Game of Thrones spin-off

Bryan Cogman has spent the past ten years of his life immersed in the fictional world of Westeros, first as a writers assistant to the Game of Thrones showrunners and then quickly graduating to a staff writer and producer on the show. (He wrote the most recent episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” which is one of our favorite episodes of the series.)

With Game of Thrones coming to an end this season, HBO has been developing prequel and spin-off ideas with A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin and several other writers. Only one of them has been approved at this point, and in a recent interview, Cogman confirms that the Game of Thrones spin-off he was working on is no longer happening.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Cogman was asked if it feels like he’s saying goodbye to Westeros as Game of Thrones approaches its series finale, and he explained that he’s done with that world:

“I’m definitely leaving. I was developing one of the successor shows with George. George has worked with a bunch of the writers, including Jane [Goldman], whose show is being done [as a pilot]. My prequel show is not happening and will not happen. HBO decided to go a different way. I’m working with Amazon now and helping them out with their shows. So, it is a goodbye. I am done with Westeros. It’s wonderfully bittersweet.”

Previously, Martin had hinted that Cogman’s planned show (which the two were working on together) would be an adaptation “set during a very exciting time in Westerosi history,” leading us to suspect that it may have involved the stories of Dunk and Egg, a wandering hedge knight and a young squire who turns out to be Targaryen royalty. Whatever it was, they couldn’t make it work.

Cogman’s departure is sad news for the guy who wrote the series bible for Game of Thrones and was known as the unofficial keeper of the lore (until writer Dave Hill joined the team later in the show’s run). He was able to translate Martin’s writings into some of the best episodes of the show, and he showed a remarkable understanding of the necessary balance between jaw-dropping bombast and character-driven intimacy. His voice will be missed in this fantasy world.

While acknowledging all Cogman did for the show’s legacy, it’s also exciting that a new crop of people are coming in to tell stories set in Westeros. Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass) is leading the charge with a new show set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, so hopefully that fresh blood will result in an entirely new vibe – almost like what we could have gotten from Guillermo del Toro’s version of The Hobbit before Peter Jackson eventually came back on board.

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