House of the Dragon is the first new series to spinoff from Game of Thrones. If HBO succeed, it won’t be the last.
The premium cable channel has elaborate plans for a whole host of different Game of Thrones spinoffs - some of which have been in development since before the parent series even ended - and author George RR Martin has spoken of his wishes to see a Marvel-style Westerosi television universe.
Here’s everything you need to know, then, about every Game of Thrones project currently in development, in roughly the order you might expect to see them in.
House of the Dragon Series 2
What’s it about? Set nearly 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon is about the lead up to a Targaryen Civil War that plunged Westeros into chaos.
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? The series stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy as the warring members of a royal family. Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik (director of a number of acclaimed episodes of Game of Thrones) are acting as showrunners.
When might it be released? Series 2 is currently believed to start filming in March 2023, with the expectation then that it’ll air in summer/autumn 2024. Ryan Condal has suggested the show could run for 4 or 5 series, and potentially reinvent itself as an anthology series too.
What is it about? Aegon’s Conquest is the name given to, well, Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. 300 years before Game of Thrones, and 100 before House of the Dragon, Aegon I became the first king of Westeros, the first to sit on the Iron Throne, and the founder of the Targaryen Dynasty
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? There’s no creative team currently attached to this project, though per Variety HBO is apparently actively searching for writers to work on the prequel - suggesting, perhaps, that it’s being fast-tracked ahead of other in-development Thrones spinoffs.
What do we know so far? In April 2023, Variety reported that another Game of Thrones prequel was being “actively discussed”. It’s not the first time Aegon’s Conquest has been discussed - shortly after House of the Dragon’s first season ended, showrunner Ryan Condal suggested it might eventually evolve to become a Targaryen anthology series once it had finished telling Rhaenyra and Alicent’s story - though plans have clearly developed. Variety also suggested that the possibility of a theatrical film, which would then lead into the series, is being considered.
Dunk & Egg, or A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight
What’s it about? Dunk & Egg is the name for a series of novellas charting the youth of King Aegon (or Egg) V Targaryen, the grandfather of the Mad King killed by Jamie Lannister prior to Game of Thrones beginning. As a young boy, he was squire to a knight called Ser Duncan the Tall, and this series charts their adventures.
Is there an official description? According to Variety, the HBO logline reads, “a century before the events of ‘Game of Thrones,’ two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.”
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? George RR Martin will serve as writer and executive producer, as will Ira Parker, who was a co-executive producer on Season 1 of House of the Dragon. Steve Conrad was previously attached to the project, but wasn't mentioned in the reports officially confirming the show. Conrad wrote the screenplays for both The Pursuit of Happyness and Wonder, and created the television western Perpetual Grace Ltd.
When might it be released? It'll be a while away yet: as part of the 2023 Writers Strike, production on A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms has paused. It won't resume until the AMPTP is willing to grant the WGA a fairer deal and the strike concludes.
What’s it about? The only direct sequel to Game of Thrones on this list, the Jon Snow series will follow the once and future leader of the Night Watch in his exile beyond the wall. Harington has spoken a little about his interest in Jon Snow’s mental state after the events of the series, suggesting any sequel would find the character in quite a dark place.
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? The only person confirmed to appear is, obviously, Kit Harington. More interestingly though, Harington is also involved in the writing and development of the show, having reportedly pitched it to HBO and GRRM himself. The Hollywood Reporter has said that Harington is working on the series with an as-yet unidentified writer; were one to speculate, it’s likely that said writer is Daniel West, who Harington previously developed the BBC One series Gunpowder with.
When might it be released? Details are thin on the ground about this one - it’s yet to be officially acknowledged by HBO, though both George RR Martin and Emilia Clarke have admitted to its existence - so it’s hard to say just yet. Or, put another way: we know nothing, Jon Snow fans. (Sorry, sorry, couldn’t resist.)
The Sea Snake
What’s it about? A prequel to House of the Dragon, this series would follow the voyages of Corlys Velaryon - the Sea Snake - as a younger man.
