HBO has made a deal with four different writers to develop different Game of Thrones spinoffs. Writers Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Brian Helgeland (Legend), and Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers) are attached to develop these potential spinoffs. Wray and Goldman are working on separate story concepts but are set to work with creator George R.R. Martin in their pitches. Martin, along with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, will be listed as Executive Producers on the potential spinoffs, but none of them will likely write for the series.
The rumors of a spinoff have been mounting for a while now, considering the depth of creator George R.R. Martin’s works and the encroaching end of the series, which will air its final season in 2018. Game of Thrones is the most watched HBO series in history and has obtained more critical recognition and awards than any show in history. Given HBO programming president Casey Bloys’ desire to focus on developing more dramas for the network along with Game of Thrones’ beloved status, continuing with Martin’s work is a no-brainer.
Variety first reported on the spinoff and confirmed the development of multiple scripts, while HBO commented on the vague timetable for production.
“We’ll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scripts are in."
Each of the writers involved have a great pedigree in working either with complex material or in big budget productions. While it is unclear how many (if any) of these projects will be green lit to series, this is the first time that HBO has publicly confirmed that they intend to continue with the Game of Thrones saga after the series takes its final bow next year.
Martin has commented that he has over a thousand pages of notes on the history of Westeros prior to the beginning of the series, allowing for a wide possibility of exploration. The most obvious choice would be a prequel focusing on a young Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon, focusing on Robert’s rebellion which saw the end of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. This series would also allow for the details of the mysterious disappearance of John Arryn, which set off much of the early events of Game of Thrones.
If a new series wanted to embrace more of the standard fantasy fare, the writer could adapt war between the Child of the Forest and the First Men. This war, as we now know, led to the creation of the White Walkers. Potential stories could also be told about the equally mystical followers of the Lord of Light, or explain what happened to Benjen Stark on the other side of the Wall. Fans would probably even watch a series about what happened to Arya’s missing direwolf, the continuing adventures of Tyrion and Bronn, or a half-hour comedy focused on Lyanna Mormont telling people off. The possibilities are endless, so it will be interesting to see what comes into fruition.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on HBO July 16, 2017.