HBO has long been the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms in the television department, but the network is clearly taking cues from Disney Plus in its quest to maximize its highest intellectual property (IP).
According to a new report by the The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), HBO has begun early development on a new Game of Thrones spin-off centered around fan-favorite character Jon Snow. Kit Harington is set to reprise his role in the fledgling project, which would mark the first sequel to George RR Martin’s hit fantasy series.
Should the unnamed show go forward, it would join six other Game of Thrones-related projects currently in the works at HBO. House of the Dragon, a prequel series focusing on the early days of the Targaryen dynasty, is set to premiere on HBO Max on August 21.
It’s worth clarifying that neither HBO nor Harington have commented on the project’s existence, but THR has a history of confirming the development of upcoming movies and TV shows ahead of their official announcement.
The new series would likely pick up directly after the events of the controversial Season 8 finale of Thrones, which saw Snow exiled from Westeros to start a new life with the Wildlings beyond the Wall. It was also revealed, in the Game of Thrones season 7 finale, that Snow’s real name is Aegon Targaryen, rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
This timeline would also allow for the potential return of other popular Game of Thrones characters, including Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark, and Brienne of Tarth.
Either way, HBO’s plans to further diversify Game of Thrones suggest it has learned from the strategy employed by its second-biggest streaming rival, Disney. The latter studio chose to develop character-focused series based on its lucrative Star Wars and Marvel properties — Wandavision, Loki, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and so on — which have proven invaluable in attracting new subscribers to Disney Plus.
A Jon Snow-led spin-off series would mark the first of its kind for the Game of Thrones universe, with other HBO projects in development – such as the live-action series 9 Voyages and the animated prequel The Golden Empire – focusing instead from that. in particular dynasties or time periods in Westeros’ long history.
This approach also makes financial sense for HBO. Limited series centered around isolated characters means that studios only have to shell out a hefty salary for the actor in question. Multi-season shows like Game of Thrones, on the other hand, have huge casts that get infinitely more expensive as they rise in popularity — actors Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and Harington, for example, reportedly earned $500,000 an episode last month. Game of Thrones seasons.
A reception of Ice and Fire
Of course, more Game of Thrones doesn’t necessarily mean a good Game of Thrones – and fans have already taken to social media to protest HBO’s latest plans.
“It’s not a good idea. We have his story, there’s nothing more to tell,” wrote one twitter (opens in new tab) of the user. “There are many other stories that don’t involve Jon Snow and don’t take place in this era. Unless they have some amazing script, but I doubt it. It looks like stealing money.”
“A character with one of the most boring personalities returning in a timeline where all the fun and complex characters were killed off.” other (opens in new tab) he wrote.
The reception wasn’t all negative, mind you. As a twitter (opens in new tab) user explained: “I can’t wait to revisit this world and see some of these great characters again. We hope they can redeem the shortcomings of the final season.”
Evidently, then, a Jon Snow-led Game of Thrones series isn’t a guaranteed path to HBO’s redemption — and as shows like The Book of Boba Fett have proven, nostalgia will only take a poorly conceived story so far.
There’s, however, no doubt that millions will tune in to see Harington and his snow-stained man bun once again – and Disney’s treatment of the world’s favorite Jedis and superheroes seems to have given Jon Snow fans their wish. .
If you want to delve into everything we know so far about HBO’s most immediate Game of Thrones series, House of the Dragon, check out our complete guide. The series begins airing on HBO Max on August 21.