Last week, Game of Thrones fans felt as though Christmas had come early with the announcement that four spin-off shows were in development from HBO.
In a lengthy post on his blog, George R.R Martin has clarified a few details (there's now five scripts in the works), and he's not a fan of the term spin-off. Not one bit.
"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 AfterMASHor 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."
While Mr. Martin makes an eloquent point, I doubt his desire to make 'successor show' a thing will take off. The writers that were announced consist of Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman), Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island), Brian Helgeland (L.A Confidential, A Knight's Tale), and Carly Wray (Mad Man). Martin was confirmed to be working with Goldman and Wray on their respective scripts, but he has now revealed he is working with all the writers in some capacity.
"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."
Martin also commented on the rumors of a fifth show being developed, and he's being highly secretive about the identity of the writer.
"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."
Game of Thrones season seven kicks off on July 16, and we'll keep you posted with any and all developments surrounding the successor shows. You see, it just sounds wrong.