We've got good news for Game of Thrones fans, George R.R. Martin just gave us an update on Winds of Winter and HBO's future plans for the Game of Thrones spin-off series. The bad news is, well, neither is coming anytime soon if at all.
According to the 74-year-old author, the Warner Bros. Discovery merger has had an effect on "several" of the "successor shows" that are set in Westeros, saying:
I did take a few days off for the holidays, I confess. Shame on me, I guess. But now I am back in the salt mine, working… working on so many bloody things, my head may soon explode. Yes, WINDS OF WINTER, yes, yes. And HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, season two. And several of the other successor shows that we’re developing with HBO. (Some of those are moving faster than others, as is always the case with development. None have been greenlit yet, though we are hoping… maybe soon. A couple have been shelved, but I would not agree that they are dead. You can take something off the shelf as easily as you can put it on the shelf. All the changes at HBO Max have impacted us, certainly.)
Martin didn't exactly name the shows, but we're pretty sure this spells the end for some of the shows that weren't even close to being in production. Before the merger, spin-offs such as Fleabottom were already canceled and, most recently, reports claimed that HBO has had to cancel Nine Voyages of the Sea Snake and Ten Thousand Ships already. The former show would've explored the younger days of Corlys Velaryon and how he came to amass his family's present-day fortune. On the other hand, Ten Thousand Ships would've reportedly been set a thousand years before Game of Thrones and detail Princess Nymeria's voyage to Dorne.
By process of elimination, this would imply that the only Game of Thrones spin-offs still in active development are, of course, House of the Dragon, the Dunk and Egg series, and the Jon Snow sequel series.
Ultimately, this is purely speculatory and we still haven't gotten official word about anything outside of House of the Dragon.
Final two seasons be damned, Game of Thrones is easily one of the most iconic TV shows of all time, but it's also not cheap. The show's prequel and equally-popular spin-off, House of the Dragon, is even more expensive. Given the current financial situation over at HBO, the powers that be might no longer have free reins to sign blank checks to kickstart work on an unlimited number of spin-offs.
With that said, we're still hoping that HBO provides more updates about the spin-offs soon if only so that we'll have something to tide us over while waiting for the future seasons of House of the Dragon.
At the moment, filming on House of the Dragon will last all throughout next year, which will put its premiere somewhere between 2024 and 2025. A two- or three-year wait in between seasons is quite a long time, especially in this day and age. Given that George R.R. Martin would like for House of the Dragon at least one more season than what's already confirmed (Matt Smith let info on Season 3 slip earlier this year), HBO might want to greenlight work on at least one spin-off as soon as possible. This way, future seasons of Game of Thrones spin-offs can alternate release windows.
It's definitely an ambitious proposal, but it wouldn't hurt to dream, right?