No big deal, but a Game of Thrones prequel is happening, here’s everything we know so far

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As if the release of a new teaser trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones wasn’t enough to get us excited, HBO have confirmed that a GOT prequel is officially happening *squeals*. Just as we were coming to terms with the fact that the series is ending in a matter of months, HBO have given us new hope with a whole new Thrones storyline and set of characters to look forward to – we honestly cannot wait. There’s been plenty of speculation around the Game of Thrones prequel all over the internet, but here’s everything we know so far…

What’s the plot?

game of thrones prequel night king children of the forest
Image: HBO

Obviously HBO are remaining tight-lipped about plot details, but we do know that the prequel will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones. In an official synopsis they revealed “(the prequel) chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. Only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend…it’s not the story we think we know.”

Some eagle-eyed fans have picked up on a story Old Nan told to Bran in an episode of season one of GOT about The Long Night, which just so happens to tie in with the likely title of the prequel (more on that later); it also happens to fall mid-way through The Age of Heroes. Thousands of years before the GOT events, there was a winter known as The Long Night which lasted an entire generation. Many people starved or froze to death, but in the darkness of The Long Night the White Walkers descended on Westeros which started a conflict known as the War for the Dawn. So could this be the premise of the prequel?

Does it have a title?

game of thrones prequel the long night white walker
Image: HBO

Er, sort of. In October, GOT author George R. R. Martin posted an update on his blog revealing that “casting was underway for The Long Night, the first of the Game of Thrones successor series…ordered to film”. But then a few days later he said that the prequel was as yet untitled, writing: “HBO has informed me that the Jane Goldman pilot is not (yet) titled The Long Night. That’s certainly the title I prefer, but for the moment the pilot is officially untitled”. We’re just gonna continue calling it The Long Night for now…

When is the release date?

There’s no official release date yet but several sources have said its not likely to be any earlier than 2020. HBO are keen to conclude the final season of Game of Thrones first, with HBO’s programming president, Casey Bloys, saying “I don’t want to use it to launch something else, I want it to stand out as the finale of the greatest TV show of all time, I don’t want to do anything that infringes on that”. So it looks like we might have to wait a while for anymore GOT action, then.

Is there a trailer yet?

There isn’t any teaser material as yet since filming for the prequel hasn’t actually begun. Although superfan site Watchers on the Wall reported that HBO recently put out a casting call for “a confidential untitled project” for which filming begins in February 2019, and this does tie in with when filming for the prequel is rumoured to begin. Watch this space, we say.

Will any of the GOT characters be in the prequel?

game of thrones prequel night king
Image: HBO

Probably not, since GRRM has said it won’t feature any of the characters from the current series but will instead focus on their ancestors. There could be appearances from characters like The Night King, the White Walkers or the Children of the Forest though, since they were around during the infamous Long Night.

Where will it be set?

GRRM has said it will be set in an entirely new land and also told Entertainment Weekly that Westeros will be “a very different place”. However, fans are speculating that the prequel could be set in Essos – the continent to the east of Westeros – since the descriptions in a recent casting call by HBO ask for a diverse mix of characters, although this is yet to be confirmed.

What does the cast look like?

Naomi Watts Josh Whitehouse Game of Thrones prequel cast
Image: TV Insider

HBO has officially announced the core cast line-up which is very exciting. You’ll recognise some of the familiar faces from the likes of Black Mirror, Fantastic Beasts, Poldark, 21 Grams, Sweeney Todd and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts was the first to be cast, who admitted that she hasn’t seen any episodes of GOT before; she’d better get watching then! We don’t know anything about her character yet other than she’ll be playing “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret”; some fans are speculating that she could be playing Nissa Nissa wife of ancient hero Azor Ahai.

Joining Naomi Watts is Poldark actor Josh Whitehouse, who is also rumoured to be taking on a major role, which could be someone like Bran the Builder or Lann the Clever.

Game of Thrones prequel cast
Image: HBO

Other confirmed cast members include:

  • Naomi Ackie
  • Denise Gough
  • Jamie Campbell Bower
  • Sheila Atim
  • Ivanno Jeremiah
  • Georgie Henley
  • Alex Sharp
  • Toby Regbo

Who’s writing and creating the prequel?

George R R Martin
Image: Wikipedia

HBO announced that the pilot will be written by screenwriter Jane Goldman as well as Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin. The pilot will be directed by SJ Clarkson who will be directing the forthcoming Star Trek 4 film and has previously worked on the likes of Orange Is The New Black, Dexter and Bates Motel. The showrunners of the original show, David Benioff and D.B Weiss, won’t be involved in this project.

Will there be more than one prequel?

Possibly. Entertainment Weekly first reported that five (yes, five!) prequels were originally in the works, with GRRM also hinting that at least two more prequels were in development. However Casey Bloys has said HBO will only be working on one for the foreseeable future telling Deadline “That was the one we’re excited about…the other four aren’t happening at the moment”. Oh well, we suppose one out of five ain’t bad…

Image: HBO/Game of Thrones