Speaking to The New York Times, Martin revealed that he wants to make a show called Spear Carriers. The show would take place during the events of Game of Thrones but would focus on the many background characters who were just trying to live their lives while the War of the Five Kings was taking place.
“I haven’t been able to convince HBO that this is a good idea yet, but I would actually love to do something like that. Have you ever seen Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead? Hamlet is going on in the background, but it’s all about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
“I wanted to do a show called Spear Carriers, which would actually be set during the events of Game of Thrones, but it wouldn’t be following Dany, Tyrion and Jaime. They would all be there in the background like Hamlet, and it would be more like, ‘Here’s a story about a guy in the City Watch; here’s a story about a prostitute at one of Littlefinger’s brothels; here’s a story about a mummer who’s in town to do juggling and tricks.’ And they all get caught up in the events. I think that kind of show would be a lot of fun to do. Maybe I’ll be able to convince them to do it!”
For those unfamiliar with Martin’s reference, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a comedic play that focused on two minor characters from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, following them as the events of Shakespeare’s tragedy played out.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a major franchise has made use of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. In 2001, Dark Horse Comics applies it to the Star Wars universe in Tag & Bink Are Dead by writer Kevin Rubio and artist Lucas Marangon. The comic became such a cult favorite that fans theorized that an elderly Tag and Bink are the two Stormtroopers who turned around and walked away when they overheard Kylo Ren throwing one of his tantrums during Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a theory that Rubio has publicly supported. The duo also had a confirmed cameo in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Star Trek is about to do something similar in the animated comedy Star Trek: Lower Decks. The series is being developed by Rick & Morty lead writer Mike McMahan. McMahan’s pitch for the series was, “I want to do a show about the people who put the yellow cartridge in the food replicator so a banana can come out the other end.” The show takes its title from an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that itself focused on background characters from the series.
It’s unclear if Martin’s reference to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern implied that he envisions Spear Carriers as a comedy like the original play and the other works inspired by it or if it was simply meant to illustrate the idea of following minor background characters. It is possible that Martin’s intent is to make a dramatic anthology series, though an unglamorous title like Spear Carriers suggests a certain wry point of view.
Would you like to see a show like Spear Carriers on HBO? Let us know in the comments.
Game of Thrones will return for its final season on HBO in April 2019.
HBO has already ordered a pilot for one Game of Thrones spinoff, possibly titled The Long Night.