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  • Writer's pictureRayano R.

The Expanding World of Ice and Fire: A Guide to the Future and Past of Game of Thrones Spin-offs

Updated: Apr 26



The World of Ice and Fire is expanding, and it's much bigger than some who are unfamiliar with author George R.R. Martin's work would think. However, the question we must ask ourselves is which projects are joining Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon, and the newly put into production, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, in HBO's fantasy-epic cinematic universe. Join us as we dive into all the projects that are potentially looking to go into production and some that have been moved onto the shelf.

 

 

LIVE-ACTION PRODUCTIONS

 

Aegon’s Conquest:


Visenya, Aegon, and Rhaenys Artwork by Amok

 

Before the Dragons reigned over the Seven Kingdoms, Westeros was divided between seven squabbling kings who were almost always at war with one another. Under the reign of the First High King, Aegon the Conqueror, Westeros, apart from Dorne for some time, would know only one ruler.


An Aegon’s Conquest live-action series will likely follow King Aegon Targaryen and his sister-wives, Queen Visenya and Queen Rhaenys, as they used their dragons and military might to conquer and unite Westeros under the Targaryen Dynasty. Together forging the Iron Throne and the very realm we came to adoration within HBO's Game of Thrones.


Although the story of the conquest may appear to be quite flashy, with great dragons burning castles and fields and beautiful and astute silver-haired Valyrians upon their backs, there has been deep speculation and concern revolving around the series from fans online. From one perspective, some fans believe the story of the conquest to be dull due to the perceived easy victory the conquerors faced against their foes. Some others, however, feel as though the figures of King Aegon, Queen Visenya, and Queen Rhaenys are so illustrious that they are simply too grand to be correctly depicted on screen at the hands of a writer other than perhaps George R.R. Martin himself.

 

After their experience with the final seasons of Game of Thrones, as well as their concerns about its successor series, House of the Dragon, it is not unreasonable for some fans to feel as they do in regards to how the narrative would be written and its characters depicted. However, the concerns of an uninteresting series fall short. As a serialized drama, it would be intriguing to depict the conflict of the conquest from the perspectives of both the conquerors and the kings they faced in battle. This duality may add a deep layer of complexity to the story without whitewashing the horrific actions and laws of some of the kings that came to an end with Aegon's Conquest.


King Torrhen Stark bends the knee to King Aegon Targaryen Artwork by Chase Stone


It is said that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. With this framework in mind, fans of the conquerors may hold onto the hope that should the right hand be tapped to tell Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys' story, they will do so with a remembrance of the past and care for the future. Currently, writer Mattson Tomlin (The Batman Part II) is attached to pen the series for HBO, we wish him godspeed.


Photo of Mattson Tomlin credits to IMDb

 

A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight


Dunk and Egg Artwork by Marc Simonetti


The story follows the adventures of a lowly knight, “Dunk” (Ser Duncan the Tall), and his squire, “Egg” (future King Aegon V Targaryen), as they venture throughout parts of Westeros reeling from the Blackfyre rebellions.

 

The official synopsis from HBO is as follows: “A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros... a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.”

 

Based on George R.R. Martin’s Tales of Dunk & Egg stories, beloved by fans, this series has the potential to capture an entirely new audience while holding to its existing one through Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. Peter Claffey will portray Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk), while Dexter Sol Ansell will portray Prince Aegon Targaryen (Egg). Peter is a former rugby player turned actor who is 6'5 tall. His audition readings were said to be "terrific." Dexter is a child acting veteran who most recently starred as a child Coriolanus Snow in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. We have been told that Dexter's audition readings were great as well and that he cannot wait to shave his head. The series is currently set to begin filming in June in Ireland for a 2025 premiere, with writers Steve Conrad, Hiram R. Martinez, Annie Julia Wyman, Aziza Barnes, and Ti Mikkel attached to write. We are wishing the best of luck and success to both actors and writers as they start this new, sure-to-be life-changing journey.


Photo by Westerosies


 

Nymeria; 10,000 Ships


Artwork by J.K. Drummond


Set roughly a thousand years before the events of Game of Thrones, the story follows Princess Nymeria and the Rhoynar. The power of the Valyrian Empire was too strong to resist; thus, Nymeria launched an exodus from Essos in search of a new home. After wandering across the Narrow Sea, Nymeria eventually found and settled in Dorne, where she set the fleet of 10,000 ships ablaze to ensure her people would not leave. This adventure would depict the story of the birth of House Martell as the ruler of a united Dorne and how Princess Nymeria became so revered throughout Westeros.


Given the little care Dorne and the Dornish are given in HBO's Game of Thrones compared to their A Song of Ice and Fire source-material counterparts, a series where they take prominence and centrefold may be what fans of the exotic and powerful House have been waiting years for.


