Fans across the world can barely control their excitement for season 7 of Game of Thrones. All our nervous energy has had time to percolate: a delay in the shooting schedule pushed back the release to July 16th. But this year the excitement is tinged with sadness: it’s a shorter season and the second last to boot.
Naturally, the internet is busy churning out ideas for sequels, prequels and spinoffs. Keep. The. Dream. Alive. It’s a classic coping mechanism for grieving fans. As always, the most serious (read: nerdy) ideas are coming from the subreddit A Song Of Ice And Fire. In fact, they’ve just held a voting competition to decide the best spinoff idea. The winning pitch will actually be presented to Game of Thrones HBO producers. How’s that for dedication?
The thing is, it’s not just hobbyists, these are serious writers who have an abiding passion for enriching and exploring the sprawling universe that Martin created. Let’s have a peek at the best ones.
The Greyjoy Rebellion
It’s a short six years after Robert Baratheon has ousted the Mad King Aerys II from the Iron Throne. King Robert’s own rebellion left much of the country damaged a depleted the great Houses of thousands of bannermen.
It’s at this moment of uncertainty that Lord Balon Greyjoy launches his own insurrection. During Robert’s rebellion the Ironborn took no sides, instead they built their navy. Balon desperately sought to restore the Old Way of reaping, raping, reaving and pillaging.
And so Victarion sailed into Lannisport and torched the entire Lannister fleet, setting off a chain of events that saw the Iron Fleet annihilated, Pyke’s walls breached and humiliatingly, Balon bend the knee.
Do we want to see Thoros of Myr waving his flaming sword around during the siege of Pyke? Yes. Do we want to watch the shocking defeats that led to the politics of envy that gripped the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones? Yes. Do we want to see a very young Theon taken as an upmarket hostage? Yes.
The cunning lion of Casterly Rock was one of the most feared men in Westeros. But before his memorable death (in Cluedo terms: Tyrion, in the toilet, with a crossbow), before his entire family melodrama played out in King’s Landing, who was Tywin Lannister? Ruthless, we’ll bet. Principled, maybe. Handsome, definitely.
This spinoff follows the rise of House Lannister from laughingstock to riches under Tywin’s stewardship. We see him journey to King’s Landing (great parallels to Season 1 of Game of Thrones here) to befriend a young Aerys in Aegon V’s court. The two strike up a friendship that will one day be broken by a total betrayal.
The richness and complexity of Tywin’s life (honour on one hand, savage violence on the other) match the historical events leading up to Game of Thrones. We can explore the waning influence of the Targaryens and the slow rise of their last King, Aerys II. From Tywin’s perspective, we are viewing a corrupted and violent empire collapsing in on itself.
Perspective is everything to GRRM. We can definitely see him giving a thumbs-up to a series that elaborates upon and teases out the tensions and flaws that he gave us.
Doom of Valyria
Does the coolest sounding event in GRRM’s universe deserve it’s own tv show? Let’s see… Dragons, palace intrigue, volcanos, an ancient civilisation rent apart and swallowed by the sea, heaps of magic, divine intervention, corruption. We certainly think so.
This idea sketches out a bloodthirsty political drama in the years preceding the Doom of Valyria. Much like Game of Thrones, great houses vie for power and privilege. We will meet the custodians High Valyrian and learn their magic. All the while waiting for the biblical-sized violent climax that is teased in A Song Of Ice And Fire.
In fact, there is so much awesome material to do with the Doom of Valyria, some legends have already gone ahead and made a 20 minute animated short film about it! Feast your eyes on this.
The Dance of Dragons
Set 170 years before the Game of Thrones series, the Targaryens were at war with one another; flying their dragons, shooting dragonfire at one another, doing other visually spectacular things. This is a hard yes.
Game of Thrones: Robert’s Rebellion
This is perhaps the least imaginative of the bunch but will delight the average viewer (and us). Maintain the same format as Game of Thrones but start twenty years before the current television show. Over the course of several seasons, fill it all in!
With that we make a direct plea to George R R Martin, HBO, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss: please make all of these shows. We need it.
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