George R.R. Martin discuses the Game of Thrones-themed show that HBO didn't pursue
An interesting idea that the studio weren't enthused about.
With five books, hundreds of intricate plots, thousands of characters, a plethora of kingdoms, plenty of noble Houses, and centuries of history to rely upon, the A Song of Ice and Fire saga is an absolute behemoth that keeps on giving.
While the TV show Game of Thrones has come to an end, there are still plenty of stories in Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos that are still left to tell.
As always, George R.R. Martin is a busy man but during his recent trip to Dublin where he attended a special Q&A screening at the IFI, he was kind enough to sit down with JOE for a lengthy chat about his career to date and what's in store.
Of course, The Winds of Winter, the sixth and penultimate book in the Song of Ice and Fire saga, is his main focus right now and the seventh book, A Dream of Spring, is on the agenda too.
The author also has plans to publish a sequel to his most recent novel, Fire and Blood.
Aside from this, Martin has also been working on the eagerly anticipated Game of Thrones prequels – Jane Goldman's show is currently in post-production – and he's also involved with a TV version of the Wild Cards anthology series, which he edits, and an adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death, which he is producing for HBO.
At present, there are three Game of Thrones-themed TV shows in various stages of production but during his chat with JOE, the author was also happy to discuss an idea for a TV show that didn't get off the ground, Spear Carriers.
As mentioned previously, this show would follow some of the minor characters that we never really heard from during the events in Game of Thrones.
"I pitched it to HBO but they didn’t seem enthused about it," he said.
"I always wondered when you write these scenes, there are other people in the background and I often wondered about them. ‘What are they thinking? What are they feeling? They’re about to go into battle too. Are they enthused about it? What happened after the battle? How did it affect their lives?'
"It's a little Rosencantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. That play is such a brilliant conceit as you follow these two guys as Hamlet is going on in the background. Meanwhile, these two guys have their own problems and I thought Spear Carriers would be an interesting anthology show."
Martin believes that if the show was made, the filmmakers could use existing footage from Game of Thrones and build new scenes around it.
"We could actually use footage from Game of Thrones over again. For example, show Tyrion giving his speech before the Battle of Blackwater but instead of following him into the battle, follow one of the guys that’s hearing the speech. What happened to him? Did he lose a leg? What does his wife do afterwards. Follow one of the prostitutes in Littlefinger's brothel. How did she get to that brothel? Who’s she sleeping with and what secrets can she learn to pass onto Littlefinger. There’s a million stories there," he said.
While this show didn't get off the ground, Martin also shared some details about about his upcoming slate.
Keep an eye on JOE in the coming days for more information from our interview with George R.R. Martin as he discusses the end of Game of Thrones, his writing process, the upcoming prequel shows, and more.