The magical mind behind Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin, once said that there are eight million stories in Westeros, with more in Essos and beyond. Such is the vibrant magnitude of The Known World, the creative possibilities are almost infinite. It would be a shame, then, should the fantasy world disappear from TV screens after the credits roll on the imminent final season.
Fortunately, for those of us already desperately scanning the world of television for an adequate replacement, it looks like HBO agrees; Casey Bloys, the network's programming president, recently revealed that "preliminary talks" are ongoing for a prequel, or a spinoff.
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What Westeros Story Could HBO Choose?
This isn't completely out of the blue. Game of Thrones's success has elevated it to one of the greatest TV shows of all time, as gripping as it is lucrative. With a dedicated and obsessive fanbase, from a business sense, HBO would be silly to let it fall completely by the wayside.
If the idea gets the green light, what direction will a spinoff take? Although author Martin has been hot and cold on the subject, in April this year, he expressed his belief that his collection of novellas, Tales of Dunk and Egg, would make the perfect source material for an expansion.
The three novellas follow future commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall, and the future king, Aegon V Targaryen (the grandfather of Aerys II Targaryen, a.k.a The Mad King). The plot is set in Westeros, 90 years before events in A Song of Ice and Fire.
Although Martin has identified the series as a contender, it's unlikely this'll be the route HBO take. Considering the popularity of Game of Thrones, a prequel will be marketed on its link to the main series. If that is the case, there's one standout option: Robert's Rebellion.
A Rebellion Worthy Of The TV Treatment
It's an era that is within touching distance of events in the show, and the logical choice for an extension as events are intertwined with characters we know and love. Also, it'll achieve another key objective — Better Call Saul style — by enhancing our understanding and appreciation of the main series. Plus, some of the casting decisions have already been made for flashback sequences in Season 6.
Robert's Rebellion lasted around two years, instigated by the erratic reign of Aerys II Targayen, The Mad King. Following the kidnapping of Lyanna Stark by Rhaegar Targaryen, Brandon Stark (Lyanna's brother) travelled to King's Landing to demand justice from Aerys.
With a response fitting of his nickname, Aerys instead arrested Brandon for treason, then offered him as a ransom to his father, Rickard Stark. However, when Rickard arrived, Aerys instead brutally executed father and son, leading to a violent and bloody rebellion led by House Stark and House Baratheon.
There are numerous events during the Rebellion that would make thrilling television, even for those who have a solid background knowledge from the books. Robert Baratheon himself eventually killed Rhaegar at the Battle of the Trident, a conflict that would work wonders with the HBO treatment.
Expanding On The Tower Of Joy
In another event that would be befitting of the small screen big budget treatment, the Mad King was infamously betrayed by his Kingsguard, Jaime "The Kingslayer" Lannister, who literally and metaphorically stabbed Aerys in the back during the Sack of King's Landing.
One of the final conflicts of Robert's Rebellion has already been depicted in during the Tower of Joy flashback scenes in Season 6. The showdown, involving Ned Stark and a small group of bannermen, led to Ned finding Lyanna and consequently solving the mystery of Jon Snow's parentage; he is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna.
All in all, you'd bet good money on HBO eventually deciding to produce a Game of Thrones spinoff. When that happens, the era of Robert's Rebellion would make for great television, and be worthy of reigniting the flame following the conclusion of the Song of Ice and Fire.
Would Robert's Rebellion be the ideal choice for a Game of Thrones spinoff?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)