Gods be good, this thing just keeps getting bigger, and still more mysterious. "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin is not a fan of the term "spinoff" when it comes to HBO's potential new shows based on his material, but he did just confirm that a fifth writer was added to the original four, working on a fifth "successor show" script, and they will all be prequels. However, he also warned fans that two popular "spinoff" (sorry) story choices have been crossed off, and will not be among the five shows.
In a new blog post titled "About Those Spinoffs...," the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series author wrote that decades of experience in television have led him to believe we probably won't get all five stories from his world of Westeros (and beyond) on TV:
"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)."
He also revealed at least two plots that won't be developed for screen:
"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."
Ah well. There's still potential for a story about The Targaryen Dragons of lore. Can't imagine what the five are about if it's too soon for "Dunk and Egg" ("A Song of Ice and Fire" prequels set in the world of King Aegon V Targaryen, aka Egg), and Robert's Rebellion (aka Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar Targaryen's war over Lyanna Stark, sending young Daenerys Targaryen and her mad bro into exile).
Martin also clarified that he's working with all of the writers, not just the two mentioned in the previous report, and -- yes -- he is still working on the sixth book in "A Song of Ice and Fire," "The Winds of Winter." He didn't share the name of the fifth writer, figuring HBO will do that, he just wrote, "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."
Here's a bit more of GRRM's post, sharing his preferred language when talking about all of this.
"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."
"Game of Thrones" is really just the title of GRRM's first book in "A Song of Ice and Fire," but it stayed the title of the whole HBO series. That series continues with the start of Season 7 on Sunday, July 16.
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