George R.R. Martin — the author behind A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, which served as the basis for Game of Thrones — has said that he might write a few episodes of the newly-confirmed prequel spin-off series, House of the Dragon, but not before he completes the long-delayed sixth book, “The Winds of Winter”. Martin added that he would be involved in other parts of pre-production as well, including assembling a writer’s room, cast, and crew, and the countries where the Game of Thrones prequel would film. He also expressed condolences for the other untitled prequel that was cancelled.
“[Co-reator and showrunner] Ryan Condal has already done a considerable amount of writing on House of the Dragon, but a lot of work remains ahead of us,” Martin wrote on his blog. “There’s a writer’s room to be assembled, episodes to be broken down and scripted, a cast and crew to be assembled, budgets and production details to be worked out.
“As yet, we don’t even know where we will be shooting… though I expect we will revisit at least some of the countries David [Benioff] & Dan [Weiss] used for Game of Thrones (Ireland, Iceland, Scotland, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, and Spain). I expect to be involved in all of this to some extent… and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of Game of Thrones.
“But… let me make this perfectly clear… I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered ‘Winds of Winter’. Winter is still coming, and ‘Winds’ remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes [sic] of House.”
Martin teased that those looking forward to House of the Dragon can find out more about the Game of Thrones prequel spin-off series by reading up the book it’s based on, 2018’s Fire & Blood, obviously, in addition to the two anthologies, 2013’s Dangerous Women and 2014’s Rogues, which feature two short stories, “The Princess and the Queen” and “The Rogue Prince”, about the Targaryen family, including Princess Rhaenyra, her stepmother Queen Alicent, and King Viserys I Targaryen’s brother, Prince Daemon Targaryen.
As for the now-dead untitled prequel spin-off from Jane Goldman and starring Naomi Watts — which Martin referred to as The Long Night — Martin said he was saddened to hear the news, calling Goldman a “terrific screenwriter” and that he “enjoyed brainstorming with her”.
“I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with House of the Dragon,” Martin added. “This was never an either/or situation. If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and ‘Chicago’ shows… well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows.
“Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to [naught], it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy… with my thanks for all their hard work, and my good wishes for whatever they do next.”
Neither The Winds of Winter, nor House of the Dragon has an estimated release date.