Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held a virtual press conference outlining his plans to get Broadway theater back up and running as soon and as safely as possible by the fall. If you thought, however, that live theater’s absence would create some sort of pent-up demand for fresh stories, daring works, and tales that can only be told through this medium, well, don’t hold your breath. Just a few days after the press conference, plans were announced for a Game of Thrones play to come to Broadway. Yes, the show with dragons and all that.
Thankfully, however, it does not seem to be a musical. No singing dragons, for better or worse.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the play will be an immediate prequel to the HBO series, with many characters from the show appearing, albeit in younger form. For those familiar with the lore of GoT, the story will take place during “The Great Tourney at Harrenhal.” If you’ve forgotten since the show’s finale, this is the event where the older brother of Daenerys (blonde dragon lady) scandalously runs away with the sister of Eddard “Ned” Stark (tall mensch who got his head lopped off in the first season) before conceiving Jon Stark (brooding, curly-haired guy who has to deal with the fact he unknowingly hooked up with his aunt, the blonde dragon lady).
The exact details of the plot, including which characters will appear, have not been confirmed. The announcement, however, does promise “many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series.” For the record, George R.R. Martin is involved and working alongside playwright Duncan MacMillan. HBO is not formally involved but does have the option to invest in the production. Alongside Broadway, producers also hope to launch in London’s West End and Australia.
In terms of stringing out every last dollar from a franchise, this is a pretty smart move. It allows producers to bring back popular characters without the need for the original actors, and we could imagine, if it proves to be popular, allows for some sort of film or televised mini-series adaptation down the line. It also wouldn’t interfere, plot-wise, with the several other GoT spin-offs and televised series HBO now has in the works for its cable channel and its streaming service, HBO Max.
Of course, it does nothing to dispel Broadway’s growing reputation as a place where IP owners go to string every last dollar out of a franchise.
De Blasio’s plans to bring back Broadway safely include dedicated testing sites and a vaccination site aimed at inoculating those in the theater industry. This, even as the New York Times recently reported that the city is lagging when it comes to vaccinating those in non-white majority zip codes.