If Game of Thrones is the biggest show on television, then the numerous spin-off series we've been promised by HBO are probably the biggest upcoming shows in television. Thrones fans who are upset to see their favorite characters go will need something to cling to, and a new journey through Westeros will help ease the pain of the O.G. series ending.
If you've been following Game of Thrones closely, whether through the TV series or because you devoured all the books, you'll likely recognize what's to come, according to one of the people devloping a spin-off series. Screenwriter Jane Goldman, who is working on a future series with Thrones creator George R.R. Martin, says they'll be covering territory you've heard about already.
If I was able to say what mine was," Goldman told IGN, "I think as a book reader or as someone who watched the series, you would say, 'Oh, that! OK.' Yeah, it would be recognizable as a past event, but I think that’s probably as far as I can go.'
So this reveals at least one crucial piece of information for this particular spin-off—it will take place in the past, since it follows an event that can be recognized by name. Given the staggering amount of people who have died on the show during the last seven seasons, this could mean the return of some of your favorites who lost their lives.
The simple connection to make is to Robert's Rebellion, which saw Robert Baratheon, Ned Stark, and others lead a conquest against the Mad King, setting up the world we see at the beginning of Game of Thrones. The rebellion is referenced frequently throughout the books and the show, and a lot of the power dynamics and rivalries between houses stem from who they were loyal to during the great conflict.
But Martin himself has insisted there will not be a need to focus on Robert's Rebellion, telling fans via his Live Journal that it wouldn't be necessary by the time the main series is over.
"We're not doing Robert's Rebellion," said Martin. "By the time I finish writing A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert's Rebellion. There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just the acting out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That's not a story I want to tell just now; it would feel too much like a twice-told tale."
This makes sense on some level, because Robert's Rebellion may serve better as a storytelling device than a show itself. One of the reasons the story of Robert's rebellion was so important to Thrones was because it showed that men are not so easily labeled "heroes" and "villains," and instead are complicated individuals who contain multitudes. Retelling a story we are already keenly aware of—and focusing on the same characters we know well—wouldn't be the best use of resources.
A better option might be to focus on "Dance of the Dragons," a civil war within House Targaryen that led to the deaths of several rulers and the destruction of most of the dragons possessed by the family. The battle between family members would reflect the politics fans love on the main Game of Thrones show, and of course, we'd get a metric ton of dragon battles, which I don't think anyone would turn down.
Who knows what the final product could be—could we even see a series about the mysterious Children of the Forest?—but with Game of Thrones wrapping up soon, the arrival of a spin-off can't come soon enough.