We’re living in the golden age of television which means there is always something worthwhile waiting to be watched, binged and consumed (we have suggestions on where to start here and here). But that doesn’t mean we don’t miss Game of Thrones (watch it again here). After 10 years and eight seasons, we still can’t quit the show that has given us countless heart palpitations and an appreciation for a winter season that lasts months instead of years. Thankfully, there’s a prequel.
At current count, there are five possible prequels in the works for Game of Thrones, but only one has already begun casting a new set of characters and scouting filming locations, giving us hope that we could see Westeros pre-seven kingdoms sometime in the near future, which in GoT time means in the next decade. Things take longer in Westeros.
Speaking with EW, Game of Thrones author George RR Martin is finally giving fans a bit of information on the first prequel, including which families will be included, what we can expect in terms of beasts, and even a title.
THE TIME FRAME
The prequel will take place approximately 5,000 years before the time period of Game of Thrones, which is admittedly a bit confusing. Does this mean the characters will barely be able to use words and tools and grunt their way through conversations, or will they simply have different, equally stunning backdrops? We’re thinking the latter. According to Martin, this was a time when there were many more than Seven Kingdoms. “We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin says. “But if you go back further then there are nine kingdoms, and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms — petty kingdoms — and that’s the era we’re talking about here.” And we thought keeping Seven Kingdoms straight was confusing…
THE LONGEST NIGHT
Martin originally wanted to call the prequel The Long Night, which is a pretty badass title, but it was already taken by Episode 3 of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, which is arguably the greatest GoT episode of all time. So that’s out. “I heard a suggestion that it could be called The Longest Night, which is a variant I wouldn’t mind,” Martin told EW. “That would be pretty good.” Not Arya-flying-through-the-air-killing-the-Night-King-good, but pretty good.
THE PACK SURVIVES
The Starks were descendants from the First Men, so expect to see Ned Stark’s great, great, great, great x 10 grandfather. “The Starks will definitely be there,” said Martin.
GET READY FOR NEW BEASTS
The White Walkers, or Others, as they’re called in Martin’s books, will appear in the prequel, but that’s not all. “There are things like direwolves and mammoths,” says Martin.
INTRODUCING THE CASTERLYS
We’ll finally meet the family that the famous Casterly Rock was named for in the prequel. “The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Castlery Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” says Martin. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.”
Game of Thrones made household names out of relative unknowns like Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and Sophie Turner, pairing them with seasoned veterans like Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean. The prequel follows a similar suit, with three leads confirmed so far, including Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, and Denise Gough. “As you know for Game of Thrones, we never even nominated anybody for lead actress or lead actor [during awards season] until recently; it was always for supporting [categories] because the show is such an ensemble,” says Martin. “I think that will be true for this show too. We don’t have leads so much as a large ensemble cast.”
WHEN IT WILL AIR
As usual, Martin and co. are not promising a date anytime soon. That’s so Game of Thrones of them.