George R.R. Martin Discusses Successor Shows And 5th 'Game Of Thrones'  Spin-Off Pilot Script In The Works

To start with, I must admit, while I am somewhat excited to hear about the future for ‘Game of Thrones’ over on HBO, I am very annoyed to learn that George R.R. Martin is spending time on ANYTHING other than finishing ‘Winds of Winter.’  If he is actively working with a number of writers on “successor” shows to ‘Game of Thrones’ for HBO, I cannot imagine he is spending much time writing the book we have been waiting so long for, especially with the other novels and short stories he is currently working on.

Moving on… after all of the recently released news from HBO about 4 spin-offs for ‘Game of Thrones’ being currently in development, script-wise at least with 4 writers working on them alongside Martin, the author has taken a moment to clarify some things on his own live journal for those wondering about his involvement and whether there could actually be 4 new Westeros based shows on HBO in the future.  Below are some excerpts, but you can check it out in its entirety here:

“For what it’s worth, I don’t especially like the term “spinoff,” and I don’t think it really applies to these new projects. What we’re talking about are new stories set in the “secondary universe” (to borrow Tolkien’s term) of Westeros and the world beyond, the world I created for A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE… None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from GOT in the traditional sense. We are not talking Joey or AfterMASH 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.”


Some of the reports of these developments seem to suggest that HBO might be adding four successor shows to the schedule to replace GAME OF THRONES. 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. At least not immediately. What we do have here is an order for four — now five — pilot. 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).”

So after clarifying that there are actually 5 scripts in the works (though coyly failing to name the 5th author), Martin then goes into theory debunk mode, and lets us know if two of the most popular “successor show” theories are correct:

“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.


We’re not doing Robert’s Rebellion either. 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.

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth, the new shows will not be based on ‘Dunk and Egg’ nor Robert’s Rebellion, which was where my money was at, but his reasoning for both is sound, especially for not doing Robert’s Rebellion, as I agree that if we learn most of that story in ‘Game of Thrones’ proper there is little reason to rehash it all again. What are your thoughts on Martin’s words? Do you wish he would separate from the HBO shows a little so he could finish the actual series that started it all? Or are you just fine with what he is doing? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.