A guide to every Game Of Thrones spin-off in development right now at HBO

·5 min read
Clockwise from bottom left: Steve Toussaint in House Of The Dragon (HBO), Kit Harington in Game Of Thrones (HBO), Targaryen ships in Game Of Thrones (HBO), and House Of The Dragon cast (HBO)
Clockwise from bottom left: Steve Toussaint in House Of The Dragon (HBO), Kit Harington in Game Of Thrones (HBO), Targaryen ships in Game Of Thrones (HBO), and House Of The Dragon cast (HBO)

Despite Game Of Thrones’ widely derided ending, HBO is determined to build out author George R.R. Martin’s universe into a massive TV franchise. While House Of The Dragon will be the first spin-off to premiere, it’s not the first that HBO commissioned: that honor belongs to Bloodmoon, a series set thousands of years before the start of Game Of Thrones. The network cast Naomi Watts as the show’s lead, filmed a pilot that cost roughly $30 million, and then promptly scrapped the entire thing. Bloodmoon was set during The Long Night, a period of time about which Martin has written very little, and the lack of source material was reportedly a large part of the decision to cancel the series: HBO just couldn’t make the series work without having something to base it on.

The network’s executives could have—and probably should have—learned that lesson from seasons six through eight of Game Of Thrones and saved $30 million in the process. But at least they got there eventually, right? If there’s an upside to the Bloodmoon debacle, it’s this: Martin is far more involved with House Of The Dragon and the seven other Game Of Thrones spin-off series currently in development. Hopefully, that means he’ll be able to prevent them from going completely off the rails. Here’s everything you need to know about all of the Game Of Thrones spin-off series in development at HBO.

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House Of The Dragon

Paddy Considine, Sian Brooke, Michael Carter, Steve Toussaint, and Eve Best in House Of The Dragon
Paddy Considine, Sian Brooke, Michael Carter, Steve Toussaint, and Eve Best in House Of The Dragon

This is the big one, the show that will test the viability of HBO’s Game Of Thrones spin-off strategy. House Of The Dragon is set 200 years before the start of Game Of Thrones and focuses on House Targaryen as the family members fight among themselves for control of the Iron Throne. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), the last acknowledged descendent of House Targaryen, was one of the most popular characters from the original show, and her fight to restore her family’s name and retake the Iron Throne pulled the series through some rough seasons. But it remains to be seen if her ancestors are as compelling as Dany was, or if their machinations will measure up to her righteous yet slightly unhinged crusade. House Of The Dragon premieres on August 21 and stars Paddy Considine as King Viserys I Targaryen, Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen, Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen, Rhys Ifans as Ser Otto Hightower, and Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon.




Snow

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones
Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones

Despite his initial reluctance to revisit Game Of Thrones, Kit Harington is coming back for a Jon Snow solo show. This one is going to be a bit of a gamble because it’ll be a sequel to Game Of Thrones, meaning there won’t be any narrative or plot points to draw from in Martin’s work. Martin’s extensive character building and the sheer number of pages dedicated to Snow (he’s second only to Tyrion Lannister in terms of how many chapters are told from his perspective in the A Song Of Ice And Fire novels) will likely help inform the story. According to Martin, the series was Harington’s idea, and he also brought in the showrunners and writers (whom Martin declined to name). Snow is still in early development.

The Sea Snake

Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon in House Of The Dragon
Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon in House Of The Dragon


Steve Toussaint as Lord Corlys Velaryon in House Of The Dragon

The Sea Snake (formerly known as Nine Voyages) centers on Lord Corlys Velaryon, played by Steve Toussaint in House Of The Dragon. The Sea Snake will seemingly be set before House Of The Dragon, during Velaryon’s fabled voyages, which led to him being known as the greatest seafarer in the history of the Seven Kingdoms. Toussaint has said that he will not play Velaryon in The Sea Snake; instead, as he told Entertainment Weekly, the role will be played by “some younger, prettier guy.” Rome co-creator Bruno Heller is set as the showrunner, and the series is currently in the script stage.

A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in Game Of Thrones
Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth in Game Of Thrones

Sadly, this is not a series about the inimitable Brienne of Tarth; it’s based on Martin’s Tales Of Dunk And Egg novellas. A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms will follow Ser Duncan the Tall, a.k.a. Dunk, a hedge knight whose squire is Prince Aegon Targaryen, a.k.a. Egg. Season one will closely follow the plot of Martin’s novella The Hedge Knight, which is set 90 years before the start of Game Of Thrones and explains how Dunk and Egg met, befriended, and began working with one another. Patriot creator Steve Conrad is the showrunner for A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms, which is still being scripted.

Ten Thousand Ships

Targaryen ships in Game Of Thrones
Targaryen ships in Game Of Thrones

Ten Thousand Ships takes place 1,000 years before the start of Game Of Thrones, making it the earliest in the timeline of prequel shows. The series will follow Princess Nymeria of the Rhoynar as she leads her people on a journey to find a new home after a war devastates their land and population. Nymeria is a legendary leader in Westerosi history; Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) even named her direwolf after Nymeria. Helstrom co-executive producer Amanda Segel is the showrunner on Ten Thousand Ships and has “delivered a couple drafts” of scripts for the show so far, according to Martin.

The Golden Empire (And Two Mystery Animated Series)

Mark Gatiss and Lena Headey in Game Of Thrones
Mark Gatiss and Lena Headey in Game Of Thrones

The Golden Empire is the spin-off we know the least about, but it’s also one of the most intriguing. It’s set in Yi Ti, a region on the eastern coast of Essos. Yi Ti is one of the oldest and most advanced societies in Martin’s world, though it’s somewhat mysterious, as its distance from Westeros makes it difficult to travel to or trade with.

While there are no plot details available regarding The Golden Empire, it’s one of three animated Game Of Thrones spin-off series in the works right now. The other two animated shows are confirmed to be in development, but their subjects and titles are currently unknown. No showrunner or writers have been named for The Golden Empire yet, but Martin has gushed about the concept art he’s seen so far.