Game of Thrones is launching prequel after prequel. And now the franchise will try something different: a stage play.

Author George R.R. Martin will team up with award-winning playwright Duncan MacMillan (1984) and acclaimed director Dominic Cooke (The Courier) to create the show. And though the production will also be a prequel, it’s a much less distant prequel than the TV shows currently in development.

The yet untitled play will detail the events of the Great Tourney, a pivotal event in GOT history that takes place just 16 years before the show. That means unlike the TV prequels, the play will feature some well-known characters. 

Though the production has not yet officially confirmed the characters involved, Martin’s books place a number of familiar faces at the Great Tourney. The 10 day competition brought together the likes of Ned Stark, his sister Lyanna, teenage Jaime Lannister, Lord Robert Baratheon, and Princes Rhaegar Targaryen and Oberyn Martell. Though not necessarily a part of the existing lore, the timeline would also allow the other Lannisters (Cersei, Tyrion, and Tywin) to appear, as well as the devious Littlefinger and Varys.

(Don’t expect to see Daenerys or any of the Stark kids though – they weren’t born yet.)

The Great Tourney marks a significant turning point in the history of Westeros. At the end of the tournament, Prince Rhaegar publicly declared his love for Robert’s betrothed, Lyanna Stark. This ultimately led to Robert’s Rebellion and the overthrowing of the Targaryens.

Here’s the official description of the play so far:

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.

“The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,” reads a statement from Martin. “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.”

The first show is expected to launch in 2023.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter