Of all the many Game of Thrones spinoffs in development, House of the Dragon is the most anticipated, but there’s actually a spinoff that’s even more exciting: 10,000 Ships. Game of Thrones ended in May of 2019 after eight seasons and received high ratings over most of its run (along with 12 Primetime Emmy Awards). However, Game of Thrones plot holes and uneven storytelling dragged down the show’s final two seasons, but HBO aims to rectify that with their spinoff shows. The first spinoff to make it out of the pilot stage and into production and release is the Olivia Cooke-led House of the Dragon, which will focus on the Targaryen civil war.
Another intriguing Game of Thrones spinoff in development is 10,000 Ships. The show will follow Princess Nymeria, who ruled over Dorne for two decades. Her story is set about a thousand years before the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire,” making 10,000 Ships currently the earliest project on the Westeros timeline. The legend of Nymeria is that while crossing over into a channel of the Summer Sea, she was forced to burn down her entire fleet of ships to escape from the dragonlords of Essos.
As more details are revealed about the 10,000 Ships spinoff, it looks to be one of HBO’s most exciting prospects. While the Targaryen family dynamic is well known and has been explored by Game of Thrones, Nymeria is an almost completely new figure for audiences to enjoy. Her story is very compelling, setting up the show for plenty of chases, war, and political intrigue. Additionally, the setting of Dorne can now be more fully explored, as it wasn’t used to its full potential in the original series. As HBO greenlights spinoffs based on interest and the potential for great stories, it is likely 10,000 Ships will soon attract a lot of audience attention and perhaps even prove to be a more exciting prequel spinoff than House of the Dragon.
The only mention of Nymeria in Game of Thrones was when Arya Stark named her direwolf after the warrior-queen. The legacy that Nymeria left was so impactful, she continued to be celebrated as a pillar of strength across Westeros even a millennium after her conquests. The show will likely begin in the face of Valyrian expansion, when Nymeria led all the Rhoynar refugees out of Essos and into Dorne. Once they arrive, she goes on to burn all 10,000 of their ships to prevent any thoughts of turning back. She would later become the first ruler to unite the region, along with her husband Davos Dayne. The main hurdle for this storyline will be the handling of the budget, which House of the Dragon has done successfully.
Dorne will be another highlight of 10,000 Ships, as the desert region will be where Nymeria stakes her claim. Audiences were introduced to Dorne in season 4 of Game of Thrones, but the storyline there was one of the most hated in the show at the time. This was mostly due to Dorne’s characters failing to offer up a captivating story due to lack of development, with the exception of Prince Oberyn Martell. While the books and show introduced a fascinating landscape to be further developed, 10,000 Ships finally has the opportunity to give Dorne the story it deserves.
A big step forward for 10,000 Ships took place in May of 2021, when Amanda Segel was announced to be the writer for the series. There are so many spinoffs being pitched for Game of Thrones, it’s easy to lose track of them all. However, if done correctly, the story of Nymeria in 10,000 Ships could be the breakout show for the franchise, even beating out House of the Dragon to become the most exciting and rich Game of Thrones spinoff.