George R. R. Martin Comments on ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Series, Reveals One Is Dead

     June 12, 2018


Let’s get the Winds of Winter stuff out of the way first, because every time George R. R. Martin decides to get involved in another TV series or another project or literally anything other than writing this frigging book the first question we all have is “George, whyyyyyy?” In a blog post about his new HBO pilot pickup (more on that in a moment), Martin tells anxious book fans that: “Before you ask, work on WINDS OF WINTER continues, and remains my top priority. It is ridiculous to think otherwise. If I wasn’t busy with WINDS, don’t you think I’d be scripting one or more of these pilots myself? It’s not as if I’ve never written for TV…”

Ok, George, no need to get patronizing (and self-aggrandizing, while we’re at it). In any event, the main focus of Martin’s missive was on the pickup of Jane Goldman‘s Game of Thrones prequel pilot. Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Stardust) wrote the teleplay from a story conceived of between her and Martin, which Martin gives her plenty of credit for in his post. As for exactly what it covers, he expounded a little further than what we learned the other day:

game of thrones george rr martin peter dinklage

Image via HBO

“Yes, this is a prequel, not a sequel.   None of the characters or actors from GAME OF THRONES will appear in the new show.   All of the successor shows we’ve been developing have been prequels, as I have mentioned before.   This one really puts the PRE in prequel, since it is set not ninety years before GAME OF THRONES (like Dunk & Egg), or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years (well, assuming the oral histories of the First Men are accurate, but there are maesters at the Citadel who insist it has only been half that long).   We’re very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don’t have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title.   (My vote would be THE LONG NIGHT, which says it all, but I’d be surprised if that’s where we end up.  More likely HBO will want to work the phrase “game of thrones” in there somewhere.  We’ll know sooner or later).”

Martin also addressed the other prequel series that HBO is considering, which are in various (unhurried) stages of consideration, and come from Max Borenstein, Brian Helgeland, Cary Wray, and Bryan Cogman. In true George R. R. Martin fashion, though, he reveals that one of their pilot ideas is dead.

“As for the other successor shows… if you have been following along, you know that we started with four, and eventually went to five. One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand, and of course Jane’s pilot is now moving to film. But that does not mean the others are dead. Three more GAME OF THRONES prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development. Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come. We do have an entire world and tens of thousands of years of history to play with, after all. But this is television, so nothing is certain.”

If this pilot is picked up to series, it might be awhile before we see it, since HBO surely wants to spread it out from the final season of Game of Thrones. And with these other projects not having been picked up yet, we could have Game of Thrones-related content for many years to come (HBO has said in the past that it could greenlight all of the pilots, none of them, or any combination in between).

What are some of the stories from Westeros (or beyond) lore that you would like to see these series cover? We have some of our own ideas, as well.