HBO is looking to recreate the success of with various spin-offs, though HBO has already canceled several. Based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, the show became a cultural phenomenon in the 2010s, finding a middle ground between imaginative fantasy and prestige political drama. Martin's world has a multi-faceted appeal, with heroic adventure, political intrigue, romantic drama, and more. While was an all-encompassing show, spin-offs may look to capture more specific elements, like focus on politics and family drama and the upcoming focusing on a more light-hearted adventure.
awaits its second season as begins working on its first, kicking off an era of spin-offs. But the road to these shows' releases hasn't been clean. The vernacular disappointment with the ending and the long wait for created widespread cynicism toward the franchise, much of which instantly evaporated due to popularity. Aside from that, the road to a big-budget project being green-lit is never easy, and many ideas never made it out of the drawing room.
is perhaps the most well-documented of the failed prequels. HBO announced the production of the series before ended, with the exciting inclusion of the fantastic Naomi Watts as the show's lead. The series was set to take place during the Age of Heroes in the first Long Night and was set to be produced by writer Jane Goldman, who'd previously worked on and the films. The pilot was shot on a roughly $30 million budget but obviously never saw the light of day as HBO canned the project (via ).
One of the most significant concerns for the series was a lack of source material for the era. The early days of the White Walkers are purposefully left mysterious in George R.R. Martin's text so far, likely building toward whatever he has planned for . Thus, making a show that would de-mystify the era was a challenge. Especially after the difficulties producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss faced attempting to adapt Martin's world without source material, seemed like too risky of a launch-off point for the show's spin-offs.
Contrary to why was a risk, was easily one of the most well-documented periods in Martin's world, making it highly suitable for adaptation. However, before Ryan Condal was attached to the project, two other showrunners were approached to attempt the show. Carly Wray, a writer with a fantastic resume, including and , was approached but couldn't agree on a starting point for the story. co-executive producer was also involved, but HBO passed on his version of the Dance of the Dragons (via ).
The Dance of the Dragons was a story George R.R. Martin desperately wanted to be told on TV, and he continued pushing for it. Going from to felt too obvious to HBO, as the shows have similar premises. Director Miguel Sapochnik of and added,
Aegon the Conqueror is a fabled figure in and , known as the Targaryen, who arrived from Valyria and forced the great houses of Westeros to their knees. A prequel about Aegon's conquest was written by screenwriters Rand Ravich and Far Shariat (via ). The script apparently portrayed Aegon as a drunken ruffian, something he'd never been described as in the books. The pitch was rejected, though has since revealed another attempt at the story is being worked on. An after .
Referenced several times in as one of the lowest-income areas of King's Landing, Flea Bottom is the home of Davos Seaworth and Gendry. A series based on life in the slum was discussed at one point, though it was reported as not moving forward as of July 2021 (via ). Pitches attempted to explore several different angles of the universe, though it's not entirely surprising the show didn't have the traction to progress forward.
Not to be confused with Arya's direwolf or Jessica Henwick's Nymeria Sand from , Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar was a Dornish warrior queen who lived centuries before and . One of the various rejected pitches for a prequel series was one exploring her character from writer/producer Brian Helgeland (via ). This story could have been fascinating and redeemed the treatment of Dorne in .
was a chain of volcanic eruptions that destroyed the thriving city of Valyria in Essos. Old Valyria is mentioned several times throughout and as the home of the Targaryen family and a city ruled by dragon riders. The fabled Valyria would've been exciting to see on screen in a story of characters unknowingly existing just before their deaths at the hands of a cataclysmic event. The series was pitched by Max Borenstein (via ), though this is another area of the world's history that is perhaps best left in mystery.
The Faith of the Seven is one of the that is mentioned frequently in the two series. One of the far-fetched pitches for a prequel was about the fabled Seven Gods, as if they were real people roaming the world, showing how they came to be worshiped (via ). The idea didn't make it too far and likely wouldn't have had the traction to follow up the original series.
The next , which will adapt the novellas commonly called . The story follows the fabled Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Ser Duncan the Tall, and King Aegon V Targaryen, also known as Egg, in their early days, adventuring around Westeros. HBO initially passed on adapting the series (via ), but it's now planned to be the third TV series in the universe, taking a less complex, light-hearted approach to the universe.