Winter is coming to Game of Thrones, and it isn’t ending anytime soon — because up to four spin-offs drawing from George R. R. Martin’s world are coming to HBO. Naturally, theories are blazing like wildfire about the subjects of these potential shows, and (naturally) most include Daenerys and Jon’s ancestors. But there’s one subject that isn’t being discussed as much as it should be: A show that isn’t about politicians and silver-haired monarchs but instead random nobodies.
The most popular suggestions for Game of Thrones spin-offs all involve famous characters who have been previously mentioned in the story. Robert’s Rebellion is a prequel to the current story, featuring Jon Snow’s parents, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, Robert Baratheon ascending to the throne, and Jamie Lannister slaying the Mad King.
Other spin-off suggestions include stories about Daenerys’s ancestors, like Aegon’s Conquest — chronicling the rise of the Targaryens — the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, or a spin-off based on George R. R. Martins novellas, The Tales of Dunk and Egg, about Aegon V Targaryen before he was king.
There’s a theme here. All of these stories would make for compelling shows, but all the focus is on the power players in Westeros and Essos; the political movers and shakers. The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is endlessly expansive, and to only focus on the ruling class is limiting. What about the random small folk? The innkeepers, the maids, the ordinary folks, who have only the barest idea of the chaos happening around them?
A truly unique spin-off would be the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead of Westeros. This show would feature characters who are unimportant in the grand scheme of things, who struggle to live their daily lives as wars and chaos break out around them.
Season 6 has already shown a glimpse of this show. When Sam and Gilly visit his long lost family in “Blood of My Blood”, his brother scoffs at the mention of White Walkers. It’s a startling moment for the viewer, because we’ve seen their armies battle Jon Snow — it seems impossible that anybody still thinks of them as fictional.
But to random Westerosi citizens who aren’t near the North, they’re the material of bedtime stories.
A spin-off show about nobodies in Westeros could still feature major events from the world’s history — the Battle of the Trident, the Blackfyre Rebellion. But unlike Game of Thrones, the characters wouldn’t take center stage. Instead, they would be the bystanders of these events.
The show would still feature plenty of action, because bystanders in Westeros and Essos see shit. They see their lords and ladies fighting and killing; they see tourneys and battles and daring escapes. They simply see it from a different perspective. All Spin-offs Must Happen, but you might as well tell the stories from a fresh angle.
Game of Thrones continues in its penultimate season on July 16.