A new adventure beyond The Wall: the future of Game of Thrones spinoffs

Winter may be over, but Game of Thrones lives on. HBO has officially announced the development of its first sequel to the hit series, centered around fan favorite character Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington. And we’re not talking about a mere cameo here; this new series, tentatively titled “Snow,” will pick up where the final season of Game of Thrones left off, following Jon Snow’s journey beyond the Wall after being exiled from Westeros.

The show has been in development for some time, with Harington himself bringing the idea to HBO. But what can we expect from this new installment in the Game of Thrones universe? Let’s take a look.

The Working Title: “SNOW”

Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin confirmed the news of the Jon Snow spinoff on his blog, revealing that the working title for the show is indeed “SNOW.” This is fitting, considering the titular character’s journey from a bastard of the North to a hero of the Seven Kingdoms.

What Happened to Jon Snow?

At the end of Game of Thrones, we saw Jon Snow exiled to the North, beyond the Wall, with the Wildlings. He had just discovered that he was actually Aegon Targaryen, a potential heir to the Iron Throne, and had played a key role in the death of his lover and aunt, Daenerys Targaryen. So where does that leave him now?

According to Harington himself, there’s a lot of trauma and emotional baggage that Jon Snow will have to contend with. “He’s done. The fact he goes to the Wall is the greatest gift and also the greatest curse,” Harington said during a panel at a Game of Thrones convention in 2020. “He’s gotta go back up to the place with all this history and live out his life thinking about how he killed Dany, and live out his life thinking about Ygritte dying in his arms, and live out his life thinking about how he hung Olly, and live out his life thinking about all of this trauma, and that, that’s interesting.”

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Cameos and Returning Cast Members

One of the most exciting aspects of the Jon Snow spinoff is the possibility of seeing other beloved characters from Game of Thrones return for cameos. Since the show takes place after the events of the final season, any surviving character could potentially show up.

Several Game of Thrones actors have expressed their interest in returning, including Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), and John Bradley (Samwell Tarley). However, one former cast member has ruled out a return: Emilia Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen, told the BBC, “I think I’m done.”

The Future of Game of Thrones Spinoffs

“Snow” is just the latest in a long line of Game of Thrones spinoffs in development at HBO. The first, “House of the Dragon,” premiered this past August and tells the story of the Targaryen family 200 years before the events of the original series. There are also three other spinoffs in various stages of development, as well as three animated prequels.

Tales of Dunk & Egg

In January 2021, news broke of a Game of Thrones spinoff show based on George R.R. Martin’s novella series, Tales of Dunk & Egg. At the time, three Dunk & Egg stories had been published: The Hedge Knight, The Sworn Sword, and The Mystery Knight. Set approximately 90 years before Game of Thrones, these tales are somewhat lighter and less grandiose than the original series, but still captivating. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding this new project, which isn’t a good sign.

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The narrative follows Dunk, a hedge knight who eventually becomes Ser Duncan the Tall, Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and his squire Egg, who later ascends the Iron Throne as King Aegon V Targaryen. Martin has expressed intentions to publish between six and 12 novellas, though he has downplayed the possibility of a screen adaptation prior to completing the books. He is currently focused on writing The Winds of Winter.

The Golden Empire and Game of Thrones Animated Spinoff

Two adult animated Game of Thrones spinoffs have been in early development since January 2021. “Histories & Lore” DVD and Blu-ray extras provide background information on Westeros’ history, establishing a foundation for animated content. Though The Golden Empire has a storyline to follow, details about the other spinoff remain scarce.

The second show is centered on the Yi Ti dynasty of Essos, George R.R. Martin’s equivalent of Imperial China, which was mentioned in House of the Dragon to fans’ delight. Given the extensive effects required for Game of Thrones, animated series offer an appealing alternative for HBO Max, allowing for more manageable CGI elements such as dragons and direwolves. Little is known about The Golden Empire’s plot, but both animated spinoffs will be a refreshing addition to the GoT universe.

The Sea Snake

The Sea Snake, another spinoff in development, is a potential offshoot of a spinoff. The show revolves around Corlys Velaryon, aka the Sea Snake, who is portrayed by Steve Toussaint in House of the Dragon. HBO seems to anticipate his breakout status, as they are developing a series focused on his Great Voyages. The Sea Snake ventured further across the oceans than most, exploring not only familiar parts of Essos but also unknown regions like Yi Ti and amassing incredible wealth. Bryan Heller, co-creator of HBO’s Rome, is part of the creative team.

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With House of the Dragon’s recent Golden Globe win, interest in the new Game of Thrones spinoff is at an all-time high. Lord Corlys Velaryon is a key character in the series, and his allegiances will undoubtedly be tested as the Dance of the Dragons unfolds. As House of the Dragon progresses into its second season, fascination with Corlys Velaryon and his backstory will only increase, particularly since the previously unexplored House Velaryon is starting to gain attention.

Clearly, HBO is not done with the world of Westeros yet. And why would they be? With so many rich characters and storylines to explore, there’s no shortage of material to draw from. We can only hope that these new shows will live up to the high standards set by the original series.

As fans eagerly await more news about the show, we can only imagine what kind of twists and turns the story will take. Will Jon Snow finally find peace and redemption? Will he reunite with old friends and enemies? Only time will tell. But one thing’s for sure: winter is still coming, and this time, it’s bringing Jon Snow with it.

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