If you Game of Thrones fans out there were hoping that you wouldn’t have to learn new character names, you might be out of luck.
News broke last week that HBO has commissioned top screenwriters to work on four potential Game of Thrones spin-off projects, which sent the Internet into a fan-theory-tizzy wondering how the world of Westeros would be kept alive on screen.
But before speculation could get too out of control, Martin took to his blog to clarify a few details about the projects. Here’s what we learned from his Sunday night post.
There are five potential spin-offs
Initial reports said four potential spin-offs were being explored by HBO with writers Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class), Brian Helgeland (42, Mystic River) and Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers). Martin revealed that there is a fifth idea on the table.
“We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five,” he wrote, adding that he wouldn’t reveal the name of the writer involved. “He’s a really terrific addition,” Martin said.
The author confirmed he is working with all of the writers but clarified to fans that this does not mean there are guaranteed to be five shows on the air.
“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.”
They are about new characters
“All of you who were hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie are doomed to disappointment,” Martin joked, explaining that the new series will be about characters that have not yet appeared on the HBO show. They are also prequels, and some may not be set in Westeros (although there are plenty of other lands in this world for Martin and HBO to explore).
They will not cover Robert’s Rebellion or “Dunk and Egg”
Astute fans have noted that there are a few stories that happened before the events of the series which would be ripe for the prequel treatment; including the story of Robert Baratheon’s rebellion (which set up the events of the show and books) and the tales of Dunk and Egg, a series of prequel novellas Martin has written that take place about 90 years before the events of Thrones.
However, neither of these stories will be brought to life in the scripts. Martin noted that Game of Thrones will tell you everything you need to know about Robert’s rebellion, so a series about it would be repetitive. Dunk and Egg is off the table, Martin said, because he hasn’t finished writing the novellas. “I don’t want to repeat what happened with Game of Thrones itself, where the show gets ahead of the books.”
Martin is still working on the books
He also put to rest any fears that he would be taking book six, The Winds of Winter, off of his to-do list.
“And yes, before someone asks, I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it’s done,” he wrote. “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.”
Martin said he likely won’t answer questions about the potential prequels, but hey, don’t forget that Game of Thrones Season 7 is set to debut on HBO on July 16. See first-look photos from the season below.
Kelly Lawler , USA TODAY