The series takes place in an alternate timeline where southern states have successfully seceded from the Union and slavery remains legal

By Karen Mizoguchi
July 19, 2017 10:14 PM
Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Skepticism is higher than Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.

On Wednesday, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the Emmy-winning creators, writers, and producers behind Game of Thrones, announced the synopsis of their newly greenlit HBO series, Confederate.

The forthcoming show “chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution,” according to HBO’s press release, obtained by Entertainment Weekly.

Confederate will follow characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone: freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.

But Benioff and Weiss’ new project was met with backlash on social media, specifically Twitter.

And the idea of an alternate reality in which the Confederacy won the Civil War provoked some strong feelings.

Benioff and Weiss will serve as showrunners on Confederate, and Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, who are both African-American, will executive produce. Carolyn Strauss and Bernadette Caulfield will also serve as executive producers.

“There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series, but we are creating a world, and we couldn’t imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm, who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills,” Benioff and Weiss said in their joint statement, adding: “We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film. But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO.”

Production on Confederate will begin following the final season of Game of Thrones, which currently doesn’t have an air date (late 2018 and 2019 are both possible).