Excellent news, Game of Thrones fans: The odds of a spinoff just quadrupled. As we near the July 16 debut of the show’s long-awaited seventh season, HBO announced Thursday that the studio has partnered with four writers to expand the Game of Thrones universe beyond the current series. Writers Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, X-Men : First Class), Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), and Carly Wray (Mad Men) will each tackle a different spinoff idea, with A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin working directly with both Goldman and Wray. Martin, as well as longtime Game of Thrones showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff, who are currently working on the show’s eighth and final season, will serve as executive producers should any of the series move forward.
HBO is keeping the details of the individual projects under wraps, saying only that they will “explore different time periods of Martin’s vast and rich universe,” but Martin has claimed to have “thousands” of pages of the fake history of Westeros, and the existing show alone has plenty of minor characters whose fates are unknown or whose backstories seem ripe for dramatization. We don’t yet know how many of these projects will wind up actually making it to the screen, but with four in the works, at least one seems bound to stick—Game of Thrones is the network’s most-watched series, averaging more than 25 million viewers in its sixth season.