HBO Max is developing two additional animated Game of Thrones shows, bringing the number to three in total, because you can never have too much of a good thing. Or… can you? I know I’m biased since I’ve only seen a few episodes of the live-action show and thought they were completely ridiculous, but is this really what you want Game of Thrones to be? An endless IP machine of televised mediocrity? Because that’s what this entire endeavor of franchise exploitation has felt like to me since the original GoT went off the air.
I mean, how many Game of Thrones projects have been put into development since then, only to be scrapped? There was a live-action prequel series starring Naomi Watts that HBO opted not to move forward with, and in the Hollywood Reporter‘s scoop about the new animated shows, the trade notes that another live-action series set in the King’s Landing slum of Flea Bottom has also been fed to the dragons — not that it was ever officially announced by the network. Still, with all these development troubles, it’s no wonder WarnerMedia is just throwing up its hands and embracing an animated future for this high-profile franchise, which at this point, is no longer special. It’s just another IP throwing everything at The Wall to see what sticks.
The first animated Game of Thrones series was announced back in January, and though details regarding that project as well as the two new animated shows are being kept under wraps, THR reports that one of them will take place in the Golden Empire of Yi Ti (or simply Yi Ti), a region in the continent of Essos that is home to one of the oldest and most advanced societies in author George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy world. Yi Ti is reportedly inspired by Imperial China, just as Westeros was said to have been inspired by Medieval Europe. Apparently, Yi Ti was briefly referenced on Game of Thrones, though the Sea Snake, a character in HBO’s upcoming prequel series House of the Dragon, famously sailed to Yi Ti. That show tells the story of the Targaryen Civil War and is slated to debut in 2022.
Other Game of Thrones projects in the works include 10,000 Ships, which follows the warrior queen Nymeria, who founded the kingdom of Dorne, and 9 Voyages, which hails from Rome creator Bruno Heller and follows a character known as Velaryon, who will appear in House of the Dragon. And where is GoT author Martin in all of this? Counting his money while producing the new AMC series Dark Wind based on the Native American crime novels from Tony Hillerman. Hmmm…
Game of Thrones is hardly the only WarnerMedia property to go the animated route of late, as HBO Max recently greenlit an animated Batman series from producers J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, while Warner Bros. reunited Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart to voice the animated leads in its DC League of Super Pets movie, which follows Superman and Batman’s crime-fighting dogs. And don’t even get me started on all the IP that Warner Bros. shoehorned into its Space Jam sequel. I suppose this is just the new normal and I need to get used to it.
If House of the Dragon or one of these animated shows end up being bigger and better than Game of Thrones then I will eat my hat, for I suspect that all of these new GoT projects will play like the Fantastic Beasts films next to the Harry Potter movies — i.e. like a pale imitation. Then again, you can’t blame a streaming service or its parent company for trying. Whatever boosts the bottom line!