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Why HBO Needs an Animated GAME OF THRONES Spin-Off

Why HBO Needs an Animated GAME OF THRONES Spin-Off

Game of Thrones‘ final season might end up with a whopping price tag of $15 million per episode, so if anything it was an understatement when an HBO executive recently said the network faces a “conundrum” setting a budget for any potential spin-off. But there’s an affordable way for them to expand the franchise they’ve already been doing with great success for years, and in addition to cost efficiency, it would allow them to bring George R.R. Martin‘s world of Ice and Fire to life in more epic ways then they ever could with a live-action series. HBO should do an animated Game of Thrones series.

We know five spin-off ideas are in development for when the show ends in 2019, and the network has said it might order more than one to air. It would be hard for any spin-off to follow the most popular show in the world at any time, but the visual spectacle of Game of Thrones, and how much money it costs to produce it, will make it that much harder for the network to produce another hit. Will fans stay loyal if it looks like HBO is shortchanging the new series? Will it make sense to spend that kind of money on a show that might not be anywhere near as successful?

But that’s why, especially if they do choose to do more than one spin-off, an animated series makes so much sense. It wouldn’t cost anywhere near the same budget, and it would also allow them to devote the money they need for a second live-action show, meaning we get more Game of Thrones content at a higher quality. And they don’t have to wonder if a cartoon series would be any good because for seven seasons their animated “Histories and Lores” vignettes have easily been the best part of Game of Thrones home releases. While the animation style of them has changed from season-to-season, the compelling, rich short videos have always explored famous figures, events, places, religions, and legends from the history of Westeros and beyond, dating back to prehistory up to the current events of the show. I buy every season just to watch them.

They’ve proven so popular, the season seven Blu-ray included an extended installment, the 45-minute, 11-chapter short film Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven KingdomsIt covered thousands of years of history about how the Targaryens came to rule Westeros–and lost it to Robert Baratheon–touching upon some of the best figures and events from George R.R. Martin’s incredible backstory.

And a huge part of what makes the “Histories & Lores” so good is that the format allows them to do something they can’t do even if they pay $15 million per episode for Game of Thrones. Because in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series the locales of Westeros are even more epic and grand than they appear on the show. The Iron Throne of the novels is described as a monstrous tower of steel, and Harrenhal is so big it seems like it was designed for Giants to live in. Imagine the budget that would be required to recreate the famed city of Valyria before it was destroyed by the Doom the way it is seen in the first chapter of Conquest & Rebellion.

Even the clothes and armor in the books are far more impressive than fans of the show might realize, like how frequently the most famous fighters in the Seven Kingdoms wear huge, ornate helms into battle. If you like the Hound’s helmet, that’s nothing compared to what it would be like to see Robert and Rhaegar do battle on the Trident as one comes charging in with huge antlers to face off against a three-headed dragon.

An animated series would also mean HBO doesn’t have to necessarily decide on just one spin-off idea. It could easily be an anthology series, with each season tackling a different historical era, figure, or event, without worry how they could actually pull it off. Every season could even feature a different animation style to keep it fresh, or to best fit the story being told. George R.R. Martin is releasing a two-part history of House Targaryen that will include numerous rulers from the Seven Kingdoms who would make for an amazing show. How much easier would it be to draw their dragons than hatch them with CGI?

It’s not that a Game of Thrones cartoon would prove as successful as the original series–the odds of any spin-off doing that are probably close to zero–but it would allow HBO to expand the franchise at a fraction of the cost, bring the world of Westeros to life in ways it never has before, and tell any story they want. And thanks to their “Histories & Lores,” we know how good it could be.

Their animated stories have already been their best Game of Thrones spin-off already.

What do you think? Would an animated Game of Thrones series be a hit? Tell us why in the comments section below.

Featured Image: HBO

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