The Nerd Side Of Life

“Game of Thrones” Harrenhal Tourney Play Headed to Broadway, West End

This is one of the stranger bits of “Game of Thrones” news we’ve covered in recent years. Apparently, someone decided what London’s West End theatre district, Broadway, and beyond really needed was a play all about that fateful Harrenhal tourney that set almost everything in motion for what was to become the events of George R. R. Martin‘s creation.

If you’ll recall, the Harrenhal tourney is where Prince Rhaegar Targaryen first saw and fell in love with Lady Lyanna Stark, much to the chagrin of Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark, and all hell broke loose. Expect to see all those key “Game of Thrones” players as youngsters.

Martin said in a statement about the news:

“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace. 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. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO’s Game of Thrones, and in my novels, A Song of Ice & Fire … and now, at last, we can tell the whole story… on the stage.

An amazing team has been assembled to tell the tale, starting with producers Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and Jonathan Sanford. Their knowledge and love of my world and characters has impressed me from the very first, and their plans for this production blew me away since the first time we met. Dominic Cooke, our director, is a former artistic director of London’s Royal Court Theatre, who brought Shakespeare’s dramas of the War of the Roses to television, and our playwright, Duncan Macmillan, has previously adapted George Orwell and Henrik Ibsen, among others. Working with them (back before the pandemic, when we could actually get together) has been a treat, and I am eager for our collaboration to resume. Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, to the West End, to Australia… and eventually, to a stage near you … It ought to be spectacular.”

Martin will be co-writing the play’s book with Duncan MacMillan, who himself is an award-winning playwright. Dominic Cooke will direct this stage adaptation.

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From the play’s official description:

“The play will for the first time take audiences deeper behind the scenes of a landmark event that previously was shrouded in mystery. Featuring many of the most iconic and well-known characters from the series, the production will boast a story centered around love, vengeance, madness and the dangers of dealing in prophecy, in the process revealing secrets and lies that have only been hinted at until now.”

“I am over the moon at being given the opportunity, by the dynamic producing team of Tim Lawson, Simon Painter and Kilburn Live, to bring a new installment of George RR Martin’s epic story to a life on stage,” writer Cooke said. “One of George’s inspirations for the original books was Shakespeare’s history plays so the material lends itself naturally to the theatre. Duncan MacMillan and I are having a great time digging into the dynastic power struggles at the heart of George’s extraordinary imaginative world and he has been hugely generous and supportive towards both of us.”

At present, HBO has no involvement in the stage show, and no possible premiere date is known.

We’ll let you know what we hear about this and other “Game of Thrones” news.

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