There is little doubt that George R.R. Martin was already expecting Game of Thrones to get a few spin-off shows. After all, some of these new shows were his idea. However, the A Song of Ice and Fire author has admitted that he was surprised when HBO decided to put multiple spin-offs in development at the same time.
It's no secret that HBO had big plans for Game of Thrones even before the series concluded. It was confirmed that there would be at least four spin-off shows set in the same universe. Through all that, George R.R. Martin enthusiastically promoted the projects but in a new interview, he admits he was shocked to learn they were being developed all at once.
Martin recently took part in the special Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers where he spoke about how the network wanted to work on several Game of Thrones shows at the same time. During the interview, Martin stated that he already spoke to HBO about two possible spin-offs that would need new showrunners but they surprised him with their own plans.
“Then I suddenly found out that they had put four prequels in motion,” Martin said. “The Dance of the Dragons idea was just one of them. And the other three were ideas that had come from other people who I guess had read my books or had some of the documents at HBO.”
Interestingly, Martin pointed out that HBO initially didn't like the Dunk and Egg idea because "it was too soft." However, Dance of the Dragons was a sure hit with the execs as the idea eventually became House of the Dragon. He then added that HBO didn't stop there and decided to go with four shows in development.
“It surprised me, I’ll admit that,” Martin said. “I’d never heard of that before. I thought we’d be going ahead with one, with one development, with the one that I pitched to them, the Dance of the Dragons idea.”
Of course, this turned out to be a bad idea some of those shows were ultimately scrapped. We can't really blame HBO for wanting to come up with what would be the next Game of Thrones but it's good that the network is finally taking things slow with the spin-offs.
House of the Dragon is expected to premiere on HBO in 2022. The Dunk and Egg series is currently in development.