Game of Thrones may be entering the home straight, with a further two seasons to look forward to, but it would appear that HBO is far from done with the universe created by George R.R. Martin.
In fact, the pay TV network is plotting not one, not two, not even three but FOUR spin-offs dedicated to the wider Game of Thrones universe.
So what do we know about these grand plans so far? Here is all the essential information.
What will the Game of Thrones spin-offs focus on?
HBO is keeping its cards pretty close to its chest with this one, telling fans that the new shows will “explore different time periods of George R. R. Martin’s vast and rich universe.”
Though suitably vague, the wording of that message does suggests sequels and prequels are on the cards, rather than a series focusing on characters existing in the same time frame.
Will Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss be involved?
Weiss and Benioff are currently working on the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones and, though they previously stated they would not be actively involved in any spin-off projects related to the show, HBO says they will serve as executive producers.
How much input will George R.R. Martin have on the Game of Thrones spin-offs?
Like Weiss and Benioff, Martin looks set to serve as executive producer on the four unspecified projects. More specifically, it’s being reported that Martin will be “personally involved” in at least two of the four shows.
Who is writing the Game of Thrones spin-offs?
Four specific writers, with experience of penning major theatrical releases, have been assigned to the projects, with two of the four writing independently of Martin.
Max Borenstein, who wrote both Minority Report and Kong: Skull Island is working on one of the solo spin-off projects, with LA Confidential and A Knight’s Tale scribe Brian Helgeland helming the other.
Mad Men writer Carly Wray will collaborate with Martin on another of the projects while Kingsman and X-Men: First Class writer Jane Goldman, who happens to be married to Jonathan Ross, will work with him on the fourth spin-off in the franchise.
What form will the Game of Thrones spin-offs take? Will they be entirely new shows?
At this stage, HBO is waiting to see how the four projects unfold. Depending on how the scripts look upon completion, some could take the form of one-off miniseries rather than a regular show.
It’s very much up in the air. One thing appears to have been confirmed though: at least one of the four shows will become a standard series, designed to ultimately replace Game of Thrones once the show finishes.
When will the Game of Thrones spin-offs arrive?
“There is no set timetable for these projects,” HBO has said. “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.”
Why are the Game of Thrones spin-offs such a big deal for HBO?
Because it’s the first time HBO has ever created a spin-off and could signal the start of a major shift in approach. Sequels, prequels and even side-quels are increasingly in-demand these days and HBO’s decision to embark on these four exciting projects could have huge impilcations for the future of the network.
Just imagine the other shows that could be granted spin-offs: The Sopranos? The Wire? Westworld?
Having already hinted at the existence of a Samurai World in the first season of the latter, that concept suddenly looks a distinct possibility.
What could the Game of Thrones spin-offs focus on?
Although this remains pure speculation at this point, dedicated fan site WinterIsComing.net has put together a pretty good list of four possible spin-offs from the show. While all of these remain unconfirmed, they represent the stories most fans would love to see played out on the new shows:
“The events that lead up to the current Game of Thrones timeline are known as Robert’s Rebellion. Mad King Aerys Targaryen was going crazy, and wanted to have young Ned Stark and his friend Robert Baratheon killed. Meanwhile, Aerys’ son Rhaegar absconded with Lyanna Stark, Ned’s sister and Robert’s intended, thus inciting Robert’s legendary wrath.”
Dunk and Egg
“The Tales of Dunk and Egg tell the story of Duncan the Tall, a hedge knight down on his luck when he meets Aegon V Targaryen, the youngest son of the royal family. More free to do what he wants with his time than his older brothers, Aegon takes to wandering around tournaments and going as a bald little boy named Egg. The two have many adventures together, most of which end with Dunk clouting Egg in the ear.”
The Doom Of Valyria
“The birthplace of House Targaryen, the Valyrian empire was a tremendously powerful civilization that crumbled due to a mysterious cataclysm. It was also the birthplace of the Targaryen family. We could see the rise of House Targaryen and why the family chose to flee Valyria before the Doom.”
The Dance of the Dragons
“The Dance of Dragons, mentioned by Princess Shireen Baratheon in Game of Thrones season 5, was the name given to the Targaryen civil war, where Aegon II fought his half-sister Rhaenyra for the Iron Throne. By the time the war was over, both claimants were dead, and Rhaenyra’s son Aegon III was crowned king.”
Game of Thrones Season 7 returns on 16 July 2017.