THE GAME OF THRONES TELEVISION UNIVERSE IS MATERIALIZING
By Joseph Baxter
Game of Thrones may be over, but HBO has several spin-off shows in development, each set in various eras of Westeros’ history.
Game of Thrones premiered on HBO on April 17, 2011. It was the culmination of a four-year process to adapt George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series.
An original pilot episode was shot with a different cast back in 2009, only to be scrapped due to poor reception from preview audiences.
The series starts by adapting the 1996 opening novel A Game of Thrones, which builds to the conflict as “The War of the Five Kings,” which took place between 298 AC (After the Conquest of Aegon) and 300 AC.
By the fifth season, GoT surpassed Martin’s source material, which was last represented by the 2011 release of fifth novel A Dance with Dragons. Thus, writers had to work off Martin’s future concepts.
Consequently, the canon of the TV series diverged from the novels well beyond the minor changes made to the timeline and upped ages of some characters.
Upon Game of Thrones’ 2019 end, would-be spin-off The Long Night was produced. Starring Naomi Watts, the story was set around 5,000 years before the main show. However, it was not picked up.
HBO landed on a different GoT spin-off, one with a closer, more accessible connection to the original series. Ryan Condal’s collaboration with Martin, titled House of the Dragon, is now set for 2022.
House of the Dragon is set in Westeros capital King’s Landing, albeit hundreds of years before the events of GoT. The series will chronicle the royal civil war known as “The Dance of the Dragons.”
Taking place between 129 AC and 131 AC, The Dance of the Dragons was a war that raged across Westeros over royal succession to the coveted Iron Throne, one that left the Targaryen family factionalized.
After the death of King Viserys I (Paddy Considine), political forces would see young royal son Aegon II crowned king over his older half-sister, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy).
HBO announced development for another spin-off, Tales of Dunk and Egg, adapting Martin’s side stories. This story, set around 209 AC (~90 years before GoT) bears direct connections to the main series.
Dunk and Egg will showcase the unlikely, comedically-driven friendship between low-born knight Ser Duncan the Tall and royal prince (and future king) Aegon V Targaryen.
HBO isn’t stopping there. After the reveal of a mysterious HBO Max animated series, it announced that three more spin-offs are developing, bringing the current slate of GoT spin-offs to a total of six.
One new project, 9 Voyages (a.k.a. The Sea Snake), will be contemporaneous to House of the Dragon, and will even center on one of its characters, seafaring scallywag Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint).
The spin-off tentatively titled 10,000 Ships will take place about 1,000 years before GoT, centered on Dornish princess Nymeria, who led a seafaring exodus from Essos to Westeros.
Finally, there’s a project tentatively titled Flea Bottom, which will take place in the titular King’s Landing slums from which characters like Davos and Gendry hailed. Time will tell what else is in store!