Game of Thrones, from the novel series A Song of Fire and Ice, is a household name today, courtesy of an eight-season-long TV epic and, of course, George R.R. Martin’s original paperbacks. The latter collection has sold 90 million copies around the world after being translated into almost 50 different languages. So, why do so many cracks seem to be appearing in the drama’s identity?
Once upon a time, Game of Thrones was associated with a number of spin-offs that would have given the show a vast scale, not unlike that of Star Trek, where different perspectives and timelines compete for viewers’ attention. Unfortunately, even before House of the Dragon aired, this possibility was ended. A $30 million pilot for the new show Bloodmoon wasn’t even shown to Martin before it was canned.
Bloodmoon would have explored the Long Night, a generation-spanning winter that occurred in 8,000BC. While interesting, the families that fans already know, like the Lannisters and Targaryens, didn’t even exist until the turn of AC (or the era After Conquest, some 282 years before Daenerys was born). This doesn’t make Game of Thrones’ clans any less expansive, though.
Digging into a Targaryen family tree created by the ExpressVPN website reveals that nine kings sat on the Iron Throne prior to Daenerys’ story arc. However, this is just in the canon of the two TV shows. A further three kings existed in the early years of the AC era, with Aegon I Targaryen reigning from 1-37AC. As the First of His Name, the Targaryen clan can be firmly aged at just shy of 300 years.
Ten Thousand Ships
Fans’ lack of familiarity with the source material was Bloodmoon’s demise but that doesn’t explain the removal of the later spin-offs The Nine Voyages of the Sea Snake, Ten Thousand Ships, and the Jon Snow-themed Snow from schedules. Currently, only one Game of Thrones show is in active development by Startling, Inc., namely, Dunk and Egg. A stage show entitled Harrenhal and the Ice Dragon animation are still being produced, however.
It’s probably fair to say that, with the exception of Bloodmoon, there’s still hope that one or all of these shows could be produced in the future. Snow was certainly anticipated by viewers, as was Nine Voyages, which focussed on the popular Corlys Velaryon, a silver-haired sailor played by Steve Toussaint. The obvious question is, where did it all go wrong for Game of Thrones and HBO?
While HBO’s parent Warner Bros. Discovery is in dire straits, announcing lay-offs, cutbacks, and a 52-week low share price, there’s still a feeling that Game of Thrones is in untested waters. After all, it has never been more than one show. Star Trek managed to run three series all at once but only nearly three decades after it originally aired. It’s simply unknown at the moment whether Thrones could tolerate this kind of expansion.
As a final bit of trivia, the show Flea Bottom was also scrapped in July. The story would have focussed on the King’s Landing slum of the same name. This brings the total number of scrapped, canceled, or stalled TV shows to five. Whatever is going on at HBO, it doesn’t seem to be healthy for the Game of Thrones franchise.