Winter is coming to Broadway.
‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin, ‘1984’ playwright Duncan Macmillan and ‘Follies’ director Dominic Cooke are developing a prequel to HBO’s hit fantasy series for the stage, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The project will resurrect several fan-favourite characters that perished in the show, which is based on Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ saga.
“I have such admiration for George’s world and his characters,” Macmillan told the Hollywood Reporter. “His generosity and trust during this process has been incredible. Working on this play during lockdown has felt like a real privilege. I can’t wait until we can be back in a theatre to experience this together.”
According to THR, the events of the upcoming production will take place 16 years before the ‘Game of Thrones’ timeline in the fictional kingdoms of Westeros. The play will depict the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a key turning point in Westeros’ past, and it is set to debut in 2023 in New York City, Australia and London’s West End.
“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,” Martin said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. ... now, at last, we can tell the whole story... on the stage.”
Among the major ‘Game of Thrones’ characters present for the action-packed Tourney of Harrenhal competition, according to Martin’s novels, were Season 1 martyr Ned Stark (played by Sean Bean on HBO), as well as Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).
“The play will for the first time take audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery,” reads the production’s official description, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
“Featuring many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series, the production will boast a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now.”
The Broadway show will continue to expand the ‘Game of Thrones’ franchise beyond its flagship HBO series, as well as several other TV spinoffs either rumored or confirmed to be in the HBO pipeline. Additional small-screen offshoots reported to be in the works include ‘House of the Dragon’, another prequel inspired by Martin’s ‘Fire and Blood’, as well as an adaptation of Martin’s ‘Tales of Dunk and Egg’ and an animated series.
“One of George’s inspirations for the original books was Shakespeare’s history plays so the material lends itself naturally to the theatre,” Cooke told THR. “Duncan Macmillan and I are having a great time digging into the dynastic power struggles at the heart of George’s extraordinary imaginative world.”