What Does the Future Hold For George R.R. Martin’s Westeros Prequels?

Image copyright HBO

There’s been a lot of talks recently about the future of George R.R. Martin’s various properties – with one of the most recent ones being the adaptation of one of his earlier works, The Ice Dragon.

However, the series set in Westeros remains on everybody’s lips right now, especially considering the wait for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is still a year away.

Martin has recently confirmed that, of the five planned spin-off prequels that were linked to the hit fantasy series, one has already been cancelled by HBO.

Back in January, HBO confirmed they were interested in bringing a number of potential spin-off series based in the same universe as Game of Thrones, with four initially penned, and then five.

These series, as Martin revealed in his Not A Blog website, are set various times before the War of the Five Kings (the basis for Game of Thrones), with one, in particular, being something like ten thousand years before the likes of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen were forming *ahem* partnerships.

This series is the first to have been commissioned with a pilot, as Martin reaffirms following numerous other outlets breaking the news before him, and, whilst it is still currently only a working pilot that is really early into production – no director, producer. cast, crew, location, or release date – it does at least have a showrunner.

Jane Goldman, who has worked on Kingsmen, Kick-Ass, Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, X-Men: Days of Future Past and First Class, and The Woman in Black, has also penned the pilot’s script, so it’s only fair she act as showrunner too.

Coming back to the cancelled series and how it affects the rest of these prequels, Martin wrote;

“…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…Everything I am told indicated 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.”

Whilst Martin is optimistic about several (if not, all) of the prequel series getting the green light by HBO, he remains realistic in the fact that, in TV, nothing is guaranteed.

For fans of Game of Thrones going into this new series thinking they’ll see the first Starks or Lannisters duelling it out, Martin has a clear message for you all;

“None of the characters or actors from Game of Thrones will appear in the new show”

This may alienate some fans who have grown fond of watching Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke become the world-renowned actors they are today appearing in Westeros, but that merely gives others the same chance in the future.

The prospect of different series that are still “years to come” would fit into HBO‘s timeline nicely, as the network has stated they won’t work on any of the GoT prequels until the main series has aired its final episodes. This might be the last we hear about the prequels until then, however, there is plenty more in store for fans of Martin’s work.

The writer also confirmed that work continues on his next book, The Winds of Winter.

“And yes, before you ask, work on Winds of Winter continues, and remains my top priority,” Martin wrote. “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…”

So, there we have it, plenty more tales to be told from Westeros.

All we have to do now is wait until Season 8 rolls around…

-James, 12/06/2018

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