Since Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced their plan to end the main series after Season 8, fans are starting to think about the reality of life without their favorite TV show. In order to feed demand and capitalize on a successful series, a Game of Thrones prequel is the obvious answer. So it’s no surprise HBO is already working on one, with multiple ideas currently circulating before the network decides on the right one.
“There are eight million stories in Westeros … and even more in Essos and the lands beyond. A whole world full of stories, waiting to be told,” George R.R. Martin said to Entertainment Weekly in an interview. Where would a spinoff series possibly go? We have some thoughts on that …
1. Robert’s Rebellion
The Game of Thrones world we see in both the novels and the HBO series is one that’s fresh off of Robert’s Rebellion. The war began with the alleged abduction of Lyanna Stark by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the heir to the Iron Throne. The predominant theory is that Rhaegar and Lyanna were in fact running away together, absconding from both of their arranged marriages, and giving birth to a baby most believe to be Jon Snow.
This led to Robert Baratheon demanding his betrothed back from the Targaryens. Things boiled over into the infamous uprising, led by the likes of Jon Arryn, Ned Stark, and Robert Baratheon. King Aerys Targaryen was later stabbed by his own Kingsguard, Jaime Lannister (hence the “Kingslayer” nickname), effectively ending the war on the spot. Now that’s a series we’d watch.
2. Aegon’s Conquest
Before the Targaryens were overthrown by Robert Baratheon, they were the mightiest family in all of Westeros. But they weren’t always the rulers of the Seven Kingdoms. Aegon Targaryen and his two sisters rode into the region from their ancestral home in the east, conquering each great House one-by-one with the aid of their dragons (with the exception of Dorne, who remained independent for another 180 years).
After a climactic battle where Aegon defeated the united Lannister and Highgarden armies, he was crowned king, ruling over a dynasty that would live on for upwards of three centuries.
3. The Long Night
We’ve seen our fair share of White Walker action in recent seasons of Game of Thrones. What we haven’t seen though is where exactly these ancient ice monsters came from. Their history dates back to a period known as “The Long Night,” a winter rumored to have lasted an entire generation. It was marked by the first invasion of the White Walkers, and was fought off by an alliance composed of the First Men and the Children of the Forest.
There’s a whole lot to unpack in the story beyond the White Walkers too. The First Men were just that: the first men who invaded and settled Westeros. The Children of the Forest were a diminutive race of magic users who many theorize were the first to carve faces into the Weirwood Trees, now worshipped as shrines to the Old Gods of the North. The two factions warred against each other for hundreds of years before uniting to fight off the Walkers, and later leading to the first of the Starks erecting the Great Wall (ostensibly leading to the creation of the Night’s Watch).
4. Tales of Dunk and Egg
Fans of George R.R. Martin’s original novels are likely familiar with the Dunk and Egg series. Set approximately 90 years before the events of Game of Thrones, they tell the story of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg, a man who’d later become King Aegon V Targaryen. As of now, three novellas have been published, with plans for more in the works now. Martin himself cites a potential adaptation as “the most natural follow-up” to HBO’s Game of Thrones. A stamp of approval from the creator certainly doesn’t hurt its chances of being the next story the network dives into, with an already constructed tale just waiting to be brought to life on-screen.
5. The Valyrian Freehold
This particular story takes us back almost 5,000 years. The Valyrian Freehold is described as “the most advanced civilization the world has ever known,” making its mysterious destruction that much more curious. A cataclysmic event known only as “the Doom” was said to have leveled the entire Valyrian capital, along with all of its history and lore. The Targaryens can trace their history all the way back to the ancient city, as the first society to tame and use dragons. It would be fascinating to see an empire more advanced than the ones we see thousands of years into Westeros’ future, and even more interesting to figure out just how it was destroyed in a single day.
6. The Age of Heroes
The ruling houses of Westeros all trace their lineage back to the days of the First Men, centering around legendary descendants in every region. The Lannisters tell the story of the founder of their house swindling the Casterleys out of their kingdom in the West. The Tyrells claim to be descendants of Highgarden’s first ruler. Storm’s End features a legend of a king who defied the gods themselves, even taking one of their own as his wife. It’s an era fraught with mythology and tall tales, making it uniquely compelling for its own series.
7. The Andal invasion
Before Aegon ever arrived in Westeros, the Andals had already conquered the land, slaughtering the Children of the Forest and seizing every bit of land they could get their hands on. The Religion of the Seven was first brought to the region by the Andals, making it more of a religious crusade than anything. In the end, the Andals never could take control of the North. Winterfell et al wouldn’t end up falling until Aegon and his dragons unified the Seven Kingdoms, leaving plenty of history before then to cover.
8. The Night’s King
The terrifying leader of the White Walkers we see in the HBO series wasn’t always one of the Others. In fact, he was the 13th Commander of the Night’s Watch, presiding over the Wall shortly after it was completed by Bran the Builder. Seduced by a White Walker woman, he forgoes his oath to protect the kingdom and rises up in Rebellion against the North. Eventually, the Night’s King is beaten back by an alliance between the King-beyond-the-Wall and the Starks. Today, the Night’s King is still leading the White Walker army, as he gears up for round two.
9. Dance of the Dragons
Throughout the ages, Westeros has been wrought by rebellion in almost every era. The first uprising though may very well be the most fascinating one as well. Known as the Dance of the Dragons, the conflict was between the heirs of King Viserys I, coming to head in a climactic battle astride their two dragons. It’s a story full of intrigue, betrayal, and action, all of which are hallmarks of the Game of Thrones series we know today.
10. The Blackfyres
Further on down the line of rebellions, we have the Blackfyres, who over their family’s lengthy history, instigated upwards of six separate uprisings. It all began with Daemon Blackfyre, the bastard son of King Aegon IV. On his deathbed, Aegon legitimized Daemon as his son, sparking a violent uprising in his wake. Following his defeat, a score of his sons successfully flee, setting the stage for decades of further conflict between the Blackfyres and their Targaryen relatives.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!