When Game of Thrones ended its eight (mostly) blissful years as the highlight of our boring lives, we all felt a hole in our hearts that Seven Kingdoms couldn’t fill.
But thanks to the wonderful collaboration with George R.R. Martin and HBO, a series of spin-offs are in the works to keep us firmly fixed in Westeros, with one in particular set to explore the most interesting and likeable of all noble houses: the Targaryens.
Now, we already know that some of the spin-offs were commissioned before season 8 even aired – The Long Night starring Naomi Watts as a rich socialite during the Age of Heroes being one of them.
GRRM is now in the same position as JK Rowling when she finished the last Harry Potter in that, for many die-hard fans of the show and the books, the story never ends. The universe is still out there to be explored, with the complete biography of every character he can come up with worthy of a decent ballad, as evidenced by GRRM’s recent publication Fire & Blood, the authorised biography of House Targaryen.
And according to Deadline, we’re getting a prequel series on it.
They report that Colony co-creator/executive producer Ryan Condal has been attached to the Targaryen project that will be set around the time of Aegon’s Conquest (300 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones). Condal will write and direct the proposed show, with GRRM presiding over the script, which will likely be adapted from Fire & Blood and, let’s be honest, will probably be called Fire & Blood as well.
What is Fire & Blood about?
As mentioned, Fire & Blood begins with Aegon the Conqueror, who was the ruler that created the Iron Throne. It continues to tell the story of several generations of Targaryens leading up to their civil war, known as the Dance of the Dragons, which nearly destroyed their lineage and could well have prevented Dany ever being born.
In true mystical fashion, GRRM has been dropping riddles about prequel shows since 2017, writing on his blog: ‘We have had five different Game of Thrones successor shows in development at HBO, and three of them are still moving forward nicely.’
But despite the obvious audience for the projects, many of these have either been shelved or scrapped, at least for the time being. The Long Night is so far the only definite spin-off we can expect to grace our screens any time soon. HBO Programming President Casey Bloys refused to comment on the status of the spin-off ideas, but didn’t deny they were nearing the green light either.
‘It’s something I would not comment on,’ he said. Which basically means ‘Yes, I’m totally a tease, get hyped.’
For those who haven’t read it, pretty much everything you needed to know and didn’t think you needed to know are all stretched out across one 736-page tome. And that’s just the first volume. GRRM will probably be releasing the second volume once sure that his fans have actually had time to read the first. I suspect a part of him is also hoping that by the time readers get to the end, they’ll be overjoyed to find The Winds of Winter‘s official publication date.
Unlikely, but we can dream.
Game of Thrones had broken TV records since it first came out in 2011, with its final season racking up an impressive 32 Emmy nominations despite poor reviews and fan disappointment. As a result, producers like Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, are hesitant to disappoint fans any further.
Speaking to Deadline, he said: ‘It’s a double-edged sword.
‘We’re having conversations about how do we smartly continue the Game of Thrones universe, but we have to be really thoughtful about not killing the golden goose and not putting on shows that aren’t up to that quality level, and how many is too many.’
Similarly, Casey Bloys is sceptical about going too over-board with the prequels for fear of souring the audience’s appetite to see more of the Westerosi world beyond the original characters they are emotionally attached to.
‘I think Game of Thrones is a fantastic property but I don’t want to just be the home of prequels and sequels and all that stuff,’ he said.
‘I think you want to be really careful about how you do it.’
He’s not wrong. Prequels and sequels are often controversial in the minds of fans, with very few managing to please those who loved the original so much. But with a carefully written script and some interesting character development, there’s no reason why a potential spin-off should put us off.
Images via HBO