Back in January, Game of Thrones fans finally received the news we’ve been waiting to hear for so long, as HBO Programming President Casey Bloys stated that bosses would ‘be foolish not to look at‘ a Prequel series. Discussions around a Prequel/Spin Off have been taking place for the past few years now. However, as we move into Season 7, it looks like HBO are keen to put pen to paper and delve further into the world George R.R. Martin has created. Westeros and Essos have a rich history. In fact, there is such a wealth of material that we may be looking at the first of many prequel series. Fingers crossed!
However, this article will focus on one particular prequel: the Reign of the Mad King and Robert’s Rebellion. Of course, there are many other potential ideas that HBO could explore; The Age of Heroes and the invasion of the White Walkers, the Andal Invasion, The Rise and Fall of Valyria, The Targaryen Conquest of Westeros. Yet, Robert’s Rebellion is more likely, considering the fact that we’ve already seen a young Ned and Lyanna Stark. So here are a list of ten things we want to see from a prequel series on Robert’s Rebellion.
#1 : The Great Tourney at Harrenhal
The event that started it all. The Great Tourney at Harrenhal was held by Lord Whent in honour of his daughter’s name day. It was said to be the greatest Tourney of its time, drawing the great lords of Westeros. Prince Rhaegar Targaryen won the tournament, beating four members of the King’s Guard. However, after winning, Rhaegar snubbed his own wife and chose Lyanna Stark as the Queen of Love and Beauty. This move led to Rhaegar’s supposed kidnap of Lyanna a year later.
#2 : How the Mad King earned his reputation
Throughout Game of Thrones we’ve heard a lot about the Mad King. But how was his reputation earned? After Lyanna is kidnapped by Rhaegar, Ned’s elder brother, Brandon Stark, rides to King’s Landing to ask for her release. The Mad King has him arrested for treason and summons Lord Rickard Stark to ransom his son. However, Rickard is also arrested. Lord Rickard demands a trial by combat, yet the Mad King names fire his champion. Lord Rickard is burned alive, as Brandon (wearing a strangulation device around his neck) is strangled in an attempt to free his father. The Mad King laughs throughout.
#3 : Jon Arryn in the flesh
From the first series of Game of Thrones, Jon Arryn is shown to be a man of great importance, particularly to Ned Stark and Robert Baratheon. If a prequel were to be made, it would be brilliant to see this supposedly great man in the flesh. After the murder of Lord Rickard Stark and his son Brandon, the Mad King demands Jon Arryn hand Ned and Robert (fostered at the Eyrie) over to him. Jon refuses and calls his banners in rebellion. Ned and Robert follow his lead and so the war begins.
#4 : The Raising of the Banners
When Rob raised his banners after Ned Stark’s execution in Game of Thrones Season 1, it was a highly emotive moment. After the evil deeds of the Mad King, particularly toward the Starks, we can say with certainty that this moment would have just as much power in a prequel series. We want to see the Lords of the North come together behind a young Ned Stark, the way they did for his son years later. We also want to see Robert Baratheon march his men North from the Stormlands and join forces with the Lords of the North and the Vale. Of course, we’re one Kingdom short of the rebellion total at this point.
#5 : Marriage Ceremony at Riverrun
This moment will be very significant, as it is a pivotal event in Robert’s Rebellion. With Ned’s marriage to Catelyn and Jon Arryn’s marriage to her sister Lysa, Hoster Tully joins the rebellion. However, it will also be interesting to witness the first meeting between Ned and Catelyn with the knowledge of what is to come for both characters. We also might get a glimpse of a young Littlefinger. Littlefinger was not in Riverrun for this event, but HBO could change this for dramatic effect.
#6 : Battle of the Trident
The Battle of the Trident is the deciding moment in Robert’s Rebellion, as both sides met for a final showdown. Both armies were of a similar strength, with the rebels army only smaller than that of the Royalists by a slight margin. Many died in the battle, yet the deciding moment came when Robert Baratheon slew Prince Rhaegar in single combat. After the death of their leader, the Royalist forces broke and retreated back toward King’s Landing. The rebels won the battle.
#7 : Flashback to Destruction of House Reyne
Prior to Robert’s Rebellion, there was the destruction of House Reyne, an event that lead to Tywin Lannister’s ruthless reputation. House Reyne were a wealthy house that rebelled against the Lannisters, along with House Tarbeck. In response to their rebellion, Tywin destroyed both houses. He slaughtered men, women and children. This event might be an effective flashback/story to tell in the build up to the Sack of King’s Landing, as it will prelude the Lannister’s actions in the capital.
#8 : The Sack of Kings Landing & Death of Mad King
Just how bad were the Lannisters? Pretty bad is the answer. After the Battle of the Trident, Tywin Lannister leads his army to King’s Landing, pledging to defend the city against the oncoming rebels. However, once inside, the Lannister army slaughters the city’s defenders and puts its inhabitants to the sword. During the sack of the city, the Mad King orders Jaime Lannister to bring him Tywin’s head. Jaime refuses and kills the Mad King, an act that gives him the name Kingslayer.
#9 : Robert Baratheon’s Coronation
After the Sack of King’s Landing, Robert Baratheon becomes King of the Seven Kingdoms. As Prince Rhaegar’s second cousin, Robert’s claim to the throne is strongest of all the rebels. Yet it will be interesting to see how becoming King changes Robert, from the hardened Battle commander to the drunken, whore loving King we see in Season 1. We also might get a chance to witness the infamous moment when Robert lost Cersei, as he whispered Lyanna in her ear on their wedding night.
#10 : Viserys and Daenerys’s escape from Dragonstone
With Robert Baratheon ruling in King’s Landing and the rest of Westeros now loyal to their new King, the remaining Targaryen loyalists gather at their ancestral seat of Dragonstone. It takes time to launch an assault, as the rebels have to construct a new fleet. However, a storm destroys the Targaryen loyalists’ fleet before Stannis arrives. Knowing that defeat is certain, Ser Willem Darry smuggles Viserys and Daenerys off of Dragonstone and across the Narrow Sea. Dragonstone falls soon after and with it the last Targaryen foothold in Westeros. The War is over.
Note* One notable moment missing from the list is The Tower of Joy. This is because we see it in Game of Thrones Season 6 and it might be somewhat reductive to show it twice. However, that’s just my opinion. What would you like to see from this Prequel, or others?