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George R.R. Martin has a 'Thrones' spinoff idea inspired by an absurdist play inspired by Hamlet

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Dec 3, 2018, 12:37 PM EST

There's no denying that Game of Thrones is George R.R. Martin's magnum opus. Much like Stephen King's Dark Tower series, it builds a unique fantasy world all its own, encompassing dozens of characters, points of view, time periods, and settings.

Moreover, the struggle for the Iron Throne and control of Westeros is as serious as can be, rife with murder, betrayal, sex, and lavish banquets. But what if you were to turn all of that on its head by looking not at the main characters, but those periphery individuals lurking just out of frame? 

Speaking with The New York Times, Martin revealed his idea for a Game of Thrones spinoff inspired by Tom Stoppard's 1966 absurdist play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a production that follows two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet

"I wanted to do a show called Spear Carriers, which would actually be set during the events of Game of Thrones, but it wouldn’t be following Dany, Tyrion and Jaime. They would all be there in the background like Hamlet, and it would be more like, 'Here’s a story about a guy in the City Watch; here’s a story about a prostitute at one of Littlefinger’s brothels; here’s a story about a mummer who’s in town to do juggling and tricks.' And they all get caught up in the events. I think that kind of show would be a lot of fun to do. Maybe I’ll be able to convince [HBO] to do it!"

It's an interesting idea, one that Stoppard himself, 81, could be even consulted for, given the British plawright's history with cinematic projects, having helped write the screenplays for Terry Gilliam's Brazil and John Madden's Shakespeare in Love. He also wrote and directed a faithful film adaptation of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in 1990, which starred Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, and Richard Dreyfuss.