When Game Of Thrones Ends, Which Spinoff Series Should Keep Us In Westeros?
We offer HBO some free advice on squeezing every last drop of juice from its most valuable property.
As HBO officially confirmed at its Television Critics Association press tour panel last week, our beloved Game Of Thrones will call it quits after Season 8. That said, it seems unlikely that we'll be crying into our pigeon pie for too long before the network starts trying to mine the Thrones-verse for more buzzy, bloody, clothing-optional television. Will any of the results come close to living up to the original? There's a snowball's chance in hell (or, more topically, a Stark's chance in King's Landing). Nonetheless, your devoted GoT chroniclers have taken it upon ourselves to fuel the fire with some spinoff ideas of our own. These aren't just blatant cash-grabs, either; they're ways of organically expanding the world while getting to know our favorite (mostly secondary) characters a little better. Take heed, HBO!
Two Or Three's Company
Of all the potential "odd couples" in Westeros, none was more odd than the weirdly touching combination of Arya and The Hound. This hilarious new sitcom reunites the pair in the outer suburbs of King's Landing, as both Arya and The Hound have given up their killing ways and are now just trying to make a living in the big city. Things get complicated when they welcome a new roommate, The Waif. But is she a real person or just a part of Arya's personality? And now that she's here and obviously not dead, should they split the rent three ways or just two?
Castle Tours With Edmure Tully
If you're looking for a great milieu for a non-fiction travel series, you could hardly do better than the gorgeously diverse landscapes of Westeros -- nor could you ask for a better guide than the handsome, delightfully unpretentious Edmure Tully. Join him as he journeys from the snows of Castle Black all the way south to the lush Water Gardens of Dorne, sampling the regional cuisine, exploring each castle's nooks and crannies, and sharing stories with the locals over a good pint of ale. Will Lord Tully also find himself getting locked up in every single dungeon from The Wall to Sunspear? You'll have to tune in to find out, but we think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Will Bronn Fuck This?
Maybe you prefer to take a tour of some of the lesser known corners of Westeros -- places off the well-worn High Road -- but you've always been afraid you'd get murdered or worse. Well, now you can! I mean, sure, you'll probably get murdered anyway. Most people around here do. But at least before whatever horrible fate awaits you, you'll get a chance to see Westeros with its most charismatic sellsword, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater. And you'll get to do all the things Bronn loves to do, which are pretty much limited to fighting and fucking. Let Bronn show you the hidden gems of Westeros, where "gems" are defined as seedy hellholes you'll feel certain you'll never leave alive. There are plenty of people to fight, and plenty of ladies. And, as you'll soon find out, the answer to the show's titular question is always yes.
The Casterly Rock-Ford Files
Jaime Lannister returns to Casterly Rock to "retire" from the wars. And who can blame him? Considering everything that guy has been through, he's more than earned some rest and relaxation. But Jaime soon discovers that even though you can take The Kingslayer out of the action, you can't take the action out of The Kingslayer. Before you can say "I totally had sex with my sister!," Jaime becomes Casterly Rock's most sought after private detective. And he won't let anyone escape his Golden Hand of Justice.
The Eligible Squire
Podrick Payne has decided to retire from his rough-and-tumble life as a squire (okay, mostly the "tumble" part); he's ready to settle down, and he's looking for the perfect woman with whom to build a future. But how can he find his heart's true match? Clearly, the only sensible solution to Podrick's dilemma is to round up twenty-six of the hottest bachelorettes in Westeros and let them battle it out for his affections -- and yes, by "affections," we mean "giant magical penis"). Assisting Podrick with his momentous decision will be The Eligible Squire's inimitable hostess, Olenna "Queen of Thorns" Tyrell. Rest assured that Olenna will have some very strong opinions of her own on the suitability of each contestant; in fact, she might even keep a few of them from advancing by poisoning them!
Extreme Makeover: Burned-Down Home Edition
While we can only speculate on the final outcome of Danaerys Targaryen's imminent incursion into Westeros, we can be fairly certain that her trio of giant reptilian children will wreak some fiery havoc on her path to greatness. But what will happen to all the innocent homeowners whose humble dwellings happen to stand between the Dragon Queen and destiny? Who will help them rebuild their lives, listen to their tragic tales, and give adorable high-fives to their amazingly telegenic children? Enter Daario Naharis, your rakish host and handyman! Armed with only a toolbelt and a devilish sense of humor (and some weapons), he'll help hundreds of new families get back on their feet and into their beautiful new homes. Only dragon fire can melt stone, but only this show can melt your heart.
Westeros's biggest (literally) celebrity The Mountain shows a surprising side with a brand new cooking show. Would-be chefs from both sides of the Narrow Sea will face each other in an arena where only the most cunning chef can survive. Each week, four chefs enter and with each challenge, the lowest scoring chef gets "chopped"...in half. Who decides? The Mountain! What criteria does he use? He's not telling! Adding to the excitement is the terrifyingly mute countenance of the host and his literally cold, dead eyes. Even the most confident chefs will be reduced to terror, before they're reduced to pieces. The stakes have never been higher, and the competition has never been more arbitrary.
The New Girls
Finally banished from Dorne for their insurrection and frequent murders, the Sand Snakes have decided to start their lives over in the big, bright city of Oldtown -- but rents are skyrocketing these days, and they're forced to share a loft with three hunky, quirky guys. Things get started off in adorkable fashion as Obara keeps everyone awake with her late-night spear practice, Nymeria shatters the TV by trying to use her bullwhip to change channels, and Tyene's constant nudity causes a few distractions. Nonetheless, it's not long before the fellows find themselves head over heels in love with their new roommates, and our first episode ends on each couple sharing a kiss -- after which all three of the guys drop dead, because, you guessed it: the Sand Snakes' lips were poisoned. Ah, will the boys of Westeros ever learn? No, they certainly will not; a new trio of eligible hunks will meet their bloody demise each and every week!
Balancing The Scales With Ser Jorah Mormont
Ser Jorah Mormont lived a long and interesting life, and then tragedy struck in the ruins of Old Valyria when he got infected with Greyscale. Banished by the woman he loved to find a cure for his incurable condition, Jorah struck out on his own. Most people would have given up, but not Jorah Mormont. Against all odds, Jorah successfully cured himself of Greyscale, and now he wants to help YOU! Five days a week, Jorah Mormont will help audiences through their most pressing medical questions. Does the Pigeon Pie Diet really work? Is pit fighting really the best method to get ripped? And is it possible to believe in true love after the woman of your dreams friend-zones you so brutally?
Once upon a time he was the First Sword of Braavos -- then, he was Arya Stark's lovable sword instructor -- and then he was dead, at the hands of Meryn "Fucking" Trant. Or was he? As a matter of fact: No! As our series begins, we reveal that Syrio made a heroic escape from the Kingsguard, stowed away on a ship across the Narrow Sea, and opened an antique shop in Volantis, where he's been living quite happily ever since. But while he may have given up his "dancing" practice, the brave Braavosi's penchant for mentoring can never be tamed. Each new episode finds him entangled in the life of one of his customers -- helping them through hard times, mending fractured relationships, getting them out of trouble. Will we ever again get to see him fight off a dozen men with a single blade? No spoilers, but let's just say there's a reason why that one particular sword behind the register is not for sale.
Are You Smarter Than Jon Snow?
Find out and you could win a million gold dragons! (Would you have marched into battle against a superior enemy with literally no plan? Of course not, right? We like your odds.)