George R.R. Martin Talks Spin-Off To ‘Game Of Thrones,’ But HBO Isn’t Really Up For It

Mere days before Game of Thrones’ highly anticipated sixth season premiere airs, the man behind Westeros, George R.R. Martin, is teasing fans with ideas for a spin-off series.

But don’t hold your breath just yet. George R.R. Martin is merely suggesting ideas, and HBO is not yet on board with continuing the Game of Thrones saga past the final seventh and eighth seasons.

However, as Entertainment Weekly reported, it’s hard to believe HBO won’t at least consider a spin-off, seeing how the original series has made the network lots of money, earned them a collection of awards, and created a crowd of obsessed fans.

And in case they do want to consider a spin-off, George R.R. Martin said his fantasy world is full of stories just waiting to be told.

“There is certainly no lack of material. Every episode of The Naked City – one of the television shows I watched as a kid – ended with a voice-over: ‘There are eight million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.’ There are eight million stories in Westeros as well… and even more in Essos and the lands beyond. A whole world full of stories, waiting to be told… if indeed HBO is interested.”

The best contender, according to the author himself, is an adaptation of “my Dunk & Egg stories.”

George R.R. Martin has written three Dunk & Egg novellas published so far in the anthology A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, with more planned. They’re set in the same world as A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones, but 90 years earlier, and follow “hedge knight” Ser Duncan the Tall (later Kingsguard member) and his squire Egg (the eventual King Aegon V Targaryen).

Looking past Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin already has already envisioned how such a spin-off would work.

“Each of the novellas could easily be done as a two-hour stand-alone movie for television; that would probably be the ideal way to do them, rather than as an ongoing weekly series.”

But these stories wouldn’t be nearly as dark as the current series, with all its wedding massacres, political intrigue, dragons, and sexual escapades. The Dunk & Egg tales are “more in the realm of action/adventure.”

For more nudity and bloodshed, HBO would have to turn look further back in Westeros history, perhaps to the Targaryen civil war or other events as written in George R.R. Martin’s “history” of the fabled land, A World of Ice and Fire. A prequel detailing Robert’s Rebellion could also present very dark and bloody spin-off.

According to the Independent, HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo confirmed that talks with George R.R. Martin and the network about a spin-off haven’t happened yet, but if the author “really felt that it was the right thing to do” or the current showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss got on board, he could be convinced.

“Not knowing how this particular story ends, I don’t know. There are plenty of characters, secondary characters you could build a world around. We’re always going to be drawn to a strong creative vision. But we are not going to do that unless we feel their passion.”

Following word last week that the final two season of the current show will be much shorter than previous seasons, fans may beg for a spin-off.

Benioff and Weiss are talking about concluding the show with a seven-episode seventh season and six-episode eighth season. Entertainment Weekly did the sobering Math — that calculates to only 13 hours left after this year.

Nothing has been decided yet, however. The showrunners reportedly want to end the show on an “epic note” and have “known for several years now how many hours, roughly, we want it to go.”

No matter how the final seasons play out or if George R.R. Martin gets his way and a spin-off continues the story, ending Game of Thrones will be tough for everyone, Lombardo said.

“[Ending Thrones] will be a tough one for me – partly as an executive and partly as a fan. A show that resonates this way and works on all levels, it’s painful to imagine it ending. At the same time, David and Dan have a big responsibility and I respect that enormously. If we just keep going then we’re doing what the [broadcast] networks have done – and nobody wants to do that.”

[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]