The last season of Game of Thrones aired in 2019, but it wasn’t the last time fans saw Westeros. Despite the fact that the Naomi Watts-led Bloodmoon spinoff set during the Age of Heroes was canceled after HBO’s premium channel and new streaming service were unable to rework the pilot, House of the Dragon was quickly replaced and is set to premiere in 2022 on HBO’s premium channel and streaming service.

Season 8 of Game of Thrones was divisive, but the world of television still holds a lot of promise. HBO and George R. R. Martin are working closely together to extend George R. R. Martin’s universe on screen beyond the original flagship show. Here’s why this may be a brilliant idea: animation is an exciting, fresh realm where the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire can go.

Castlevania Tactic

Netflix's Castlevania - How a Game of Thrones Animated Series Could Turn Out & Give Fans Closure
Netflix’s Castlevania

Castlevania on Netflix is a great example of western animation that appeals to an older audience. There are lots of good mature anime, such as Vinland Saga, Berserk (1997), Monster, and even western animations, such as The Dark Knight Returns, Part One and Two, Under the Red Hood, and so on, but this style took longer to catch on in the west. Castlevania’s concept is inherently fictional, but that’s a benefit here because it’s built on fantasy/vampire-themed video games. A Game of Thrones spinoff based on that imaginative framework might be fantastic.

Age of Heroes Revival

Night King - How a Game of Thrones Animated Series Could Turn Out & Give Fans Closure
Night King

Returning to Bloodmoon, some fans were disappointed, and reasonably so, when it was revealed that Naomi Watts’ series would be canceled. It’s understandable that the Targaryens have a strong following, but the Age of Heroes would’ve been a potentially refreshing change of pace in terms of setting, not to mention Watts’ star power. Exploring the Children of the Forest, the First Men, and maybe Azor Ahai confronting the Night King in the initial Battle for the Dawn seems like a big narrative. If numerous spinoffs are in the works, this may be the era’s ticket back in if nothing else. Live-action may not be able to give the narrative framing that animation can.

Aegon’s Conquest

Aegon's Conquest - How a Game of Thrones Animated Series Could Turn Out & Give Fans Closure
Aegon’s Conquest

The Dance of the Dragons—the Targaryen civil war that erupted, culminating in the near-extinction of dragons and proving to be the beginning of the end of the house’s control over Westeros—is the most obvious assumption that House of the Dragon will tackle. The casts thus far indicate that, although it’s uncertain whether Aegon I Targaryen will play a role in the series. When the Targaryens relocated from Essos owing to the Doom of Valyria, he was known for “Aegon’s Conquest” of Westeros. If that conquest isn’t included, 2D animation may be a terrific method to depict it on-screen given the freedom that medium allows. Especially since CGI for Balerion the Dread would be a huge undertaking.

Long-Term Project

House of Dragons - Game of Thrones Animated Series Could Turn Out & Give Fans Closure
House of Dragons

It’s unclear to what extent House of the Dragon will go after season one, if at all, but this possible animated series maybe HBO’s next “long-term” commitment for the channel and Max, should the former should be more concise. While high-quality art and animation are undoubtedly expensive, if its potential/cost-effectiveness in comparison to live-action productions has been demonstrated, it may be more financially viable. Given HBO’s desire to expand on Martin’s universe, this may be a huge factor. It might also be the solution to prevent burning out the brand by striking a balance between long-term goals and retaining fans, with the added benefit of introducing a fresh aesthetic approach to the series.

Uniqueness in the Plot

A Song of Ice and Fire - Game of Thrones Animated Series Could Turn Out & Give Fans Closure
A Song of Ice and Fire

Another possibility is to use animation to tell an original tale set in Martin’s setting of A Song of Ice and Fire. Fans of book series will obviously expect that source materials to be adapted, but in a fantasy universe like Martin’s, developing something fresh isn’t impossible. There are lots of locations in the universe that authors may create that are as far apart from the accepted narrative of the world’s past as required. Martin will almost certainly be required to guide the ship to some extent, but the animation is a low(ish)-risk, the high-reward approach of creating fresh material for spinoffs.

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