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? The Sea Snake himself is played by Steve Touissant in House of the Dragon, where he’s a member of the King’s Council and a formidable political player in his own right. While a prequel would likely star a younger actor, Toussaint has said he’d like to appear in the Sea Snake series, perhaps as narrator or in a frame story of some kind. The series is being developed by Bruno Heller of Rome, Gotham, and The Mentalist.
When might it be released? This is going to become a bit of a theme over these next few entries, as you’ll see, but we don’t know. Its connection of House of the Dragon suggested it would be the first Thrones spinoff to make it to air, but obviously these things can and do change - just ask Naomi Watts about Bloodmoon - and indeed in the time since the first half of this sentence was written, a number of other spinoffs have been announced as taking precedence.
Ten Thousand Ships
What’s it about? Ten Thousand Ships (or possibly 10,000 Ships, depending on what the branding people decide) is a prequel about the early days of Dorne, a rival nation to Westeros. It tells the story of warrior queen Princess Nymeria, who burned her entire fleet to stop her followers leaving Dorne and returning home - she was that determined to rule the newfound country.
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? This is in very early development still - in fact, according to Deadline, there isn’t actually any creative team formally attached yet, and it’s still just an idea being kicked around internally by HBO.
When might it be released? It’ll be a long while away yet. Also, just to cut off any pedantic emails, the above picture is of Jessica Henwick, who played Nymeria Sand in Game of Thrones - not Princess Nymeria, but one of two characters who were named after her. (The other was Arya’s wolf.)
The Golden Empire
What’s it about? An animated series about Yi Ti, a continent far from the shores of both Westeros and Essos. It is, essentially, Martin’s version of Imperial China.
Who’s in it, and who’s writing it? No idea! It’s far too early to say.
When might it be released? As above, really.
Untitled Animated Projects
There are two additional animated projects in development at HBO, though exactly when and where they’re set, who might write or star in them, or indeed really any concrete information is still shrouded in secrecy.
What about Bloodmoon?
In 2018, before Game of Thrones concluded its run, HBO formally ordered a pilot for a prequel series. It was set ten thousand years before the events of Game of Thrones - before the dragons, before King’s Landing, before the Iron Throne itself - and would’ve covered a period in Westeros history called the Long Night.
To be written by Jane Goldman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and directed by SJ Clarkson (Collateral), the series would’ve began with a marriage between an ancient Northern House and an ancient Southern House, likely the Starks ad the Casterleys - before gradually getting into a much more mystical storyline about the early days of Westeros. Some believed the series would’ve covered the origins of the White Walkers, and introduced audiences to a younger Night King, while he was still human; one thing that was confirmed was that the Children of the Forest would’ve played a key role.
The series would’ve starred Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, Jamie Campbell Bower, and John Simm amongst others, but after a $30 million pilot HBO opted not to grant the series a full commission. There are conflicting accounts as to why - HBO boss Casey Bloys has said the pilot, while strong, simply didn’t quite come together - but reading between the lines of George RR Martin’s comments about how much the series invented wholecloth, it seems the network got cold feet about straying from Martin’s writing after Thrones itself received so much criticism for doing the same.
Were there any other cancelled Game of Thrones spinoffs?
“Cancelled” might be putting it too strongly, given how far from an actual green light this series was, but yes. One proposed live-action spinoff - Flea Bottom, set in the slums of King’s Landing - is no longer moving forward as of July 2021.
In the time since most of these prequels and sequels were first reported on, HBO and parent company Warner Bros. Discovery have undergone something of a shake up under new CEO David Zaslav; some of these proposed spinoffs are now in a stronger position than they once were, and others in a weaker position. George RR Martin has suggested that a number have been shelved (though he did then immediately argue that that's not the same as being cancelled, as any of them could simply be taken off the shelf again) - obviously it's hard to tell for sure, but with news of an Aegon's Conquest series being actively pursued and potentially fast-tracked, you can reasonably assume that it's the projects that are most similar to Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon that will get early emphasis. Or, put another way, Snow will definitely happen, The Sea Snake is on thin ice, and 10 Thousand Ships may well have sunk.