6 Stories We Want to See in a Prequel Series
The Coming of the First Men
During the time of peace, known as the Age of Heroes, the First Men began to adopt the worshipping practices of the Children and learned to use ravens to communicate messages. Remnants of this ancient civilization is carried on in Westeros today, mostly in the people of the North (notably House Stark) and, with no shortage of pride, among the Wildlings and Thenns. The meaning of their runic written language has been lost to time, but some wildlings and giants still speak the Old Tongue. Some of their structures, like the First of the First Men, still stand, and their social practices, like laws of hospitality and burying their dead in barrows, are still carried out by families of The North today.
The Long Night
The Long Night occurred 4,000 years after the arrival of the First Men and a full 8,000 years before Aegon’s Conquest. It’s such a distant memory that many modern inhabitants of the Known World chalk it up to myth and legend, but the tale is still so harrowing that there are those who take it as fact and are concerned that another Long Night (i.e. Winter) is coming.
Legends tell of a darkness that swept across the Known World for a generation, laying waste to civilization through famine and terror. The shadowy soldiers of this Long Night came to be known as the Others, demonic beings which rose from the far northern reaches of Westeros, the Lands of Always Winter. Their ice swords and resurrected wights were enough to drive the combined forces of the First Men and the Children of the Forest south. The Others were stopped only when the legendary inaugural members of the Night’s Watch discovered the creatures’ weakness to dragonglass and used it to drive them back in the Battle for the Dawn. After their victory, Bran the Builder raised a massive wall of ice and magic which was guarded by the Night’s Watch against the return of the Others from there on out.
Some of the most rousing mythology in Westerosi lore deals with the Targaryens establishing rule in the Seven Kingdoms (technically six — Dorne was able to resist and remained independent for another two centuries). Specifically, the tale of silver-haired Aegon and Conquerer and his sister-wives (that’s how those Targs do!) along with their gigantic dragons swooping from Valyria before the Doom, ultimately forging the Iron Throne from the swords of defeated rulers (fused by dragon fire, no less) is pretty much the definition of epic. It would also make for a fantastic addition to the Game of Thrones TV universe.
Aegon established the structure of Westeros that we know in Game of Thrones, unifying the kingdoms under one ruler and then staying on top for 300 years before Robert’s Rebellion overturned the Targaryen’s claim. Still, so much of Game of Thrones has revolved around Daenerys’ story of reclaiming that position and establishing herself as Mother of Dragons that it would provide great context — and a nice potential bookend — for Targaryen reign that includes one of the story’s most magical elements.
. The details are thus: Lyanna was the beautiful and headstrong daughter of the Lord of Winterfell who caught the eye of the handsome and musically talented Prince of Westeros, Rhaegar Targaryen. Unfortunately, he was already married to Elia Martell, with whom he had two children, and she was engaged to Robert Baratheon, Lord of the Stormlands. The scandal began when Rhaegar won a tournament and passed over his own wife to crown Lyanna “the queen of love and beauty” by presenting her with a winter rose (her favorite).
Shortly afterwards, Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna and kept her hidden in Dorne, an incident which helped lead (along with the actions of the Mad King) to Robert’s Rebellion. There is a lot of speculation, which most fans currently believe to be canon, that Lyanna and Rhaegar’s affair (if that’s what it was — others believe she was taken against her will and assaulted) resulted in a baby, who became Jon Snow. This is why Lyanna was hidden away, and Ned ended up randomly bringing home a kid to raise after Lyanna was found just before she died (because truly, given Ned’s obsession with honor and duty, would he have cheated on Catelyn? Doubtful).
Led by Robert Baratheon, Eddard Stark, and Jon Arryn, the nearly year-long campaign against House Targaryen shed first blood in the Vale of Arryn. The siege of the port city of Gulltown ended with the rebels defeating the Targaryen loyalists and a calling of the banners of Arryn, Baratheon, and Stark. However, not all bannermen answered the call, leading to battles in Summerhall, Ashford, and Stoney Sept; that latter conflict became known as the Battle of the Bells thanks to the sept tolling its bells to warn citizens of the approaching invaders.
The rebel and loyalist forces came to an epic clash at the Battle of the Trident, so named for a major river that ran through the battlefield. Fittingly, Robert Baratheon and Prince Rhaegar met in pitched battle on a ford of the Trident, where Robert proved victorious by smashing the Targaryen prince’s chest armor with a vicious blow from his warhammer. The strike was so powerful that it knocked the rubies from the dead prince’s armor, granting the site the name of the ruby ford.
His character could also serve as the lead in a spinoff that would include Lyanna and Rheagar’s story, as well as Robert’s Rebellion, since he is present for all of them. In his youth, Barristan made a name for himself as a talented fighter, being knighted at age 16 after unseating Duncan Targaryen at a tournament, where a very small Barristan was disguised as a mystery knight. In addition to being a particularly gifted tournament participant, he also became legendary on the battlefield for his skill and bravery. But, Barristan also joined the Kingsguard at a young age, meaning he had to give up the girl he was engaged to (who was not, it should be noted, the girl he was deeply in love with — more story potential!)