Set to air worldwide in July, next year’s season of Game of Thrones will be its last. As with seasons six and seven, this closing chapter will be based on an outline of George R.R. Martin’s as yet unpublished ‘The Winds of Winter’ and ‘A Dream of Spring’, the final tomes in his epic series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’.
And after the dust settles on the final season, what then? Well don’t fret, because HBO has no intention of putting its cash cow out to pasture just yet, with no fewer than five ideas for a potential prequel already being tossed around. Speaking to IGN in August, producer and screenwriter Jane Goldman (Kick Ass, Stardust) confirmed that she’d already sat down with Martin to discuss potential plot lines. And while it’s still very much veiled in secrecy, she did reveal that Martin was adamant the prequels should not involve any characters from the original series, precluding obvious screen fodder such as Robert’s rebellion or the reign of the mad king. But with around 12,000 years of history to plunder, Martin clearly won’t be short of inspiration.
As for us mere mortals, how are we to cope with the impending GOT vacuum? With conflicting reports citing release dates for season eight as late as 2019 and the aforementioned prequels still in the draft stage, how can we while away the time until our next televised fix? If you’re feeling lucky, you can always play out your own Game of Thrones with a variety of GOT-themed online slots available, where just like the various plots and intrigues of the show itself, all games come with rules. Or if you’re the artsy type you might channel your inner Maester and write some fan fiction; there are a plethora of sites out there, so why not pick up your quill and make your own masterful contribution to this ever-growing genre? For the more adventurous among you, there’s even LARPing (live action role playing), so grab your friends and a plastic sword, suspend your disbelief, and relive Tyrion’s victory at the Battle of Blackwater!
For most of us, though, the next few months will be spent guessing and second-guessing where Martin will take his epic saga next. Every die-hard Throne-head has his or her own favourite piece of Westeros mythology, and their own take on what would make for a thrilling prequel. Here are just a few scenarios that might make the final cut. The dance of dragons: the first Targaryen civil war, which saw dragons battling one another in the skies above Westeros. Shireen Baratheon mentioned this countless times, and our favourite boy-king Joffrey also alluded to it more than once; and with many of the sets already built, this might be a perfect scenario for our prequel. Aegon’s conquest: every fan of the show has heard about Aegon Targaryen, and how he seized the Seven Kingdoms astride his fearsome dragons. This could make an enthralling plot for Martin’s much-anticipated prequel. The war between the children of the forest and the first men: little is known about the heroes who fought this ancient war, so there’d be plenty of new material to tap into, which could make for an intriguing watch.
George R.R. Martin has never been anything but a diligent curator of his works, famously turning down numerous lucrative movie deals for fear a two hour run-time wouldn’t do his epic justice, so we know he won’t risk sullying his opus with an uninspired, watered-down offering. We can only hope he works fast, because whatever the final outcome of the Game of Thrones, you can bet audiences worldwide will soon be clamouring for more.