Via James Hibberd at The Hollywood Reporter, we’ve learned that Kit Harington is attached to star in Jon Snow spin-off series set after the end of Game of Thrones. Suffice it to say, the new has sent shockwaves through fandom, casual and hardcore alike. For our part, it doesn’t seem all that surprising, for the reasons laid out in Deadline‘s confirmation.
The recent sale of WarnerMedia (which includes HBO) to Discovery+, and their subsequent merger, has led to some real changes over at HBO. As Deadline notes, there’s new leadership overseeing HBO, and it’s clear they have a somewhat different mandate on the matter. The sale of HBO to Discovery+ has led to a wave of very hard-eyed, financially-driven decisions—shows abruptly getting cancelled, reports of the new bosses wanting both to trim the fat and develop things that have high potential to be popular. A spin-off post-GoT sequel wasn’t in the works last year, so far as we know, and may not even have been in development until a month or two ago. As Hibberd notes about the idea of creating a character-focused spin-off:
Still, this is in very early development (or even exploratory, as Deadline says), so who knows if it goes forward. But Discovery+ is going to try and discover as many ways to produce money-making content as possible.
Does this have any implications for Jon’s story in ASoIaF, or ASoIaF in general? Our guess: none at all. This show will be entirely its own thing, licensed fiction in the GoT-universe, and we suspect George’s involvement on the story side will be very minimal.