Game of Thrones, the seminal R-rated fantasy series created by HBO (based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R.R. Martin), ended with its divisive eighth season back in 2019. Considered one of the best fantasy shows ever made, Game of Thrones raked in immense critical and fan appraisal through its first five seasons, while bringing in over $2 billion total during its eight-season run. Starring Sean Bean, Kit Harrington, and Sophie Turner (and launching the careers of many other actors and actresses), Game of Thrones followed the Stark family through the most tumultuous period in the history of the Kingdom of Westeros. Through incredibly violent gore, sickening plot twists, drama, fantastic storylines and characters, along with other elements; Game of Thrones became an instant hit, solidifying itself in popular culture during the 2010s.
To general audiences, the show’s eighth season was incredibly disappointing, with critics and audiences alike panning the six-episode finisher. Only reaching 55% total on Rotten Tomatoes, season eight was the lowest rated of the bunch. Following the ending of the main series, HBO immediately got to work on multiple spinoff shows based on the history of the world of Game of Thrones. House of the Dragon (based on the Targaryen family) is the first spinoff to be aired, and there are several series currently in various stages of development at HBO. Below is a list of the Game of Thrones spinoffs we’d most like to see.
Updated on August 26th, 2023 by Valerie Parker: This article has been updated with additional content to keep the discussion fresh and relevant with even more information and new entries.
8 Robert’s Rebellion
Sixteen years before the beginning of Game of Thrones, a civil war known as Robert’s Rebellion took place in the nation of Westeros. Robert Baratheon, along with Houses Stark, Arryn, and Tully, rebelled against King Aerys II Targaryen after King Aerys II called for the heads of both Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon after they threatened retaliation for the unjust killings of Ned’s father and brother, and after Robert’s betrothed (Leanna Stark) was “kidnapped” by Aerys’ son Rhaegar.
With a cast of familiar characters, intense battles including Robert vs. Rhaegar at the battle of the Trident, classic Game of Thrones violence, political intrigue, and dramatic storylines, Robert’s Rebellion would be a great, and relatively safe story to explore in a spinoff show. This would also allow viewers to see the origins and beginnings of some of the audience’s favorite characters. Storylines that could be explored include how Jaime Lannister became the Kingslayer, the marriage of Ned and Caitlyn, the influence of Jon Arryn, and many more.
7 Aegon’s Conquest of Westeros
One of the most important historical points often referenced in Game of Thrones was the conquest of Westeros by Aegon I Targaryen with the help of his sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys. On the back of the largest dragon the world had ever known, Balerion the Black Dread, Aegon began a two-year conquest of the kingdoms of Westeros, eventually becoming the first person to conquer the six kingdoms on the continent. It is from the sword of his enemies that Aegon I created the Iron Throne at the heart of the drama of Game of Thrones.
His Targaryen lineage ruled over Westeros for 300 years before Robert’s rebellion led to the death of Aegon V Targaryen and forced his surviving children, Viserys and Daenerys, to flee to Essos. After the success of House of the Dragon, rumors rose that HBO was keen to build on its success with more stories in the drama surrounding House Targaryen, with the story of Aegon’s Conquest at the top of their list of potential stories to be told, but nothing has yet to be confirmed. The story of the struggle to overtake the individual Westerosi kingdoms and unite them for the first time would be a thrilling story to see, especially as pertains to the 7th kingdom of Dorne, which not only managed to evade the conquest but also were responsible for the death of Rhaenys and her dragon Meraxes.
6 The Golden Empire of Yi Ti
While the action of Game of Thrones focused largely on the area of Wessos, where the populace was fair-skinned, the world beyond Wessos is much more diverse. One area that is not shown or even mentioned in the series is the Golden Empire of Yi Ti, an area in the far East of the continent of Essos that was inspired by Imperial China. Yi Ti is the successor to a previous culture known as the Great Empire of the Dawn, a mythic kingdom that is sad to have fallen during the Long Night. Though Yi Ti is ruled by a God-Emperor who is worshiped as divine, he is weak, and his kingdom is surrounded by a hundred little princedoms made up of local governors and tax collectors who undermine the God-Emperor’s authority.
The area has seen much turmoil in the thousands of years since the Long Night, with warlords and petty kings constantly fighting for supremacy. Given Martin’s tendency to mine the depths of history to populate his stories, the rich history of China, and the fact that the area is never mentioned in the original series, the possibilities are endless with a series based on the story of The Golden Empire of Yi Ti. According to a blog post from Martin in 2022, HBO is looking at taking on this story through an animated medium, which would be a welcome change.
5 Tales of Dunk and Egg
The biggest complaint for audiences and critics of seasons 6-8 of Game of Thrones was the writing of the show. After season five ended, the showrunners no longer had any source material to work from as only five books in the expected seven-book series had been published. George R.R. Martin gave the creative team behind the show a bare-bones outline of what would happen, but it wasn’t enough for the writers to work with. It’s a different situation with one Game of Thrones spinoff recently in production, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Based on a series of novellas, The Tales of Dunk and Egg means potential showrunners would have three complete stories to work from.
