The end of Game of Thrones is nigh on HBO, but that doesn't mean the end of action set in the Seven Kingdoms. The premium cable network has a number of different spinoffs in the works to keep the stories of Westeros going even after Thrones airs its final episode. Naturally, fans have wondered how much author George R.R. Martin will contribute to the spinoffs. Game of Thrones is after all based on his A Song of Ice and Fire book saga, and he was announced as working with writers on the spinoffs. A brand new book set in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe will hit bookshelves later this year, and Martin has already weighed in on whether Fire & Blood could be the basis for a spinoff:
Oh, and I should also say... as most of you know, HBO is presently developing a number of different prequels to GAME OF THRONES. I know I am going to be asked whether those shows are going to be based on material from FIRE & BLOOD. It's a logical question. The only answer I can give is... ah, well, no one is sure yet, and anyway, I am not allowed to say. So let's move that to the side.
George R.R. Martin teased the potential connection of Fire & Blood to the Game of Thrones spinoffs in a post on his blog, and fans who were hoping for a solid answer one way or another were probably disappointed. The spinoffs are still in early stages of development with the focus on producing an epic final season of Game of Thrones, and Martin would certainly be expected to keep any big secrets to himself. Game of Thrones is all about preventing spoilers from leaking, and we can bet that similar precautions will be taken for the spinoffs. That said, if one or more of the spinoffs is indeed a prequel to Game of Thrones, it would make sense for it to at least draw on the material from Fire & Blood.
Unlike any of the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, Fire & Blood is not a novel. Rather, it is the first half of the "monumental history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros" as recorded by Archmaester Gyldayn. According to George R.R. Martin (a.k.a. Archmaester Gyldayn himself), the manuscript runs for nearly a thousand pages and will cover a lot of history.
As the first of two volumes of the Targaryen kings, Fire & Blood will chronicle the reigns of the rulers from Aegon the Conquerer to Aegon the Dragonbane as well as their wives, siblings, kids, rivals, friends, wars, laws, travels, etc. If you haven't memorized the Targaryen family tree, that means you'll get the histories of Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jahaerys I, Viserys I, Aegon II and his sister Rhaenyra, and the regency of Aegon III. Also, since this is the history of kings many, many years before the events of Game of Thrones, there will be dragons.
The good news is that Fire & Blood will be available on November 20, which means fans can get a fix of Westeros info well ahead of the spinoffs, the final season of Game of Thrones, and the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga. The bad news is that Fire & Blood resulted in The Winds of Winter being delayed yet again, to the point that it will not be published in 2018. Also, fans who were hoping for more background on Rhaegar and Robert's Rebellion will have to wait a few years until the second volume of Fire & Blood becomes available.
We'll just have to wait, speculate, and hope that HBO is able to use George R.R. Martin's monumental Targaryen history for the spinoffs, even if a spinoff isn't necessarily based on Fire & Blood. The book should be a valuable resource for anything set in the Game of Thrones universe. You can find it when it hits bookshelves on November 20. In the meantime, swing by our rundown of what we know so far about Game of Thrones Season 8. Our summer TV premiere schedule is also handy if you need help narrowing down your TV options for the not-too-distant future.