Almost two years after the Game of Thrones finale, the show is finally reentering the public consciousness. For at least six years, Game of Thrones was the touchstone of pop-culture: a multi-Emmy winning series that ruled Twitter feeds and could be discussed with anyone from your best friends to your not-so-media-inclined relatives. But after a major drop off in quality and its awful final season, Game of Thrones basically disappeared from the pop culture landscape. After loudly airing their grievances, fans seemed content to let the show fade into the past. Behind the scenes, HBO is a lot less willing to let the property go quietly.
In the past year, HBO has floated more sequels, prequels and spin-offs than one can reasonably keep track of. Among them is a scrapped project starring Naomi Watts. Tentatively titled Blood Moon, the studio produced a pilot before officially cancelling production in 2019. This proves that while HBO is definitely serious about pursuing these projects, it's unlikely they will all make it to series.
More recently, The Hollywood Reporter detailed author George R.R. Martin’s eight figure deal with HBO to continue bringing his stories to life. In addition to executive producing the projects, Martin is working closely with the writers. Over the past few years, Martin has insisted that these shows be called “successors” rather than “spin-offs” — hinting at how much distance they will have from the flagship series that preceded them.
Keeping that in mind, here is everything we know so far about the many Game of Thrones spin-offs.
House Of The Dragon
First on the list — the only show that has been officially ordered to series. As you can guess, House of the Dragon follows House Targaryen, long before the reign of Queen Daenerys. Set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the story will likely lead up to the famed Dance of the Dragons, also known as the Targaryen civil war.
Based on Martin’s latest book, Fire and Blood, this story promises to marry political strife and fiery action much like the original series. Book readers know from experience that the Dance of Dragons was a dark and bloody period in Targaryen history, pitting both family and dragons against one another.
Scheduled to begin filming this month, the House of the Dragon stars Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen (who Daenerys' brother and dragon were named after) and Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen (his younger brother and heir to the throne). Alongside them is Emma D’Arcy as dragonrider Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Olivia Cooke as the clever Alicent Hightower. Other cast members include Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Sonoya Mizuno and Rhys Ifans.
The series will be helmed by co-showrunners Ryan Condal (Colony) and Game of Thrones alum Miguel Sapochnick, who directed some of the show's most beloved episodes, including ‘Hardhome’ and ‘Battle of the Bastards.’ Given what we know so far, it's safe to assume this show will be closest to Game of Thrones in tone, leaving room for more experimentation from the other spin-offs.
The first season is 10 episodes long and expected to premiere in 2022.
Tales of Dunk and Egg
Based on Martin’s popular novellas, this series follows the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg, a disguised Targaryen who would later before King Aegon V Targaryen. Taking place 90 years before the main series, the show would follow their travels across the country, tracing their many chivalrous deeds.
Among Game of Thrones fans, this is likely one of the most anticipated successors. The three novellas Martin has penned, The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword and The Mystery Knight offer source material to directly translate to screen. Since it's widely agreed that Game of Thrones was at its best when adapting Martin’s words, this may be a chance for history to repeat itself.
Dunk and Eggs’s stories also offer the possibility of fun in the world of Westeros. Their many antics include famed tourneys and legendary battles. Plus, there’s a chance for the story of Dunk and Egg to directly tie into the events of Game of Thrones. We may be greeted by familiar characters or (more likely) their ancestors.
This show is still in the early stages of development and beyond the source material, much is left unknown.
Nymeria / 10,000 Ships
In the very first episode of Game of Thrones, Direwolf pups are found near Winterfell. Quite perfectly, there’s one wolf for each Stark child. Arya famously names her pup after the legendary warrior Queen Nymeria, a major inspiration to the future assassin.
Queen Nymeria ruled over the Rhyonar people, who lived in city-states along the Rhoyne River. Attacked by the Valyrian Freehold (the origin empire of House Targaryen) and on the verge of defeat, the queen ordered her people onto all 10,000 of her ships. It took much wandering, but they eventually found a new home in Dorne. The show's working title, ‘10,000 Ships’ indicates that the series will center around this journey.
The Rhoynish migration took place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, making this story the oldest of the potential successors. Still, this exploration of Dorne connects to the main series in an unexpected way.
The Dorne plotline, which focused on House Martell, is considered one of the shows early failures. The messy storyline was especially painful given the way Pedro Pascal’s Oberyn Martell became an instant fan favorite. Returning to Dorne through the epic tale of Queen Nymeria would mean more than a brief excursion: here, the franchise has a chance to fully explore the potential of Sunspear and the fascinating Dornish culture.
9 Voyages / Sea Snake
From Rome creator Bruno Heller, this project follows Lord Corlys Velaryon aka the Sea Snake. Though he is set to appear in House of the Dragon, portrayed by Steve Toussaint, this series would give him the space to really shine.
Lord Corlys’ life has been documented in Martin’s Fire and Blood, where he is heralded as the greatest seafarer the Seven Kingdoms have ever known. He is said to be as adventurous as he is ambitious, promising an epic journey all the way through. Best known for his nine great voyages to Essos, Corlys filled his ship with gold and treasures before adding 14 more ships to his fleet along the way. The wealth he accumulated served him well into old age (but it helps that he later married Princess Rhaenys Targaryen). With what little we know, it's safe to assume Lord Corlys Velaryon’s life is chock full of legendary adventures.
So far, Toussaint’s casting means this is the only Game of Thrones project with a person of color in the lead role.
As the name suggests, this series will be set in the winding slums of Kings Landing (Westeros’ capital city). Fans will remember this as the birthplace of Ser Davos Seaworth and the bastard Gendry Baratheon.
Again, little is known about the story or plot details but there is plenty of inspiration to be drawn from Martin’s books. Given Flea Bottom's location, the show will likely include a royal presence, yet it offers a look at those the main series had a penchant for ignoring.
There was much debate surrounding the people of King's Landing and their perspective on rulers, especially during the final episodes of Game of Thrones. Whether or not this story takes place around the time of Queen Daenerys or even King Robert is to be seen; regardless, Flea Bottom can finally delve into these unanswered questions. What does life in Westeros look like when you aren’t lucky enough to be a lord, a lady or even just a name in a prominent family?
Untitled Game of Thrones Animated Series
Little is known about the Game of Thrones animated project; to date, no details have been shared about the story, setting or characters. This project is very much in the early stages of development yet the tone of the show promises to capture Game of Thrones and match its violent darkness.
Animation presents fascinating possibilities for just how experimental this project could be. Some speculation indicates the show will have an anthology style, allowing the story to span beyond Westeros and even across different eras. Given that Martin and his collaborators have produced encyclopedic amounts of writing on the world of Fire and Ice, there’s no shortage of material to make this possible.
Without the constraints of the CGI budget that so often plagued the early seasons of Game of Thrones, we may get a chance at even more intense action.
Bonus: West End Play
Remember Coldplay’s Game of Thrones musical from 2015? It was a 12 minute long special that poked fun at the idea of adapting Game of Thrones for the stage. Well, it appears we’ve come full circle because George R.R. Martin is currently developing a stage play based on his books.
The story is set during The Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a pivotal moment in Westeros history that ultimately leads to the events of Game of Thrones. Though no characters have yet been confirmed, given the story as told in the books, this play may mark the return of many beloved characters. Among them are Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon and the Lannister twins, Cersei and Jaime. This would also provide the rare appearance of Jon Snow’s parents (spoiler alert?) Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.
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