More than a year back, the world watched with bated breath as an unprecedented scene unfolded in front of their eyes. The stakes couldn’t have been higher, with everyone placing bets on the outcome. What? No, I am not talking about Brexit (It happened on 23rd June by the way)! I am talking about the 69 minute long crowning season finale of Game Of Thrones season 6! With more than a year’s ( -_- ) wait, the newest season of Game of Thrones is all set to sweep us off our feets!
George R. R. Martin has created a complex universe through his A Song of Ice and Fire (ASoIaF) series with an intricate maze of histories, legacies, adventures and sagas of fantasy. However, have you thought, what after the last two seasons? Thankfully, GRRM has provided us with enough backstories to satiate our appetite for Game of Thrones.
Here’s a list of five Game of Thrones prequels that would add to the already glittering onscreen repertoire of the main story from GRRM:
1. Robert’s Rebellion:
Being the story closest to the main storyline, this is definitely something that HBO should consider to make an onscreen adaptation of.
Robert Vs Rhaegar
Who wouldn’t want to see a young Eddard Stark, a charismatic Robert Baratheon and a sombre Jon Arryn take the Targaryen dynasty by storm? Interwoven into the rebellion would be the ever enchanting story of Prince Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark. Add to that, the cunning Tywin Lannister and his beautiful twins (oh and our dear Tyrion too!), Lord Hoster Tully and his daughters Catelyn and Lysa, married off to our protagonists, and we have a sure blockbuster. With no White Walkers to distract us, this is a recipe for the perfect political thriller, one that fans would love to watch onscreen!
I, for one, would like to see Cersei actually in love with Robert (if only for a short time, sighs)
Things to look out for: The Harrenhal tourney where Prince Rhaegar makes a move on Lyanna Stark (burrrn Elia Martell!), the adrenaline-pumped fight between Robert and Rhaegar, and many more things!
2. Aegon’s Conquest:
Another backstory we hear a LOT about in the main series. From Daenerys’s constant reminder about her birthright to rule over the Seven Kingdoms (lady, your forefathers didn’t even live there till some 300 years back) to all the Targaryen love (and hate) showered by fans, Aegon’s conquest is a pivotal moment in the history of Westeros.
Aegon I on Balerion the Black Dread
A dashing purple-eyed Aegon riding on the back of Balerion the Black Dread - the dragon whose wings covered entire towns when it took flight - with his sisters (and wives) Rhaenys and Visenya on their own dragons, descending on King’s Landing from Dragonstone will make for a spectacular trailer to Aegon’s Conquest. There, HBO, I gave you a trailer idea; could we have the prequel please?
Aegon’s conquest is especially interesting because of the various parallels between his campaign on the Westerosi mainland and that of Daenerys’s impending military campaign. Three dragons led by a practical outsider, a mainland rife with bitter family feuds and politicking, and a kingdom ripe for the taking. This sure promises to be a hell of a prequel!
Things to look out for: The Field of Fire will definitely be the highlight of this story. For the uninitiated, the Field of Fire is the only battle of the Conquest where all the three dragons rode out, burning miles of land and tens of thousands of men. It would bring down many ancient houses and force the submission of the Lannister (and Stark) kings. Definitely worth a watch!
3. The Dornish Conquest
Though this is one of the lesser known backstories, I find this much more gripping than the main one. As a background: When Aegon conquered an unassuming Westeros, Dorne decided to defeat the Targaryens in a way that would make Mahatma Gandhi proud: do nothing. When Queen Rhaenys arrived in Dorne, she found it LITERALLY empty. With no confrontation, she even reached Sunspear, from where the aged Meria Martell ruled over Dorne, but the only living being she saw was Meria alone in the Throne Room.
Queen Rhaenys meeting Princess Meria Martell in an abandoned Sunspear
The message was clear: Do what you want to with Fire and Blood, Dorne will remain Unbowed, Unbent and Unbroken. Aegon’s efforts to conquer would be in vain, with a quasi-peace established after countless deaths including that of Queen Rhaenys.
The Dornish conquest begins many generations later and would consume four Targaryen kings, starting with a young and ambitious Daeron I, the famous Baelor the Blessed, Viserys II and the scandalous Aegon the Unworthy. The conquest of Dorne is a story choc-a-bloc with treachery, wars, scandals and potential to make an awesome adaptation on the celluloid (as an example: one entire army just vanishes in the sands, never to be heard of again)!
Things to look out for: The death of young Daeron is easily the tearjerker of the series (like poor Shireen :’( ). The youthful king, surrounded by a handful of his men is mowed down by dozens of Dornishmen under a peace banner, ending a promising reign. That apart, the classic story of forbidden love between Queen Naerys and Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, a Kingsguard member, is also a potentially great story arc.
4. The Dance of Dragons
This is by far my favourite back story from the ASoIaF universe. This takes place in a time when dragons flocked King’s Landing like locusts, and the Targaryen royal family was the size of a village! With years of hegemony, the Targaryen rule was safe but the blood-royals were at each other’s throats. With the death of King Viserys I, the succession battle spilled over from courtly maneuvers to all-out bloody war.
A battle during Dance of Dragons
On one side was the young Queen Alicent, out to claim the Iron Throne for her son Aegon and on the other, the sultry Princess Rhaenyra (The Realm’s Delight, she was called). In a story filled with political machinations, changing loyalties and scores of dragons, Dance of Dragons embodies one of the most turbulent times in Targaryen rule. Fiery battles were fought on dragonback every day, King’s Landing changed allegiance on a monthly basis and the Seven Kingdoms bled profusely. Dance of Dragons has enough material to last a few seasons worth of episodes!
Things to look out for: EVERYTHING! Dance of Dragons is the most brilliant part in Targaryen history you could wish for <3
5. The Rise and Fall of Valyria
While we’ve mostly focused on the Targaryen rule in the mainland, the history of dragonlords stretched way more than the 300 odd years after Aegon’s Conquest. The Freehold of Valyria, the ancient civilization that stretched from the eastern shores of Westeros to the Slaver’s Bay was regarded as the most powerful civilization ever to have lived. The reason they were so powerful? DRAGONS!
Ancient Valyria in its glory
The rise and the fall of Valyria has the making of a great adaptation, with beautiful purple-eyed dragonlords and their clans taking the entire continent of Essos by storm. Slowly and steadily they established control over Essos, making mighty cities bow to their power (or their dragons’, but never mind). The tale of the Valyrian civilization, capped by its splendid destruction in the famed Doom of Valyria centuries after it was formed, is captivating to say the least. If made into a TV series, this will surely last my entire lifetime :P
Things to look out for: There’s going to be a lot of epic battle scenes here (the Valyrians were a quarrelsome lot) but one sequence which I’ll be looking forward to are the battles between the Valyrians and the Rhoynar, especially the flight of Princess Nymeria (yeah, Arya’s wolf’s named after the feisty princess) and her ten thousand ships to (ultimately) Dorne.
These are some of my choices for screen prequels to Game of Thrones, though given the expansive nature of George R R Martin’s universe, HBO won’t be wanting of choice. With only two seasons left before Game of Thrones comes to an end, surely a man can wish for some of these spellbinding prequels? As I prepare myself to summarily bunk my Monday morning classes for the next 7 weeks and keep listening to the Light of the Seven rest of the week, why don’t you guys catch up on the last six seasons? I sure as hell am!
Valar Morghulis. hears the echo of Valar Dohaeris
PS.: For more depth into the back stories of ASoIaF/GoT, check out A World of Ice and Fire
Picture courtesy: ‘The World of Ice and Fire’