We should probably apologize to Game Of Thrones author George R.R. Martin in advance for that headline, since he made a point to mention — in all caps — in his blog post about the Game Of Thrones spinoff rumors, “And yes, before someone asks, I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it’s done.”
So what did Martin say about the spinoffs while not writing Winds Of Winter? He confirmed “more or less” the news of four spinoffs exploring different time periods in Westeros, but he clarified that there are five shows in development for HBO, and he prefers not to call them spinoffs:
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. […] 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.
He went on to say he’s been having meetings with HBO about these successor shows since last August. It started as two potential series (one of which is still among the five now in development). Four of the series will be written by Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray, all of whom Martin has been working with on their respective projects. The fifth project is a last minute addition:
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.
Martin also sought to temper expectations, pointing out that these are five pilot scripts: “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).”
After that Law & Order joke, Martin went on to reveal a couple potential stories these five prequels — er, successors — won’t be covering. None of them are Dunk & Egg, which Martin says he doesn’t want to adapt to series until all of the books are finished (Hmmm, it’s almost as if he’s been pressured by TV schedules to finish a book faster…). He also says they’re not doing Robert’s Rebellion because he’s going to cover that story in full by the time A Song Of Ice And Fire is completed. Speaking of which, when will A Song Of Ice And Fire be completed, damn it? We better not say that too loudly. After all, every time we complain about the wait, George R.R. Martin kills another character.
(Via George R.R. Martin)