While Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon, not every spin-off idea presented to HBO has come to fruition. One such unmade spin-off was 10,000 Ships, a series written by Brian Helgeland that never made it to production. Helgeland shared that while his script for the show was well-received, it was ultimately deemed “too far removed from the pillars of the original” by the decision-makers at HBO.

The central focus of 10,000 Ships would have been on Queen Nymeria, a character whose story is reminiscent of the Biblical tale of Moses. Set 1,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the plot would have followed Nymeria and her people as they are forced to become nomadic, living on the water in search of a new home.

Helgeland envisioned a world where characters lived on a “raft city,” a large floating city reminiscent of a nomadic lifestyle. The characters would occasionally go ashore, only to be driven back to the sea in search of their own promised land. Nymeria, akin to Odysseus, would be responsible for every citizen in this floating city-state, facing constant challenges as they traversed a fictionalized version of the Mediterranean.

Helgeland pitched the idea of 10,000 Ships to George R.R. Martin, who signed off on the concept. While Helgeland wished he could have worked more closely with Martin on the project, the series never moved forward. However, his work remains available if HBO decides to revisit the idea in the future.

Interestingly, 10,000 Ships bears some resemblance to another Game of Thrones spin-off concept, 9 Voyages, focusing on the Sea Snake character and the adventures at sea. Despite facing cost challenges, 9 Voyages is being developed as an animated series rather than a live-action show. Meanwhile, HBO continues to explore different avenues within the Game of Thrones universe, with House of the Dragon Season 2 set to release soon, along with the upcoming spin-off, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight.

While 10,000 Ships may have never seen the light of day as a series, the concept behind the unmade show remains intriguing. The tale of Queen Nymeria leading her people on a journey to find a new home is filled with potential for rich storytelling and complex character development. As fans eagerly await the next installment in the Game of Thrones universe, it’s worth considering the untold stories that could have been part of this rich and expansive world.

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