George R.R. Martin announces big change to ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel

Author George R.R. Martin has announced a significant change to the upcoming HBO Game of Thrones prequel series, Nine Voyages.

Martin took to his blog on New Year’s Eve (December 31) to update fans about his upcoming projects with HBO. “As it happens, HBO and I have our own animated projects, set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire,” Martin wrote. “None of them have been greenlit yet, but I think we are getting close to taking the next step with a couple of them.”

The author stated that the last round of development for new television series took place “a few years back”, with him and the HBO team emerging with “four ideas for animated shows”, though half of these ideas were eventually canned. “Writers rooms and summits, outline and scripts followed in due course… but, alas, two of the original projects were subsequently shelved,” he admitted.


At this point in the blog, Martin assured fans that the remaining two projects have remained in development, before announcing that Nine Voyages has become an animated series: “Meanwhile, we have moved Nine Voyages, our series about the legendary voyages of the Sea Snake, over from live action to animation. A move I support fully,” he wrote.

He acknowledged that developing the series as a live-action programme would incur astronomical costs, and that animation was a better medium through which the world of the series could be explored.

“Budgetary constraints would likely have made a live-action version prohibitively expensive, what with half the show taking place at sea, and the necessity of creating a different port every week, from Driftmark to Lys to the Basilisk Isles to Volantis to Qarth to… well, on and on and on,” Martin added. “There’s a whole world out there.  And we have a lot better chance of showing it all with animation.”

Nine Voyages was first announced in 2021, alongside two other prequel series, namely Flea Bottom and 10,000 Ships. The last update for the latter series was that Helstrom showrunner Amanda Segel had been appointed as lead writer.

However, HBO has only officially confirmed one other Game of Thrones spinoff, A Knight Of Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight. It is based on Martin’s Dunk and Egg novellas and is scheduled to begin filming in Spring 2024.

While a spinoff centered on Jon Snow was initially announced in June 2022, HBO executive Francesca Orsi later expressed doubt on the network’s ability to bring the series to air.


Season two of House Of The Dragon, which continued to film amid the SAG-AFTRA strikes in the middle of 2023, is scheduled to air later this year. A release date has yet to be announced.

Elsewhere in Martin’s blog post, he also expressed high praise for Netflix’s Edo-period set animated drama Blue Eye Samurai. “I hardly know where to start on this one,” he wrote. “Once we started watching it, we could not stop. Binged the whole thing in three nights, and I am already hungry for the second season.”