After a mostly acclaimed eight-season run, HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones has finally come to an end. Whatever opinions viewers have of season 8 and the series’ conclusion, it’s hard to deny the demand for more Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire content. Game of Thrones is the most successful television show in HBO’s history, and you better believe they’ll be milking this cow for all it’s worth.
Fortunately for HBO, the prolific writings of author George R.R. Martin provide enough material for literally dozens of full-length series, yet still some spin-offs are more likely than others. To that end, here are 5 possible Game of Thrones spin-offs and 5 that will never happen.
1. POSSIBLE: BLOODMOON (THE LONG NIGHT)
Of all the Game of Thrones spin-offs rumored to be in the works, Bloodmoon (working title) is probably the most likely to come to fruition. In fact, George R.R. Martin himself recently wrote that this prequel series would begin shooting “later this year,” and soon after credible reports began to surface that indeed, filming for Bloodmoon had begun.
Add to that a number of confirmed high-profile cast members, and it’s hard to see Bloodmoon not becoming a pilot, at the very least. Previously nicknamed The Long Night, this series will reportedly be set during the time when the Others, the novels’ equivalent of White Walkers, first began to raise armies of Wights in Westeros.
2. NEVER HAPPENING: ARYA GOES WEST
Arya Stark survived the famously dangerous Game of Thrones and became the Hero of Winterfell after slaying the Night King. In the finale, Arya sought to answer a question she’s asked for a long time: what’s west of Westeros?
Unfortunately, while the title certainly writes itself, Arya Stark’s on-screen journey seems to have come to a close in the series finale of Game of Thrones, as HBO recently confirmed that Arya Stark won’t be getting a spin-off. HBO programming chief Casey Bloys also clarified that any spin-off of Game of Thrones would focus on new characters not yet seen on screen.
3. POSSIBLE: AEGON’S CONQUEST
Aegon’s Conquest occurred roughly 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and has been referenced several times throughout the show’s run. In season 2, we hear Tywin Lannister reference Aegon’s Conquest when he speaks from within the ruins of Harrenhal about the city’s burning under Aegon and his sisters’ dragons.
Much of the present day’s political structure, both physically and figuratively, were formed during Aegon I Targaryen’s mostly-successful campaign to rule the Seven Kingdoms. There is also a ton of literary material on which to base an Aegon’s Conquest prequel, including A World of Ice & Fire and Fire & Blood.
4. NEVER HAPPENING: ROBERT’S REBELLION
It’s not hard to piece together a rough outline of what happened during Robert’s Rebellion using information revealed in Game of Thrones. Basically, Robert Baratheon rebelled against Arys Targaryen’s rule, leading to a number of high-profile battles and the eventual sacking of King’s Landing with the help of Tywin and the Lannister forces.
Within this overarching story, several formative events transpired that would shape the trajectory of politics in Westeros for the course of Game of Thrones and beyond, including the abduction of Lyanna Stark by Rhaegar Targaryen, Jaime Lannister killing King Arys, and the birth of Jon Snow. Unfortunately, George R.R. Martin personally dashed any hope of seeing Robert’s Rebellion making the transition to TV, reasoning that the completed A Song of Ice and Fire series will answer any remaining questions fans have about Robert’s Rebellion.
5. POSSIBLE: BUILDING OF THE WALL IN THE NORTH
Everyone knows about the Wall, the massive ice structure defended by the Night’s Watch that protects the Seven Kingdoms from threats in the North. But how did the wall get built? Legend says Bran the Builder is responsible, along with Children of the Forest and giants. If true, it’d be fascinating to see what led to the ancestral founder of House Stark joining up with the Children and giants to build the structure.
It’s made clear in Game of Thrones that the Children are not friends of the White Walkers, but there’s plenty of intrigue around how that conflict involved Bran the Builder and giants. Better yet, this event hasn’t been ruled out as a possible television adaptation.
6. NEVER HAPPENING: THE ADVENTURES OF HOT PIE
Hot Pie’s pure-hearted culinary pursuits exist solely outside the realm of political conflict and bloody wars, leaving open a golden opportunity for a lighthearted comedy story set within the unforgiving world of Westeros during the Great War.
As charming as it might be to see Hot Pie perfecting his animal-shaped bread and pie-making skills, George R.R. Martin singled out Hot Pie as one character unlikely to be given a spin-off. “All of you hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie are doomed to disappointment,” Martin says. At least we’ll always have the fact that the actor who portrayed Hot Pie opened his own bakery to warm our carb-loving hearts.
7. POSSIBLE: THE DOOM OF VALYRIA
We’ve seen the horrifying effects of coming into contact with the Stone Men of Old Valyria, most prominently in the case of Ser Jorah Mormont, who barely escaped his wretched fate with the help of Samwell Tarly. However, this is another aspect of the show that could use a lot of fleshing out (no pun intended).
Valyria was once an overwhelmingly powerful capital and stronghold of one of Westeros history’s most powerful empires, and it’s fall after the catastrophic volcanic event known as the Doom seems plenty of material for at least a mini-series.
8. NEVER HAPPENING: THE BROTHERHOOD WITHOUT BANNERS
You’ll remember the Brotherhood Without Banners as most prominently appearing in earlier seasons, led by Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr. What isn’t so clear in the show is that this band of peaceful outlaws formed when Ned Stark sent a troupe to help restore and maintain peace in the Riverlands as the War of Five Kings broke out.
We see both Thoros and Beric’s fates play out in season 8, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the Brotherhood Without Banners that would surely make for a good story to play out on TV. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to play out because George R.R. Martin is opposed to green-lighting spin-offs that involve characters from Game of Thrones.
9. POSSIBLE: THE NIGHT KING’S ORIGIN STORY
Plenty of fans were upset about the abrupt end to the Night King at the hands of Arya Stark, and for good reason. After seven seasons of build up, the Night King and his entire army of White Walkers and Wights were destroyed with a single stab of a Valyrian Steel Dagger. For that reason alone, a prequel story following the origins and creation of the Night King would almost assuredly be a crowd-pleaser.
The Night King doesn’t exist in the novels in the same way as the show, but that could leave a lot of creative liberty for the potential showrunners to invent a captivating origin story for Game of Thrones’ most terror-inducing villain.
10. NEVER HAPPENING: TALES OF DUNK & EGG
Dunk & Egg is a popular series of novellas based in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels that follows Aegon V Targaryen in his youth while he squired for the hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall. As thrilling as the duo’s adventures would be to watch unfold on TV, George R.R. Martin has ruled this out as a possibility, at least for the near future.
Perhaps learning from his experience with Game of Thrones surpassing his own story in A Song of Ice and Fire, Martin had this to say about a Tales of Dunk and Egg spin-off series: “We’re not doing Dunk & Egg, as there are at least seven or eight or ten novellas I want to write before bringing the story to television.” Good news for book-readers, but not so good for fans hoping for a television adaptation.