The night is dark and full of ways to keep exploring the Game of Thrones-verse: According to book series author George R. R. Martin, HBO has five writers — not four, as previously reported — working on possible spinoffs of the premium cabler’s fantasy drama.
“We had four scripts in development when I arrived in L.A. last week, but by the time I left we had five,” Martin wrote in a blog post Sunday. “We have added a fifth writer to the original four.”
In early May, HBO confirmed that it had deals with four writers — Carly Wray (Mad Men), Jane Goldman (X-Men), Brian Helgeland (Mystic River) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island) — to “explore different time periods of Martin’s vast and rich universe. There is no set timetable for these projects. 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.”
Martin declined to name the fifth writer, only saying that the scribe is male, “a really terrific addition, however, a great guy and a fine writer” and that with few exceptions, “I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.”
TVLine has reached out to HBO for comment.
Martin also declined to say what the potential spinoffs he’d discussed with all five writers would be about, “but I will tell you a couple of things they WON’T be,” he wrote.
Specifically, he nixed the idea of a series based on his Dunk & Egg novellas (mainly because he’s published three, has ideas for a bunch more and fears that his writing pace won’t jive with the quick-moving world of TV… again. “I don’t want to repeat what happened with Game of Thrones itself, where the show gets ahead of the books,” he wrote).
Also not on the table: The tale of Robert’s Rebellion — aka the conflict that ended the reign of Mad King Aerys and took place about two decades before the start of the HBO series. “By the time I finish writing A Song of Ice & Fire,” Martin promised, “you will know every important thing that happened in Robert’s Rebellion. There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just the acting-out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know.”
Martin stressed that the new series (or multiple series) will be prequel(s), not sequel(s) that take place in the world he created for his bestselling books — and some may not even be set in Westeros, so it’s highly unlikely that characters in the show will have any role in the future projects.
“So all of you who were hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie,” he wrote, “are doomed to disappointment.”
Game of Thrones‘ penultimate, seven-episode seventh season is set to premiere on Sunday, July 16, with the eighth and final season slated to follow in Summer 2018.