New Game of Thrones spinoff The Hedge Knight coming in "late 2025"

HBO may get into a rhythm with this pair of Game of Thrones spinoffs, with House of the Dragon and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight airing new seasons in alternating years.

(L to R) Kristofer Hivju as Tormund, Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth,
Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
– Photo: Courtesy of HBO
(L to R) Kristofer Hivju as Tormund, Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth, Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister – Photo: Courtesy of HBO /
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This summer, Game of Thrones fans will get to watch the second season of House of the Dragon, a prequel series set over 100 years before the events of the original show. Like many premiere genre series on today, House of the Dragon is difficult to produce. It takes time, meaning that there's usually a gap year between seasons. Season 1 aired in 2022, season 2 will air this year, and season 3 probably won't be along until 2026 at the earliest.

This present a problem, because it risks fans losing interest during the long waits. For that, Warner Bros. Discovery has a solution: they've greenlit another Game of Thrones spinoff series: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, based on the Dunk and Egg novellas by George R.R. Martin. During a recent earnings call, WBD CEO David Zaslav said that A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight will premiere in "late 2025," according to TV Line. It will air on Max, WBD's streaming service.

WBD is developing a few other ideas for Game of Thrones spinoffs, but House of the Dragon and The Hedge Knight are, as of now, the only two that have been officially greenlit. I hope it stays that way for a while. What WBD wants to do here is give Game of Thrones fans enough content that they're happy year-round but not so much that they become exhausted. Two shows, one airing new seasons on even-numbered years and the other airing new-seasons on odd-numbered years, seems like the perfect compromise to me.

Also, The Hedge Knight will make a good companion to House of the Dragon tonally. House of the Dragon is about a sectarian war between rival factions of the Targaryen dynasty, with all the plotting, scheming, mayhem and murder fans of Game of Thrones are used to. Martin's Dunk and Egg books, by contrast, are much smaller in scale. They're set decades after the events of House of the Dragon but decades before the events of Game of Thrones, and follow a knight and squire — Duncan the Tall and Aegon V Targaryen, aka Egg — as they wander around Westeros solving problems and helping people. There are no dragons, nor is there a huge sprawling cast of characters spread over multiple continents. If the show faithfully adapts the books, it will be a more relaxed visit to Westeros, with the caveat that Westeros is dangerous even at the best of times.

Warner Bros. Discovery bucks trend and turns a profit in 2023

Also of note from the earnings call is that WBD posted a profit of $103 million dollars for its streaming division in 2023, compared with a loss of nearly $2.1 billion in 2022. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was one of the only Hollywood giants to do so; generally, the only studio turning a profit on streaming has been Netflix. This is important as Wall Street grows tired of studios building out their streaming presences without posting returns. The investor class wants to see money, and Warner Bros. Discovery seems poised to do that.

WBD ended 2023 with around 97.7 million streaming subscribers and plans to open in new markets in 2024. Zaslav has come under fire for taking heartless moves like refusing to release movies after they're made, preferring to pocket the money from a tax write-down instead. I don't think it's appropriate to disrespect the work people put into those projects, but I do agree with the general idea that streaming services have become a bit bloated and could stand to be more careful about what they produce. I'd have much prefered that Zaslav and company implement this strategy going forward rather than junk movies and shows greenlit before he took over at the company, but being more choosey is probably good for the company's long-term financial health.

But ultimately, the success of streaming services like Max will depend on whether people want to watch the content. With shows like A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight on the way, it has a chance.

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