George RR Martin has taken to LiveJournal to discuss life after Game of Thrones and has shed some light on the future of his fantasy world of Westeros and beyond. With the revelations that there are no less than five projects related to Westeros currently in development, Martin took to his blog to clear up some misconceptions about what is and isn’t happening. Here are the key takeaways from his post:
1. They will be all-new stories
Martin said that the new stories will be set in the secondary universe of Westeros and the world beyond.
“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.”
From this, we can surmise that he’ll be exploring entirely new civilisations and characters in at least some of his scripts. They may not even have a connection with the events of Game of Thrones at all. At least directly, anyway.
2. He’s discounted the entire idea of a spin-off
In the traditional sense, at least. He references spin-off shows Joey, AfterMASH, Frazier and Lou Grant as examples of what these shows WON’T be. There’s no chance, he suggests, that any of his Game of Thrones characters will walk into one of these “successor shows” as he’s referring to them.
3. Each project is a prequel
“Rather than a sequel,” he explains, which suggests that each of the proposed shows could feed into the events from Game of Thrones in some wa since prequels usually explore events that shed more light on the things that we’ve seen happen later in the timeline. That’s despite his inference that all of these stories will explore new ground.
But that’s not necessarily the case. Here, the word ‘prequel’ could simply mean the stories are set earlier in the timeline.
It seems a little odd, though, to specify that the shows are prequels if there’s no real connection beyond a shared universe. It suggests that the timeline is important. If the stories weren’t connected, surely it wouldn’t matter if the ‘successor show’ was set before or after the events of Game of Thrones?
4. There are different writers attached to all five shows
Each script currently in development is being handled by a different writer. Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman, X-Men, Kick-Ass), Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, A Knight’s Tale) and Carly Wray (The Leftovers, Mad Men) are all currently on board. Martin says he’s not ready to reveal the fifth yet, but we do know he’s a man. That narrows it down, then.
“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.”
Whoever it is is a huge Game of Thrones fan, which is surely a plus.
Martin also reveals that he’s been working closely with all of the writers and that he’s excited to be collaborating with them.
5. There won’t necessarily be five shows
Martin says it’s very unlikely that four, or even five will make it to production. “At least not immediately,” he adds. He clarified that it’s five pilot scripts that have been ordered.
“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).”
Lol at Dick Direwolf.
6. He’s dismissed certain storylines – for now
Firstly, none of these shows will be about Dunk and Egg. To date, Martin has written three novellas featuring the tales of these two Westeros characters – Ser Duncan the Tall, future commander of the Kingsguard and Aegon V Targaryen, the future king. The stories are set 90 years or so before the events of his A Song of Fire and Ice novels.
Martin says he doesn’t want a TV show about these guys to go the way of Game of Thrones, where the action in the show overtakes the books.
“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.”
He’s also discounted Robert’s Rebellion, and telling the story of how a young Robert Baratheon claimed the Iron Throne. And that’s because we’ll know everything there is to know about that by the time he’s finished writing A Song of Ice and Fire.
“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.”
So there you go. In the meantime, we’ve learned even more from HBO’s programming president.