As excitement and anticipation builds for the arrival of Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, HBO boss Casey Bloys had some potentially disappointing news for fans this week: none of the other spin-offs and projects which have been rumoured over the past few months have yet moved beyond the initial development phase, meaning it’s likely to be a while before any of them reach our screens.
What we know about House of the Dragon
Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen.
Cast members include Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans. Filming on the series is still underway, with confirmed locations including Cornwall and Spain.
It’s already been confirmed that the show is coming to Sky – which brought the original Game of Thrones to UK and Irish audiences – when it debuts next year.
The show will also be available on Now (previously Now TV), the Sky owned streaming service which is available on various smart TVs and streaming devices including Apple TV, Roku and, most recently, Amazon’s Fire TV range.
Games of Thrones – A Recap
While the franchise earned repute as an iconic HBO and Sky television series, it of course started with George R.R. Martin’s epic ‘Song of Ice and Fire’ series of fantasy novels.
The first volume of the series, which was actually entitled ‘Game of Thrones’, was published in 1996 with the fifth and most recent volume (A Dance with Dragons) completed in 2011. Interestingly, Martin is currently writing The Winds of Water, while a seventh novel (A Dream of Spring) is being planned.
The first season of the television series premiered in the US on April 17th in 2011, shortly before the fifth volume was published by Martin.
It broadcast 73 episodes over the course of eight seasons before concluding on May 19th, 2019, bringing Martin’s words to life and propelling the worlds of Westeros and Essos into the mainstream.
The series attracted record viewership in multiple markets – here in the UK it broke several viewing records for Sky and helped drive subscriptions for the broadcaster’s streaming service, including anecdotally from households who already had access to most of Sky’s channels through other pay-tv providers but not, crucially, Sky Atlantic which served as the show’s UK and Ireland home.
Unsurprisingly given its popularity, the franchise has inspired a huge range of officially licensed merchandise.
As well as the usual array of soundtrack albums, mugs, posters, tie-in magazines, framed prints, glass and drinkware, t-shirts, hoodies, caps, stamps, figurines and various mobile, PC and board games, the show’s more mature tone also lent itself to merchandise aimed squarely at the older fan, including an official slot game, a review of which can be found on bestcasino.org.uk, plus a limited edition whisky collection produced by drinks giant Diageo, and official tie-in beers and wines. And although the show is now ended, the merchandising continues – an official studio tour is due to open this year in time for the show’s tenth anniversary.
Collectively the show and its merchandise are estimated to have netted at least $4.4bn to date – making it likely the studio will want to keep the franchise running as long as possible despite the current lack of news on further projects.