By Lee Travis
All men must die. And all shows must end. Game of Thrones is coming to a climactic ending, and the Song of Ice and Fire is almost over. But with such a rich world that filled our Sunday nights for the past seven years, where will HBO turn to next? With so many stories to be told in Westeros a show set in Braavos would lend itself to the Game of Thrones expanded universe. Here are four reasons why we need a spin-off in Braavos.
1) The Iron Bank
Everyone knows to be on their best behavior when dealing with the Iron Bank. Being the most powerful financial institution in the world, everyone comes ready to pitch their reason for being funded. Sharply written scenes between the Iron Bank and hopeful clients would be compelling to watch. Plus, the back room deals of how the bank collects information and deals with unruly clients would be deeply engaging. Tywin Lannister puts it best about dealing with the Iron Bank, “You can't run from them, you can't cheat them, you can't sway them with excuses.”
Regardless of what the spin-off will be about, what time it is set is just as important. Braavos has been around long before the start of Game of Thrones. However, setting the spin-off during King Robert’s reign would be a perfect time for some prequel storytelling. With the Narrow Sea separating Braavos from the Seven Kingdoms, Braavos would be able to tell its own story, but important players from Westeros could appear from time to time. Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon (or any Baratheon really), Littlefinger, Tywin Lannister, etc. could all appear. The show shouldn’t go cameo heavy, but the story would benefit from a well-timed cameo. Even a reveal later on in the season that the spin-off is a secret prequel would be an interesting twist. The chance of one more scene with Ned Stark might be worth this story.
3) The First Sword of Braavos
Way back in season 1, Syrio Forel mentioned he was the First Sword of Braavos for nine years. The First Sword of Braavos is the chief protector and champion of the city. Sir Davos even mentioned he was almost beheaded by the First Sword of Braavos. The First Sword is no joke and would be a fascinating character to see protect the city and the many residents. Double points if Forel is still the First Sword during this time since he was tragically killed too early during Game of Thrones.
4) Faceless Men
Who else resides in Braavos? The Faceless Men. That’s right, everyone’s favorite face stealing assassins would be back. Because they take contracts, people from throughout the Known World would be taking out contracts or visiting the House of Black and White. Also, seeing the Faceless Men cross paths with the Iron Bank and The Sword of Braavos could result in some interesting conversations. And battles. And literal face-offs.
Let’s all go to Braavos!
A political spy thriller based in Braavos would lend well to the Game of Thrones universe. And, perhaps, get back to the roots of the original series before the faster-paced later seasons. The Iron Bank could take a leading role, with the Sword of Braavos and the Faceless Men woven throughout, resulting in the epic storytelling that Game of Thrones is known for producing. Everyone might be fighting for the Iron Throne, but the real power radiates from Braavos. All men must die. And all men must pay their debts to the bank. There is no running