George R.R. Martin wants to make a Game of Thrones/Westworld crossover
For Game of Thrones fans around the world, winter has almost come, and by "winter", I'm of course referring to the final season, the ultimate showdown, the grand finale that will pit the combined forces of the Seven Kingdoms up against the undead hordes of the Night King. I'm sure I can't be the only fan out there who's beside myself with excitement over what's to come and wants to see how all those niggling little plot lines will tie together in 2019. But that same sense of excitement is also tinged with sadness, because finales are always bittersweet. Everyone loves a satisfying conclusion, but it's a shame to think that we'll also have to say farewell to some of our favourite characters and close the door on that world forever. Since HBO owns the rights to the characters, we'll have to hope for a spinoff of some kind if we ever want to revisit Jon Snow, Daenerys, Tyrion and the rest of the cast.
However, there is a possibility that we could see our fan-favourites again in some form, and revisit Westeros. The only problem is that it would take the ballsiest crossover in the history of TV to make it work, and even then I'm not sure if the producers would be able to pull it off. Yes, if we want to see the cast again, then they'll have to migrate over to another massively popular HBO series. Sounds impossible, right? Well, not exactly. Not when the premise of that show involves escapism-satisfying theme parks housed by super-advanced androids, and especially not when it was George R.R. Martin himself who came up with the concept.
Yes, George R.R. Martin, the author responsible for the Song of Ice and Fire novels that Game of Thrones is based on, has apparently come up with an idea for a Game of Thrones-Westworld spinoff. I have to say that I think this is an absolutely awesome idea, but not everyone will be so readily-convinced as I was. After all, how the heck could a fantasy series, set in a world of magic, dragons, zombies and knights, mix with sci-fi, robot gunslingers? Well, when you examine the premise of Westworld, it's actually not beyond the realms of possibility. Westworld is set sometime in a utopian future, where war, sickness and hunger has been eliminated, and the human race, content after aeons of strife, has become bored and apathetic.
To satisfy society's lust for adventure and cheap thrills, scientist and roboticist Robert Ford (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins) has constructed a number of theme parks based around different historical settings; Westworld has cowboys and native Americans, Romanworld is set in antiquity, and Samuraiworld is feudal Japan. Here every human appetite, from the decadent to the depraved, can indulge, thanks to the super-realistic robotic "hosts" who provide guests with the ultimate immersive role-playing experience.
Considering that Game of Thrones and Westworld have been made by the same network, and share similar themes (moral ambiguity, manipulation and conspiracy and plenty of sex and violence), it's perhaps unsurprising that Martin thought they'd be a marriage made in heaven. According to Entertainment Weekly, the writer brought up the idea to Westworld's showrunners, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, while having dinner with them, and suggested that the Game of Thrones universe could be a theme park as well, where guests could live out their dream of quests in a fantasy land. "Westerosworld" anyone?
Unfortunately, Nolan didn't think that the time was right for such a ballsy crossover; although he did state: "We love George and our daughter’s first trip anywhere in the world was out to Santa Fe for a screening of The Prestige at his theatre, the Jean Cocteau. He’s a lovely guy and a stunning writer and it’s flattering he would encourage a crossover. We should be so lucky ...We’ve got an awful lot of material to cover just with Westworld, but you want to stay tuned.” But who knows? If fan demand is high enough then it could take the form of a one-off special episode. I'm pretty sure it would be a huge hit.
This isn't the first time that the two series have been connected though. A number of fans of both shows have theorised that Westeros might in actuality be a simulated theme park featuring android actors, with the main cast (at least, those who have improbably managed to survive being killed) acting as guests to the park who can live as epic heroes. It sounds ridiculous but there's some compelling evidence that the world of Westeros is actually as inauthentic as a gory Disneyland. For one thing, consider how messed up the seasons are: winter and spring can last for years, seemingly at random. There's no way to account for these sweeping climate changes happening naturally. The only explanation is that someone is controlling the weather itself, much like in Westworld. It could be that the gods of Westeros are actually admins operating the park by computer.
The theory suggests that the player’s mind inhabits a digital avatar inside a simulation, while their body hibernates in reality. This could explain how some characters, such as Jon Snow or Beric Donarrion, have died and come back to life; instead of actually dying, they've just been temporarily booted from the game, afterwards restarting a safe file where they go back to where they left off. Time dilation, much like that experienced in a dream state, could also be in effect, giving characters the chance to experience years and years in-universe, while only hours pass in reality. It could even explain the jarring recasting of Daario Naharis, who switched from Ed Skrein to Michiel Huisman. He could be a robotic host, which replaced a malfunctioning model but assuming its old persona (something which happens routinely happens in the show) or it could be another player assuming that character.
The trailer for the latest season of Westworld aired during the Super Bowl LII, and Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard Lowe, Thandie Newton’s Maeve Millay, and Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores Abernathy made an appearance, as well as a rampaging bull crashing through the offices of the Westworld complex. The new season premieres on HBO on April 22 and I for one can't wait.