Author George R.R. Martin has announced the writer behind one of HBO’s potential Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon spinoffs, also explaining why the tentative series was renamed.
Updating fans about his many, many projects, Martin devoted the bulk of a recent post on his website Not a Blog to the various novels, live series, cartoons and coffee table books in the works for the Game of Thrones franchise. Martin began by dropping a couple of precious details about a seafaring adventure. “Bruno Heller, the creator and showrunner of Rome, is writing his pilot script for the Corlys Velaryon series,” wrote Martin. “That one started out as Nine Voyages, but now we’re calling it The Sea Snake, since we wanted to avoid having two shows with numbers in the title.”
The Sea Snake, if it gets picked up, will tell the tales of Corlys Velaryon, a celebrated ship captain who used wealth and prestige amassed during his world travels to become one of the most influential lords of Westeros. Only alluded to in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and never mentioned in Game of Thrones, House Velaryon is one of House Targaryen’s oldest allies. As one of the few Valyrian families in Westeros, Velaryons are frequently born with the silver hair and purple eyes most often associated with Targaryens. They’re also the only other Westerosi family regularly capable of riding dragons.
Corlys will make his on-screen debut as an older man (Steve Toussaint) in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, making The Sea Snake a potential prequel to a prequel. Married to Princess Rhaenys Targaryen (Rhaenys Velaryon in House of the Dragon) and with children who consort with the would-be queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, Corlys gets entangled in a savage Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. It’s unknown whether Toussaint might reprise the role for The Sea Snake or if a younger actor would be cast.
The title The Sea Snake refers to Corlys himself, who is nicknamed The Sea Snake and has a ship of the same name. The previous title, Nine Voyages, is an allusion to the nine extended trading voyages Corlys made to build his wealth and fame. Assuming the show focuses on these journeys, it could be the first live-action look at some of the more exotic locales Martin dreamed up for his fantasy world, including Yi Ti, Asshai, Ibben and the Summer Isles.
Bruno Heller, whose work on Rome makes him an HBO veteran, also has experience developing spinoffs after producing the Batman franchise’s Gotham and Pennyworth. While Corlys is a major player in the events of the Dance of the Dragons, as seen in Martin’s novel Fire & Blood, few details about his legendary travels are revealed, leaving Heller with a literal world of possibilities.