Everything We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel Starring Naomi Watts
The prequel takes place "thousands of years" before the events of the original HBO series
Game of Thrones is officially over — but luckily, a follow-up is coming.
HBO confirmed last year that a prequel to the fantasy epic was in the works. Here’s everything we know so far.
What’s the title?
Unofficially, it’s The Long Night. Last fall, George R.R. Martin, the author behind the beloved saga, seemingly revealed the title on Twitter.
“Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor series to ordered to film,” he tweeted.
However, HBO has not even confirmed a working title for the project yet, so stay tuned. After all, if the original series took all of its cues from G.R.R.M, it would have been named the slightly more unwieldy A Song of Ice and Fire.
What’s it about?
Here’s the official description:
“Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know.”
When exactly does it take place?
It’s still unclear. Per Entertainment Weekly, originally the assumption was 10,000 years before the events in GoT, since Martin’s books say the Age of Heroes was around that time. Martin has since clarified that it’s more like 5,000 years ago.
What was Westeros like back then?
Martin pointed out to EW that he’s written very little about this period, which admittedly doesn’t give the prequel much of a roadmap. On the flip side, it means the showrunners can get creative.
“Westeros is a very different place,” Martin said. “There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built. We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.”
This time, Westeros is looking more diverse and female-focused than ever before. The project will be led by Oscar nominee Naomi Watts (King Kong), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), and Denise Gough (Broadway’s Angels in America).
The cast also includes Josh Whitehouse (Poldark), Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia films), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), Toby Regbo (The Last Kingdom, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Miranda Richardson (Rita Skeeter from the Harry Potter films), Marquis Rodriquez (Manifest), John Simm (Strangers), Richard McCabe (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams), John Heffernan (Dracula), and Dixie Egerickx (Summerland).
Will GoT characters be involved?
Officially, no. Since the new story is set thousands of years before the original series, presumably none of the characters we’ve come to know and love would be around back then. But it remains possible, through some kind of narrative twist, that some familiar faces might make an appearance somehow.
Who is behind it?
Martin and Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass) are the creators of this new series, with Goldman serving as the showrunner. Both will executive produce, alongside SJ Clarkson, James Farrell, Jim Danger Gray, Vince Gerardis, Daniel Zelman and co-executive producer Chris Symes.
Clarkson has also been tapped as director for the show’s pilot. She most recently directed and produced the BBC/Netflix production Collateral and she has also directed episodes of Orange Is the New Black, Dexter, Bates Motel, and the pilot for Jessica Jones. Clarkson has also been announced as directing the next big-screen Star Trek film.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of the original series, will not be involved. The Emmy-winners have opted to step aside from the franchise and work on new Star Wars films.
When will it air?
HBO announced in February that the project will begin production in early summer 2019. So … soon.
According to EW, HBO programming president Casey Bloys has previously said that a prequel will not air until at least a year after GoT concludes. If greenlit to series, the project theoretically could be on the air in 2020 or 2021.
EW reports that a writers room is already up and running working on additional scripts should HBO decide to order more episodes.