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10 Game of Thrones prequel series ideas

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever talked to a Game of Thrones fan that has read all the books? We all have, and at some point the conversation always turns to just how much more information there is in George R.R. Martin’s novels compared to the show. We won’t bore you with the usual “books vs TV” argument, but we will tell you that there is a TON of information in the books that doesn’t appear on the show, or is only briefly mentioned.

Why do we bring this up? Because the words Game of Thrones prequel always seems to set the internet on fire. HBO bosses can’t seem to stop talking about it. Fans can’t seem to stop talking about it, and even Martin can’t seem to stop talking about it. Everyone loves Game of Thrones, and we all want more.

Martin has given us plenty of options in the prequel department, with Westerosi history going back almost to the dawn of creation. There are Targaryen civil wars, rebellions, little side stories like Star Wars’ Rogue One, and even Dorne is exciting the way Martin writes it (sorry HBO). There is enough material for HBO to have some sort of prequel series, for easily the next fifty years.

And so, here are the ten best prequel ideas as chosen by us. These aren’t the only ten options, and some of them could perhaps even be combined with others, but they are ten nonetheless. We tried not to spoil all the endings in case HBO produces any of these, but there are some details. Now that you’ve been warned, read on, and let us hear what you think!

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  • Why just Robert’s Rebellion? Why not the whole reign of Aerys II? Think “The Tudors” in Westeros with the Rebellion being the final season.

    • That was one idea we would like to see as well. If you throw all the things that happened during Aerys’ reign, you could easily get up to 7 or 8 seasons combined with RR’s.

    • I agree with this, The fall of the Targaryens would be an amazing GoT prequel, possibly spanning from his early life – which means, from the War of the Ninepenny Kings or shortly after, through his admiration for the young Tywin Lannister (I want to see the Rains of Castamere!) up to the point when he starts to be jealous of him, to the Defiance of Duskendale and then finally his madness and Robert’s Rebellion as the last one or even two seasons.
      It would be amazingly long, sure, and with no dragons, but that’d be amazing!

  • Any prequel/spinoff (yes, some people will use the term spinoff) series would be tough. D&D won’t be at the helm, and there is minimal potential to retain any of the established actors, even if they wanted to stay on.

    My vote would go to making any prequel shows as one season hits. If the reviews are poor and the money doesn’t come in, it should limit any reputational damage.

    Roberts rebellion would be perfect for this, as a 10-12 episode series with hopefully a similar budget to one of the bigger GoT series. The pattern could also play safe and follow the “traditional” format of a GoT series. Begin with the Tourney at Harrenhal and some backstory, episode 3/4 have the stark executions and battle of the bells. Episode 9 could be the trident, and it can all end on the sack of kings landing and maybe even have the tower of joy material. Is this all predictable? Sure, but it’s probably the best way to gauge if prequel series are worth doing.

    • I do think Robert’s Rebellion would be a natural fit, since most people would be familiar with many of the characters. It would be fun to see each series go farther and farther back in reverse order.

    • I think the anthology seasons/series is a good idea as well. For my sci-fi fantasy desires I’d prefer Aegon’s Conquest, The Long Night or The Dance of the Dragons to be a new series, but if they were to do a multi-seasons series on just one of those they’re limiting the story yet again to one small segment of Westeros history. That would be great of course, but if done well and given the budget I think they could adapt many of these options. There wouldn’t be the character development that multiple seasons could provide but I don’t think that’s as necessary since it wouldn’t be adapting anything as lengthy as ASoIaF. It would be more about showing the stories the characters have spoken about throughout.

      and like Bandit mentioned below, perhaps they could cast Isaac as Bran in some fashion to be our portal to each time. I wouldn’t restrict it to just a couple episodes per though. That’s just not enough time to accomplish or convey much and I think it would require heavy narration just to keep it from being completely confusing.

      • Bran does give them a natural bridge to all the stories of the past. Just have him explaining/viewing history with the next Three Eyed Raven.

  • An anthology series with 2-3 episode arcs with Bran time jumping could touch on every one of these suggestions. Whichever ones have the best chemistry get continued into season 2.
    An entire “Lady Stoneheart” season could work, too. A side story running parallel with the current series. And other neglected side stories.

  • prequels & sequels are usually SICKENING all to often. why? the same story setting creates redundancy. this is my POV anyway.

    GoT is a story HEAVILY based on a political, Totalitarianism substrate. however, it is accompanied by many different & SHALLOW story lines that deserve more depth in writing & screen time! there are many mental illnesses at play, even some physical ailments in the GoT. so while we will eventually be able to conclude a moral to the story, there are/were many themes at work within the story.

    i could careless what prequels or sequels stories arrive next, as long as the story is orientated differently. perhaps a religious setting will help highlight occult practices, mental illnesses and even Libertarianism.

    it is actually a little funny, the worst & best sequel/prequel shows i have seen, came from same story.

    BEST prequel: alien/prometheus
    WORST sequel: alien 1,2,3…

    • Interesting. Although I agree there are some similarities, there are also stories with very different plotlines like the Long Night or the Children of the Forrest fighting the First Men that could be very entertaining.

      • if HBO was not such a hack…. we would not even be talking about this.

        GoT should have continued for another 10 years,… easily.

        • Honestly, I think they could keep it going for 50 years. I wrote ten ideas. Ten ideas times five years per prequel (actual seasons, and filming, down time, etc) is fifty years. Do it HBO.

  • My favorite 3 would be, in no particular order,

    1. Dunk and Egg
    2. Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken – (the periods of time that gave them their house name, by being unconquered)
    3. Robert’s Rebellion.

