What We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel: The Stars, No Dragons and More

Naomi Watts is the big star attached, but there are more details than that out for the new series

By Chris Harnick 28 Nov, 2018 1:30 PMTags
Game of Thrones prequel, Josh Whitehouse, Naomi WattsGetty Images; HBO

The end is nigh for Game of Thrones. HBO's hit fantasy drama begins its final season in April 2019, but the cable channel is already at work on GoT's successor: a prequel.

Details on the new series from Jane Goldman and A Song of Fire and Ice scribe George R.R. Martin are, as per usual, being kept under tight wraps. However, as the project, which is just a pilot as of now, takes shape, nuggets of information regarding what to expect from the new series are starting to come out. For example, we know two stars and one of them is an Oscar nominee. And we know the time period this will take place.

Read on for more Game of Thrones prequel scoop.

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Everything We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel
The Plot

According to HBO, the series is set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, and "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," HBO said in its official logline for the series.

The Star

Naomi Watts will play a "charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret." Watts' other credits include Twin Peaks, The Impossible, 21 Grams, The Ring and King Kong.

The Other Star

Josh Whitehouse, of Poldark and Modern Life Is Rubbish fame, was also cast in the pilot, but details about his character are being kept under wraps.

The Cast

Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp and Toby Regbo round out the cast for the pilot. No character descriptions were released by HBO.

Most of the stars are accomplished stage actors. Ackie's credits include The Bisexual, Yardie and Doctor Who. Gough appeared opposite Andrew Garfield in Angels in America and has a role in the flick Colette, Campbell Bower has been in Will and The Prisoner, Atim's credits include Harlots, Jeremiah has been on Humans and Doctor Who, Henley is best known as Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia film series, Sharp's credits include To the Bone and Nasty Women, and Regbo is from The Last Kingdom and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

The Director

S.J. Clarkson, who will helm the upcoming Star Trek movie, will direct the pilot for the potential prequel series. She recently directed Collateral starring Carey Mulligan and served as director and executive producer on the first episodes of The Defenders and Jessica Jones. Clarkson's credit list also includes directing episodes of Orange Is the New Black, Succession, Bates Motel, Dexter, Heroes and House.

The Writers

Jane Goldman, writer of Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service, created the series with George R.R. Martin. She wrote the teleplay and will serve as showrunner.

The Title

Contrary to what Martin believed, the show is not called The Long Night—yet. It's still untitled.

"HBO has informed me that the Jane Goldman pilot is not (yet) titled The Long Night. That's is certainly the title I prefer, but for the moment the pilot is still officially Untitled. So… mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa," he wrote.

No Dragons

The series would take place roughly 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, Martin told EW. "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," he said.