It’s hard to believe it’s almost been four months since the final episode of Game of Thrones aired. So beloved is the series that it continues to dominate pop culture and conversation everywhere, leaving the minority of people who are yet to watch an episode more out of the loop than the last person to be blindsided at a Survivor tribal council eviction.
Season eight was largely panned by fans and critics alike, who believed the narrative and dialogue to be sub-par in comparison to its previous seasons. But even with the supposedly dodgy screenplay, it still trumped ratings and with its final episode, a gaping void was left in the lives of fans everywhere.
But as is always the case, where there are ratings, there is money and not one to leave the lucrative series alone, HBO are working on a prequel series all about the Targaryen bloodline, as reported by Variety.
According to the publication, the network is supposedly close to confirming a pilot based on Fire and Blood, which is a companion book by series author George R.R. Martin which was released in November last year and explores in rich detail the lives of Daenerys’ ancestors, including the very first king of Westeros, Aegon the Conqueror.
Ryan Condal, the executive producer of Colony, will write the pilot which is rumoured to be set 300 years prior to the original show. It is one of five planned prequels, which include The Long Night, a series set thousands of years in the past, during an especially harrowing winter where the White Walkers nearly wiped out humanity.
But as The Verge points out, there are a number of issues with the novel, namely the fact that it’s unfinished. Martin has only written the first of two planed volumes in the series, which detail Aegon I through to the next 157 years of the dynasty. This is a red flag for many because, if season eight of Game of Thrones proved anything, it was that the business of adapting an unfinished Martin series is incredibly difficult and often shows up major flaws in the writing and narrative development.
As well as this, fans have been quick to note how boring the novel is. Written as an in-universe historical tome, the book is styled after Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. While an incredible historical recount, it goes without saying that it doesn’t make for the most compelling read. It’s also 700 pages long.
If they’re going to adapt the novel for the TV-screen, HBO will need to be critical about how they go about it. Significant changes will need to be made, particularly in terms of style and tone. That said, aspects of Fire and Blood are thrilling. As The Verge describes, “Aegon’s dragon-fuelled conquests, succession crises, a dragon versus dragon Targaryen civil war called 'The Dance of Dragons'" will all prove riveting for fans of the show.
With only a pilot nearing an order, Fire and Blood is still a long way off from being a guaranteed prequel series. It’s unclear whether HBO will decide to move forward with a full series, but with Martin attached to the pitch and the opportunity to cash in on the Game of Thrones brand, it wouldn’t be surprising if it did eventuate to the next big thing.