Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman is revealed to be helming the fifth potential prequel for the epic HBO fantasy.
Bryan Cogman currently serves as co-executive producer on Game of Thrones, and has been among the most fan-engaged members of the show’s creative team. Cogman has written 10 episodes of the series, most recently “Stormborn” from Game of Thrones season 7.
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin has teased on his Not A Blog-blog that there were five Game of Thrones prequels in the making, as opposed to the previously announced four. At the time, Martin declined to identify the fifth writer, an interesting wrinkle given that Bryan Cogman is the only would-be showrunner who has worked with Martin previously.
Very little (read: nothing) is known of the details of the Game of Thrones prequels, beyond than their prospective showunners. Jane Goldman, Carly Wray, Max Borenstein, and Brian Helgeland are also working on potential spinoffs, and all are also collaborating with Martin.
Martin has also shared that the Game of Thrones prequel will not be an immediate predecessor to the series, such as the events of Robert’s Rebellion. His Dunk & Egg novella series are also unlikely, though as we all know, anything can happen.
HBO president Casey Bloys has indicated that he only intends to greenlight one of the five scripts to go to series, so Game of Thrones fans had better pick their preferences now. On the bright side, a one in five chance of survival is better odds than most of Martin’s characters get!
Update: George R. R. Martin has weighed in on Cogman’s hiring, praising the writer as “the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that,)” and dubbing him “the Prince of Dragonstone” of Game of Thrones production.
Martin also offers a hint as to the subject of Cogman’s work, writing that “like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spinoff. 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.”
Given the material that Martin has produced set in Westeros, Cogman’s series almost certainly concerns Targaryen history. The Dance of the Dragons is one option, as are the legendary conquest by Aegon I and the beginning of the Blackfyre Rebellions. Of course, more obscure events could certainly have been chosen… but we’re betting solid money on the Targs.
Martin adds that he has a more formal role in Cogman’s series than with the others. “I’ll be working with him every step of the way,” he says. “We’re going to be co-creating the show.”
The A Song of Ice and Fire author is clearly excited about the prospects for the five Game of Thrones prequels. “HBO should have a wealth of material to choose from,” he writes, “(And that’s not even counting the four weird-ass series concepts I’ve come up on my own, just for the hell of it. There are eight million stories in the naked city, and maybe ten times as many in Westeros and the lands beyond the narrow seas.)”
Martin does, however, offer a tempering of that zeal to his fans… sort of.
“You should not expect to see all five shows, though, at least not immediately.. much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the Game of Thrones network… but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020… and the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope.”