George R.R. Martin is facing something even more menacing than White Walkers: New York theater critics. The fantasy maestro is bringing “Game of Thrones” to the stage, hoping to transform the novels’ machiavellian power moves into Broadway magic that will please even the most jaded reviewers.
The show will be produced by Simon Painter, Jonathan Sanford, and Tim Lawson in partnership with Kilburn Live, and will have a story by Martin. Duncan MacMillan (“1984”) will co-write the play and Dominic Cooke (“The Courier”) will direct. The goal is to have productions running on Broadway, London’s West End and Australia with the first show opening in 2023. “Game of Thrones” previously spawned an unauthorized parody musical. This production will be a serious effort with the goal of achieving something similar to what J.K. Rowling pulled off with “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a lucrative state phenomenon and brand extension. Perhaps “Game of Thrones” can even wash out the bad taste left by the HBO series’ lackluster final season.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news, the play is set during The Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a famous event that takes place before the events of “Game of Thrones” that fans will recognize. The show could see fan favorites like Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon and Oberyn Martell get revived.
“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,” Martin said in a statement. “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, ‘Song of Ice & Fire’… and now, at last, we can tell the whole story…on the stage.”
“Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, to the West End, to Australia… and eventually, to a stage near you,” he added. “It ought to be spectacular.”
Martin recently signed a five-year, eight-figure deal to develop television shows and streaming series for HBO and HBO Max.