With the legendary Game Of Thrones having two seasons left (it's about to leave a very large void in our otherwise dull lives), HBO has announced plans for (possibly!) four different spin-offs. With the way the show has broken records, it’s understandable the Cable TV giant doesn’t want to let go of its most lucrative cash cow. Lucky for us, the story’s vast universe and history has nearly limitless opportunities for storytelling.
Not much has been said about it other than plans are in the works, but what we know so far is that the show will include none of the current characters. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean the heroes and villains we’ve grown to love are all going to die. Producers are set on making a prequel of sorts that's going to be set before the current GoT timeline. They are, however, in no rush to push through with it, and it may take over a year after the series ends before fans see any kind of prequel.
For those who don’t know, Game of Thrones is based on the bestselling book series by George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire, the first novel of which was published in 1996. G.R.R.M. has released other stories and books in the same universe—there’s already a sprawling history to choose stories from, each of them possibly as interesting as the current timeline. And since HBO is looking to expand the GoT universe, here are a few theories as to what these future spin-offs could be about.
This extremely pivotal point in Westeros history has been referenced time and time again in the series, but could prove to be an extremely fascinating story to tell. Who doesn’t want to see Aegon and his wives-slash-sisters atop their dragons, Balerion, Meraxes, and Vhagar? Balerion the Black Dread itself was as big as a castle (bigger than Smaug!), and could swallow Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons in a few bites if it wanted to.
Aegon I, otherwise known as Aegon the Conqueror and Aegon the Dragon, managed to conquer six of the Seven Kingdoms in his lifetime, though Targaryen apologists may claim he actually “unified” them. The only actual problem with this would be that, despite vastly outnumbering the Targaryen armies, the rest of the kingdoms were woefully outmatched and didn’t put up too much of a fight. Nevertheless, it would be fantastic to see into the mind of a master strategist like Aegon I.
The Dunk and Egg Stories
The Dunk and Egg stories are a series of novellas set 89 years before the Game of Thrones timeline, revolving around the adventures of the legendary Ser Duncan the Tall, future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard and his young squire, the future King Aegon Targaryen V. Ser Duncan the Tall began his life as no more than a poor hedge knight with no name, but became one of the most historically influential people in the history of Westeros. As a television show, it wouldn’t be limited to adult audiences, but would still possess all the intrigue and action fans adore.
The wonderful fact about these stories is their context: the Blackfyre rebellions. When the corrupt Aegon Targaryen IV (more known as Aegon the Unworthy) lay on his deathbed at the ripe old age of 49, he legitimized all his bastard children, whom he named Blackfyre, causing a civil war that lasted five generations as the Blackfyres and Targaryens fought hard over the throne of Westeros. Also, Brynden “The Bloodraven” Rivers. Nuff said.
The Dance of Dragons
The Dance of Dragons was perhaps the most destructive civil war (one of many) to ever rock Westeros. This is when all but one of King Viserys Targaryen I’s children died, leaving no sons and only Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen survived, whom he named his heir and began to train as his successor. Things took a turn for the worst, however, when he married Alicent Hightower after the passing of his first wife, Queen Aemma Targaryen. The new Queen Alicent bore King Viserys I four children: Aegon, Helaena, Aemond, and Daeron. It was here that the schism between Queen Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra occured, in what many Westerosi historians claim started the downfall of the Targaryen dynasty.
Though the Game of Thrones series may be considered high fantasy, the more fantastical elements of the show arrived late in the story. At around this time, the Targaryens had an innumerable number of dragons. That’s right. If this is where they decide to set any one of the prequels, expect epic dragon battles.
Literally Anything in Essos
Westeros is only a small part of the world. To the East lies the larger continent of Essos, birthplace of the Andals and the Rhoynar. Anywhere from the grand kingdom of Yi Ti to the Shadowlands of Asshai could prove a wonderful setting for the prequel. Even then, it doesn’t have to stay in the continent. Anything from the Andal invasion of Westeros to the Warrior Queen Nymeria of the Rhoyne’s founding of House Martell.
They could even cover the Age of Heroes and the Long Night, in the time of Brandon Stark Builder, who designed and built the Wall and founded the Night’s Watch. In the East, the reign of the Lion of Knight is a story that could be told alongside all of this. They could show us stories of Old Valyria, birthplace of the Targaryens, and how and why the gods saw fit to destroy what was once the most glorious kingdom in the world of Ice and Fire.