Those of us waiting for Winds of Winter, the next book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, will be a little irritated to learn that author George RR Martin has added another item to his plate: a new development deal with HBO. According to Deadline Martin will stay on as a producer of Game of Thrones but will also develop new series for the cable network. What could they be?
The most obvious answer is Wild Cards, a superhero anthology series headed by Martin. The series is made up of superhero short stories and novels set in a shared universe, with crossovers happening in a way that the whole tells a mosaic story. It got its start in a unique fashion, as a roleplaying campaign that Martin himself GMed. The question is who, exactly has the rights to all the stories and characters, but there's no reason Martin couldn't just do the same thing again under the same title and bring in new people. In fact, having an HBO superhero anthology that, in some unexpected way, ties up in episode 12 would be sort of amazing.
Winter Is Coming, a Game of Thrones fansite, speculates that Martin could develop Dunk & Egg, a prequel story. Martin has written short adventures about two hedgeknights who run around Westeros a hundred years before the events of Game of Thrones, and that could make a nice miniseries of some sort.
Or Martin could come with new ideas. The guy is a prolfiic writer who has shown that he's adept in lots of areas. He's also an experienced TV writer, so it's not unlikely that he would have some TV concepts squirreled away, waiting for the right moment.
My big takeaway: HBO is in the GRRM business for the long haul, and we'll see at least seven seasons of Game of Thrones.