(Disclaimer: This post contains mild spoilers for Game Of Thrones)
While Game Of Thrones comes to an end next year with season 8, five prequels have been announced to be in production but only one greenlit so far. Game of Thrones has easily become the most popular show of the decade and will arguably surpass J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth in the coming years. I think it’s fair to say that we want to see more of the Game of Thrones world following the end of the show and I think delving into its rich lore and history are just the way to do this. In this post, I will be breaking down what these five prequel shows could be and what else could be done with the universe.
The Age of Heroes
The Age of Heroes is the only one on this list that has actually been greenlit and it is a sensible choice for a prequel as much of the time is shrouded in mystery and the stories we know so far are only from legend (meaning HBO has a lot of free reign to create stories not burdened by complex canon). My only worry is, however, that it is too similar to the Game of Thrones story that we have already seen on-screen.
The Age of Heroes starts with the signing of ‘The Pact‘, signifying peace between the First Men and the Children of the Forest following wars that had lasted millennia. It saw the introduction of legends such as Bran the Builder (famed for founding House Stark and building The Wall, Storm’s End, and Winterfell), Lann the Clever (known as the first ancestor of the Lannisters), and The Grey King of the Iron Islands (who is said to have wed a mermaid and become king of the Western Isles and all the sea beyond). The prequel will take us back to a primal time in The Known World when The Boltons Flayed Starks and wore their skin as cloaks and the White Walkers were first created. The age finished with ‘The Long Night‘, the longest winter known to Westeros and the first known encounter with the White Walkers.
I think Aegon’s Conquest (a.k.a. The Conquest) is very likely to be announced to be being brought to the screen soon as George R.R. Martin is currently writing a 2-volume Valyrian history book that is likely intended to lay the groundwork for such a show. Also, it would show the backstory to the House that will most likely end up on top at the end of Game of Thrones as well as tie-in the Doom of Valyria and set up the Blackfyre Rebellion (but more on that later).
The Conquest sees Aegon I Targaryen conquer the majority of Westeros with his sister-wives Visenya and Rhaenys and their dragons (and who doesn’t want more dragons). This conquest also unites the seven kingdoms as Aegon ploughs through Westerosi troops despite being vastly outnumbered and largely winning battles solely with his sisters’ dragons. We would also see the unsuccessful invasion of Dorne (then ruled by Meria Martell, Princess of Dorne) and could potentially delve further into Dorne (a part of the show that has been skipped out somewhat).
The Doom of Valyria
Following the Age of Heroes, the Doom of Valyria is probably the most likely to be greenlit as it will likely be followed by Aegon’s Conquest. It would provide a useful explanation for the politics in Westeros and Essos just before the Conquest and would give the fans exactly what we want – more promiscuity, violence, and dragons.
The Valyrian Freehold was the dominant power in Essos for thousands of years until 14 volcanoes erupted in close succession, consuming Valyria in ash and flame and breaking apart the Valyrian Peninsula. In the fires, almost all of the Dragons were killed and all recorded knowledge, spells, and history were lost (mirroring the real-life burning of the Library of Alexandria). House Targaryen survived the disaster with the last remaining Dragons on Dragonstone.
The show could easily then split off into two, one following Aegon’s Conquest, and the other following the politically fractured Essos that remained following the destruction of the previous social system. This would see the Dothraki ‘golden age of expansion’ as they took over large parts of the continent (potentially setting a more Dothraki-based show), the creation of the Free Cities in the west (such as Braavos, Pentos, and Myr), and the beginning of Slaver’s Bay (including the founding of cities such as Astapor, Yunkai, and Meereen).
I think this would be an interesting story to bring to the screen as we could see the creation of the places we were introduced to throughout Game of Thrones and see the battling of races, religions, and houses to gain power in the vacuum left by the initial doom.
The Blackfyre Rebellion
The Blackfyre Rebellion is the next logical step if the Conquest and the Doom of Valyria are greenlit. It furthers the Targaryen history and would be an incredibly interesting story to see played out onscreen.
On a basic level, it sees Daemon Blackfyre, the bastard son of Aegon IV and his cousin (Daena), try to take the throne from Daeron Targaryen (Aegon’s legitimate son and rightful heir to the Iron Throne). The war splits the loyalists (including House Tully, House Tyrell, and House Lannister, among others) and the smaller houses and comes together in the finale of the Battle of Redgrass Field. I will be doing a post explaining this in much more detail in the coming week, so please subscribe or like our Facebook Page (or follow us on Twitter) to be updated on that.
Robert’s rebellion is probably the least likely on this list to be given the go-ahead but I have included it anyway as it has been rumoured for a long time and is the favourite of many fans. I think it is most likely the show that has been temporarily shelved as it would require a lot of recasting of characters we already know (such as a young Robert Baratheon an even younger Jaime Lannister) and would be the most complex to pull off as a lot of the history that is involved is already set in stone.
Robert’s Rebellion takes place around 17 years before the events of Game of Thrones and sees a 2-year-long rebellion, led by Robert Baratheon, against the Targaryen dynasty. It climaxes with the Assault of Dragonstone, and the killing of Aerys The Mad King.
It is probably my least favourite contender as there would be a lot of references to the near future, such as the birth of Aegon Targaryen (Jon Snow) and the slaying of the Mad King by Jaime Lannister and I think it would be very difficult to pull off in good taste.
What Else Could We See?
I think the approach that HBO is taking to these prequels is that they are telling grand stories, much like Game of Thrones. Therefore, in this section, I am explaining some smaller, more contained, stories that they may be approaching (and one larger that I think is less likely).
The first of these is the Andal Invasion, which sees the migration of the Andals from Essos to Westeros and the following slaughter of the First Men (as The Children of the Forest are pushed to the north, beyond the wall). This would be an interesting story to approach as we would see a lot of the world that we know very little about.
The second is the story of Nymeria the Warrior Queen. This story takes place before the Doom of Valyria and is fairly unexplored in both the books and the show. Nymeria fled the growing empire of the Valyrian Freehold with a small group of survivors and went to the yet-to-be unified Dorne. She quickly married into House Martell, uniting her forces with those of House Martell and gaining control of the military. Nymeria became legendary, with Nymeria becoming a common name in Dorne and Arya Stark naming her direwolf Nymeria after the famous warrior Queen.
Finally, and probably least likely, is a show following the rise of Khal Drogo to power over the Dothraki. I think this would be very interesting as the Dothraki are one of the most interesting and unexplored parts of the show and we could see a more contained, personal story as Drogo rises through the ranks of the Dothraki horde. This would also see the return of Jason Momoa as Drogo and delve further into the politics and social structure of the Dothraki.
We will be seeing the story of the Age of Heroes play out on screen fairly soon but whether we will get to see the Doom of Valyria, potentially tying into Argon’s Conquest and leading to the First Blackfyre Rebellion is yet to be seen. We are also fairly likely to see Robert’s Rebellion brought to the screen but I doubt it as it would be extremely logistically complex to pull off on HBO’s part. I hope that we get to see more contained stories such as the rise of Drogo or Nymeria but I doubt that either will ever actually materialise.
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