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George R.R. Martin Compares ‘Game of Thrones’ Spin-Off Strategy to ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’

The author wants to use a wide range of genres to tell future Westeros stories.

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin

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When “House of the Dragon” premieres on HBO tonight, it will mark the beginning of a new era for the “Game of Thrones” franchise. While the spin-off is unlikely to fully live up to all expectations, the series will serve as an effective way to gauge fans’ appetites for future adventures in Westeros. If enthusiasm turns out to be high, HBO has no shortage of other ideas in the pipeline.

In a new interview with the New York Times, “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin offered more detail about the wide range of spin-offs that HBO has in development and the approach that he hopes to see the network take when it comes to producing them.

“We are developing a number of other spin-offs,” Martin said. “There’s the Jon Snow sequel show, and the rest are all prequels. There’s ‘Ten Thousand Ships’ about Nymeria — that’s like a thousand years before and about how the Rhoynar came to Dorne. That’s an ‘Odyssey’-like epic. There’s the nine voyages of Corlys Velaryon, the Sea Snake. That would take us to places in the world that we’ve never seen.”

He added: “We have some animated shows going, one of which was set in Yi Ti, which is basically the fantasy version of Imperial China or the Far East. We got a terrific script on that. Obviously, not all these shows we’re developing are going to make it to air, but I hope that several of them do.”

Perhaps more interestingly, Martin was asked about his approach to the high-level strategy that goes into planning all of these spin-offs. While he noted that he likes the wide variety of Marvel shows currently airing, he also thinks that the “Game of Thrones” spin-offs could mirror those of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Martin believes that his universe could replicate the way the iconic sitcom was able to deliver spin-offs in completely different genres.

“Another model that I think was interesting was the old ‘Mary Tyler Moore Show,'” he said. “That show generated a number of spin-offs: There was ‘Rhoda,’ about her friend. Phyllis got her own show. And the one that really excited me was ‘Lou Grant.’ They took this character from a sitcom and they made him the hero of a serious journalism show. That’s pretty amazing to take a character who is a comic foil and make him the center of a serious show. I’d like to see a range in our shows.”

“House of the Dragon” premieres Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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