As fans of the best television series to ever air, Game of Thrones, continue to wait for the show’s final return to HBO come April 2019 (for Season 8), we continue to see a drip, drip, drip of information concerning the Game of Thrones prequel series that will air on the same premium cable network.
But what will the Game of Thrones prequel series be about? What’s it gonna be called? And do we know anyone who is already set to star?
Here’s everything we know thus far about the Game of Thrones prequel series:
1. George R.R. Martin let the name of the Game of Thrones prequel series slip.
In a post on his own website that announced the very first cast announcement for the show (more on that below), the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series on which Game of Thrones is based let slip the prequel series’ title: The Long Night.
That happens to be what Martin had wanted to call the series all along. Now, note that it’s still possible this is merely the Game of Thrones prequel series’ working title, but we’re betting it’s the real deal.
2. Here’s the short version of what The Long Night is about.
The Long Night is set thousands of years before Game of Thrones, around the time the White Walkers first appeared, when they were fought by the First Men and Bran the Builder built a wall to keep them from invading Westeros.
3. Here’s the longer version of what The Long Night is about.
“The Long Winter” is how a generation-lasting winter from 10,000 years ago is referred to by those living in the time period of Game of Thrones (though for them it was merely the stuff of legend).
Check out this from the Game of Thrones wiki:
Thousands starved as the crops and fields lay buried under dozens of feet of snow. In the darkness and cold of the Long Night, the White Walkers descended upon Westeros from the farthest north, the polar regions of the Lands of Always Winter. The conflict that arose from the Long Night is known as the War for the Dawn as the White Walkers sought to bring an end to all life and to cover the world in an endless winter.
According to Melisandre, a great darkness descended upon the land, and a hero known as Azor Ahai wielded a flaming sword named Lightbringer in battle against the darkness to win back the dawn. The holy texts of the Lord of Light prophesy that there will come a time when the Long Night will return, and Azor Ahai will be reborn to lead the people of the world to victory once again. This specific legend is apparently widespread across the Further East of Essos, because Azor Ahai is also known as Hyrkoon the Hero, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser, depending on the region in which the story is told.
4. None of the actors from HBO’s hit series will appear in the Game of Thrones prequel.
It wouldn’t make sense for them to be — at least not playing the same characters — since the upcoming prequel series takes place before any of the events we’ve already seen on the show.
5. As of now we only know one actor who will definitely star in the Game of Thrones prequel.
And that actress is Naomi Watts, whose appearance on the series was announced just yesterday. And apparently that’s because the series is still in the process of casting several roles. Martin has said that Jane Goldman, who scripted the series, is currently busy in London “neck deep in casting.” We should expect more names to be dropped soon enough.
6. Our bets are on Naomi Watts playing a Lannister.
No, we don’t know that for certain, but we also aren’t the only ones speculating that.
7. The Long Night isn’t the only Game of Thrones prequel series in the works.
Martin said in a post on his own site yesterday, “There are still a couple of other possible prequels in active development. I can’t tell you the subject matter of those projects, no, sorry, wish I could.”
Martin has said in the past there were five Game of Thrones prequel series under consideration, though one of those has reportedly been shelved.
It’s possible that a prequel series other than The Long Night will center around House Targaryen, as that is what Martin’s upcoming book (Fire & Blood, out Nov. 20) is about — a complete history of the blond-haired bloodline.
8. George R.R. Martin won’t be writing for any of the Game of Thrones prequel series himself.
Why, you may be wondering? Because he’s currently still hard at work on The Winds of Winter, the latest, long-awaited installment of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. That book “remains my top priority,” Martin has said. “If I wasn’t busy with Winds, don’t you think I’d be scripting one or more of these pilots myself? It’s not as if I’ve never written for TV….”