House of the Dragon has given fans a triumphant return to Westeros, but one project in the works could be much more closely related to Game of Thrones. Back in June, fans were floored by the news that Kit Harington himself had pitched a sequel series about his character, Jon Snow. Here's a run-down of everything we know about the project, and how likely it is that we'll ever get to see it for ourselves.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that HBO was developing a sequel spin-off of Game of Thrones which would be about Jon Snow's life after the ending of the main series. Many disregarded this as wishful thinking at first, but it was later confirmed publicly by reliable sources including Emilia Clarke and author George R.R. Martin. Most surprising was the news that Harington himself had pitched the show and was participating directly in the development process. At the time of this writing, the show is still in development — HBO has not officially ordered a season or even a pilot to consider.
The Jon Snow series could come to be, but it could end at any stage between here and a TV premiere. In fact, in one of his latest blog posts Martin said that he doubted more than one of the live-action series currently in development would get a real order. Whether you love the idea or hate it, there's still no guarantee that we'll see the Jon Snow sequel at all.
With that in mind, there are some interesting and pertinent details for fans to keep track of if they're interested in this show. Read on for a full breakdown of all the information that has been confirmed so far.
Is This Project Real?
After the poor reception of the end of Game of Thrones – and the grim finality of its ending – fans expected HBO to stay away from direct sequels. Martin's writings extend not only over a vast fictional world but back into a dense fictional history, and it seemed like most of the ideas for successor shows would go in that direction. Therefore, it's no surprise that many fans thought the Jon Snow sequel news was a hoax when it was first announced.
While THR cited anonymous sources at HBO, many fans did not believe this report until Martin himself confirmed it on his blog. Along the way, Clarke said that she had heard of the idea from Harington himself. She told The BBC: "He has told me about it. And I know it exists. It's happening."prevnext
What is Kit Harington's Involvement?
The first report said that Kit Harington was on board to make his return as Jon Snow and had already agreed to the series. Some fans were surprised by that, but Clarke and Martin actually took it a step further. They shocked fans by revealing that this series was actually Harington's idea and that he was deeply involved in developing it.
"It's been created by Kit as far as I can understand, so he's in it from the ground up. So what you will be watching, hopefully, if it happens, is certified by Kit Harington," Clarke said. This comment seemed so out of place that some fans thought it might have been a joke, but Martin explained it further in his blog post.
"Yes, it was Kit Harrington who brought the idea to us," he wrote. "I cannot tell you the names of the writers/ showrunners, since that has not been cleared for release yet... but Kit brought them in too, his own team, and they are terrific."prevnext
What is the Title?
Early reports did not mention a title for this show, but Martin's blog post did. He wrote: "Our working title for this show is SNOW." Many social media commenters have expressed surprise that the title isn't more closely related to Game of Thrones, considering this series would be the most closely related to the original series. Fans have also gotten right to work pitching their own ideas for titles.prevnext
How Far Along Is This Project?
As mentioned in the intro up above, this show is in the early development stages and is by no means guaranteed to air on TV at all. According to Martin, Harington and his team pitched this show with outlines and treatments which were approved by HBO executives. They are now on the script stage – working on a script for the pilot episode that will determine whether or not the show goes any further. He said that these scripts have been through several drafts already, but that still leaves casting, pre-production, filming and editing to be done – assuming HBO orders a pilot and/or a series.
Still, Martin did surprise fans by revealing that this show has been in the works for about as long as the other three live-action spinoffs. he wrote: "There are four live-action successor shows in development at HBO. Word got out about three of them some time ago... I think some of these were officially announced; in other cases, news leaked out... SNOW has been in development almost as long as the other three, but for whatever reason, it was never announced and it never leaked... until now."prevnext
Will Emilia Clarke Return as Daenerys?
Since Game of Thrones ended, one of the most popular fan theories has been that Daenerys survived its gruesome ending. Many fans on social media have pointed out that fire magic has brought a few characters back to life before – including Jon Snow – and hoped that Dany's fate would be the same. However, there's no indication that Clarke is onboard for this sequel, and there's plenty of hints that the Mother of Dragons is done with Westeros.
"No, I think I'm done," Clarke said bluntly when asked about reprisal by The BBC. She reportedly laughed at the idea, and it's not hard to imagine why.prevnext
Will Other Stars Return?
A few other cast members have already said that they would be interested in returning to a Game of Thrones sequel – either before or after the news of this show broke. Gwendoline Christie told Collider that she is "invested in playing very different parts now," but that she "will never stop loving Brienne of Tarth, and I will never stop being interested by her."
Meanwhile, Maisie Williams told PEOPLE that she was extremely excited about the spinoff, and many fans are hoping for an Arya comeback more than any others. John Bradley told PopCulture.com's Brian Jones that he would love to reprise his role as Samwell Tarly.
Fans seem to be taking it as a given that Kristofer Hivju would return as Tormund Giantsbane since he was with Jon Snow when the series left off. Finally, fans are eager for the spinoff to show more of Jon Snow's wolf, Ghost.prevnext
What Will the Series Be About?
The biggest question – and perhaps the hardest to answer – is what exactly this sequel series would be about. Obviously, only Harington's writing team knows for sure right now, but that hasn't stopped fans and content creators from speculating wildly. A popular idea is that the show could pick up after a time skip, putting a few years between it and Game of Thrones. This would allow the new political situation in Westeros to settle, and perhaps give Arya time to come back from her journeys to the west.
However, fans do not seem to love the idea of this series taking place entirely north of The Wall. Many feel that it would need to incorporate Sansa's independent kingdom in The North, at least, and probably Bran's southern six kingdoms as well. Some even suspect that Jon Snow will sail east from the North and explore the lands of Essos, especially now that he knows he has Valyrian heritage of his own.prevnext
Will this Series Change the Ending of 'Game of Thrones?'
this jon snow fan art by waLek05 is the Long Night we deserved pic.twitter.com/lIRmV9CO9C— kati | (@mrsxkati) May 9, 2019
Finally, some fans expect the Jon Snow sequel to make some subtle changes and retcons to the ending of Game of Thrones. Considering that it will have all new writers and showrunners, this isn't completely outside the realm of possibility, but of course, it would have to be minimized to avoid confusing fans. Still, there are some details this series could flesh out to make the ending of Game of Thrones more palatable in hindsight.
For one thing, many fans expect this sequel to explore Jon Snow's resurrection more deeply. When Melisandre brought Jon back to life in Season 6, fans expected him to be a bit like a zombie, perhaps with mystical powers or quirks. The show never really explored this with Jon, although it did so a bit with Beric Dondarrion and Benjen Stark. If we learn that Jon is what fans call a "fire wight," it could retroactively explain some of his actions in the later seasons.0comments
The show could also imply to us in a few different ways that the battle against the White Walkers was more complicated than it looked in Season 8, Episode 3. Many fans expected this war to last longer, and for the ultimate solution to be more complicated than a Valyrian steel knife in the right place at the right time. The Jon Snow sequel could utilize the library at Castle Black to explore the ancient history of both ice and fire magic in Westeros more deeply.
The Jon Snow spinoff is in the early stages of development now, and there's no word on whether it will be picked up to series yet. House of the Dragon airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO and HBO Max. You can stream Game of Thrones there now, and you can find Martin's books in print, digital and audiobook formats.prev