Westeros is coming to Broadway and the West End.
George R.R. Martin is developing a “Game of Thrones” prequel for the stage based on his “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy novels, and the production is expected to hit Broadway, London and Australia in 2023. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news on Tuesday afternoon.
The news comes a week after NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an initiative to get the Great White Way reopened by September. New York’s theater district, which supports 100,000 jobs, shut down a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s time to raise the curtain and bring Broadway back,” de Blasio said.
Spoiler alert: the “GoT” play will bring back several fan-favorite characters that were either killed in Martin’s bloody and incestuous books, or died on the hit HBO series drawn from them, which have become a global phenomenon. The stage production will feature the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a fictional jousting contest that took place 16 years before the events in “Game of Thrones” that features: a young Ned Stark; his sister Lyanna Stark; a teenage Jaime Lannister; Lord Robert Baratheon, before he was king; Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, older brother of dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen; Prince Oberyn Martell and knight Ser Barristan Selmy.
“The play will for the first time take audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery,” the play’s official description says. “Featuring many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series, the production will boast a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now.”
Some fans still stung by the wildly criticized ending to the TV adaptation by AT&T’s
HBO in May 2019 were wary of the news, however. The eighth and final season was marked by divisive character development and some of the lowest audience-rated episodes in the history of the series. And don’t get us started on that coffee cup that was left in one scene, and the two plastic water bottles left in the final episode.
“Pointless. The producers treated the viewers with such absolute contempt over the final couple of episodes that the show virtually erased itself from history,” wrote one viewer in the comments to THR’s story.
“This is just Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament but without dinner,” tweeted another.
Other “Thrones” fans mused that perhaps the producers could “fix” the HBO ending. And there were plenty of jokes, of course.
“Yeah, workshop a new ending and then we’ll talk,” tweeted one viewer.
Martin still hasn’t actually finished his book series yet, either, so some impatient readers also called on the author to stop working on his many reported sequels, prequels and stage adaptations, and to just sit down and finish the series he started writing 30 years ago already. “George R R Martin will do everything except finish the books,” one reader commented.
As for the stage project, “The Illusionists” producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson will be producing the play in partnerships with Kilburn Live, and Martin will be writing the story alongside playwright Duncan MacMillan (“1984”) and director Dominic Cooke (‘The Courier.’)
Martin is having a good week. The Hollywood Reporter also reported on Monday that he has signed a five-year deal with HBO that is said to be worth mid-eight figures. Martin will be developing content for both HBO and HBO Max.