'Game of Thrones' Creator: One of Five Successor Shows No Longer Active

The Game of Thrones franchise has taken its next major steps forward beyond 2019's eighth and final season, with HBO ordering a pilot from Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) set during the Age of Heroes, thousands of years before the days of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his contemporaries. 

But Goldman's untitled Game of Thrones project isn't the only successor show in the works at HBO. In a blog post, Thrones mastermind George R.R. Martin (who authored the Song of Ice and Fire novel series on which the show is based) gave an update on where things stand with the extended universe. The short version: Various winters are in varying stages of coming to HBO, with one exception.

"As for the other successor shows," Martin wrote, "if you have been following along, you know that we started with four, and eventually went to five. One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand, and of course Jane's pilot is now moving to film. But that does not mean the others are dead." 

Martin did not identify the shelved successor show. Reached for comment, HBO reiterated that "no decisions have been made" regarding the developing concept and declined to specifically address Martin's claim. Beyond Goldman's greenlighted pilot, other writers in the successor show mix include Thrones' very own Bryan Cogman; Westworld scribe Carly Wray, who co-wrote the riveting "Kiksuya" hour of Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's A.I. drama; Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential writer Brian Helgeland; and Max Borenstein of Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island fame. According to Martin, three of those four 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," said Martin. "We do have an entire world and tens of thousands of years of history to play with, after all. But this is television, so nothing is certain."

Much more certain: Goldman's Game of Thrones prequel, which has an official pilot order, if not an official title. Martin weighed in on that front with some thoughts: "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." 

Martin's title suggestion confirms what many fans were already thinking based on HBO's official logline: The prequel set in the Age of Heroes will deal with the first fabled war against the White Walkers. For his part, Martin downplayed his involvement in the pilot, stating "the accolades here should go to Jane," and reiterating that his current creative focus remains The Winds of Winter, the long-developing sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

"It is ridiculous to think otherwise," he wrote. "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..."

Sound off with your thoughts on the current state of the Game of Thrones franchise in the comments below, and keep checking THR.com/GameOfThrones for more coverage.