George RR Martin confesses which Game of Thrones story HBO passed on

House of the Dragon: HBO teases thrilling season finale

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When Game of Thrones was coming to an end in 2019, fans were eagerly awaiting news of a spin-off. There have been a number in development at HBO over the past few years including a Jon Snow sequel series starring Kit Harington and also 10,000 Ships. The latter follows the voyages of warrior queen Princess Nymeria, who goes on to found Dorne.

Others are 9 Voyages, which follows Corlys Velaryon on the Sea Snake and a project based upon Flea Bottom, the poorest slum in King’s Landing. Martin has said that some of these may never see the light of day, but others do get further on in the creative process.

A prequel set thousands of years before Game of Thrones called Bloodmoon shot a $30 million pilot starring Naomi Watts, but was never green-lit.  Instead, House of the Dragon went ahead straight away, but there was another show that didn’t make it past George RR Martin’s pitch stage at the time.

In a new interview with Penguin Random House, Martin shared: “We knew around 2016, it became clear Game of Thrones was going to end probably with seven seasons. At that point, HBO said, ‘Well we need a new show’ and I pitched them two shows. One of them was a Dunk and Egg show, which they didn’t pick up on. And I pitched them the Dance of the Dragons, which I already knew about and I’d already written about to some extent in some novellas and in the World of Ice and Fire history book. And they liked that so we went with Dance of the Dragons [which went to become House of the Dragon].”

Tales of Dunk and Egg are a series of novellas in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. Set around 90 years prior to Game of Thrones, the short tales follow the adventures of Dunk, the future Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, Sir Duncan the Tall. Alongside, Egg, the future King Aegon V Targaryen.

Three exist so far: 1998’s The Hedge Knight, 2003’s The Sworn Sword and 2010’s The Mystery Knight. And they have also been published together into A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms in 2015.

Martin plans on writing a fourth novella after completing the penultimate book in A Song of Ice and Fire, The Winds of Winter. After that, he’ll set to work on A Dream of Spring and then pen a fifth Dunk and Egg tale after that.

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Interestingly, although HBO passed on Martin’s pitch for a Dunk and Egg show back in 2016, a series is now in early development like the other potential spin-offs to follow House of the Dragon.

Back in 2021, Steve Conrad was attached as a writer and executive producer on a Dunk and Egg show. There’s currently no further news on the series, but fans will be crossing their fingers that it gets green lit. 

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