The Game of Thrones series has had a plagued year. First there were the dismal reviews for its final season, then the Naomi Watts-fronted spin-off that was cancelled at the last minute. But there's finally some good news for Thrones fans.
Series author George R.R. Martin has confirmed in a blog that a new series called House of the Dragon is on its way. Here's everything we know so far.
The final episode of Game Of Thrones aired more than three months ago... and we're still waiting for a worthy replacement. HBO has confirmed it has several spin-offs planned but these won't be appearing for another year or more. There's also a Lord Of The Rings series, Netflix's The Witcher and an adaptation of The Wheel Of Time to look forward to. But what about right now?
What's it about?
Martin has confirmed a full ten-part series has been ordered for House of the Dragon on his blog. It's centred around the House of Targaryen and will be set a "couple of centuries" before the events of A Song Of Fire & Ice, which the HBO series was based on.
It's being developed by Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones, True Detective) and Ryan Condal (Rampage). Martin wrote it's been in the works for "several years" and will have something to do with the Archmaester Gyldayn's history, Fire & Blood.
Foxtel, which hold the streaming rights to Game Of Thrones in Australia, has also provided some information about the new series via a blog post:
"This new saga will explore the ancestors of Daenerys Targaryen, the famous Mother of Dragons played by Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones. It’s time to go back to when those terrifying beasts were far more commonplace. And if there’s one thing we learnt from Game of Thrones, it’s that the more dragons, the better!
"One thing we do know about the new series is that it will at some point include the ‘Dance of the Dragons’, which is an all-out war between two branches of the Targaryen family each fighting for their chosen ruler."
Foxtel has also promised "torrid love affairs, betrayals and murders aplenty", which should please the average GoT fan.
When's it coming?
It's not been confirmed when the title will be released but given we're only really just hearing about it now and no casting has been announced, you can expect it's still quite early in the development. HBO likes to take its time with productions, especially ones with a big expectations like this one, so it'll be about delicately balancing the hype for the Game of Thrones franchise with the need for longer production time.
What happened to the prequel with Naomi Watts?
Despite having Naomi Watts signed up for it, the untitled prequel, called The Long Night by Martin, was scrapped by HBO. It was due to focus on the conflict between the Starks and the White Walkers 1000 years before the events of the series.
"I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with House of the Dragon. This was never an either/or situation," Martin wrote on his blog.
"If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and Chicago shows… well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows.
So, if you've had a Game of Thrones-shaped hole in your life since the series finale premiered, you'll be glad to know the tales of Westeros are not yet done... for now, anyway.
One more episode of Game of Thrones left. A lot of people are gonna have some postpartum feelings. I’m going to feel relieved. I’ve spent eight years deciding not to watch our decade’s defining TV show. For a while I felt like an outcast, like Jon Snow, or Arya Stark, or Theon Greyjoy, or Tyrion Lannister. OK so I read the books. But you don’t have to go that far to beat GoT FOMO.