‘Game of Thrones’ star plays UK’s most notorious jewel thief in new drama

A new drama about the life of jewel thief Joan Hannington has been announced.

Joan has been commissioned for ITVX, with filming due to begin in London next spring.

Inspired by the UK’s most notorious jewel thief and based on her memoirs, it’s set in “the fun, brash, aspirational world of 1980s London.”

The six-part drama will tell the true story of Hannington’s meteoric rise from petty offender to highly talented diamond thief and criminal mastermind.

The series is created by Anna Symon – who wrote Mrs Wilson, Indian Summers, and The Essex Serpent – so we’ve got high hopes for this!

Sophie Turner (The Staircase, X-Men) will lead the cast as Joan Hannington.

The 26-year-old English actress is best known for her role as Sansa Stark in all eight seasons of Game of Thrones.

She commented: “I’m so excited to be bringing Joan Hannington’s fascinating life story to screen in Joan. She is one of the most notorious figures in the criminal underworld of London, earning her the nickname “The Godmother.”

“A woman who goes between her thriving and daring career as a jewel thief, all whilst trying to get her daughter back from social services, we see a mother in despair swept up in the exhilarating world of crime.”

Writer Anna Symon added: “From penniless single parent to accomplished diamond thief, Joan Hannington’s life story is a thrilling, rags-to-riches rollercoaster. I couldn’t be more excited to watch the stellar talent Sophie Turner step into Joan’s shoes.”

Symon’s adaptation of The Essex Serpent aired earlier this year – here’s the trailer if you missed it:


The official synopsis for Joan reads: “We’re first introduced to Joan in her twenties, a fiery, uncompromising, and intoxicating character, who is not without her own deep scars and vulnerability, as a doting and loving young mother to 4-year-old Debbie. She’s in a disastrous marriage to a violent thug, and when he goes on the run, Joan seizes the moment to leave her old life.

“Inspired by her desire to care for Debbie and create a secure home for her daughter, Joan makes some heart-breaking decisions as she sets her sights on a better life.

“Making full use of her sharp intelligence, charm, and her talent for impersonation and performance, we follow the twists and turns in Joan’s life, the ups and downs, the heartache and the joy, which makes her story a compelling television drama.”

Joan will premiere in the UK exclusively on ITVX in 2023.

If you’re not sure what ITVX is, it’s the new free streaming platform that’s replacing ITV Hub next month as the online home of all ITV content in the UK.

Launching on Thursday 8th December, their launch line-up includes new period drama The Confessions of Frannie Langton, the feature-length finale of Plebs, and Damian Lewis’s Cold War series A Spy Among Friends.

Watch the trailer here:


A broadcaster for Joan in the US hasn’t yet been announced, but we expect it may end up on BritBox.

Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon recently concluded its first season on HBO.

Based on George R. R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, the spin-off is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

The complete Game of Thrones box set is available on DVD on Amazon.