Until recently, George R.R. Martin never wanted his book A Game of Thrones made into a movie. In his eyes, there was just too much there for one movie. I suppose that if one eliminated the entire Daenerys Targeryen storyline, I suppose there could be a 2.5 hour, Eddard Stark-centric movie there. But alas, Martin's insight was right. This story was best suited for HBO, with the free hand to tell his unique adult-themed fantasy and with enough time (roughly 10 hours each season) to tell the story.
Now that [Game of Thrones](series:201531) has become the most watched show in HBO history (18.4 million viewers across the legal means of viewing), perhaps it is time to think about adapting GoT to the silver screen.
How? The format seems to forbid it. Game of Thrones is a serial in its purist form; each episode is merely part of a whole, with few-if-any episodes featuring a self-contained story. In order to do a movie, the showrunners would have to cut the last few chapters off of one of the books, ending the season with still some of the story left to tell, and finishing the story in a 2.5 hour movie. But that is not a satisfying movie. One would have to be a GoT fan to have any idea what is going on in the movie. Furthermore, fans like me who do not have cable (let alone HBO), we wouldn't be able to see the movie in theaters, because we are still waiting for the season to come out on DVD/Blu-ray. And worst of all, such a movie would serious hurt the primary product: the show.
This is, however, the direction that George R.R. Martin is leaning. Recent talk seems to point to Martin finishing off the A Song of Ice & Fire series with a massive battle to rival JRR Tolkien's Battle of Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King. My fear is that Martin is going to write the final books in the series in a way to make the show more epic. That would be a great mistake. Books must exist on their own. And if those books are good, then they will make a good foundation for a movie or TV show. My hope is that Martin changes nothing from his original plan. Furthermore, I hope that they tell the entire A Song of Ice & Fire series within the HBO show.
But there is a solution; there is still a possibility for a Game of Thrones movie. Nearly every plot point and character relationship of season 1 can be traced back to Robert's Rebellion, when the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen and his son Rhaegar ignited rebellion by kidnap & murder. This Rebellion is 17-year-old history by the time GoT begins, with Eddard Stark happy and content in the North, and King Robert Baratheon heading north to recruit him to serve the king in the capital, forever changing the Starks. Eddard & Robert's relationship is heavily influenced by what happened in the war. The story of the rebellion, and the murder of two Stark lords (and the kidnapping of a Stark lady) which launched the rebellion, is hinted at throughout the books, show, and the special background features on the DVD/Blu-ray. There is a movie to be told there. The movie would have to have an entirely new cast. As cool as Sean Bean is, he could not play himself at 20. Not even the youthful Nikolaj Coster-Waldau could play Jaime Lannister at 18, when he earned the nickname Kingslayer.
Despite the recasting that would be necessary, this would make a great movie. Since it would require none of the principle cast of the show, it could be filmed concurrently with the show. Some set-sharing would make sense, but a talented team of producers could juggle the schedule to make that work. Furthermore, a Game of Throne: Robert's Rebellion movie would excite the GoT fans to no end, and would be an excellent introduction into the world of Westeros for everyone else, as this prequel ought to pique someone's interest in Game of Thrones, season 1.