'Game of Thrones' Writer Developing Fifth Successor Series

GAME of THRONES -SEASON 7 FINALE - EPISODE 7 -Wilf Scolding -Aisling Franciosi- H 2017
Courtesy of HBO

What does the future look like for Westeros? If one of the potential successor shows moves past development and into reality, it could look a whole lot like the present.

Bryan Cogman, a co-executive producer and writer on Game of Thrones since season one, is currently working alongside author George R.R. Martin on developing a new series set within the world of the Seven Kingdoms, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Details on the story are under wraps, though it's been said that all of the potential follow-up series in development will take place before the events of Game of Thrones. News of the project was first reported by Entertainment Weekly.

Cogman's writing credits include the fourth episode of season one, "Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things," in which Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) kidnaps Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and paves the way for the War of the Five Kings. Cogman's most recent writing credit on the show is the second episode of season seven, "Stormborn," in which the Greyjoy family finally breaks into all-out war with one another.

Perhaps most tellingly, Cogman wrote the season-four episode "Oathkeeper," which featured one of the most jarring moments of the series for fans of the books. The episode concluded with what was at the time the single-most extensive look at White Walker culture, in which viewers were introduced to the fearsome Night King for the very first time. Up until that moment, not even book readers were aware of the exact fate of what happened to the infant boys sacrificed at Craster's Keep, and certainly had no suggestion of the White Walker power structure. It was a jaw-dropping moment for Ice and Fire fans, a swerve away from the established source material (or perhaps even a look ahead at something Martin himself has yet to reveal), and gives a great indication of Cogman's capabilities when it comes to adding astonishing color to an already vivid fantasy universe.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Cogman's vision will even come to pass. His project is one of five in the works at the pay cabler. Speaking with THR earlier this year, HBO programming president Casey Bloys made it clear that fans shouldn't expect all of the series to move forward.

"That's a high-class problem that I'll solve when it comes to that," he said. "It would be nice if we got one of these off the ground and it ran for multiple seasons. The nice thing about George's universe is it's so vast. So could you do another one after that? Sure."

HBO's decision to develop multiple successors to Thrones comes as the pay cabler prepares to say goodbye to its most-watched series. There are just six new episodes left of the big-budget fantasy epic. It remains unclear when that final season will air. Although Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are not involved in any of the potential prequels, they are developing another hourlong at HBO: the slavery drama Confederate.

UPDATE: Martin has weighed in on his blog, praising the addition of Cogman to the team: “‘If [Dan and David] have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone … Bryan's series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I'll be working with him every step of the way … we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020."

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