George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones franchise will get a stage entry, to be written by Lungs and Every Brilliant Thing playwright Duncan MacMillan (in coordination with Martin) and helmed by London Follies director Dominic Cooke. Produced by Simon Painter, Tim Lawson, and Kilburn Live, the project aims to debut in 2023, with plans to bring the production to Broadway, London's West End, Australia, and more.
The stage work will be set at a pivotal moment in the series' history: the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, taking "audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark franchise event that previously was shrouded in mystery." The play will also likely feature well-known characters from the Emmy-winning HBO series, as a number of them—Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon, Jamie Lannister included—were present at the event, according to the books.
“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace," says Martin of the project. "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." The carnage likely refers to Robert Baratheon's rebellion following the tournament, which resulted in the overthrow of King Aerys II and King Robert claiming the Iron Throne.
"Martin's generosity and trust during this process has been incredible," adds MacMillan. "Working on this play during lockdown has felt like a real privilege. I can’t wait until we can be back in a theatre to experience this together."
The stage production would be the latest in Martin's Game of Thrones franchise, which began as a series of fantasy novels in 1996. HBO adapted the series for television beginning in 2011, where it became a pop culture phenomenon that aired through 2019. Future plans for the franchise include at least two additional books, and several prequel television series.
Along with Painter and Laweson, Game of Thrones will be executive produced for the stage by Vince Gerardis and Jonathan Sanford.