As per their last update on the spin-off, Deadline reported that writer Amanda Segel is currently in place to pen the series. Writer Brian Helgeland recently stated he was also attached to writing the show and had met with author George R.R. Martin himself, who approved of his idea for the show; however, it was not picked up by HBO. More updates on the series development will come eventually, for now, we wait.


 

 

ANIMATED PRODUCTIONS:


The 9 Voyages of the Sea Snake


Corlys Velaryon Photo still from HBO's House of the Dragon Season 1 (2022)


Lord Corlys Velaryon, born in 53 AC, was renowned within the Seven Kingdoms and beyond as the greatest seafarer of his age. House Velaryon's origins began as a smaller vassal house to the great House Targaryen. Like the Dragonlords, the Velaryons had made their exodus from Valyria before the coming calamity of the Doom, prophesied by Daenys, the Dreamer. Unlike the Targaryens, however, the Velaryons were not dragonlords, nor did they share a direct connection of control over the dragons. The sea was always their home.

 

The story is said to follow a younger Corlys as he navigates the dangers of the unknown world in search of knowledge, treasure, and power. The potential for a tale of adventure, romance, and trials and tribulations is vast, which could also lead us to discover details of a score of diverse cultures and locations within the World of Ice and Fire that were previously untold. The series was originally intended to be live-action but was then moved over to animation, with author George R.R. Martin citing a better chance at accurately depicting the epic events.

 

Will we see ‘House of the Dragon’ star Steve Toussaint reprise his role as the voice actor for the Sea Lord? While likely, that remains to be seen. If so, it would give both Steve and the audience a chance to explore more of what makes Corlys such an epic character. Currently, the series remains in development with no writer or creator attached.

 

 

THE GOLDEN EMPIRE of Yi Ti

 

Capital of Yi Ti Artwork by Henrik Zahringer


Inspired by Imperial China, Yi Ti was a powerful and vastly wealthy empire in Essos. Its regions lie east of Qarth and the Bone Mountains and are bordered by the Jade Sea to the south.

 

The history of the Golden Empire of Yi Ti dates back thousands of years in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, taking special prominence in his World of Ice and Fire book published in 2014. Yi Ti is signified by its vast ancient civilization and rich cultural tapestry, which have been the subject of numerous great wars, dynasties rising and falling, internal struggles, and external conflicts. Significantly, however, Yi Ti is legendarily wealthy, paying tribute to its name, the ‘Golden Empire.’ Yi Ti’s princes were said to live in houses of solid gold and to eat sweetmeats with pearls and jade powdered over them. While Yi Ti’s present-day conflicts may not be as glamorous as its ancient histories, the power of animation can see any period within its long reign flamboyantly brought to life.

 

The animated series will likely follow a new set of characters of East Asian descent as they navigate this region of the world and its trials. The possibilities of what this will entail are endless, with the potential to set up even more stories within the World of Ice and Fire. The series is currently in development, with no further details at this time.


 

 

Untitled World of Ice and Fire Animated Series


Animated Daenerys Targaryen Artwork by Caro-Oliveira


What era, period, or conflict the series will depict is currently a mystery, but the possibilities are endless. Fans have long expressed a desire to see Game of Thrones’ source material, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ be made into an animated fantasy epic that accurately depicts the writings from the text and includes all omitted storylines not featured in the live-action series, perhaps most famously, Lady Stoneheart. Through animation, the vibrant world that George R.R. Martin created would come to full and accurate prominence. The question we must now ask ourselves is if HBO is prepared to reboot ‘Game of Thrones’ in animation rather than give a second live-action series another go some years down the line.


 

SHELVED or CANCELED PRODUCTIONS:

 

Snow: A Game of Thrones Sequel Story


Jon Snow still image from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 7 (2017)


Kit Harington's portrayal of the iconic A Song of Ice and Fire character, Jon Snow, has become an internationally beloved pop-culture figure. From his neglected upbringing to his humble rise to power, fans rejoiced in seeing Jon's growth within the early seasons of Game of Thrones. However, many feel that within the final two seasons of the show, the characterization of the bastard turned Royal Heir negatively impacted who Jon Snow was.

 

In the series finale of the immortalized Game of Thrones drama, we witness Jon Snow venture beyond the wall in the company of wildlings, as well as his loyal canine companion, Ghost. This followed after Jon was banished to the wall in service of the Night's Watch by the newly coordinated King Bran Stark for the murder of Queen Daenerys Targaryen.

 

However, this decree was hardly a punishment for Jon Snow. After his service to the Realms of Man as a Black Brother and King in the North, Jon had come to desire a quiet and peaceful life. The question we ask today is: What does this mean for what his future story could hold?

 

Let's start with what we know. At the end of the series, the lands of Westeros looked to be settling in for a new, long age of peace, one perhaps not seen since the age of the Old King, Jaehaerys I Targaryen. With the summit for who would become the new ruler of the Seven Kingdoms attended by all corners of those who held major power in Westeros, it's hard to imagine conflict in civil war sprouting. This is especially true against a king who possesses abilities as powerful as those of the Three-Eyed Raven.

