What is dead may never die. With the end of Game of Thrones in clear sight, HBO are hoping that the franchise will rise again, harder and stronger. Or, to adapt the words of House Stark, spin-offs are coming.
Yes, spin-offs plural, with no less (sorry, fewer) than five currently in the works. That's not to say five will make it to air, but it's clear the cable channel has huge plans for Westeros beyond the story of Jon, Daenerys et al. And that makes a lot of sense.
It's not just a financial no-brainer, but a story one too. Game of Thrones is just one small (if crucial) chunk of Westeros history; a six-year period in a world that stretches back thousands. One of the delights of A Song of Ice and Fire is the world George R.R. Martin has built, which is among the richest in all fantasy literature. And, as GRRM himself says, there are millions of stories waiting to be told - but which one should be?
Robert's Rebellion and The Tales of Dunk and Egg have been ruled out, but there are plenty of other options. Aegon's Conquest and The Dance of the Dragons could both be incredible dragon-filled spectacle; Valyria a gorgeous, magical drama. But the one that really stands above the crowd is the Blackfyre Rebellion.
Taking place around 100 years before the events of the show start, it came when Daemon Blackfyre - bastard son of King Aegon IV Targaryen - claimed the Throne of his older, trueborn brother Daeron II Targaryen. The result was a civil war, and the perfect story for a Game of Thrones spin-off.