– by Campbell Clark

It’s probably no longer news to anyone that HBO are planning to have a prequel show ready to follow the conclusion of Game of Thrones, a show that has just started filming it’s eighth and final season over in Belfast.

There are currently five different shows being actively developed, and all with some involvement from author George RR Martin himself. Now, that’s not to say there are going to be five shows, but what HBO are doing is developing five different ideas for shows, in order that they can choose to go ahead with the best of the bunch. You can see our own story below for further details.

RELATED: Game Of Thrones HBO Head Talks Spinoffs 

As someone who has read up on the varied and detailed histories of the fantasy world designed by Martin, (who I will refer to as GRRM from here on), I thought it would be a good idea to detail some of the most famous time periods and the events we fans know about from his world. In doing so, we hope to predict which of these histories are most likely to be used for the five competing ideas.

I should preface by saying that there are so many historical gaps in this world, and with GRRM involved. they could just as easily be covering events we do not currently know about. GRRM has been and remains quite happy to write the histories of his creation and expand upon what he already has.

Here is what George RR Martin had to say himself on the matter of the ideas being developed:

“None of these new shows will be ‘spinning off’ from [Game of Thrones] in the traditional sense. We are not talking Joey or AfterMASH or even Frazier [sic] or Lou Grant, where characters from one show continue on to another. So all of you who were hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie are doomed to disappointment. Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel. Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than ‘spinoff’ or ‘prequel,’ however, I prefer the term ‘successor show.’ That’s what I’ve been calling them.”

How To Date Events In Westeros

Before we start, it’s necessary to explain the dating system used in the history of GRRM’s world, as this will inform you of how close or far away from the time period in which Game of Thrones is set, these events take place. It is similar to our own dating system, which revolves around the birth of Jesus Christ, as I am sure we all know.  We of course use BC (Before Christ) or BCE (Before Common Era) and count backwards from zero, and use AD (Anno Domini) and count forwards from zero. Therefore, If a historical event happened around 4000 BC that would be roughly just over 6000 years ago.

In Martin’s world, the recorded history actually goes back even further than our own, despite our civilization being far more advanced than the one we see in Game of Thrones. And it all revolves around the conquest of Westeros by Aegon Targaryen, the day he was accepted as the new King by the High Septon is essentially the start of 1 AL (Aegon’s Landing) and previous periods are classified as BAL (Before Aegon’s Landing) and counted backwards in the same way we do with our own dating system.

Ok… That all feels a bit too educational for an entertainment site, so let’s move on quickly.

Famous Periods We Can Rule Out?

There are some periods of history that are mentioned heavily in Game of Thrones, and I think this in itself is the main reason we will not see any of these timelines developed further. Although fans may be disappointed by some of the events we are ruling out here, it make sense that they would avoid events fans may already have preconceived notions about.

The Long Night – 8,000 BAL

A period of time that essentially pre-dated recorded history, where the stories of each generation were passed into the next verbally. Much like our own history this leads to many myths, exaggerations, and also dismissing of events, which seem far too alien to have occurred in modern times.

The Long Night occurs not long after the Children of the Forest initially made peace with the First Men of Westeros after a long war between the races. Of course, we know from Game of Thrones already that the main reason for this alliance seems to be the rise of the White Walkers, whom we also know were created by the Children of the Forest to help fight against the First Men. Realizing they made a terrible mistake the warring parties joined together to repel the invasion of the dead. We still don’t know exactly how the White Walkers were defeated and whether the stories of Azor Ahai, Lightbringer and the Age of heroes were really true, either literally or metaphorically.


Very unlikely, but not dead — We are talking about a period of time before much civilization had happened in Westeros, before any of the great fortresses were built, and the only House we would be familiar with are the Starks. Also the story is of course very similar to the events of Game of Thrones and it’s why we have all the prophecies and myth that have sprung up around Jon Snow and Daenerys over 8000 years later. Writing had not even been brought to Westeros yet, and the final nail in the coffin could be that we may well have some of the events of this period explained at the end of Game of Thrones Season 8. We can surmize that Jon Snow will somehow have to deal with the invasion of the dead again like they did in The Long Night, after all GRRM said it would not end in a Zombie apocalypse. Sam has been looking for information about the Long Night for the last 2 Seasons to help Jon defeat the White Walkers, I would be surprised if we did not find out more before the end.

In short, this particular story is too tied in with the current one in Game of Thrones to stand on its own, and would only make for an unfulfilling standalone. With Season 8 on the way, we’re likely to delve even more into it.

Dunk and Egg –  209-233 AL

These are a series of unfinished stories by GRRM about Ser Duncan the Tall and his Squire “Egg,” who is really Aegon Targaryen, the man who will one day unexpectedly sit on the Iron Throne. Egg is also the younger brother of Maester Aemon Targaryen of the Night’s Watch, the character who passed away in the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones, and was instrumental in making sure Jon Snow was elected Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

GRRM has currently written three books about the adventures of Dunk and Egg, and plans to finish the series at some point. He has also said that this period would definitely not be used for any spinoff prequel series, due to the fact he wants to finish the stories himself, and he has also been quoted in the past as saying the Dunk and Egg books would be great for adapting into feature films due to their size and much lighter tone…Once they are finished!