Taking place in the somewhat distant past, Tales of Dunk and Egg follows future King Aegon V Targaryen (Egg), and his humble companion Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk), as the two make their way through the Westeros countryside, settling political disputes, fighting evil, and bonding with each other. All during one of the more peaceful eras in the history of Westeros. There are three novellas worth of stories to go from: “The Hedge Knight”, “The Sworn Sword”, and “The Mystery Knight”. One benefit of the series is that it would also be a nice change of pace for the Game of Thrones universe, maybe even giving audiences an entry that could be family-friendly.
4 The Doom of Valyria
The Valyrian Freehold was the ancestral home of House Targaryen, an area that encompassed most of Essos. A highly advanced civilization ruled by several powerful families, of which the dragonlords were the most powerful of all. Valyria prospered for 5,000 years before a cataclysmic event known as The Doom destroyed the entire civilization, causing the loss of countless spells, knowledge, and recorded history. Though it is unclear what caused The Doom, it was likely a natural event that saw every hill for five hundred miles explode, killing all living things in its path, including Dragons. The collapse of the civilization led to the era known as the Century of Blood, a struggle for control of the continent that lasted 100 years. The city of Volantis, the most powerful of the nine free cities of the time laid claim to what was left of the Valyrian Empire, and the Dothraki rode out of the East, with their wave of destruction leading to the end of several realms.
The Doom took place approximately 100 years before Aegon’s Conquest of Westeros, with House Targaryen having survived due to a prophetic dream of a member of the family, who convinced her father to flee to Dragon Stone 12 years before Valyria fell. The mentions of Valyria in Game of Thrones by Daenerys Targaryen, and having seen what remained of the once powerful civilization when Ser Jorah Mormont and Tyrion Lannister were making their way to Daenerys were tantalizing teases of a fascinating story. A thrilling spinoff to GoT could be a chanceto see the once-great civilization at its peak, its disastrous fall, and the warring factions that fought for primacy in the aftermath
One of the most exciting and intriguing options for a Game of Thrones spinoff made it to the pilot stage, with $30-35 million being spent creating an episode it’s unlikely anyone will ever see. Set during the Age of Heroes thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series was meant to be a major shift in tone and setting from GoT, which ultimately led to its demise. Though head of HBO Casey Bloys said there was nothing specifically wrong with the series, it was decided it was too big a shift from GoT, and the series was canceled before it even began.
Bloodmoon was meant to depict the period that began when the First Men and the Children of the Forest found peace, and the Long Night began. It was a generation-long Winter that saw the White Walkers descend on the seven individual kingdoms that would later become the Kingdom of Westeros. Unfortunately, HBO was gun-shy at delivering something different from GoT, even when the series concept sounds so unique and exciting. Perhaps they’ll revisit the idea in the future if they feel more secure in the franchise having been established beyond the original series.
2 Arya’s Seafaring Adventures
At the end of season eight of Game of Thrones, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), the youngest surviving Stark sibling, boards a ship that is heading west of Westeros, which has yet to be discovered. Though not based on any source material, a seafaring thriller would be a fascinating series to watch. New lands, new people, new monsters, new dangers, etc. It could be a Game of Thrones-esque version of Pirates of the Caribbean that fleshes out more of the lore in the universe Martin and HBO have created.
Given that actress Maisie Williams is still fairly young, showrunners could get quite a few seasons out of the swashbuckling series. Rumors surrounding the spinoff shows also suggest two sea-related series are in the works, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to believe that some sort of sea-related show could happen.
1 10,000 Ships
One of the many series that has potential as a future Game of Thrones prequel is the story of Nymeria, the namesake of two characters from the original series. Nymeria is Arya’s Direwolf while Nymeria Sand is one of Oberyn Martell’s daughters. The original Nymeria was a warrior queen who lived about a thousand years before the events of GoT. She is known for leading refugees of an ancient tribe known as the Rhoynar to Dorne after they were driven away from their original homeland along the Rhoyne River in Essos during a war against the Valyrian freehold and its Dragons. When they landed in Dorne, Nymeria had all of the ships burned so that her people could not abandon her.
Though the Dornish were at the time made up of a series of tribes that had never been united, a local king named Mors Martell took a fancy to her, and after their marriage the pair combined forces to conquer and unite all of Dorne. 10,000 Ships was announced as one of many potential GoT spinoffs in 2021, but no updates have been forthcoming in the time since. With a world and lore so unfulfilled and so unexplored as George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, finding ideas for spinoff shows would be like finding a kid an amusement park. The only problem for HBO and the showrunners is finding an idea that would sell and perform well. The spinoff ideas above would be great starting points.
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