The cultural phenomenon “Game of Thrones” became the most-watched series ever after its Season 8 finale. However, as most ardent fans know, HBO adapted a series of novels from George R. R. Martin to make the show, which is only a small part of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” (ASOIAF) Universe.
Fans are hungry for more of Martin’s world, so what other aspects of the “ASOIAF” world can HBO explore in one of the five series in development? Here are six ideas for a potential “Game of Thrones” spinoff.
HBO has already confirmed a series taking place during the Age of Heroes, 12,000 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” titled “Bloodmoon,” with a pilot to begin shooting in June. “Bloodmoon” will showcase humanity’s first standoff with the White Walkers, fleshing out the mysterious ice zombies’ origins and motivations.
The fire aspect of the “ASOIAF” universe could also be explored through answers to the questions about the Lord of Light and Azor Ahai. Other important events, such as the creation of the Wall and the Night’s Watch, could also potentially get screen time.
Additionally, the story of Brandon The Builder, the ancestral founder of House Stark, and The Age of Heroes are largely unexplored in the novels, so the showrunners would be creating mostly original content, yet still basing their stories from Martin’s writing, like Seasons 5 – 8 of “Game of Thrones.”
2) The Dance of Dragons
The Dance of Dragons, a civil war that took place more than 150 years before the main series, occurred in the aftermath of King Viserys I’s death when the realm debated over whether the Iron Throne should pass to the eldest (and favorite) child, Princess Rhaenyra, or the oldest male, Prince Aegon.
“Game of Thrones” enchants fans with its political intrigue, romance, sex, betrayal, sprawling battles and fire-breathing dragons — all of which are in the Dance of Dragons source material. The feud between Queen Alicent and her stepdaughter Princess Rhaenyra is particularly engrossing, as they use their influence in both subtle and explicit ways to determine who will sit on the Iron Throne.
This war also has significance because the conflict showcases the Targaryen dragons at their most powerful, and destructive, while also exploring why the magnificent beasts died out for centuries before Daenerys’ dragons hatched in the iconic moment of the Season 1 finale of “Game of Thrones.”
3) Dunk and Egg
As an anthology miniseries, HBO could find a suitable candidate for adaption in the Dunk and Egg novella series (each entry being under 200 pages). It follows the adventures of title characters Dunk, a low-born, dim-witted hedge knight, and his young squire Egg, a Targaryen and future king, across Westeros.
Unlike other entries in this article, Dunk and Egg focuses on one story, with only two main characters, as opposed to many sprawling interconnected narratives like in “Game of Thrones.”
Because the source is a more traditional fairytale about a knight who successfully fights honorably to defeat injustice, a series based on these characters stands out from other “ASOIAF” material. As an anthology, a Dunk and Egg miniseries might explore different regions of Westeros, jumping time periods, while answering questions about the mysterious Tragedy of Summerhall and whether or not Dunk is an ancestor of Brienne of Tarth.
4) Robert’s Rebellion
A series about Robert’s Rebellion, which took place only 20 years before “Game of Thrones,” would flesh out characters like Jaime Lannister, Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon. The rebellion is a critical moment for each of these characters’ development because it defined who they would become and how they would make decisions later in life.
The Tourney of Harrenhal has drama, romance, secrecy and violence enough to fuel multiple riveting episodes. The Battle of the Trident and the duel between Robert and Rhaegar Targaryen would make for an incredible spectacle. The allure of a forbidden romance between the noble Rhaegar Targaryen and the wild Lyanna Stark would tug at the heartstrings. Moments like Jaime murdering the Mad King, the murder of Daenaerys’ family and the affair between the parents of Jon Snow are crucial to “Game of Thrones” lore and would contribute to the main series.
Some critics consider a series about Robert’s Rebellion unlikely because the fans already know the content of the uprising too well. Yet, many questions remain unanswered, like whether or not Rhaegar conspired to take the throne from his father the Mad King.
“Game of Thrones” is best when HBO adapts Martin’s books closely in Seasons 1 – 4, despite having a portion of their audience being book readers, who already know the content of each episode. So a series focusing on Robert’s Rebellion could still be successful.
5) The Reign of Jaehaerys I
Another option is a series about the reign King Jaehaerys I of House Targaryen, taking place about 200 years before “Game of Thrones.” It would set itself apart from other possible shows because the monarch in question ruled justly for decades, keeping peace in Westeros throughout his entire reign.
Yet, despite the relative peace in Westeros, the reign of Jahaerys “The Conciliator” is fraught with drama because the King ascended the throne as a teenager in the aftermath of his cruel uncle, Maegor, and brought stability to Westeros with his wife, Queen Alysanne.
The queen herself would be a fascinating character, who at times wielded more influence than her husband, the King. Often sitting on the small council, she pushed Jaehaerys to outlaw the barbaric custom of the First Night, to improve the vile drinking water in King’s Landing and to grant the needed, extra land to the Night’s Watch.
The tumultuous dynamic of Alysanne’s and Jaehaerys’ marriage would define the series as flaws bubble to the surface in a supposedly perfect royal family, who strove to keep the peace for decades.
6) Beyond Westeros?
Westeros makes up only a small portion of Martin’s “ASOIAF” universe. Arya’s voyages west, set up in the finale of “Game of Thrones,” might seem perfect for a spinoff series, but HBO has already publicly rejected the idea.
The show has given fans a peek into regions such as Bravos and its Faceless Men, Meeren and the fighting pits and Vaes Dothrak with its Dothraki hoards, which could perhaps get more screen time in a new series. Or HBO could explore the regions both readers and show-watchers know almost nothing about, like the mysterious shadowlands of Asshai, the massive continent of Sothoryos, the Golden Empire of Yi Ti or elsewhere in Martin’s expansive world.
Regardless of where HBO chooses to go with a “Game of Throne” spinoff, Martin’s novels (probably coupled with a healthy dose of creative liberty) provide enough content to keep television audiences entertained many winters.