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About Those Spinoffs...

So while I was on the road out California way, the story broke about the four GAME OF THRONES spinoffs that HBO is developing. And of course the news has since spread everywhere, all over the web and all over the world.

Yes, it's true. More or less. Though, as is all too common these days, various distortions and misapprehensions have crept into some of the reports along the way. And television being the fast-moving business that it is, there have already been some further developments.

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. It is a world, and a pretty big one, and if there were eight million stories in the naked city back in the 50s, just think how many more there are in an entire world, and one with thousands of years of recorded history.

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.

Yes, I am involved, and have been for months. I had my first meeting with HBO about the possibility of a successor show back in August, when I pitched them two possible series. (One of those is among the concepts being developed, one is not). In the months that followed, other writers were brought in and pitched other ideas. Ultimately HBO decided to go ahead with four separate developments, to be written by Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray.

It was stated in some of the reports that I am working with two of the four writers. That's not quite right. 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.

And there's more. We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five. 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.

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 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).

The one goal that EVERYONE involved shares here is to make these new shows just as good as GAME OF THRONES itself. No easy task, mind you. David Benioff and Dan Weiss are a tough, tough act to follow, as all those Emmys demonstrate.

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.

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.

More than that, I will not say. Feel free to makes your guesses, if you like... but I am not going to be confirming or denying anything, so don't expect replies.

And yes, before someone asks, I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it's done. 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 AND 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.


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May. 15th, 2017 10:07 am (UTC)
Brian? Great!
George are you acting coy?

Brian Helgeland will be writing a successor show? THE Brian Helgeland? I mean, no offense to other writers, but Brian is the legend, you should have bolded and underlined his name while putting it first in hot pink, just to make a distinction.

I know Oscars were always laden with politics, guild and general, and are collection of some people voting but they mean something after all, and Brian got one.

His movies are great, LA Confidental, Mystic River, Payback, Conspiracy Theory, hell even Knight's Tale is a cult classic.

He worked wonders in adapting material so he should be right at home with successor series, you are lucky that you managed to get writer of that reputation and experience on board, i think it will show in his work and that everyone will notice how much difference quality showrunner can make.
May. 15th, 2017 10:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Brian? Great!
Brian is indeed a giant, and I am thrilled to have him involved. LA CONFIDENTIAL is a great, great film.
Re: Brian? Great! - ADragonDemands - May. 15th, 2017 11:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 15th, 2017 10:09 am (UTC)
So, no Robert's Rebellion... but what about the Greyjoy rebellion? I would be thrilled to learn more about the ironborn and their culture.
Tomy Gamba
May. 15th, 2017 10:46 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Just wanted to thank you for all your work. Many of us know how dedicated you are to it. And more importantly, that the creative process takes time!

So don't let those "fans" pressure get to you. I know you probably don't need us to remind you this, but... At the end of the day. Who's the successful, multiple award winning; famous writer? And who's just a whinny impatient self-centered idiot? So yeah, you keep being you, and we'll love you for it. Slow or not :)
Tim Echols
May. 15th, 2017 11:49 am (UTC)
Thanks for all you do Mr. Martin. May the Old Gods and the New give you strength for all your endeavors. But on a side note, if Tyrion dies, we riot!!!😜
May. 15th, 2017 12:16 pm (UTC)
Faceless men mini series?
A mini series for the Faceless men would be interesting, especially about Jaqen H'ghar as for some reason a small part of me "Yes what I'm about to say is out of this world and is 99.9% most likely not true" feels as if he could be Rhaegar Targaryen and that would explain his interest in Arya. His golden strand of hair is what stands out in this theory of mine.
May. 15th, 2017 12:37 pm (UTC)
Will the son grow taller than his father?
May. 15th, 2017 12:43 pm (UTC)
Kinda surprised by the announcement.
So, No Robert's Rebellion and No for Dunk and Egg. That means we can rule out Blackfyre Rebellion as well. Still, this announcement came as a surprise. You never cease to surprise us, are you, George? LoL!
Tim Bostick
May. 15th, 2017 12:57 pm (UTC)
Winds of Winter
I just hope the Winds of Winter is getting top priority in this juggling act.

I think the next HBO show taking place in Westeros might cover the war between the Children and the First Men and the making of the Others, and how everybody survived the first long winter and built the Wall. It seems remote enough in the past to not have much written material in the canon so nobody would know the ending and the writers would have a lot of leeway to create something new.
May. 16th, 2017 03:09 pm (UTC)
RE: Winds of Winter
I'm a big fan of a glimpse into an early Westeros, where there is more magic and men are not yet dominant!
Casey Barnette Meares
May. 15th, 2017 01:08 pm (UTC)
For All You Do
Thank you. For the updates and clarifications, as well as the glimpse of future horizons you see for yor creation. Its exciting, and I am eagerly patient for them come in their own time. Thank you so very much for all you have given and continue to give us!
May. 15th, 2017 01:26 pm (UTC)
Great news!!!!! I am hoping to read about The Conquest.....(please, bring back Jon Snow, I sure you will, and never ever kill him again, pleaseeeeee).
Keith Russell Dulak
May. 15th, 2017 02:16 pm (UTC)
"lock the door, turn out the light.
Don't you know grrm will be home tonight.
The snow falls hard and don't you know,
The Winds of Winter are blowing cold"

May. 15th, 2017 02:21 pm (UTC)
Frazier Crane
Lots of great info to chew on in here. Thanks for the robust update!

And now for the important question: is the spelling of "Frazier" a typo or some subtle shade?
J Snow
May. 15th, 2017 02:56 pm (UTC)
Successor show possibilities
Im hoping the non-westeros one is about the empire of the Dawn, id love to learn more about that time period. A story about the Rhoynar/Valyrian conflict would be cool as well. Id love to see the unique Rhoynish cities come to life, especially the Palace of love.

As for the other 3, i see;
The first Blackfyre rebellion
Aegon the conqueror
Tywin circa the Rynes of Castamere( though maybe not, since this would be close to a spin off)
The Dance (this may be the one they passed one, due to too much CGI needed)
Maegors battle with the faith
The age of Heroes
The young Dragon

As tge most likely contenders

Either way, cant wait!😁

Edited at 2017-05-15 05:53 pm (UTC)
May. 15th, 2017 03:08 pm (UTC)
Dance of Dragons
I think the Dance of Dragons would make an amazing TV series. It has everything: war, family feuding, lots of great characters.....and dragons!
Kwame Kimane
May. 15th, 2017 03:23 pm (UTC)
Finish the Book!
Take a break, let the other authors run with the script if they know the world so well...finish the BOOK!
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George R.R. Martin
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