Earlier this year, HBO announced that plans were being made for several Game Of Thrones spin-off shows. They confirmed that four writers, including George R. R. Martin, were working on ideas. Shortly after this announcement, Martin revealed that there will potentially be five spin-off shows, all prequels.
Speculation about the spin-offs is huge. One idea that seems popular, which I'm personally hopeful for, is a show exploring the Children of the Forest – the magical creatures pre-dating humans in Westeros. Despite being really important in Game Of Thrones, they're only featured briefly in the show. I believe that these characters have a lot of potential, so here's four reasons why their own show would be a great idea.
1. They Have A Complex History
So who are the Children Of The Forest? In Game Of Thrones, we get a brief explanation about the Children, but this is nothing compared to what is revealed in the books. It's also worth noting that they call themselves 'those who sing the song of earth' in the books – this could be significant in a series titled A Song Of Ice And Fire.
The Children of the Forest are magical beings and the original inhabitants of Westeros. They lived in the Dawn Age, before the First Men and thousands of years before Game Of Thrones takes place. When the First Men encountered the Children, war broke out between them. It lasted thousands of years before peace was made with a pact. The Children became embroiled in war again when the Andals arrived in Westeros, this war was over religious differences, and resulted in the Children fleeing North.
Common belief is that the Children of the Forest are extinct in the show's timeline. However, as we know from later in the books and in the show, this is revealed to be untrue. The Children continued to survive in the show up to the point where Bran has ventured north of the Wall. He even dwells amongst the Children while training with the Three-Eyed Raven. Unfortunately, the Night King becomes aware of Bran's whereabouts and invades their location, killing many, including the Children. Whether this marks their extinction has yet to be revealed.
These unique characters have such a complex and dramatic history, and it's begging to translated to screen.
2. They're Unique Characters With A Rich Culture
When Bran finally encounters the Children of the Forest, he discovers just how powerful and knowledgeable they are. They can live for thousands of years and have exceptional memory, which supplies them with immense wisdom. They also wield powerful magic and possess supernatural powers, including the ability to communicate with animals and wear an animal's skin. The Children have the ability to speak to the dead and are gifted with greensight – the ability to dream as other people. They also create exceptionally beautiful music and have an intense connection to the natural world, as Jojen explains to Bran in this extract from A Song of Ice and Fire:
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one. The singers of the forest had no books. No ink, no parchment, no written language. Instead they had they trees, and the weirwoods above all. When they died, they went into the wood, into leaf and limb and root, and the trees remembered. All their songs and spells, their histories and prayers, everything they knew about this world."
George R. R. Martin certainly gave this creation a lot of thought. The depth and detail he put into the Children isn't done justice by the scarce screen-time they received in the show.
3. They're Important To 'Game Of Thrones'
As most fans know, Game Of Thrones' storyline has surpassed that of the books. This happened to Bran's timeline in Season 6, where it was revealed that the Children of the Forest were responsible for creating the first White Walker, thousands of years prior to the time #GameOfThrones is set.
The Children of the Forest created the White Walkers to protect themselves from the First Men, but this was a move they would later regret – the White Walkers eventually broke free of the Children's control and became the most feared creatures in Westeros. 8,000 years before Robert's Rebellion, the White Walkers descended upon Westeros from the North in the longest winter the Seven Kingdoms had ever known, referred to as the Long Night. The people of Westeros waged war against the White Walkers and drove the remaining wights into the frozen Far North. The Children of the Forest joined forces with humans and giants to build the Wall and the Night's Watch was founded to guard it.
This all shows how integral the Children were to the Westeros we see in Game Of Thrones, so a prequel featuring their influence would really add to GoT.
4. There Is Still So Much To Explore About Them
George R. R. Martin created an epic backstory pre-dating A Song Of Ice And Fire that we've still only glimpsed at. He meticulously established a solid foundation for his elaborate story – the detailed heritage to every House in the Seven Kingdoms is evidence of this. Seeing how these Houses were founded and how they have developed throughout millennia is something that writers could expand upon.
Almost everything is enriched with history – for example, the Wall Jon Snow arrives at is merely a shadow of it's former glory, but seeing it's construction could make for fascinating viewing. Both of these options involve the Children of the Forest in some way. The first would reveal the division amongst Westeros between the Children's elf-like lifestyle and the humans' introduction of hierarchy. The construction of the Wall is awash with the more fantastic elements of Game Of Thrones, including the Children's magical powers involved in it's founding. It would be an injustice to Martin's vivid imagination to not utilize the potential of the fascinating Children of the Forest.
The present is always connected to the past, and most things have history if looked at closely enough. George R. R. Martin was evidently mindful of this, and the complexity of A Song Of Ice And Fire is what makes his creation so convincing.
What do you think about the Children of the Forest? Would you like to see them get their own Game of Thrones spin-off? Comment now!