'Multiple' Game of Thrones spin-offs planned by HBO and George RR Martin

A white walker

Game of Thrones will continue after the main series ends in a series of spin-off shows.

US TV network HBO has signed a deal with novelist George RR Martin and four scriptwriters.

The new Game of Thrones shows will explore different time periods of the "vast and rich universe" created by George RR Martin in the A Song Of Ice And Fire fantasy books.

HBO hasn't set a deadline for the projects.

There's still one more season of the main series to film before the spin-offs can start.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

"We'll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scripts are in," an HBO spokeswoman said.

Jane Goldman - the British co-writer of Kick-Ass - and Carly Wray, who's written for Mad Men, will work with George RR Martin on the projects.

Oscar-winning screenplay writer of LA Confidential, Brian Helgeland, and Kong: Skull Island writer, Max Borenstein, have also signed contracts to work on the shows.

The seventh and penultimate Game Of Thrones series will be shown in the UK on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV at 2am on 17 July before being repeated at 9pm.

A new trailer was released for the show in March.

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According to broadcasters, the coming series promises a "brutal, bloody and wintry return to Westeros".

It's the latest the show has aired, with all other seasons beginning in March or April.

Bosses deliberately delayed filming series seven because they needed more "wintry conditions".

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

Speaking on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, exec producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss said: "We pushed everything down the line to get some grim, grey weather, even in the sunnier places that we shoot."

Some of the show's film locations include Iceland (where North of the Wall scenes are filmed), Croatia (where King's Landing is set), Seville in Spain (where Dorne is shot) and Northern Ireland (where the Riverlands and Winterfell are based).

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