On Friday, HBO announced their next big endeavor in their plan to expand the Game of Thrones universe. A pilot has been ordered with a script written by The Architect George R.R. Martin and Jane Goldman, writer of both Kingsman movies, Kick-Ass, and several X-Men films . Ever since HBO revealed they’d be roping the bucket into the spinoff well, speculation of what the show could be have been tossed around like a Lannister promise. In their official announcement, HBO had this to say:
“Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend … it’s not the story we think we know.”
Lasting four thousand years, The Age of Heroes is mentioned throughout GoT lore in passing reference or in Old Nan’s tales. One of the most notable and oft-mentioned historical figures is Brandon Stark, better known as Bran the Builder. Creator of The Wall (RIP) and House Stark, Bran’s legacy is steeply based in his architectural and lineage accomplishments. For thousands of years, his wall stood and kept the realm protected from the likes of wildlings and white walkers. And then the Night King got his hands on a dragon and yada yada yada, the Wall came down.
In addition to OG Bran and his Builders of the Wall, the timing fits right in with the early stages of the Night’s Watch and their freshly painted castles and high morale that would become absent over the next few thousand years. It’s here as well that the Children of the Forest provided obsidian on an annual basis to help the Night’s Watch in their defense against the aforementioned white walkers. Fans have gotten a peak at the Children in recent seasons (most chillingly in a vision from current-gen Bran which revealed the Night King’s creation), and diving deeper into their story during this time period fits the bill.
One of the most talked about historical periods in GoT is the Long Night. Happening thousands of years before current events, many view the Long Night more as a legend than an actual event, to the point where there’s debate about whether or not it actually occurred. Kind of like the moon landing. The Long Night began when the white walkers broke free from the Children of the Forest and made their way South, creating an army of wights along the way. It was this event that raised the need for a magical wall of ice.
A slightly lesser known name with well-known offspring is Lann the Clever, who spawned the evil empire that is the Lannister family. Lann earned his nickname well as he successfully scammed the Casterly family out of their named Rock, which became the Lannister homestead right up until Jaime and Cersei determined it wasn’t worth protecting. Leave it to the incestuous siblings to ruin a family’s home.
HBO isn’t one to casually dive into the spin-off pool, but then again GoT isn’t a run-of-the-mill show. The premium cable network has escalated television into a new atmosphere, and with an author’s well-crafted creation and penchant for detail, it isn’t surprising HBO has found a successor to continue the GoT experience beyond its final season next year. Amazon is already boasting a billion dollar budget for its Lord of the Rings show in hopes to follow the freshly paved path of expansive television universes. With the potential prequel, HBO is signifying their intent to continue being the bushwhacking leader through the jungle of television.