George R.R. Martin tips 'The Long Night' as the first Game of Thrones HBO spin-off

Ben Arnold
Game of Thrones (Credit: HBO)

HBO is already lining up the spin-offs in the Game of Thrones universe, to kick off once the main series concludes in 2019.

And George R.R. Martin, the author of the series, has now given his two cents on the first concept to get the green light.

HBO gave the go-ahead for one of five prequel concepts on Friday last week, after inviting in four writers to pitch their ideas, comprising Carly Wray (Mad Men), British screenwriter Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman), Brian Helgeland (Mystic River) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island).

Goldman’s pitch has been the one to get picked up, with its official logline explaining the action:

“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.”

George R.R. Martin (Credit: Rex)

It would take up the fabled period known as ‘the long night’ in Martin’s books, thousands of years before the events of A Song of Fire and Ice, the novels on which the TV show has been based.

This dark winter night lasted for a generation, during which Westeros was ruined and the White Walkers were spawned.

Writing on his blog yesterday, Martin said: “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 (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).”

Martin also confirmed that one of the proposed concepts has already been ‘shelved’.

“But that does not mean the others are dead,” he added. “Three more Game of Thrones prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development.

“Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.”

The eighth and final series of Game of Thrones will arrive in 2019, comprising a shorter, six-episode season, but with feature-length episodes.

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