George R.R. Martin Says HBO's Five New 'Game of Thrones' Shows Are Prequels, Not Spinoffs

Monday, 15 May 2017 - 11:26AM
Game of Thrones
Monday, 15 May 2017 - 11:26AM
George R.R. Martin Says HBO's Five New 'Game of Thrones' Shows Are Prequels, Not Spinoffs
Image credit: HBO
Cheers to fans of Game of Thrones, because there's a lot more of it on the way—more so than fans had previously thought. That said, George R.R. Martin wants to set a few things straight: while HBO has commissioned five pilots for potential spin-off shows (one more than the four that had been previously announced), the creator of Westeros wants everyone to understand that this doesn't mean the network will go ahead with all of them. The plan, it seems is to pick the very cream of the crop, in order to maintain a high quality that, let's face it, isn't always present with spin-offs.

Martin doesn't even like the phrase "spin-off" connected to these pilots, as they're more ancillary stories from the wide fictional history of the world of A Song of Ice and Fire:

Opening quote
"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...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."
Closing quote


The plan, it seems, is to keep these shows as separate and distinct as possible, so as to bring variety to the Game of Thrones universe. Martin has stated that he's been involved with the conception of these shows since August of last year, even pitching two "successor shows", one of which is now getting a pilot. But the rest of the ideas are coming from a wider pool of HBO writers. This is not a bad thing. According to Martin:

Opening quote
"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."
Closing quote

The question, then, is just how many new shows HBO will actually commission. The safe route would be to pick a single show to bring to television, but that's unlikely. Instead, this is likely the beginning of HBO's attempt to create a wider shared universe, not unlike that seen in Marvel movies, to help keep Game of Thrones dominating TV (and our lives).

Game of Thrones Season 7 will air on HBO on July 16th, 2017.
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