Deadline recently announced the potential for a second Game of Thrones inspired prequel series, with the announcement of a Targaryen series written by Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin, being close to being greenlit for a pilot order at HBO. This may follow the already anticipated Long Night-inspired series, starring Naomi Watts, which now has a pilot episode in post-production.
So with the world of ice and fire rapidly being adapted to the small screen, what can we expect from these historical Westerosi tales, can they live up to the hype and success of their predecessor?
The Long Night prequel (working title: Bloodmoon) was the first to be announced and will be set during the bleak Age of Heroes, Westeros’ earliest recorded time period. Expect ancestral Starks, clans, White Walkers, Children of the Forest and potentially giant ice spiders.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this particular setting is that many of the events of the era are not accurately recorded historical events, but rather based in myths and legends. Therefore, this gives the show’s writers far more leeway when it comes to creative license.
This will make it easier for them to craft their own stories and fleshed-out characters, really only using the storyworld as a literacy playground filled with recognisable fantasy elements and an established geography.
The rumoured Targaryen prequel on the other hand has an elaborate and almost systematic recorded history on which to structure its story. Based on the in-world history book released last year, Fire and Blood, the roughly 700-page book documents only the first half of the Targaryen dynasty. A tale of conquest, warring and complex family dynamics.
Entertainment Weekly reported that the aforementioned prequel is said to focus on the infamous Dance of Dragons, a disastrous civil war in which two Targaryen half-siblings battle to claim the throne after their father’s death. Brother fights brother, dragon fights dragon, and House Targaryen never fully recovers to its former glory.
Such a story already includes established named characters, most notably Queen Rhaenyra and her rival King Aegon II. However, these characters certainly lack the depth of the main characters of GoT, but do already possess the bases to become fully fleshed-out characters.
So, which concept is more appealing? Bloodmoon may have the freedom to create its own characters and subplots, but much criticism towards Game of Thrones came when it surpassed the book material. A Dance of Dragons may have a more rigid structure and require a larger budget to bring to life tens of gigantic warring dragons, but it will also feature more recognisable aspects of the GoT world. After all incestuous, blonde, dragon-riding royalty already have a precedence with Game of Thrones audiences, but will their stories lose their relevance now that we know the family’s tragic end?
Whilst we may have to wait with baited breath as to whether either idea gets picked up for a series order, in the meantime what prequel concept are you most interested in?