Game of Thrones ended after eight seasons in 2019 – and it left fans wanting more. In 2017, HBO announced that it was considering as many as five prequel series. Some will see the light of day, and others won’t. Here’s what we know so far:
Age of Heroes series
In November 2019, HBO announced this spinoff was dead. It would have been set thousands of years before the time of GoT, and it would have covered such aspects of Westerosi history as the generations-long winter called the Long Night and the subsequent invasion by the White Walkers.
George R. R. Martin, the creator of Game of Thrones, pointed out that Westeros was extremely different back then. While the White Walkers and House Stark both existed, the Lannisters did not. Neither did dragons or the Iron Throne. In addition, Westeros was divided into hundreds of minor kingdoms, rather than the seven in GoT.
Jane Goldman wrote the script, and she was also a producer. Goldman and Martin were the showrunners. S.J. Clarkson had directed the pilot, and Naomi Watts was going to have a starring role.
The series would have had a massive budget, at least partly because of the very different setting. Francesco Orsi, HBO’s senior vice-president of drama, commented that $50 million per season would not have been enough to accomplish what the showrunners hoped to do.
The series could have premiered this year – but HBO was not happy with the pilot. Originally, they asked for some changes. Then they pulled the plug.
House of the Dragon
Otherwise known as the “Targaryen Series,” this epic will revolve around the Targaryen dynasty that had ruled Westeros for 300 years. Ryan Condal wrote the script, which will be based on the book Fire & Blood, which covered the first half of the Targaryens’ history, including the horrific civil war called the “Dance of Dragons.”
HBO has ordered the entire series, and the first season will have ten episodes. Martin and Condal created the series, and they will be its showrunners, along with Miguel Sapochnik, who had directed the GoT episode “Battle of the Bastards.” Sapochnik will be directing the pilot and some of the other episodes.
In January 2020, Casey Bloys, the programming president for HBO announced that he expected House of the Dragon to premiere sometime in 2022.
Other prequel series
Back in 2017, Entertainment Weekly had announced that Bryan Cogman, who had written more scripts for the show than even Martin, would be working on a prequel. In his blog, Martin announced that he was excited by this development and announced his intention to work with Cogman. In April 2019, HBO decided to pass on the resulting script.
Brian Helgeland and Max Borenstein are both reportedly working on prequels. Martin is working on a prequel series with Carly Wray, who had written for Mad Men and The Leftovers.
So far, there is no word about what any of these prequels will be about. While fans would dearly love a series covering the events of Robert’s Rebellion, Martin himself has said that there would probably not be one.
People also hope that one of the prequels will be an adaptation of the novella series Tales of Dunk and Egg, which follows the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg, who was secretly the future King Aegon V. The novellas are set about 90 years before GoT.
One final point: Martin does not like the term spinoffs. He calls House of the Dragon and the other shows “successor shows.”