HBO has confirmed that season 8 will be the final year of Game of Thrones... as we know it, that is. The head of the network said he was "open" to a spin-off series. Few fictional universes have the scope and history of A Song of Ice and Fire, so there are plenty of cool settings, periods, and characters for die-hard fans.
Here are some ideas for Thrones spin-off series. If you've got your own, send a raven to the comments...
Love and Lust on Casterly Rock
Is there a more fucked-up family in Westeros than the Lannisters? I'd love to see what they were like when they were all together at the seat of their house, in the far west of Westeros on Casterly Rock. This series would take place before Robert's Rebellion; Was Tywin any nicer while his wife Joanna was alive? At what point did Jaime and Cersei fall in love? What was Tyrion like as an impetuous child? We could also see the horrible story (slightly altered for the TV show) of Tyrion's brief, ill-fated marriage to a baker's daughter and the horrible punishment his father conceived. In reality, Tywin was Hand of the King for much of his children's youth, but the TV show has already jumbled the younger characters' ages. And we've never seen Casterly Rock, even in flashbacks.
Like dragons? Like war? The Dance of the Dragons -- the conflict, not the book -- was pretty cool. It was a war of succession between Aegon Targaryen II and his half-sister Rhaenyra. It included battles between royal riders mounted on dragons, fighting high in the sky. There were naval clashes (The Battle of the Gullet) and armies attacking dragons (The Battle of the Honeywine). At one point, a crazed mob broke into the Dragonpit at King's Landing and killed four dragons, while suffering thousands of casualties. Eventually (spoiler alert), Princess Rhaenyra was burned and eaten by Aegon's dragon. It's a great story, and has just two sides, making it easier to follow than the War of the Five Kings.
Dunk and Egg
Did you know there were other books by George R.R. Martin set in Westeros? Three prequel novellas follow two fairly important characters about a century before the events of the main saga. "Dunk" is Sir Duncan the Tall, who would eventually become a member of the Kingsguard, and "Egg" is Aegon, who became Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and was grandfather to Mad King Aerys. They're much simpler stories featuring tournaments, rivalries, and small-scale conflicts... sort of like The Hobbit to the HBO series' Lord of the Rings. The tales give glimpses into Westeros' history, such as the Blackfyre Rebellion. A series based on these books could be lighter and more humorous, since all the horrible events of the books were still decades in the future.
The Pirates of Pyke
The Iron Islands get a lot more play in the book than they do in the TV series, but they could be a lot of fun, and give us a pirate adventure that's been lacking in the saga so far. The Islanders already have a strange, cool religion based on sacrificial drowning and worship the Drowned God, which no one else in Westeros believes in. We haven't seen Euron go raiding on the series (and maybe never will), but his attacks could make for a good series. Or the producers could pick a random time in the past and for pirate pleasure aplenty. The Greyjoy sigil features a kraken, and though they're supposed to be myths, I bet we could have an exciting Moby Dick-type encounter with one.
Game of Thrones could use a workplace comedy. We know Littlefinger owns several brothels in King's Landing. I imagine the machinations of great lords pale in comparison to the feuds between prostitutes, the rivalries between brothels, and the strange proclivities of customers both high and low. Plenty of the other ideas on this list focus on the combat or the dragons, but let's not forget the third part of the show's appeal: Sex. Littlefinger would be the star, but who knows what major characters might drop be, for any number of reasons?
First Sword of Braavos
Some people love Syrio Forel so much, they can't believe he's dead and have cooked up all sorts of theories to prove he's alive. I'm pretty sure he's gone, but a prequel series could give us all the Syrio fans could ever want—possibly even played by the charming Miltos Yeromelou, if it doesn't take place too far in the past. So little is known about him that he could have adventures all over Essos, from the Iron Bank to the Slave Cities, wooing women, outsmarting authorities, dueling bad guys, and having all kinds of fun. Dammit, I hope he's still alive.