Months before Game of Thrones’ penultimate series begins to air, HBO is actively exploring multiple ideas for possible Game of Thrones spinoffs. The company has hired four different writers to take their stabs at telling more stories in Westeros, but hey, why should we let respected industry veterans have all the fun? Below, we’ve come up with a small handful of possible Thrones spinoffs of our own. And HBO: If you like any of these ideas, you know where to send the check.
Game of Thrones Origins: Robert’s Rebellion
A prequel series based on Robert’s Rebellion seems like the easiest choice for a Game of Thrones spinoff: We already know a lot of the characters, and heck, they’ve already shot one of the most important scenes. If you’ve enjoyed the brutal battles, tragic romances, and wildfire-based politicking of Game of Thrones, but wish it had way more paranoid kings with foot-long fingernails, this could be the series for you.
Dunk and Egg
George R.R. Martin has occasionally interrupted his progress on the main Song of Ice and Fire series to pen short stories set about 90 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Dunk is a lowly hedge knight who’s incredibly tall; Egg is his squire, a Targaryen prince who will one day grow up to be King Aegon V. (His brother was Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch.) Together they wander a kinder, gentler Westeros than we see in the main series — though given the realities of medieval life, they still find plenty of violence, intrigue, and injustice. Any TV series would likely outpace the books — Martin’s only published three Dunk and Egg stories — but hey, it wouldn’t be the first time.
The Dance of the Dragons
Why did the Targaryens’ dragons die out? In part because, 150 years before the main series, two Targaryen half-siblings — each terrible in their own way — got Westeros embroiled in a civil war that saw dragon fight dragon for the first time. The result was widespread death and devastation, and the family’s dragon-based hegemony would never be the same. Martin’s already written two novellas detailing the major characters and conflicts of the war, but there are enough gaps in the record for HBO to mostly do its own thing — as long as it was willing to pay up and give us the massive CGI dragon battles we deserve.
The Red Keep
Game of Thrones has shown us a lot of things — flying dragons, murderous ice-zombies, a headless corpse with a wolf’s head stapled to it — but one thing it hasn’t shown us? Good government. In this spinoff, set during the long reign of Jaehaerys I (also known as Jaehaerys the Wise, Jaehaerys the Conciliator, or just the Old King), we get an inside look at a leader who’s devoted to compromise, diplomacy, and peaceful resolution, all told through the eyes of his devoted councilors. Finally, a fantasy series that appeals to our liberal-humanist sensibilities — though watch out for the arc where Westeros learns the king’s been hiding a pox.
Barefoot Queen of Thorns
Follow Olenna Redwyne as she enjoys her retirement in a luxurious country home on the coast outside Highgarden, spending her days drinking wine, offering cutting insults, and reminiscing about the time she plotted the murder of her granddaughter’s fiancé. Sometimes it gets a little old. Why is she always talking about Joffrey?
The Great Westerosi Bake-Off
From a tent set up outside the Inn at the Crossroads, 12 normal peasants will compete to create a wide range of medieval baked goods: brown bread, black bread, barley bread, wheaten bread, and more! Contestants will tremble as their efforts are judged by Westeros’s most legendary cookbook author, Hot Pie. Hopefully they’ll remember his most famous catchphrase: “Do not give up on the gravy.”