Every ‘Game of Thrones’ Spinoff Series Currently In Development At HBO
Game of Thrones was a massive hit for HBO. Therefore, it’s unsurprising to learn that the network is keen to return to Westeros for even more shows. Lots of them. Earlier this week, EW reported that some spinoff series are currently in development. Furthermore, network executives are reportedly meeting with several writers who want to play around in George R.R. Martin’s fantastical realm.
According to the report, HBO is keen to go all-in with Game of Thrones projects and maximise the franchise’s potential. The approach isn’t all that different from what Disney is doing with its Star Wars and Marvel franchises. Given that Martin’s universe contains plenty of history and lore to explore, it’d be a shame not to cover more of it on the screen. And since the network needs to produce lots of content for television and its streaming service, it makes sense to continue milking one of its greatest cash cows.
Of course, if history has told us anything, it’s that no Games of Thrones project is a sure thing. In 2017, HBO tapped four notable writers — Jane Goldman, Max Borenstein, Brian Helgeland, Carly Wray — to develop and pitch their own ideas for spinoffs. A few months later, Bryan Cogman was also recruited to pitch a prequel series, only for it to be cancelled when he went to work for Amazon. Of those projects, only Goldman’s Bloodmoon series — starring Naomi Watts and other A-list names — received a pilot order. Unfortunately, HBO decided not to move forward with the series after seeing the results.
The status of the other aforementioned prequel shows remains unknown, though the lack of movement since 2017 is far from reassuring. But the fact some of them haven’t been outright rejected yet (at least not publicly) suggests that they’re still being considered. Maybe they’ll be given more attention now that HBO is getting serious.
Since the 2017 announcement, however, one new prequel series has been given an entire series order. Other projects have also been added to the slate as recently as this year. With this in mind, let’s take a look at all of the shows that are currently in the works, as well as those that haven’t been officially cancelled yet.
House of the Dragon
Game of Thrones fans can expect to see this prequel saga — which is being overseen by showrunners Miguel Sapochnik, Martin Condal, and Ryan Condal — sometime next year. HBO confirmed the news in a video teaser that showed off the show’s logo and treated viewers to a dragon breathing fire. You can check out that clip above.
The series is set 300 years before the events in Game of Thrones and will tell the story of House Targaryen. While the creators are keeping the details close to the vest, for now, Martin has stated that House of the Dragon is based on Dangerous Women, Rogues, and Fire & Blood. If you’re keen to do some reading beforehand, those are the novels to check out.
The cast is also top-notch, and HBO has provided some details on their characters. Paddy Considine will play King Viserys Targaryen, the man who was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. He’s described as a decent fella who just wants to continue his family legacy.
Olivia Cooke will portray Alicent Hightower, the daughter of Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King, and the most desired woman in the Seven Kingdoms. She’s known for her grace and political acumen, which will undoubtedly come in handy during the treachery and ploys that will take place in the series.
Emma D’Arcy is Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. She’s the king’s first-born child and a dragon-rider. However, while she possesses many talents that would make her a great leader and warrior, she wasn’t born a man. Hopefully, she sticks it to the patriarchy anyway.
Finally, Matt Smith has been cast as Prince Daemon Targaryen. He’s the younger brother of King Viserys and heir to the throne. According to the lore, he’s also a peerless warrior and a dragon-rider who possesses the true blood of the dragon.
Tales of Dunk and Egg
Variety recently reported that an adaptation of Tales of Dunk and Egg is also in the early development stages at HBO. Based on Martin’s novella series which chronicles the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg), the series will feature one-hour episodes and be set 90 years before the events in Game of Thrones.
No names have been attached to Tales of Dunk and Egg as of this writing. The fact that the series is being considered is good news, however, as it shows that the network is listening to the fans. The die-hards have wanted this adaptation to happen for a long time, and HBO is reportedly treating the project as a “high priority.”
Tales of Dunk and Egg could also be a refreshing change of pace for the television franchise. The books are much warmer and funnier than Martin’s other Westeros sagas. A show that adopts that approach would be a welcome departure from the grit and despair that encompasses Game of Thrones and (presumably) House of the Dragon. If HBO is going to unleash several spinoffs, it’s important that the network gives each of them a distinct flavour.
Martin has published three novellas in the Tales of Dunk and Egg series to date: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, and The Mystery Knight. All three were then collected and published together as A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which was released in 2015.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO is currently having meetings with writers for an “adult-leaning” animated spinoff that will be similar in tone to the Game of Thrones live-action series. The plan is to create the series exclusively for HBO Max, though representatives from the company have yet to confirm or deny the rumors. The details regarding the story are also non-existent as of this writing.
While this development might seem quite random, it’s worth noting that Game of Thrones has experimented with animation in the past… sort of. The Blu-ray releases have featured some animated featurettes that explore the history and lore of the universe. That being said, a full-scale animated series is a different beast entirely, albeit one that has the potential to be awesome. It’ll be interesting to see how they go about bringing this one to life. That’s if it happens.
As we mentioned earlier, some of the spinoffs that were announced back in 2017 appear to be dead in the water. As Slashfilm pointed out, though, HBO hasn’t officially ruled all of them out, even though they appear to have been shelved for the time being.
All of the creators have kept tight-lipped about their pitches as well. Helgeland told The Indian Express that his story is set in Westeros, and teased that it might be set after the events in Game of Thrones. Then again, he also said that it might be a prequel, so take anything that guy says with a pinch of salt.
Borenstein’s show was also the subject of meaty rumours back in 2018. According to Winter Is Coming, his prospective series is called Empire of Ash and its story will chronicle the downfall of the Valyrian Empire. This will include a catastrophic event known as “The Doom,” a volcanic disaster that laid waste to the lands.
The series will also feature a diverse cast due to the multi-racial nature of the region that the story takes place in. One of the main characters is “a platinum blonde black female dragon-rider” who faces bigotry because of her mixed heritage. Another main character is “a self-made former slave, a deceptively matronly-looking Asian woman in her 50s [who is] now not only one of the richest citizens but also a major political leader and government intrigue player.”
The Targaryens will also play a part in the saga, with Aenar Targaryen and his daughter, Daenys the Dreamer, reportedly set to appear. There will be dragons and creatures from the lore. If Empire of Ash goes ahead, the show will supposedly last for five seasons.
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