HBO is treating Game of Thrones like the golden goose that it is. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the premium cable network is developing a new sequel series centered around the character Jon Snow. Star Kit Harington is attached to reprise the role, which he played for eight seasons on the wildly popular fantasy series, based on the novels by George R.R. Martin.
The sequel show means that there are now at least seven Game of Thrones spinoffs in various stages of development at HBO and HBO Max. House of the Dragon, a prequel series that chronicles the events leading up to the Targaryen civil war, will be the first out of the gate, with an August 21 release date looming. Other shows in development include Ten Thousand Ships with showrunner Amanda Segel, The Sea Snake from showrunner Bruno Heller, and The Tales of Dunk and Egg from showrunner Steve Conrad. Three animated series are also in the works, while one live-action prequel was denied a series order after a pilot was filmed.
Jon Snow remained a fan-favorite character throughout the series’ run. It was revealed in the Season 7 finale that his real name is Aegon Targaryen, which made him one of the rightful heirs to the Iron Throne. But the series finale showed Jon Snow leaving behind his old life at Castle Black, and subsequently journeying beyond the Wall with his wildling companions.
Jon Snow was killed off at the end of the fifth season, but was resurrected by the Red Witch Melisandre in Season 6. Harington often spoke about the physical and emotional challenges of playing the character, who became increasingly popular during the show’s eight-season run, and basically locked him down creatively for several years—to the point where he was forbidden from cutting his long hair to maintain continuity for GoT.
He tried branching out while the show was at its peak—Harington starred in director Paul W.S. Anderson’s ill-fated Pompeii picture, and voiced a character in How to Train Your Dragon 2; he also starred in director Xavier Dolan’s poorly received drama The Life & Death of John F. Donovan. But Harington’s first major post-Game of Thrones role came in the Marvel Cinematic Universe spectacle Eternals. The film underperformed at the box office, and is infamous for being the lowest-rated MCU movie critically, but it certainly left the door open for him to return as the Black Knight.
Although now, theoretically, Harington’s future might only involve Marvel movies and multiple seasons as Jon Snow. But that’s hardly a reason to complain. The show did, after all, earn him two Emmy nods and played Cupid for him and his wife Rose Leslie. As for Game of Thrones, one character-centric sequel could mean more character-centric sequels. If it worked for Marvel and Lucasfilm on streaming, there’s no reason it can’t for HBO as well.