    I think Dunk and Egg would be easiest to produce because of the relative scale of scenes could be expanded and contracted to work with the budget easily, while still staying true to the characters. Robert’s Rebellion would likely be most expensive because of the scale of the battles.

    • Dunk and Egg would certainly be the cheapest, and would have a much more episodic feel to things compared to the grand scale of Game of Thrones.

    • Well, it’s certainly possible to do a series on Valyria, but other than the Doom and a few other tidbits, we don’t know a whole lot about what went on there. It would also be set in a land and with people we aren’t terribly familiar with. That’s a big jump for HBO.

      • The wars with the Ghis and Rhyonar it’s enough material and from there fictional characters could be developed imo,the doom of Valirya would be awesome.

        • The Free Cities have a lot to explore, but I’m not sure a lot of people would care. HBO has congealed them all into similar cities in the minds of the viewers I think.

        • Also the formation of the faceless men.
          I am sure there were also encounters with Asshai and even slavers bay.
          The world around Valyria would be ripe for storylines…

  • Corey, your ideas are fine; the one I think might work well is Robert’s Rebellion. The rather contrarian rant below is not aimed at you. Back in July, WIC had an article about signing a petition for a GoT prequel. This updates my post on that thread.

    Money-hungry Hollywood waters down and ruins so many hit films by making sequel 1, sequel 2, prequel/origin story, spin-off 1, spin-off 2, ad infinitum. Then there’s the popular MCU. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Iron Man–those were heroes. A few such projects succeed–Godfather II was another masterpiece, Toy Storys uniformly good. The Empire Strikes Back was superior to Star Wars (RIP Carrie Fisher). But a gaggle of new characters and shared stories IMO just muddies the originals’ creative excellence and value–nowadays you can’t even tell the players without a programme. By contrast, ASOIAF is a literary masterpiece of the fantasy genre–it has layers, depth, world-building complexity, resonance orders of magnitude beyond the shallowness of many books. And GoT is a television landmark that has set new standards. Yes, we all love the world that GRRM built, and it’s understandable that he would want to explore some more. But the characters would be new, the Targs would be the heroes (Starks forever!), and we would know the endgame. A new series will cast shadows over the original show/books and inevitably diminish their plot and characters. Shaggydog stories lose their point. Ten years from now I hope to be able to look back on the 8 years of GoT and treasure it as a UNIQUE entity that became the highlight of my telly-viewing life.

    So HBO wants a GoT based franchise. Lately, there’s been over-proliferation of and within franchises. I mean, who cares if Batman and Superman fight about who’s going to lead the Justice League–which is the rumoured premise of the upcoming film. ‘Franchise’ is primarily a commercial and marketing term, appropriate as they grab our hard-earned salaries and divert us from the real world. If one bothers to look around, it’s clear the real world is going to hell in a handbasket. But thanks to Hollywood, probably more people do care about who will lead the Justice League than who will bring justice to humankind. End of rant :-)

    • Thanks for the comment! I think, if you have it in the right hands prequels could be quite could. Yes we would know the endgame, but as they always say, its the journey that’s important. I want to see how we arrived at the events we know and love. I would also argue, that comparing the bumbling hacks at WB who are running their superheroes into the ground, are infinitely less talented than our boys over at HBO. I think they’d do a much better job with any potential prequel series.

  • I want to see the Battle of the Trident. Arthur Dayne should have been there, with Rhaegar protecting Lyanna at the Tower. Maybe Rhaegar felt protecting her was more important than winning, or maybe Arthur was the father of Jon. I would also like to witness Rhaegar reading the scroll that changed his life.
    I would call this chapter Warhammer.
    I think Arthur would have defeated Robert, and the Targaryans would have maintained rule.

  • How about a miniseries about Tywin Lannister’s crushing of House Reyne? It would show how the rebellion shaped Tywin into the feared and ruthless man he is known today.

    • I’d love to see that, but I’m not sure it could make up more than just a short season. I think HBO will be looking for something more substantial.

  • Dance of dragons should be a trilogy of movies instead too much cash involved for the small screen, I like the idea of spanning the life of the mad King from the nine penny kings

    • It could be done, but the one thing putting me off about RR – call me shallow – is there’s no fantasy element. No WW’s, no dragons. That’s what intrigues me about an Essos storyline, maybe Sothoryos. These things left to the imagination by GRRM, sure there wouldn’t be any familiar (unless vaguely mentioned in ASOIAF world) characters, but I have faith HBO could turn it into a huge success.

      • I think you could still have some fantasy to it, with prophecies and all that, but I do see your point.

  • I’m really liking the idea that bran is telling the stories, I believe that all 10 of these had events that were pertinent to the current story. I’d love to learn everything I can about the events that lead to ASOIAF, the long night, the last hero, Roberts rebellion, the doom, faceless men etc….they all play a role in GOT. I would love to see the history of the stark family, there are many stark kings buried in the crypts, I’d like to know more….

  • I hope that the prequel goes back in time chunk by chunk from ASOIAF (so we get context to what happened after) or goes all the way back and tells us the story from the very beginning.

  • I think it would make more sense for HBO to do Robert’s Rebellion because it’s fresh on our minds and we are already invested in the characters. Plus, the characters are pretty much already cast. I also like the idea of keep going back from here this point in prequels 👍

  • The problem with a lot of these potential prequel scenarios is that we know a lot about the big historical events, like who won which battle, but not much about the people involved and the interpersonal dynamics – the latter being what makes for a good story. I personally don’t care about seeing famous battles reenacted; I’d much rather see something character-driven. The adventures of Dunk and Egg could go on for years as a TV series, with comedic as well as dramatic elements.

  • How about Rober’st Rebellion start when him and Ned were younger, and wards of Jon Arryn? I think that would be a good start, and let it end with Jon Arryn’s death