Rumor: HBO also making a Game of Thrones prequel about the Valyrian empire


Last month, HBO officially ordered a pilot for a Game of Thrones prequel set in Westeros during the Age of Heroes, thousands of years before any of the characters we know and love were born. But as A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin reminded us shortly afterward, that pilot, written by Kick-Ass scribe Jane Goldman, was only one of several potential prequel shows in development. “Three more GAME OF THRONES prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development,” he wrote. “Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.”

We may now know of another of those series. According to an administrator on the Game of Thrones Wiki, HBO is also developing a show called Empire of Ash, about the decline and fall of the Valyrian Empire. This show was developed by Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island writer Max Borenstein, one of several writers HBO tapped to work on ideas. To hear the Wiki tell it, Empire of Ash is the frontrunner for further development next to Goldman’s Age of Heroes show. Before we go any further, we need to emphasize that this is a rumor; we can’t confirm any of it. But it’s a juicy rumor, and quite detailed. Scroll down for more.

According to the Game of Thrones WikiEmpire of Ash will explore “the social, economic, and political crises which tore apart the [Valyrian] empire from within.” Much like on Game of Thrones, political factions will battle for supremacy while a larger existential threat looms on the horizon. In Game of Thrones, that threat is the White Walkers. In Empire of Ash, it’s likely the Doom.

The Valyrian Empire bears a lot of resemblance to the real-life Roman Empire, and it sounds like Empire of Ash will run with that idea. Valyria will have colonies spread throughout the world. According to the Wiki, a good chunk of the show will be set in a city on Sothoryos, which resembles cities in Roman North Africa, “a mix of Carthage and Constantinople, a major port city with a multi-racial society.”

In fact, the series bibles purportedly emphasize diversity in race, gender and sexual orientation. One of the main characters is “a platinum blonde black female dragon-rider,” the daughter of a white Valyrian father and a foreigner mother; she faces discrimination among other Valyrians because of her mixed heritage. Another main character is “a self-made former slave, a deceptively matronly-looking Asian woman in her 50s [who is] now not only one of the richest citizens but also a major political leader and government intrigue player.”

The Targaryens would also show up, with Aenar Targaryen and his daughter Daenys the Dreamer said to be characters. And of course, there will be hundreds of dragons.

“Battle of the Bastards” director Miguel Sapochnik is reportedly on board to direct the pilot. Empire of Ash is planned to go for at least five seasons.

SO. That is some stuff to chew on. Again, we don’t know if any of this is true, but it’s plenty tantalizing. I think I prefer it to the Age of Heroes idea, since that sounds a little too similar to the show we already have: kingdoms of men squabble while the White Walkers plan an invasion. But milage may vary.

In any case, between this and reports that HBO may start filming one of the Game of Thrones prequels this October, we imagine the network’s press office is flooded with inquiries right about now.

Next: Sophie Turner reveals the internal codename for Game of Thrones season 8

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