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Entertainment Weekly

TV

Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman developing a 5th prequel series

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To celebrate Fall TV and our huge Fall TV Preview issue — on stands now! — EW is bringing you 50 scoops in 50 days, a daily dish on some of your favorite shows. Follow the hashtag #50Scoops50Days on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest, and check EW.com/50-Scoops for all the news and surprises.

UPDATED: There’s a fifth Game of Thrones prequel series in the works, and the project’s writer is a familiar name to the fantasy drama’s fans with a massive amount of Westeros experience.

EW can exclusively report that Thrones co-executive producer Bryan Cogman is penning a drama series follow-up to the Emmy-winning blockbuster. Cogman developed the project by working closely with author George R.R. Martin, who cryptically referenced the existence of an additional unconfirmed prequel on his blog months ago (and has now added some new comments on his blog, below).

Since GoT showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have declined to be involved with the prequels (and with Martin already involved two of the other four), Cogman is arguably the next-best possible addition to the prequel squad from the show’s current creative team.

Cogman has been with Thrones since the first season when he was brought on board as an assistant to Benioff and Weiss. While the GoT showrunners are the show’s hands-on chief executives who pen most of the scripts and occasionally direct as well, Cogman has written plenty of stellar episodes along the way and ranks as the show’s third-most prolific writer. Some of his hours include season 7’s intricately plotted “Stormborn,” season 4’s “The Laws of Gods and Men” (which featured Tyrion Lannister on trial) and season 3’s “Kissed by Fire” (which included Jaime Lannister’s bathtub confession to Brienne).

In a 2011 interview with Westeros.org, Cogman discussed in some detail how he joined the series and described the first (of many) times that he read Martin’s debut A Song of Ice and Fire novel. “I immediately fell in love with the book from page one, as most people do,” Cogman recalled. “It’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had reading anything. It’s inspired storytelling, that’s all there is to it, and the characters are so rich, the themes are so varied. I love it.”

Cogman was also the rare GoT producer to wade into the Twitter tempest to interact with fans, but quit the social network a month ago to focus on the show’s final season (and, unbeknownst to fans, this prequel project).

So what is Cogman’s series about?

David Crotty/Getty Images

There are no specific story details yet available for any of the new GoT projects. But Martin has ruled out tackling Robert’s Rebellion (noting fans already know all the major plot points from that war anyway) or mining his Dunk & Egg tales (as they are still being written).

Also: All the prequel projects are set before the events in Game of Thrones and do not involve any members of the current cast (the term “spinoff” is frequently used to describe these projects though it’s not technically correct).

Like all TV projects in development, none of the prequels are guaranteed to air. HBO programming president Casey Bloys has said that he might only eventually greenlight one of them. The executive also recently said that any Game of Thrones prequel won’t air until at least a year after the flagship series concludes. GoT is expected to return for its final season in either late 2018 or 2019. So we’re probably looking at 2020 until we see a follow-up GoT title.

As for the Cogman news, Martin weighed in on his blog, praising the addition of Cogman to the team: “‘If [Dan and David] have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone … 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 could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020.”

For more, see our Q&A with Cogman on the writing of GoT season 7, or our rundown of the other prequel projects.

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