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Opinion Our new fantasy show is definitely a prequel to something you love

No, not "Game of Thrones"! (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Are you excited for the new show from the “Game of Thrones” universe, “House of the Dragon”? Or how about that “The Lord of the Rings” one, “The Rings of Power”? Relatedly, are you the sort of person who sees that somebody might be making a new story of any kind and begins to panic until you are reassured that it is actually someone or something with which you are already familiar?

Well, I have great news for you: Our new show is just like that! It is definitely set in a world you already know and love, even if it’s so long ago that the familiar locations are unrecognizable and, of course, none of the characters you remember are alive yet! Or … are they? Better tune in, just in case! If this isn’t event television for franchise fans, I don’t know what is!

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What franchise? A beloved one, for sure! That’s all I’m at liberty to say! I know how much you hate spoilers! But I think real fans will be able to tell immediately. We would never dream of just claiming that our epic fantasy show was the prequel to something without, say, having actual IP in mind, and this is certainly not an elaborate ruse to try to sneak original content into the world, the way Mary Shelley did by subtitling “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.”

Can’t you tell from the map? I feel like you should be able to tell from our map, if you really know the franchise. The font should give you a hint.

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Could we theoretically just make a totally original show and then zoom in on a little grain of sand and watch it get heated and cooled and become glass and zoom out and reveal that, yes, this was the origin story of the iconic “Friends” apartment window? You know, that’s a possibility. Lots of things are possible; most TV takes place inside Tommy Westphall’s snow globe.

But rest assured that this show is going to feel like a prequel. It is going to have all those wonderful moments you have come to associate with having things be prequels to other things:

  • Characters getting introduced to one another and pointedly saying both of their full names while music swells beneath them.
  • Way more backstory about how somebody came to wear a hat than you would expect. You thought maybe sometimes people just put on clothes? Not these people! Not these clothes!
  • People being handed items the camera pointedly lingers on, even though there is no obvious reason in the story why these items would be important.
  • A moment where someone’s smooth, youthful face is clearly CGIed that will cause you to ask, “Wait, is that actor actually still alive?” and make you afraid to Google the answer.
  • Clunky, unwieldy dialogue like, “I would sure hate if our grandchildren ever met near a feldspar deposit!” — just, classic, real-world things like that!
  • Or people looking into the camera and muttering, “No woman will ever rule this place!”

We will have all kinds of moments like that — so many introductions, and knowing glances, and interminable shots of seemingly unimportant things, and people saying, “Ah, the Limberlost!” while a mournful flute theme plays and the camera pans slowly over a swamp full of humble dwellings. Just to make you feel really sure that what you are watching is a prequel to something, as you have come to expect from all your entertainment. Which, again, it definitely is.

Still don’t know to what? Wow. Sounds like somebody is a fake fan! Sounds like somebody doesn’t know their lore! But the clues are definitely there — as long as you tune in all season long!

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