If you’re like me, I imagine you’re watching as the approaching final two seasons of Game of Thrones with a mix of anticipation and anxiety. I’m excited to learn how the story will end, but terrified of the prospect of no longer getting to enjoy the complex machinations of Westeros.
Fortunately, it sounds like there’s many more adventures to be had in George R.R. Martin’s World of Ice and Fire. The famously slow-working author recently confirmed as much in his blog, revealing that there are five potential prequel shows being worked on (although who knows if more than one could be picked up at a time). The fact that not one of these is a sequel doesn’t exactly bode well for the survival of mankind in the flagship series, but there’s another explanation for why all the ideas look back instead of forward: Martin has already done an amazing job fleshing out the history of his world.
The pages of the Song of Ice and Fire series are crammed with tales and legends of heroes and once powerful houses, so much so that he had enough left over to publish several short stories, an app, and a nice thick compendium book with even more historic information. There’s a lot of great material for “successor shows” (as Martin calls them) to draw on. Here’s just a few potential starting points that could be used:
The Riverlands During The Andal Invasion
Due to their position smack dab in the middle of Westeros, the Riverlands often end up being the battlefield for some of the biggest wars in the land. Things weren’t much different 2000 years ago when the Andals began to migrate from Essos to Westeros, making war on the First Men they found living there.
At the time, you had the Tullys fighting to keep their position in the region as the iron-fisted Harren the Black misruled the realm from his massive castle of Harrenhal. The Freys had just emerged as a power in the region, and outside politicking from houses in the surrounding Stormlands and Westerlands had the Riverlands in a constant state of turmoil. But existing power structures got turned upside down with the arrival of the heavily armed and armored Andals, who represented a power that could wipe away all the great houses before them. Will the lords of the Riverland manage to band together, or will they be swept away by the fire of war?
Pros: A lot of familiar houses, plenty of opportunity for political intrigue, a compelling enemy in the Andal invaders, and the Children of the Forest are still around for creepy magic.
Cons: Before the Valyrian invasion of Westeros, so no dragons.