The news isn’t totally shocking. Back in May, the premium cable network stated that they were developing spinoffs of the series with plans to “explore different time periods of George R.R. Martin’s vast and rich universe.”
HBO made deals with five writers to develop scripts for said spinoffs and in the same statement, the longtime producers of the show, Dan Weiss and David Benioff, confirmed that they would there to support the new writers but that they would be taking a “much deserved break from writing about Westeros once the final season is complete.”
In today’s statement, the network confirmed that the pilot will be for a prequel series set in the “thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones.” They gave no word when the pilot might air, so we may be waiting for a few thousand years ourselves.
“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” HBO said. “And only one thing is for sure: 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 … it’s not the story we think we know.”
The story was written by both Martin and writer Jane Goldman, who was the co-writer of the Kingsmen movies as well as X-Men:First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kick-Ass, The Woman in Black, and the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid which will premiere on August 17. Goldman is responsible for writing the teleplay and is serving as the showrunner for the pilot, giving her full creative authority over the show. Goldman has not written for the series before.
According to the original book series, the Age of Heroes takes place 10,000 years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, putting us in the time of Bran the Builder, founder of House Stark, and Lann the Clever, who founded House Lannister. The era begins with the Pact, which brought peace between the First Men and the Children of the Forest and goes on until the Andal Invasion four thousand years later and includes the famed Long Night — the generation long winter in which the War for the Dawn against the White Walkers took place.
So, there is a lot of real estate to be had. The heartening news is the HBO ordered multiple scripts so, although we a not likely to see all of them come to fruition, there is a chance we may see a few different spinoffs come into development.
The success of Game of Thrones cannot be understated and is HBO’s most successful show by far. They stand to gain a lot by milking the teat (of what you might ask? In this universe, you never know), but only if the quality remains.
The most recent season of the show, which ended in August of 2017, while jam packed with the tons of action and forward progress in a series known for its at-times pain-staking story progression still found itself under heavy criticism. Fans of the original series of novels have been begging for the release of the remaining books for years and this was the first season where screenplay eclipsed that of the manuscript. There is no question that the pacing of the seventh season was staggeringly quicker than that of the previous seasons, but at the same time the showrunners have found themselves in the position to wrap up the show’s many loose ends in the 6 remaining episodes of the entire series.
Regardless, the idea that we may get a taste of Westeros before the long-awaited premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones in 2019 is tantalizing.
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