“House of the Dragon” is just one of several planned “Game of Thrones” spin-offs. Could we be in for an animated series about the mystical, Far Eastern realm of Yi Ti alongside the Sea Serpent’s travels?
- Several other spin-off series in the “Game of Thrones” universe have already been confirmed.
- Could episode 9 of “House of the Dragon” have given a hint as to the setting of another adaptation?
- What is the legendary realm of Yi Ti all about?
Even though the first season of “House of the Dragon” is set primarily in King’s Landing, the world of ice and fire is much more vast than you might think. In the Far East, vast landscapes and legendary realms stretch out. One of them is Yi Ti. Aemond jokingly suspects in episode 9 that his brother Aegon may have fled there before ascending the throne.
Yi Ti as a follow-up series to “House of the Dragon”?
Yet Yi Ti would be optimal for hiding from one’s own past, one’s henchmen, and one’s scheming family. No other realm lies so far to the east that many assume it could be reached by a west-east passage around the globe.
In addition to the already confirmed spin-off to Jon Schnee, two other sequels in the works to “House of the Dragon” are a series centered around Corly’s Velaryon and an animated series about Yi Ti. “The Golden Empire” is the current working title. What could HBO get out of one of the most interesting geographic regions in the world of ice and fire?
Yi Ti is inspired by imperial China. Both in terms of its culture, history and location. The vast empire to the east that worships god-emperors, is older than the entire history of Westeros and richer than all 7 kingdoms combined, will be an exciting plot location for the animated series.
To the end of the world and much further
Yi Ti is also a great mystery because rarely has a man or woman from Westeros ventured so far east. Accordingly, we have little tangible information about Yi Ti’s customs and history, which of course makes it all the more fascinating.
In “Game of Thrones” Season 2, Daenerys visits the city of Qarth. This is to serve as our starting point for our journey to Yi TI. Qarth is located in the far east of the first half of the continent of Essos. After the Dothraki Sea and south of the Red Desert, this city of wonders is located. To the east of it first comes a huge, almost uncrossable mountain massif, the Bone Mountains.
Behind it come sagas and legends. For only a few cartographers and traders have ever penetrated so far into the east via the land route and returned. Yi Ti is located in the south and is bordered by Lake Jade. To the north, the Great Sand Sea and the realm of the strange Jogos Nhai form a natural border of Yi Ti.
Even further east is only the island kingdom of Leng, with its tall people, dense jungles and strange gods. Shaded from Ashai, this is the last remaining place of civilization on Essos. For beyond the Bleeding Sea and the Mountains of Woe, only horror and nightmare stories follow.
Realm of Wonder
Yi Ti is both the name of the eastern region just described and of the Golden Empire located there. It is the successor realm to the fabled Great Empire of the Dawn, which perished during the Long Night, part of the Azor Ahai prophecy.
Yi Ti is said to be older than Valyria and the slaveholding realm of Ghis. The cities of Yi Ti are said to surpass those in Westeros in size, splendor and population by far. However, it is impossible for anyone to know this for sure “nowadays”, as a few traders who have made it this far east have only been able to see the trading posts and port suburbs.
The culture of Yi Ti may seem strange to Westerosi and outsiders, but it is based on traditions, rites and ceremonies that are thousands of years old. The empire is ruled by a god-emperor, whose respective dynasty is always associated with a color or gemstone.
However, the office has lost much of its ancient power and influence. The God Emperor now has only limited power in his imperial domicile and performs more representative duties in the empire. Yi Ti, on the other hand, is ruled and dominated by hundreds of princes and generals of the emperor. A golden patchwork of dominions has become Yi Ti in recent history.
Also handed down are strange rituals, which the god emperors followed, blood magic and cannibalism, in the realm of legends many stories about Yi Ti can be found. Is there a shred of truth in them?
What could the Yi Ti series tell?
There are plenty of potential stories that the series creators could use. Likewise, because of the scarce facts about Yi Ti, a lot of creative leeway could be used in the animated series. Each of the numerous previous god emperors has accomplished great things, waged wars, tyrannized his population or turned to magic.
This would also be optimal material for an anthology series. Because so far we only know that the animated series Yi Ti is being planned, but nothing yet about the format or story.
The series could also be set far in the past and be a kind of Far Eastern fairy tale, but á la “Game of Thrones”, with lots of violence, sex and intrigue. Or it could be set parallel to the Targaryen dynasty or the travels of Corlys Velaryon, showing how the empire slowly decays but is still magnificent and powerful.
In any case, the planned Yi Ti series could show us a completely different, new, exciting and magical world within the “Game of Thrones” universe. The animation format, which has since been confirmed by George Martin himself in his blog, seems perfectly suited for this. It would be the perfect way to show the breadth of colors, patterns, gigantic buildings and strange landscapes of Yi Ti.
However, there is little more information so far. Only that it will probably not be a “children’s cartoon series” seems to be assured due to the “Game of Thrones” brand. So we’ll probably have to wait until next year, when HBO might present a first big announcement including a teaser trailer at a major fan event.
The final episode of the first season of “House of the Dragon” will be released next week on Monday on Sky Atlantic and the streaming provider Wow.