— IGN (@IGN) January 15, 2020
The dust around King’s Landing has finally settled from the Game of Thrones finale. Many fans felt short-changed by the shortened season (only six episodes since 2017) and the number of plotlines that were glossed over. Creators acknowledged that the show could have lasted eight more seasons and that minor character storylines could be tied up neatly, but that they opted to end it on a high so that the show wouldn’t run out of steam. But just because the initial series has ended, that doesn’t mean our connection to Westeros and A Song of Ice and Fire is over. Far from it. Audiences have been baying for more from the Starks, Lannisters, Targaryens, and even the Tyrells – so what can we expect from Game of Thrones in 2020 and beyond?
The Game of Thrones Prequel
Most of the talk about where Thrones will go next is centered around the prequel. Reddit is awash with fan theories and speculation about just what the prequel might – or should – focus on, with George R.R. Martin having created such a huge world and mythology. Indeed, fans love to get involved with the show’s characters, and take ownership of them, argue about them and for them, which helps make it so engrossing. The show could take us to any number of events mentioned in the books and show and could help flesh them out or could use them as a base to create something totally different.
#HouseOfTheDragon, a #GameofThrones prequel is coming to @HBO.— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 29, 2019
The series is co-created by @GRRMSpeaking and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik will partner with Condal as showrunner and will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Condal will be writing the series. pic.twitter.com/9ttMzElgXm
The prequel is set to be called House of the Dragon and will focus on the Targaryen clan 300 years before the show, outlining what led to their almost complete decimation. But, for those expecting to catch up with the characters later this year, we are talking about Game of Thrones: having made us wait two years for the six episodes of season eight, producers will make us wait until around 2022 to find out just what happened to the Targaryens that led to their downfall. In the meantime…
Game of Thrones: The Musical?
It’s not just in the world of TV that we can get experience a prequel to Thrones. Alex Ratner has developed a Broadway-style musical all about the Tyrells and their machinations before the series began. The show was featured in workshop form at the Turbine Theatre in London as part of MT Fest UK. Olenna, Margaery, and Loras Tyrell starred and showcased how the Queen of Thorns plotted to land her granddaughter and grandson in the royal court.
The show alludes to Margaery’s ideas of marrying Joffrey before he became the Joffrey we grew to love to hate. Taking such an expansive world as Game of Thrones and breathing life into secondary characters is exactly the kind of content that fans are excited about, especially given how much George R.R. Martin built up his world.
Gaming of Thrones
During the off-season, fans turned to gaming to fill the Thrones-shaped hole. Online game Game of Thrones Life helps fans get a taste of the show’s strategic components with a strategy game. Players can pick their hero from a range of characters – including villain The Night King – and then set to work aiming for supremacy. The game is inspired by other strategy games such as Age of Empires and Civilization but has a Game of Thrones twist.
But that’s not the only area of gaming in which we find our favorite franchise. Microgaming have developed a Game of Thrones slot that combines traditional slot gameplay with motifs from the show. Playing slots is a generally tense business, so adding Thrones-style music and an essence of the mystery and intrigue of the show helps create an experience of spiritual succession of a show so loved by its fans. Meanwhile, Telltale games released a series of graphic adventure games based around Game of Thrones back in 2014, which launched on consoles and mobile. As the series picked up, games like this would have helped people dip their toe in the water before committing to watching the show if they weren’t already.
Game of Thrones is such an expansive world that there are so many ways to stay connected to it. You could re-watch the series, re-read the books, purchase every Tyrion Lannister quote t-shirt out there. We may have to wait until 2022 to watch the official prequel, but through gaming, and other avenues such as the musical, the buzz for the series will likely continue long into the inevitable reboot of the official series. Martin knew that by creating such an iconic universe, he would keep eager fans busy for years to come.