Game of Thrones may be ending next year, but HBO’s love affair with George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy world of Westeros is far from over. For the past six months or so, we’ve followed the development of several potential “successor” series for Thrones with great interest, and at long last, HBO has taken the next big step and ordered a pilot for one of them.
The series is currently untitled and will be a “prequel” to Game of Thrones. Its show-runner is to be Jane Goldman, who has experience wrangling prequel narratives, having written the screen-play for the X-Men:First Class film. She has also worked with fantasy scripts before,such as Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Goldman worked with George R.R. Martin, the author of the unfinished A Song of Ice and Fire book series, to create a story set in the time of Westeros’ “Age of Heroes.” She is also credited with writing the pilot’s screen-play. Current Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will not be involved.
HBO has graced us with a short description of the potential series:
Set thousands of years before the events of Thrones, the project chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour…Only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.
For those who enjoy the expansive world-building of Game of Thrones, it looks like this show will indulge our desire to immerse ourselves more fully in the mythos of Westeros. Hopefully we will also get more of the strong, compelling characters that are as much Game of Thrones’ bread and butter as its magic and dragons– House Stark certainly has a long and winding history that is not without its dark moments. Depending on how Goldman chooses to interpret the information George R.R. Martin has currently provided the public with, the show could feature characters such as Bran the Builder, who purportedly erected the Wall, Lann the Clever, the founder of House Lannister, and the Grey King, who first ruled over the Ironborn. It is interesting to see parallels to the current show in this brief premise– a time of relative peace devolves into a time of catastrophic chaos (known as “the Long Night” during this period) thanks to the White Walkers. Of course, there is lots of potential to shake things up. In a series set thousands of years before the time of Game of Thrones, could technology be less advanced, or the infamously abnormal Westerosi seasons more or less dependable? We will have to wait and see.
While this news is exciting, it is important to remember that a green-lit pilot does not guarantee a green-lit series, nor does it mean that said series can be expected any time soon. Fans of Game of Thrones know that the show’s original pilot was more or less a disaster, so it’s not untoward to expect some growing pains, delays, and perhaps even false starts from Goldman’s project. Regardless, HBO’s programming president, Casey Bloys has been vocal about his plans to wait for a decorous period of time to pass after Game of Thrones’ finale before releasing a spin-off series.
This is a lot to process! What do you want to see from a Game of Thrones prequel series? Share your thoughts in the comments below.