10,000 Ships can fix Game of Thrones' biggest mistake
Get ready to meet one of George R. R. Martin’s most legendary creations.
Game of Thrones fans, rejoice! HBO is continuing to invest in the fantasy world of Westeros with a new spinoff series.
According to Deadline, the network has tapped Person of Interest and Helstrom writer Amanda Segel to pen a Game of Thrones spinoff tentatively titled 10,000 Ships. Little is known about the project, but its basic premise has the potential to set up one of the most exciting, refreshing Thrones spinoffs currently in the works at HBO (at least of the ones we know about).
10,000 Ships could also single-handedly rectify one of the biggest mistakes Game of Thrones made across its eight seasons. Here’s how.
A Legendary Warrior Queen — 10,000 Ships will reportedly take place about 1,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, focusing on the end of the Second Spice War. That conflict saw the forces of the Rhoynar — a race of people who lived along the river Rhoyne in Essos — widely defeated by Valyrian warriors and their dragons. Many of the surviving Rhoynar were ultimately saved from destruction by a legendary warrior queen: Princess Nymeria of Ny Sar.
As described by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin, Nymeria — upon hearing of Valyria’s victory — gathered all the surviving members of the Rhoynar (mostly women and children) and led them onto 10,000 ships, undertaking a perilous voyage from Essos to Dorne.
Arriving in Dorne, Nymeria later married the head of House Martell and set out on an epic, ultimately successful quest to unite Dorne under one ruler — Nymeria herself. She went on to rule Dorne for nearly 30 years, with Arya Stark later naming a Direwolf in her honor.
Assuming that 10,000 Ships focuses on the initial journey made by Nymeria and the Rhoynar, the series could give fans the epic Dornish storyline they never got to see on Game of Thrones.
A Shot at Redemption — Pedro Pascal’s star-making performance as Oberyn Martell in Season 4 of Game of Thrones gave the HBO series the foundation it needed to make Dorne a force to be reckoned with in the later seasons. Instead, Dorne’s presence across Thrones fizzled out more-or-less immediately after Oberyn met a sudden, brutal end.
Game of Thrones dedicated an entire storyline in its fifth season to Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) traveling to Dorne, also introducing seemingly important players like Oberyn’s daughters and his older brother. However, the show’s versions of these characters were not nearly as well-realized, memorable, or clever as they’d been in Martin’s books. None proved to be as charismatic, formidable, or impactful to the course of the show as Pascal’s Oberyn.
To make matters worse, Thrones’ version of Dorne was never as detailed or fully realized as its other locations, which made Jamie and Bronn’s journey there feel all the more lackluster. The show’s treatment of Dorne in its fifth season was so universally criticized by both book readers and casual viewers alike, in fact, that the series killed off its prominent Dornish figures early in Season 6, relegating the surviving ones to minor roles in its seventh season.
That’s a shame, considering what a real exploration of Dorne and the Dornish people might have brought to Thrones. How would a region with very different customs from the rest of Westeros look and feel? Fortunately, a show about the warrior queen who first conquered all of Dorne could answer that question.
The Inverse Analysis — News of 10,000 Ships’ development arrives just a few weeks after filming kicked off on HBO’s first Thrones spinoff series: House of the Dragon. That prequel will focus on the history of House Targaryen; it’s set several hundred years before the major events of Thrones. Though House of the Dragon promises to introduce a new cast of characters (especially for those who haven’t read Martin’s books), it will still focus heavily on regions and political dynamics every Thrones viewer knows well.
10,000 Ships, on the other hand, could spotlight a specific time period and setting in Game of Thrones lore that the flagship series left essentially unexplored. That alone should make the series an exciting prospect for any fan of Martin’s world. Now comes the question of whether 10,000 Ships will earn a series order from HBO – or become yet another Game of Thrones spinoff that the network develops and opts not to move forward with.