gain some serious consideration given the enormous popularity of the world that Martin has created. When that time comes, Martin says he believes there are many opportunities for another show.
“There is certainly no lack of material,” Martin told EW. “Every episode of The Naked City — one of the television shows I watched as a kid — ended with a voice-over: ‘There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.’ There are eight million stories in Westeros as well … and even more in Essos and the lands beyond. A whole world full of stories, waiting to be told… if indeed HBO is interested.”
But which one of those millions of stories would make the best filmed project? A prequel set during Robert’s Rebellion, perhaps? Or a sequel set after the events in the current show? Martin has a suggestion: “The most natural follow-up would be an adaptation of my Dunk & Egg stories,” he notes.
The Dunk & Egg stories are a series of novellas set in the same world of A Song of Ice and Fire as Game of Thrones, except they place roughly 90 years earlier than the time of characters like Tyrion, Daenerys, and Arya. The stories follow a “hedge knight” (nomadic; doesn’t own land) Ser Duncan the Tall, who would later become a member of the Kingsguard, and his squire Egg, who later becomes King Aegon V Targaryen of Westeros. There are a trio of novellas in the series so far (collected in the anthology A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms), with many more planned.
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“Each of the novellas could easily be done as a two-hour stand-alone movie for television; that would probably be the ideal way to do them, rather than as an ongoing weekly series,” Martin says. “The Hedge Knight& and its sequels are lighter [in tone] than A Song of Ice and Fire, more in the realm of action/adventure.”
For stories closer in tone to Thrones, a network would need to go back further in Westeros history — perhaps to the Targaryen civil war (a.k.a. “the Dance of the Dragons”), Martin said, or to other events chronicled in his “history” collection, A World of Ice and Fire.
All this remains conjecture at this point, however. Martin confirms that as of now, there have been no meaningful discussions about what projects might follow Game of Thrones.
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For more of Martin’s thoughts, follow his blog. Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24.