The end of Game of Thrones won’t be our last visit to Westeros — no by a longshot. On Friday, HBO ordered a pilot for the first Thrones spin-off, a brand-new tale about the Age of Heroes thousands of years before the events of the main series. George R. R. Martin, the author of the Song of Ice and Fire books the series is based on, has some additional information about the prequel, but he also felt the need to assure fans that, yes, he’s still writing the next fucking book.
“And yes, before you ask, work on Winds of Winter continues, and remains my top priority,” Martin wrote at the end of a post on his personal blog on Monday. “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…”
Martin has indeed written for TV, as prior to the ASOIAF books he wrote for the ‘80s Twilight Zone reboot and Beauty and the Beast, and he wrote four episodes of Game of Thrones.
Still, dedicated book-readers have been waiting for The Winds of Winter, this sixth book in the series, for seven years. Every new project Martin takes on threatens to, in fans’ minds at least, delay the release of the book even more.
Last we heard, Martin wrote that Winds of Winter would not be coming out in 2018, which is whatever the opposite of a surprise is.
Elsewhere in the blog post, though, Martin dropped a couple of interesting hints about the upcoming spin-off, set to be helmed by Jane Goldman, who also wrote the script for the pilot. Martin confirmed that the story wouldn’t feature any characters from Game of Thrones, and that it would be set 10,000 years before the events of that story.
“Well, assuming the oral histories of the First Men are accurate, but there are maesters at the Citadel who insist it has only been half that long,” Martin wrote, a nod to the deliberate vagueness of the World of Ice and Fire’s fictional history.
“We’re very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don’t have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title,” Martin continued, before tossing his recognizable hat in the ring. “My vote would be The Long Night, which says it all, but I’d be surprised if that’s where we end up. More likely HBO will want to work the phrase ‘game of thrones’ in there somewhere. We’ll know sooner or later.”
Don’t expect the spin-off to premiere until well after Game of Thrones has finished, and don’t expect The Winds of Winter any time because you’ll just be disappointed. Forget about it and then hope to be pleasantly surprised.