House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel series, premiers this Sunday on HBO. In addition, there are multiple other Game of Thrones-related properties rumored to be in various stages of development. Let's look back at where they were in April 2021 and today, 16 months later.
April 2021: The official Twitter account of HBO's Game of Thrones has remained active since the series finale two years ago. On Wednesday they simply tweeted, "Winter is coming," the words of House Stark. It was also the name of the very first episode of the series. Considering it's April, it likely has more to do with the Game of Thrones seasons than the changing seasons. So some people got excited thinking HBO was going to remake the disastrous final season.
George R.R. Martin, the creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, recently signed a new five-year, eight-figure deal with HBO to work on the five projects that will exist in the extended Game of Thrones Universe. Keeping in mind Martin is 72-years-old and still has two ASOIAF books left to write as well as the Wild Cards series he's working on which recently moved from Hulu to Peacock. Keep in mind it's been a full decade since the last ASOIAF book was published so feel free to doubt Martin's ability to make any of these properties actually come to life.
The real question is, how likely are all the rumored spin-offs to actually happen? There has already been one failed pilot for a Game of Thrones prequel with Naomi Watts that was scrapped in 2019. Do any of the currently proposed spin-offs have any real chance to even eventually exist? Let's take a look.
House of the Dragon
April '21: There's a cast and people being paid to write and direct and produce and all that stuff. Production is supposed to start this spring (hey, it's the spring right now!) and the show could air as soon as 2022. This one actually looks like it will happen, so good for Martin. We really did need to see what was going on with the Targaryens were doing 300 years before the events of the original series.
August '22: They actually did it. The show debuts on August 21st and we'll be recapping it on The Big Stream.
April '21: N/A
August '22: This sequel series didn't exist a year ago because Kit Harrington wanted to move on from Jon Snow. Apparently being the second-billed Game of Thrones veteran in Eternals wasn't enough for Rose Leslie's husband. It is now in early development.
The Tales of Dunk and Egg
April '21: Based on three short stories written by Martin about Ser Duncan the Tall and a young Aegon V Targaryen that takes place between House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones. Apparently there were people asking for this back in 2017, but that was also when people weren't actively angry at the show so who knows what the demand for something like this which features no one from the original series years after the disappointing end.
August '22: The show is now called A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms and they're still working on a script.
Untitled Flea Bottom Series
April '21: There are no details. No one is attached. No one asking for this. Someone at HBO simply wrote "Flea Bottom series" on a piece of paper one day and then probably brought it up in a pitch meeting when they didn't have any real ideas. They can just do this over and over. Workplace comedy set at The Wall. Family-based sitcom at Winterfell. A travel food show starring Hot Pie in a Guy Fieri-type role. A documentary about medieval England. You can say any of these things and no one will bat an eye.
August '22: This one turned out to be almost exactly what I predicted and was axed a year ago.
9 Voyages / Sea Snake Series
April '21: Here's what The Hollywood Reporter has on the series, which would be a spin-off of a spin-off:
One of the projects, working title 9 Voyages, is from Rome creator Bruno Heller and follows Lord Corlys Velaryon, aka The Sea Snake, the Lord of the Tides and head of House Velaryon. The character also appears in the upcoming greenlit GoT prequel House of the Dragon, where he's played by actor Steve Toussaint. So this effort represents a potential spinoff of a character from a series that hasn't yet been shot (let alone aired).
Got that? It's a spin-off of a series that hasn't yet been made, built around a character that we don't know if anyone even likes yet. Because the original doesn't exist. Good luck with that!
August '22: They're still talking about the spin-off spin-off which would be the first since NBC's ill-fated Frasier prequel Bulldog. Steve Toussaint, who plays Corlys in House of the Dragon, is hoping for a small role.
10,000 Ships / Nymeria Series
April '21: This will be an origin story for Dorne based on the "warrior queen Princess Nymeria." She was important enough for Arya to name her direwolf after her and one of the Sand Snakes who were comically bad at fighting was also named Nymeria. Definitely hold your breath for this one.
August '22: It's now Ten Thousand Ships. According to a March '22 blog post by George R.R. Martin the series is "forging ahead."
Untitled Game of Thrones Animated Drama Prequel Series
April '21: Seriously. Via The Hollywood Reporter:
No details yet on the subject or style of this animated project, but an animated venture gives a couple of storytelling advantages: It could portray a lavish amount of spectacle beyond even GoT standards, and/or it could tell a story that spans a considerable stretch of time — much of Martin's previously published supplemental materials are in an encyclopedic form that sketches out thousands of years of Westeros history, a breezy storytelling style that's far easier to portray on screen using animation, where producers could quickly introduce various characters and settings and then rapidly move on without having to cast actors or build sets.
No details, but they could draw stuff real easy and there are lots of free ideas that GRRM wrote down when he wasn't advancing the plot towards a conclusion. We certainly love our animated drama series, don't we folks?
August '22: What if I told you there were now THREE animated GoT spin-offs in the works? Only one of them has a name (The Golden Empire) and beyond that it doesn't sound like much is actually going on. Via The A/V Club:
The Golden Empire is the spin-off we know the least about, but it’s also one of the most intriguing. It’s set in Yi Ti, a region on the eastern coast of Essos. Yi Ti is one of the oldest and most advanced societies in Martin’s world, though it’s somewhat mysterious, as its distance from Westeros makes it difficult to travel to or trade with.
While there are no plot details available regarding The Golden Empire, it’s one of three animated Game Of Thrones spin-off series in the works right now. The other two animated shows are confirmed to be in development, but their subjects and titles are currently unknown. No showrunner or writers have been named for The Golden Empire yet, but Martin has gushed about the concept art he’s seen so far.