Since the announcement that as many as four Game of Thrones spin-offs are in development for release sometime after the main series finishes airing, fans have been clamoring with ideas for what untold stories of Westeros should be explored. One zealous fan went so far as to develop an unofficial animated pilot episode focusing on the “Doom of Valyria.”

The episode comes from Patrick McCarthy of Hero’s Path Productions, who’s previously focused mostly on parodies of existing animated comedies like South Park, Family Guy, and Futurama. But the more ambitious “Doom of Valyria” animated pilot explores a part of Westeros history that’s mostly just been tangentially on the show and in the books — and it’s already a popular choice for a prequel tale.

The “Doom,” in case you’ve misplaced your guide to The World of Ice and Fire, refers to the cataclysmic event that destroyed the ancestral homeland of the Targaryen, wiping almost all of their advanced, dragon-riding civilization from the planet. All that’s left in the current Game of Thrones time period are the creepy ruins where Tyrion Lannister and Jorah Mormont had a frightening encounter with mad stone men. But, as the prequel explains, it was once so much more.

In the episode, early-era Valyrians make a deal with a dragon spirit for the power to protect their lands. 5,000 years later, Valyria is a thriving but corrupt empire on the eve of an incestuous wedding — and very quickly, the scheming and back-stabbing typical of Game of Thrones quickly shows that Valyria is crumbling from within long before surrounding volcanoes are set to destroy the capital, Pompeii-style.

Check out the episode right here:

When Dany reaches Dragonstone at the start of Game of Thrones Season 7, she might be reclaiming one of her ancestral homes on behalf of the Targaryens. But long before the Targaryens moved to Dragonstone and then ruled the Iron Throne for nearly 300 years before Robert’s Rebellion, they lived in the Kingdom of Valyria with Houses Celtigar and Velaryon.

All three houses were “Dragonlords,” but only the Targaryen’s survived by leaving Valyria after a prophetic vision foretold the cataclysmic Doom of Valyria, which destroyed the Valyrian Freehold, leaving the former architectural marvel into a dilapidated ruin. Though the nature of the cataclysm is pretty ambiguous, “Doom of Valyria” assumes it has something to do with the many volcanoes in Valyria.


Game of Thrones Season 7 kicks off on Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.

Photos via Patrick McCarthy