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Five Game Of Thrones Spinoffs--Not Four--Are In The Works

"We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five."


This month brought the big news that HBO was exploring four potential Game of Thrones spinoffs. As it turns out, that's not the full story. Responding to the reports, George R.R. Martin updated his Livejournal page to say that, in fact, there are five potential spinoffs on the way from HBO.

"We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five," Martin wrote, adding that TV is a "fast-moving business" with changes happening all the time. "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."

We'll report back with more on this fifth spinoff as details come to light. The four announced spinoffs are being written by Max Bornstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray.

Also in the post, Martin said he is not very fond of the term "spinoff." Instead, he said you should think of the new shows as those that exist in a "secondary universe," which is a term that The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien popularized. These stories will be set in Westeros and "the world beyond."

"None of these new shows will be 'spinning off' from GOT in the traditional sense," he explained. "We are not talking Joey or After MASH or even Frazier 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. Rather than 'spinoff' or 'prequel,' however, I prefer the term 'successor show.' That's what I've been calling them."

Martin is involved with all of the new shows, first meeting with HBO about them back in August 2016. It was at this time that he pitched HBO two shows, one of which is in development.

The author also clarified that he is working with all four of the announced rights, not just two as some reports claimed. "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," he said.

Martin also took time to temper fans' expectations for the Game of Thrones spinoffs. There is no guarantee that all five will ever get made. At this stage, all they amount to

"Decades of experience in television and film have taught me that nothing is ever really certain... but I do think it's very unlikely that we'll be getting four (or five) series," he said. "At least not immediately. What we do have here is an order for four--now five--pilot scripts. How many pilots will be filmed, and how many series might come out of that, remains to be seen. (If we do get five series on the air, I might have to change my name to Dick Direwolf)."

Martin went on to say that everyone involved in the new Game of Thrones shows want them to be "as good" as Game of Thrones, which sounds like a tall order considering how acclaimed the show is.

"I can't tell you what the shows will be about (well, I could, but I won't), but I will tell you a couple of things they WON'T be. Which will disappoint some of you, sure, but better to do that now than later, I think. 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."

He also confirmed that the story of Robert's Rebellion is not one of the scripts.

"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," Martin explained. "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."

Finally, Martin stressed that he is still working on the next Game of Thrones novel, Winds of Winter, but it is not yet ready.

"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. But this is what it is, so I keep on juggling. Winds of Winter, five successor shows, Fire & Blood (that's the GRRMarillion, remember?), four new Wild Cards books, some things I can't tell you about yet... it's a good thing I love my work."

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres this July. There is one more season to follow.

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