Game of Thrones fans have been pining for a prequel once the main series wraps up in 2018 so were naturally thrilled when reports emerged that there are four spin-offs in the works.
But forget what you heard, according to Song of Ice and Fire book series author George RR Martin, HBO has not four but FIVE writers working to develop new shows each set in different Westeros time periods.
In a blog post on Sunday, he wrote: “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.”
He went on: “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.”
The previous four writers announced were Kong: Skull Island‘s Max Borenstein, Kingsman: The Secret Service‘s Jane Goldman, LA Confidential‘s Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland, and Westworld‘s Carly Wray.
It was HBO programming president Casey Bloys who first broke the news about a possible spinoff series while promoting his channel’s spring line-up at the TCA Press Tour in January.
“All I can say is that we’re exploring it. We don’t have any scripts, we’re not even close to saying ‘Oh, let’s do this’,” Bloys explained at the time. “But it’s a big enough property that we would be foolish not to explore it. It’s a really rich world. We’d be foolish not to look at it.”
However, Bloys also clarified soon after that HBO was more interested in a prequel than simply spinning off Jon Snow, Dany or Tyrion into their own show.
“A prequel feels like it has less pressure on it [than a spin-off],” he explained to Entertainment Weekly
Just don’t expect either Kit Harington or Emilia Clarke to feature. Representatives for Harington have denied that the actor has been approached to star in a spin-off, while Clarke insisted that “other spin-offs… might be more intriguing” than a Daenerys series.
Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have also insisted that they wouldn’t be involved in any such project. “At a certain point, especially if it’s a serialised story, it falls apart and loses its heat and its momentum – because there’s a carrying capacity even a world the size of ours has,” Weiss said.
“When you reach that carrying capacity and you try to push it further, people start to wonder when this is going to be over and hope that it will be over soon so they can move onto the next thing. That’s not what we ever wanted.”
“I’m sure there will be other series set in Westeros,” Benioff clarified at the 2016 Emmys. “But for us, this is it.”
The pair reiterated their position in March 2017, with Benioff saying that he and Weiss are resisting the “urge to keep doing it.”
“I think HBO might well do [a spin-off] and I’m looking forward to watching it. [But] I think it’s better for them to get new blood in with new vis[a spin-off]f]Want up-to-the-minute entertainme[But]t] and features? Just hit ‘Like’ on our Digital Spy Facebook page [a spin-off] on our @digitalspy Twitter account and you[But]ll set.