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Winter is coming … to Broadway.
The play will be a prequel story, reportedly centered around The Great Tourney at Harrenhal — an event that took place 16 years before the events of “Game of Thrones.”
This means that unlike the spinoff shows in the works — such as “House of The Dragon,” about Targaryen ancestors — this play is close enough to the “Game of Thrones” timeline for beloved characters from the show to appear. Jaime Lannister in all his swaggering glory plays a key role in this competition, as does Ned Stark and Jon Snow’s parents, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark.
In fact, several crucial scandals and mysteries of “Game of Thrones” take place at this tourney.
During this event, Jon Snow’s dad — and Daenery’s older brother — Rhaegar Targaryen infamously crowned Lyanna Stark as the Queen of Love and Beauty, presenting her with blue winter roses. This was a huge scandal that reverberated through Westeros, since Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon at the time, while Rhagar was married to Elia of Dorne. It was a key event in the timeline of “Game of Thrones” that essentially sparked the conflict of the show — because it led to Rhaegar and Lyanna running away together to secretly marry, causing a furious Robert Baratheon to wage a war.
Characters such as Arya, Sansa and Daenerys are too young to appear in the play, but the Lannisters and older Starks and Targaryens are all fair game. It’s unlikely that any of the show’s actors could resume their roles, since Jaime Lannister is a teenager during this time — and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, while a dashing silver fox at 50, can’t pass as a teen. So expect new actors playing beloved fan-favorite characters.
This tourney, which was held over 10 days, also saw the participation of a mysterious knight known as “The Knight of the Laughing Tree,” and King Aerys was unsuccessful in trying to unmask him and figure out his identity. So, this “Game of Thrones” play could also reveal a long-simmering mystery in the series, if it shares his identity.
“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace.” George R.R. Martin said in a press release about the play. “Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO’s GAME OF THRONES, and in my novels, A SONG OF ICE & FIRE… and now, at last, we can tell the whole story … on the stage.”
Martin has not yet announced a publication date for “The Winds of Winter,” the planned sixth novel in the series, or the planned final novel “A Dream of Spring.”
Working alongside author George R.R. Martin, the play is being written and adapted by playwright Duncan MacMillan and helmed by acclaimed UK director Dominic Cooke. No casting has been announced yet.
The play is expected to launch in 2023 in New York City, London’s West End and Australia.