 

Luckily, this leaves room for powerful threats beyond the Seven Kingdoms and a perfect way to expand on the world Game of Thrones left. With no source material to adapt, the writers of the 'SNOW' spin-off series have free reign to create new and exciting antagonistic forces. A major potential controversy attached to the project is the return and resurrection of Queen Daenerys Targaryen, whose body was taken by Drogon after her death.

 

However, the potential spinoff series has now been shelved by HBO. Kit Harington had this to say: “We bounced some ideas around and nothing lit us up... HBO cares about the character a lot and I care about the character a lot, and we don't want to put out something that is going to sully the character. That's the worst thing that we could do... unless we find something in the future that lands, there's no point in rushing it. There's no point in keeping developing for development's sake and doing something that I don't want to do.”

 

Will we ever see Jon Snow and the rest of the Westeros gang return? That seems to be a question for the future. For now, our watch has begun.


 

Flea Bottom


Skyline of King's Landing by HBO's Game of Thrones Season 1 (2011)


Flea Bottom is notoriously known as the poorest slum district in the capital city of King's Landing. The slum is described as maze-like, with ramshackle buildings, dark alleys, and a population filled with suspicious people. Located on the lower eastern side of Rhaneys' Hill, life in this subsection is distinctly difficult.


The spin-off series would have told the story of life in Westeros through the eyes of not the high lords or powerful kings and queens who play their game of thrones, but instead the lowly and poor common folk who suffer through their schemes. Notable characters such as Ser Davos Seaworth, Gendry Waters (now Baratheon), and Karl Turner all hail from Flea Bottom and, distinctly throughout the series, give descriptions of how fowl they found life there.


Ser Davos Photo Still by HBO's Game of Thrones Season 8 (2019)


Unfortunately, the series was axed by HBO. Will we ever have a series based on the experiences of the common folk in Westeros come to life? Or perhaps the more important question we must ask ourselves is: do we care? While it may not be as glamorous as a story that follows monarchs vying for power, it would surely give a unique and compelling perspective on how those with no power fought for their survival under the thumb of war, famine, and possibly even dragon fire.


Drogon Photo Still by HBO's Game of Thrones Season 8 (2019)


 

Empire of Ash: Doom of Valyria


Photo Still by HBO's Game of Thrones: Animated History and Lore special


The Doom of Valyria is widely known as one of the most significant historical events to ever occur within the World of Ice and Fire. From this epoch, several grand consequences followed that changed the landscape and foundations of nations and cultures across the world. It was in fear of this calamity that House Targaryen led an exodus from the Valyrian freehold to Dragonstone 12 years prior, at the behest of the legendary Daenys Targaryen, famously and forever after known as Daenys the Dreamer. The disaster eventually led to the coming of King Aegon the Conqueror, who was said to look west to the lands of Westeros to see a lustrous and powerful future compared to the dead and forgotten past in the east.


A Doom of Valyria series, then titled 'Empire of Ash,' was to either directly follow the story of the Targaryens just before they fled the Empire or a new set of Valyrians as they fell victim to the great calamity. Although this project was shelved, the potential for it to have a new life somewhere along the line at HBO is never out of the question. The Empire of Valyria was characterized by its advanced distinction from the rest of the world, with both sorcery and innovation at its height before the Fourteen Flames volcano range spewed fire so hot that even dragons burned up in flight. A chance to see what was known as the 'greatest civilization in history' at its apex before it all came crashing down would be a spectacle to behold.


 

Bloodmoon


Children of the Forest Photo Still by HBO's Game of Thrones Season 6 (2016)


Bloodmoon was the very first Game of Thrones spin-off series to receive a green light and go into production, while Jane Goldman was attached as head writer and showrunner of the series. A pilot episode was filmed but was met with a lacklustre reception from studio heads, which prompted its cancellation.


The official synopsis was as follows: “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. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.”


Birth of the Night King Photo Still from HBO's Game of Thrones Season 6 (2016)


The series would have told the story of how the Children of the Forest came to their breaking point to create the Night King as part of their defence from the growing number of ruthless species of man, throwing the realm into the first Long Night.


Naomi Watts was attached to star as Morven Casterly, a 'charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,' alongside Josh Whitehouse, who was to portray a Stark. Other members of the cast included Toby Regbo, who was to play a Casterly King, and Alex Sharp, who was to play Regbo's lover.


Recently, some behind-the-scenes images of the pilot were released online, giving fans a glimpse of the tale that never came to fruition.


Naomi Watts behind the scenes for Bloodmoon by hair and makeup designer Flora Moody


It may be possible that we would be given the chance to witness the pilot episode in its entirety one day, but it is also not very likely. With the little information that has been released regarding a rumoured disastrous plot and its implication for the characters, there are times when a series cancellation is for the best. For now, we ponder the dreams of what could have been.


 

 

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