Game of Thrones fans (and detractors) can sit tight knowing we might have two prequel series on the air in the coming years. When Game of Thrones was nearing the airing of its final season, HBO set A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin to develop potential spinoffs and prequel series for the networks. At least five of these went through script and development stages, but only one was ordered to series. That untitled show is led by Naomi Watts and executive produced by Jane Goldman (Stardust) and takes place about 5000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, in the Age of Heroes.
But now Deadline reports that HBO is nearing a pilot order for an additional Game of Thrones prequel series that would focus on House Targaryen—you know, the house that birthed the sexy aunt/nephew affair in the final season of Game of Thrones. Martin would executive produce this new pilot alongside Colony co-creator and executive producer Ryan Condal, and the story is said to take place only about 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. That means it would chart the beginning of the end of the reign of House Targaryen.
The project is reportedly based on Martin’s book Fire & Blood, and is a brand new take on an earlier idea for a Game of Thrones spinoff conceived by Thrones writer/executive producer Bryan Cogman. Cogman moved on when HBO passed on that pilot idea (he’s now working on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings), but it appears the idea itself spurred a new take on the world that Cogman originated.
Fire & Blood charts the history of House Targaryen, which is chronicles a dynasty trying to maintain its stronghold. It would carry with it name recognition for Thrones fans, so that’s certainly a plus for HBO.
The pay cable network’s president Casey Bloys is still committed to the pilot process, so that means if HBO does order a pilot of this potential spinoff, it wouldn’t be ordered straight to series. That means it’s a bit of a longer road to getting to air, but it could result in a superior product—keep in mind the original pilot for Game of Thrones was such a disaster that almost all of it was reshot.
HBO has been fairly conservative in capitalizing on the success of Game of Thrones in that show’s wake, and with WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max in need of content, it makes sense that an additional Thrones spinoff would be ordered. Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss declined to be involved in further shows, and recently jumped from HBO to Netflix for an insane deal worth a reported $200 million.
HBO has yet to set an airdate for the first untitled Game of Thrones spinoff, but it’s in production now so it could likely debut sometime in 2020—possibly the fall. If all goes well with this additional spinoff idea, that could potentially be ready to follow in 2021.
Is this the beginning of a Thrones spinoff bonanza at HBO, or was this additional idea just too good to pass up? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.