Game of Thrones is getting a new kind of spinoff, this time on Broadway. The production, which The Hollywood Reporter called a “stage show spectacular,” will act as a prequel to the A Song of Ice and Fire series, but will feature some fan favorite characters.
The show is being developed by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin and will tell the story of The Great Tourney at Harrenhal, one of the most important events in the A Song of Ice and Fire universe. Fans who know their recent Westerosi history may remember that this tournament was the setting for the events that helped spark Robert’s Rebellion, where he dethroned Aerys II Targaryen, AKA “the Mad King,” and took the throne with Ned Stark by his side.
The play will be written by Duncan MacMillan, who adapted George Orwell’s 1984 for the stage, and will be directed by Dominic Cooke (The Courier). It will focus on conversations and plots behind the scenes of the tournament, and it will probably involve some fighting as well.
According to the show’s own description, “The play will for the first time take audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery. 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.”
The tournament involved many of the characters fans would get to know later in the story, like the Lannisters, Ned Stark, and Robert Baratheon. Even prince Oberyn Martel was in attendance. There was also a mystery knight known as “The Knight of the Laughing Tree,” whose identity has remained unknown to book readers for years.
The event included things like melees, races, archery, and a mummers’ show, but none of these are what caused the controversy. After winning the tournament’s jousting competition, Prince Rhaegar Targaryen threw the entire realm into chaos when he chose Lyanna Stark as the ceremonial “queen of love and beauty” by placing a crown of blue winter roses on her lap.
The controversy of this action was due in part to the fact that Rhaegar was married to Elia of Dorne, who was in attendance at the tournament, but also because Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon. Of course, later in the series we would learn that Rhaegar and Lyanna were in love and would eventually give birth to a son that we would later learn was Jon Snow.
While the play is in development now, the production is still a very long way off. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production’s goal is to debut in New York City, London’s West End, and in Australia sometime in 2023.