Will The “Game of Thrones” Prequel Be Worth Watching?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: HBO)

“Game of Thrones” is getting a prequel show.

Or, at least, it’s getting a pilot for a prequel. Whether the network decides to take this pilot to series will depend on how the initial episode looks once completed.

This is one of five potential spin-offs that have been in the works. With the main series of “Game of Thrones” wrapping up in 2019, HBO is eager to keep the flame alive by steering audiences to a brand new show that’s set in the same universe.

The show that’s been granted a pilot will be a prequel, set thousands of years before the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire”. The show will detail the origin of the White Walkers, and will delve into the history of Westeros.

So, the big question is: will this show be worth watching?

The Prequel Problem

Traditionally, prequels are a bit lame.

Let’s face it, there are very few genuinely solid prequels. From “Star Wars” to “The Hobbit”, from “Smallville” to “Prometheus”, it’s never all that fun to see the early days of a fictional world.

Part of the problem with this is the fact that it’s not actually much fun to see the origins of characters.

Game of Thrones White Walkers
Source: HBO

Worldbuilding for its own sake is dull. Nobody wants to know about Midi-Chlorians, or learn about the bizarre genetic experiments that created the xenomorph. The more fun part of the experience is actually seeing these weird and wonderful ideas in action, rather than learning how they work.

Thus, a show that focuses on taking all the mystery and mysticism out of Westeros doesn’t seem very appealing to me.

We’ll basically be getting “Game of Thrones”: The Textbook. Not much actually engaging story, but plenty of dry exposition.

The Magic Element

Of course, this all depends on the quality of the writing, the power of the directing, and crucially, the strength of the actors’ performances.

Tyrion in Game of Thrones
Source: HBO

The thing that’s always made “Game of Thrones” worth watching has been the incredible cast. Well, that and all the grisly murders.

If HBO is able to fill this new show with an engaging cast that rivals the main show, then the entire endeavor may prove worthwhile.

One thing is certain: HBO won’t be going ahead with this until they’re certain they’ve got a hit show on their hands.