HBO are serious about continuing the story of Game of Thrones when the main series ends and are reportedly now developing five potential spinoff ideas. Westeros fans have had an especially long wait for this year’s offering and will have to do make do with a reduced run of only seven episodes. To further the despair, it was previously confirmed that the forthcoming seventh season will be Game of Thrones‘ penultimate season, concluding with next year’s season eight.

Given the immense success Game of Thrones has achieved across the globe, confirmation of the show’s conclusion naturally sparked talk of a spinoff or prequel project. It was recently announced that to this end, HBO had hired four separate well-known writers such as Jane Goldman (Kingsman, Kickass) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island) to work on individual ideas for a Game of Thrones prequel series.

According to the franchise’s creator George R. R. Martin, another as-yet-unannounced name has joined that list and will be developing a fifth concept. On his blog, the author writes:

“We had four scripts in development when I arrived in L.A. last week, but by the time I left we had five. We have added a fifth writer to the original four. No, I will not reveal the name here. HBO announced the names of the first four, and will no doubt announce the fifth as well, once his deal has closed. He’s a really terrific addition, however, a great guy and a fine writer, and aside from me and maybe Elio and Linda, I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.”

Martin also confirmed in the post that the ideas all take place before the events of Game of Thrones and, as with the current series, he will be involved in the production.

As Martin himself claims, it’s highly unlikely that all five concepts will be adapted by HBO into television series and in all probability, the network will select only one or two to bring to the small screen. This approach to producing a spinoff may seem strange, however this part of the production process usually takes place behind studio doors – and although the announcements themselves are somewhat novel, the process is fairly common practice.

Of course, whatever idea HBO end up picking for the spinoff treatment, many Game of Thrones fans will simply be glad that the beloved franchise will be continuing in some format. There are plenty of great potential stories to be told too, whether it be the First Men, Robert’s War or the period of Targaryen rule. George R. R. Martin’s world is certainly rich and detailed enough to warrant additional on-screen exploration.

With that said, some fans may be somewhat skeptical about the idea of a spinoff, particularly since current show-runners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff will be attached in a far less prominent capacity. Additionally, being based on a hugely popular and successful show doesn’t guarantee a spinoff will achieve the same heights. Just look at Joey