Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin broke his silence about the Thrones prequels in development at HBO.
Posting to his blog Sunday night, Martin dropped a bunch of details about the potential shows.
None are actual spinoffs with current characters. Martin objected to the term being used by the media, pointing out that “spinoff” typically refers to a sequel using at least one pre-existing character. But Martin clarified a big question mark surrounding the new projects: “None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from GoT in the traditional sense. We are not talking Joey or AfterMASH or even [Frasier] 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.” (While Martin is totally correct about the proper usage of “spinoff,” people also casually use it to refer to a successor show in general).
There is a fifth project. Martin notes there is now a fifth pilot script instead of the previously reported four. HBO has not confirmed this yet.
Martin is involved with ALL the shows. He’s officially credited as a co-writer on two of the four previously announced prequels, but he’s apparently working on all of them to some degree. “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.” The credited writers thus far are Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island, Fox’s Minority Report); Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class) along with Martin; Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale, L.A. Confidential); and Carly Wray (Mad Men) with Martin.
None of the prequels are from Martin’s Dunk & Egg tales. “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.”
HBO is not exploring Robert’s Rebellion either. Good! I know fans wanted this, but as Martin points out, “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.”
Martin is still working on his eagerly awaited The Winds of Winter novel. “I will confess, I do wish I could clone myself, or find a way to squeeze more hours into the day, or a way to go without sleep.”
The seventh season of Game of Thrones will debut July 16 on HBO.