When writer George R.R. Martin started his “Song of Ice and Fire” book series in 1996 with “A Game of Thrones”, he probably never could have imagined that it would become popular enough to warrant a TV adaptation on HBO in 2011. Perhaps it was due to the story being set on a medieval fantasy world and then went on to deconstruct narrative conventions expected of the setting. Whatever the case, it is clear that the “Game of Thrones” series has become a cash cow for its network, so much that it has green-lighted a spinoff to the soon-to-conclude show.
Entertainment Weekly tells us that HBO has ordered a pilot for a possible new medieval fantasy series still set in the Known World with the continents of Essos and Westeros, setting of “Game of Thrones”. The award-winning fantasy drama is airing its concluding season on 2019, amazingly well ahead of the book series it is based on, with George R.R. Martin’s planned last two books still unfinished. He likely will find even less time to work on those as he and writer Jane Goldman have been tapped by HBO to be the possible series’ show-runners, after “Thrones” creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff announced their non-involvement in the future show.
The pilot is a prequel to the events in “Game of Thrones” and the “Song of Ice and Fire” books, being set multiple thousands of years earlier during the mythological Age of Heroes in Westeros. HBO’s official blurb states that the show follows “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour” referring to the in-universe legendary tales of the decades-lasting “Long Night” winter period, when the monstrous White Walkers attacked the world until beaten back by the First Men and the Children of the Forest.
Even in Martin’s original books the subject of the earliest history of the world is a minor point of discussion by the characters. The Age of Heroes was estimated to have been 10,000 years before the time of “Game of Thrones”, when culture heroes such as the founder of House Stark, Bran the Builder, and that of House Lannister, Lann the Clever, were said to have lived. But the HBO blurb darkly warns that what the original show’s characters – and what the audience – think happened then may not turn out to be what they imagined those legendary events to be.
No title has yet been given for the “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot, but if it gets ordered into a full-season series then it will become the first show on HBO that is a continuation of a previous series. None of the current “Thrones” cast will reprise their roles, although one of the show’s primary antagonists, the Night King, might make a possible origin appearance. HBO plans the spinoff to air after its original show ended, meaning it could start airing as early as 2020.
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