It was inevitable. When you have a TV show that’s popular and cherished as Game of Thrones, you can’t just pull the plug and switch the entire project off after the last episode is finally aired. No, because to the very least the massive riots will ensue plunging the world into another Long Night. And then not even a massive wall rivaling the one from the books would save Martin and the creators of the show from the mob of enraged fans.
And while we’re obviously kidding, there’s a grain of truth in every joke. It would certainly be a tremendous pity to end such a fulfilling and promising concept, while there’s still so much left unsaid. After all, even the creator of Westeros, the one and only George R.R. Martin is quite fond of making spinoffs, prequels and long narrative roundabouts with his saga just as he showed with his latest enterprise called Fire and Blood (a detailed history of house Targaryen, if you didn’t know), so another Game of Thrones show is more than appropriate.
We know that the upcoming spinoff will be a prequel to Game of Thrones and that the pilot episode will be filmed this summer, which means that we could expect it on our TV screens in 2020 or, more likely, in 2021. What else we know about it? First of all, to the disappointment of many fans who wanted to see Robert’s Rebellion or something similar on the screen, the prequel won’t deal with the period immediately preceding the original show.
Instead, it will actually be set in the ancient past of the Westeros, elucidating origins of many events that culminated in the Game of Thrones series. According to the official HBO’s tease, it will take 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. And only one thing is for sure: 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… it’s not the story we think we know.”
Furthermore, although it seemed that George R.R. Martin hasn’t quite approved what David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had done from his source material, it’s comforting to know that the prequel not only received Martin’s blessing but that he actively participated in its creation. Together with Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Kingsman, to mention her most famous works) who will act a showrunner, Martin had worked on the concept of this prequel, which will guarantee that everything will be, proofread, authentic and canonical. In fact, in his blog (jokingly called Not A Blog), Martin had declared that his preferred title for the pilot episode is The Long Night, although nothing had been officially settled yet. HBO had been obviously careful not to reveal much, but this title, at least, hints what we could expect to see in the prequel.
Although Martin had managed to restrain himself, not divulging too much so far, in an interview he gave to Entertainment Weekly, he managed to slip us a few more pieces of invaluable info. This new show will take place some 5000 years before the Game of Thrones. This was, as Martin emphasized, the time when “Westeros is a very different place. 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.”
The prequel will be steered by an experienced director S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones, The Defenders) and the diverse cast will be led by Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive, King Kong). Besides Watts, the project will also involve a large number of notable names mostly belonging to the younger generation of actors, including the likes of Josh Whitehouse (Poldark), Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX), Jamie Campbell Bower (young Grindelwald from The Crimes of Grindelwald), Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia), and many others.