Game of Thrones Season 8 has wrapped filming, marking the beginning of the end of HBO's flagship series for this decade. But fans know this isn't the end of the adventures set on Planetos. In a world where nothing successful doesn't at least get a run at a sequel, HBO commissioned no less than five pilot scripts for prequels set during earlier periods of George R.R. Martin's sprawling continent-spanning histories. These Game Of Thrones prequel theories run them down.
HBO has revealed one show already. Here's the synopsis:
From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend … it’s not the story we think we know.
According to Martin, when it comes to the other four:
One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand... Three more prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development. Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.
Here's what has been greenlit, what's rumored to be coming next, and what might still be waiting in the wings.
Game Of Thrones: Age Of Heroes
Jane Goldman's series is set during the Age of Heroes and will recount the events that lead up to the first Long Night.
In theory, this focuses on the Starks before there was a House Stark. A time when Bran the Builder was alive, the man who would ultimately make a pact with the Children of the Forest and the Giants and build the Wall. Westeros as we know it was forming. Lann the Clever founds House Lannister after swindling Casterly Rock from their owners. The Grey Kings take control of the Iron Islands from merpeople.
The best theory here is this will be a show much like Game of Thrones, lots of politics, lots of intrigues, and a heroic Stark trying to bring everyone together to fight as a continent against an oncoming evil.
Game Of Thrones: Empire Of Ash
This is the rumored second series that's going to be greenlit, which is currently under the working title "Empire of Ash." Produced by Max Borenstein, George R.R. Martin is not listed as a co-producer. Director Miguel Sapochnik, who is directing two of the final GoT season episodes, is supposedly directing the pilot.
Set during the Fall of Valryia, this show will focus on the capital city of Sothoryos, “a mix of Carthage and Constantinople, a major port city with a multi-racial society.” It's also dragon central. This makes a *lot* of sense because the one thing Age of Heroes is missing is dragons.
Game of Thrones does a multi-ethnic, dragon-centric Roman-parable fantasy series? For those who were fans of HBO's Rome, it doesn't get more excellent than that.
Game of Thrones: Dance Of Dragons
Of the time periods left, the most logical third show to maybe make the pilot stage would be the Dance of Dragons. This is the Targaryen Civil War, an act of self-destruction from which the dragons they loved never recovered.
Because it would be a dragon-heavy series out of the gate, HBO probably wants to hold fire on producing it until they're sure either there's budget for it or the potential Empire of Ash crashes and burns. Unlike the first two though, this is the first series to be considered where Targaryens and Westeros are in the same show.
As to who would produce this likely third candidate, my money's on this self-inflicted tragedy coming from The Leftovers' Carly Wray, along with George R.R. Martin as co-producer.
Game Of Thrones: Fire & Blood
If HBO does not do a Dance of Dragons series, it's because they make a show on the original conquest of Westeros instead.
The idea of "The Kings of Westeros vs The Dragons" series has a lot going for it. It's similar to the current series. Like the already greenlit Age of Heroes, this is the familiar dressed up as the new. Like the Dance of Dragons, it's Targaryen-heavy history, which Martin is really into writing about right now. And though it has dragons, unlike Empire of Ash, it's not dragon-centric. There are three main ones, just like Dany has.
The likely producer I would guess for this is Game of Thrones' scriptwriter Bryan Cogman, due to the similarities with the current series, with George R.R. Martin as co-producer.
Game Of Thrones: King-Beyond-The-Wall
The final theory for a prequel series would be one with no Targaryens, dragons, or even King's Landing. It's one set in the far reaches of the north, where the wildings are brought together to invade their southern neighbor.
According to A Song of Ice and Fire, six attempted invasions of Westeros by wildlings have happened. All failed, pushed back by the Night's Watch, Starks, aided by the other Northern families.
This show would be a reversal of what fans know. The Starks are the bad guys. It would show the slow decline of the Night's Watch. Also, HBO gets another series with white walkers as a plot point.
But this is probably a stretch too far. Martin says one series has already been shelved, and this one would too.