Definitely not – Here is a quote from GRRM on this very matter:

“We all know how slow I am, and how fast a television show can move. I don’t want to repeat what happened with Game of Thrones itself, where the show gets ahead of the books.”

Robert’s Rebellion – 280 – 282 AL

The end of this story was 17 years before the start of Game of Thrones Season 1. This is probably the period most fans think they want to see adapted into a story, but the reality is we really don’t, and GRRM understands this better than fans do right now. Simply put there would be no surprises left for fans, as this story directly leads into Game of Thrones and we know the end point for almost every character who would appear in this show. We also have the fact that all the parts, even the flashback’s we have seen would have to be recast with younger actors and would seriously put a dent in the continuity for certain prominent characters. Ultimately, it’s just not going to happen, as GRRM has the same feelings towards this period and said so, as quoted below. Essentially, by the time Game of Thrones ends, we will already know all there is to know about Robert’s Rebellion.


Definitely not – Here is GRRM again on this matter:

“I know thousands of you want [Robert’s Rebellion], I know there’s a petition. But by the time I finish writing ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,’ you will know every important thing that happened in Robert’s Rebellion. There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just the acting out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That’s not a story I want to tell just now; it would feel too much like a twice-told tale.”

So where does that leave us? Actually, with a massive amount of time and famous periods that can still be covered, I have detailed the ones I think are most likely in the next section. Though also feel free to add your own ideas to this list in the comments below!

Go to page 2 for a list of the most likely settings for spinoff shows!

Page 2:

Most Likely Periods For Successor Shows

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  • Victor Roa

    its a weird problem, if they were to poll the audience, who you even think they have any idea like what’s the deal with the Greyjoys? And I don’t know if some of this history will help considering the fan favorite character like Tyrion Lannister or the Hount were built all on strong character interactions of long road trips across the world…… and also, Frasier isn’t the worst comparison that show lasted for 11 seasons.

    • All they need is a period, the rest is up to the writers to make interesting characters. Who knows what will end up working best for HBO?

      • Victor Roa

        shrug, I do fear the biggest problem with the series as a whole is “they pick a new location……. and then nothing happens.” I’ve found road trips are generally the best moments of the show, tag along two characters who don’t get along and then watch them grow.

        • I still reckon the best idea would be show called

          ‘I fucking hate Thenns’

          Tormund and the Hound buddy comedy as they travel the North trying to unite everyone in peace whilst trying to win over Brienne.

          I’d watch that 😂

          • Victor Roa

            Yes please, already got a perfect strangers theme song playing in my head

          • I’m sending my pitch to GRRM’s official mail account. I’m sure he will read it and see the glory of what I am proposing.

            Glory awaits

          • Victor Roa

            make sure to link in the Perfect Stranger Theme

          • That’s the hook. Auto play when he clicks it. He’ll answer his own e mails right?

          • Victor Roa

            Worth a shot, I know Guillermo Del Toro never answers my emails but Playboy playmates do. It’s the roll of the dice

  • Sy Burr

    How about we all ignore GRRM’s canon and go with whatever HBO has a vision for. Because frankly, this was rhe best season yet and it didn’t follow Martin’s storyline…

    • So you don’t think Martin gave them the outline for how it’s all ending?

      Also best season yet, that’s your opinion and that’s cool, I think some people felt some of the beats were less natural than the seasons using Martins material. Just from listening to fans on here alone.

      And at the end of the day, Martin is only going to be asssisting with the historical parts it seems. He doesn’t have time to be a writer on the show. So it’ll live or die by the writers hired to create it. All they really need is a starting point and an end point.

    • Jeremy Alexander

      I couldn’t disagree with you more. I thought that outside of the first 5 minutes of the season and a couple battles that this was by far the weakest season of the show. In leaving Martin’s books behind it also became the weakest storytelling of the series. Way too many convenient happenings, way too much plot armor, no real surprises aside from Littlefinger’s fate and that retroactively made all of his machinations meaningless since we don’t even know what his end goal was aside from wanting the iron throne. It’s still better than 90% of television, but remember we are going into a final season where all of these threads have to be wrapped up in less time than we spent with Arya in Bravos. And we still don’t even know why the Night King is doing all of this other than “zombies gonna zombie”, and why now? Terrible season and Martin’s writing was definitely missed.

  • Jeremy Alexander

    “There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just
    the acting out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know.” That might be the greatest line about prequels yet. I fucking hate prequels. The problem is that he isn’t following his own advice. All of these potential shows are prequels meaning no matter what surprises may be in store, and no matter how good the stories and characters might be, eventually we still know where it all ends up.

    • I think that’s slightly harsh, should we not tell story set in Roman times because we know it all ended up like this. That’s the kind of timescales we are talking about here. Was Cleopatra not a good film, or Braveheart. We knew the end result going into those? I think just to give one example, The Doom of Valyria period above, all we know is that the fires erupted. There could be a lot more to that imagined.