The prequel will take place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, which concluded its eight-season run in May

By Ashley Boucher
June 18, 2019 07:10 PM

Winter isn’t over yet!

Filming for the anticipated Game of Thrones spinoff series kicked off in Northern Ireland last week, according to local outlet the Belfast Telegraph

The outlet reported that shooting was taking place in a “remote secret location in Co Down and on the north coast last week,” and that the Titanic Studios in Belfast were preparing for filming. HBO had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.

The series, from creators George R.R. Martin and Jane Goldman, will take place thousands of years before the events in Game of Thrones and “chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” according to HBO’s official description.

“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,” the official description continues.

Martin previously told Entertainment Weekly that “Westeros is a very different place” in the prequel, compared to the Westeros fans are familiar with from Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones/Naomi Watts
HBO; Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

RELATED: Everything We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel Starring Naomi Watts

“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,” he said.

While HBO has not yet confirmed an official title for the series, Martin, 70, said last year that it will be called The Long Night.

Naomi Watts (King Kong) stars in the prequel alongside Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth) and Denise Gough (Broadway’s Angels in America), among others.

Night King in Game of Thrones
HBO

RELATED: George R.R. Martin Reveals the Game of Thrones Prequel Title: The Long Night

HBO’s Programming President Casey Bloys told EW in February that production on the prequel would begin in early summer 2019, so everything seems to be right on track. Bloys also previously said that the prequel would not air until at least a year after the conclusion of Game of Thrones. So if all continues as planned, fans can probably expect the new series in 2020 or 2021.

The pilot will be directed by SJ Clarkson (Jessica Jones), who will executive produce along with James Farrell, Jim Danger Gray, Vince Gerardis, Daniel Zelman and co-executive producer Chris Symes. Martin and Goldman also executive produce, with Goldman serving as showrunner.

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