Why ‘Game of Thrones’ Needs a Prequel Featuring Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark
Of all the Game of Thrones follow-ups that could be created, there is one that is probably more valuable than a remake of the final season. That would be a prequel focusing on Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
But will fans get their wish? If Game of Thrones and HBO have become known for anything over the past eight years, it’s for not always giving the fans what they want. Still, with David Benioff and DB Weiss heading over to Lucasfilm, someone new will be running the franchise and maybe that someone new will be receptive to the idea.
Here’s why we think Rhaegar and Lyanna will make an ideal duo, versus what HBO actually has in the works.
What is Rhaegar and Lyanna’s story?
Rhaegar and Lyanna are the birth parents to Jon Snow. Long thought to be a bastard child, Jon was eventually revealed as an actual flesh-and-blood Targaryen. His birth parents’ lives took place even before season 1 of the show, so they were only seen in flashbacks. With Jon being a longtime fan favorite, it seems only logical to find out more about his background and the events that led to his conception.
Rhaegar was the son of Aerys Targaryen, the mad king, and the older brother of Daenerys Targaryen. Lyanna was Ned Stark’s sister. Although each started out promised to other people — he to Ella Martell, she to Robert Baratheon — they only had eyes for each other. In Game of Thrones, this was made clear in a flashback scene when Rhaegar bypassed Ella to give a victory crown to Lyanna instead. Suffice to say, that did not go over well.
It went over even less well when Rhaegar and Lyanna ended up eloping. After conceiving Jon, Rhaegar left a pregnant Lyanna to join the war and died at Robert’s hand. Meanwhile, Lyanna gave birth to Jon but died as a result. Before doing so, she made Ned — her brother — promise to protect the child. That resulted in the cover story that Jon was Ned’s bastard. And that cover story had to eventually blow apart.
There’s plenty of drama there, and there must be lots of details we didn’t get to see among all those flashbacks, so the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna would be ideal prequel fodder. It worked out well for Star Wars, didn’t it?
What ‘Game of Thrones’ prequels are we getting?
However, that’s not the story HBO is giving us — at least not yet. This is HBO’s coy-as-ever official outline of the series, supposedly called Bloodmoon, which is set to begin shooting next month.
“Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know.”
So since it’s thousands of years before Game of Thrones, that would rule out a prequel featuring Rhaegar and Lyanna. The cast of the show we are getting includes Miranda Richardson and Naomi Watts. The showrunner will be Jane Goldman, whose credits include the screenplays of X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service, so she knows the world of effects-heavy franchises.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys told the Hollywood Reporter, “We’re trying to have a show that feels like its own show within the universe but we’re not trying to replicate the same show. It’s not the same characters, it’s not the same dynamics.”
However, fans have two reasons to hope. George RR Martin himself has confirmed that there are two other prequel series in development. He said that the other two were “in the script stage,” but anticipating the inevitable question, he said, “What are they about? I can’t say.”
Same as it ever was.