HBO has officially greenlit its first pilot of a Game of Thrones spin-off! It’s news we have certainly been waiting for, but definitely has made my afternoon. Details are scarce, but through a press release via HBO, it looks like it will confirm what we’ve assumed for a long time: The spin-off will indeed be a prequel. While no title has been announced, HBO has released a few details, most importantly the setting and the showrunner!
Set thousands of years before the events of Thrones, the project chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. A logline from the network teased the plot without divulging any specifics: “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.”
There is SO much to unpack here! The ‘Age of Heroes’ is often referred to as the Westerosi variant of Pax Romana – in other words, the period of great peace that followed the initial pact between The First Men and the Children of the Forest. It looks like we’ll get to dive a whole lot more into the origin of the White Walkers than season 6 of Game of Thrones did!
And then of course, there’s the possibility to explore the ‘Starks of legend.’ What ‘legend’ you ask? I’d very much assume chief among those included would be Bran the Builder, whose name recalls greatness, from his building of the Wall (yes, that Wall), as well as Winterfell – quite the résumé! He is said to have built these with the help of giants, so perhaps we’ll get to spend some quality time with Wun Wun’s great great (x100) grandparents! The possibilities are endless!
You’ll also notice the word ‘descent’ in the logline, so this begs the question as to whether the series will be told over the 4,000 years that the ‘Age of Heroes’ reportedly lasted, or if it will skew closer to Game of Thrones and tell a “smaller scale” story spanning 5-10 years? Granted, calling Game of Thrones “smaller scale” is preposterous, but who knows what level of epic storytelling this prequel could bring! Again, the possibilities are truly endless!
So who is writing all this? Per The Hollywood Reporter, Jane Goldman will be pairing with George R. R. Martin (yes, that George), although Goldman is billed as the writer of the teleplay for the pilot and she is credited as showrunner. I, for one, am absolutely thrilled at the chance for a woman to share her vision of Westeros and beyond, as it’s no secret that the writers and directors of the past several seasons of Game of Thrones have skewed rather male-heavy. And she has a ton of fantasy credits to her name, having co-written screenplays for Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass, and one of my personal favorite movies of all time, Stardust. She’s even writing the screenplay for the upcoming live action version of The Little Mermaid. I think it’s safe to say that Game of Thrones spin-off, perhaps the first of many to come in the coming years, is in good hands!
What stories do you think this prequel will tell? One thing to note is that this is just a pilot order right now, not a series order – hopefully that will soon follow! Sound off your enthusiasm in the comments below!