Another Game of Thrones spinoff is setting sail. On Tuesday, Deadline reported that Amanda Segel had been tapped to write 10,000 Ships, a series based on a Westerosi legend in George R.R. Martin's books. The show will follow Princess Nymeria as she leads her people on an exodus from the Rhoyne in Essos to the dessert of Westeros.
Segel is best known as the co-executive producer of Helstrom and Person of Interest on Hulu. She also wrote on The Good Wife and was an executive producer on The Mist — a Stephen King adaptation. All this makes her a prime candidate to helm 10,000 Ships, which first cropped up in rumors back in March as HBO renewed its overall deal with Martin and expanded its spinoff lineup.
Out of all the adaptations of A Song of Ice and Fire reportedly in the works right now, 10,000 Ships goes back the furthest in the timeline. It will be set about 1,000 years before the events of the main series, long before House Targaryen united the Seven Kingdoms under one rule. However, depending on how closely it follows what little source material there is, it may spend little time on Westeros at all.
The gist of the story this show will aim to tell was laid out in The World of Ice and Fire — an encyclopedia-style book about Martin's fantasy world co-written by Elio M. Garci and Linda Antonsson. It goes back into the depths of history and myth as the people of Westeros know it, and counts Nymeria as the leader of one of three great migrations to the continent.
Nymeria as the princess of the Rhoynar, a people who lived on the Rhoyne river in Essos and practiced mysterious forms of water magic, according to the book. During her rule, the Rhoynar were under attack by the Valyrian Freehold — the dragon-riding culture from which the Targaryens sprang — and ultimately needed to flee the continent to survive. Rather than continuing to fight a losing battle, she ordered her people to gather all the resources they could and set sail on every vessel they had, which ended up being a fleet of about 10,000 ships.
The World of Ice and Fire tells us what it can about this exodus, though Martin uses a frustratingly unreliable narrator for the whole thing. To check out his clues for yourself you can buy the book on Amazon here in print, digital or audiobook format. Suffice it to say that we believe Nymeria led the Rhoynar to locations including the Basilisk Isles, the Isle of Toads, the southern continent of Sothoryos, the island of Naath and the Summer Isles before landing in Dorne.
Even there, the settlement was not immediately peaceful. The show may not depict Nymeria's wanderings but will almost certainly depict "Nymeria's War," where the Rhoynar fought for the right to live in Dorne and to co-exist equally with the Dornish. Ultimately, Nymeria settled this by marrying Lord Mors Martell.
10,000 Ships is still in the early stages of development and may not ever come to the screen. If it does, however, it will be an excellent chance to explore some of the more obscure locations and historic periods of Martin's writings. It may even give us glimpses of Old Valyria at the height of its power. In the meantime, House of the Dragon is filming now and is expected to air sometime in 2022 on HBO.