Game of Thrones On Stage? Get the Fake Blood Ready!

Wouldst thou like to attend the Great Tourney? Well, in a few years you can: A raven sent from The Hollywood Reporter brings the news that the latest in an infinite series of George R.R. Martin-related adaptations is a Broadway production set during the Great Tourney at Harrenhal, 16 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

If you do not immediately have questions, I’m going to assume you’ve never been to Medieval Times. Because this sounds like Medieval Times the Play Based On the Works of GRRM, and if they don’t serve flagons of dragon-red ale and Hot Pie’s hot pies, what are they even doing?

To my amusement, THR is framing this as “will revive iconic characters,” which is shorthand for “Ned Stark isn’t dead” but does not, alas, mean that Melisandre will appear to revive him using smoke babies and necromancy. (He just isn’t dead yet when the tourney takes place.) Producers have not confirmed who will or won’t attend the Tourney, but in Martin’s books, much of the elder GoT generation was there: Ned Stark, his sister Lyanna, Oberyn Martell, Robert Baratheon, Jaime Lannister, Rhaegar Targaryen, and others. It wasn’t just all blood and jousting; joust champion Rhaegar caused a scene when he chose Lyanna Stark as his “queen of love and beauty,” despite the fact that he was already married (to Elia Martell) and Lyanna was betrothed to Robert Baratheon.

That said, it was five days of jousting, which means it’s essentially Medieval Times, a delightful and absurd entertainment wherein one sits on a hard bench, eats roast chicken with one’s bare hands, quaffs ale, and shouts for whichever knight is assigned to one’s section of the stands. If the powers that be are going to bring the joust to the stage, can they not give us this much? There should be a warning posted that if you sit in the front rows, you may want to wear a poncho to deflect flying fake blood. There should be audience involvement. There should be a big dragon puppet. It shouldn’t be serious.

But oh, it is. THR quotes an official description that says, “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.”

Secrets, lies, and hot pies! The tourney is set to begin in 2023, with productions in New York, London, and Australia. Though there is no indication that this show will be a musical, a lot of songs work well if you rewrite the lyrics to be about Westerosi drama.


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