Winter is coming back.
While the currently untitled Game of Thrones prequel won't feature any characters we currently know and love from the series that just wrapped in May, we now know that it will feature one familiar family: the Starks.
Author George R.R. Martin confirmed their presence in a new interview with EW.
"The Starks will definitely be there," he said, and then went on to confirm that we'll be seeing some familiar creatures, as well.
"Obviously the White Walkers are here—or as they're called in my books, The Others—and that will be an aspect of it," he said. "There are things like direwolves and mammoths."
This makes sense for anyone who has ever paid attention to Game of Thrones history, as the Starks were descended from the First Men, who ruled Westeros for thousands of years and kept control of the North even after the Andals invaded from Essos. Since the prequel takes place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, it wasn't clear exactly who would be around at that point, and while we will see Starks, Lannisters aren't as likely to be around.
However, we could see Lannisters eventually, because the Casterlys will be there, and per Game of Thrones history, it was the Casterlys who were eventually pushed out of their home by the Lannister House founder, Lann the Clever, but that might not even be part of the prequel.
All we really know about the story the prequel is telling so far is that it "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."
The Age of Heroes refers to the time that started about 10,000 years pre-Game of Thrones when the First Men and the Children of the Forest signed a pact that brought peace between them. That time lasted about 4,000 years, and included the building of the Wall and Winterfell by Stark ancestor Bran the Builder, and also included the war against the White Walkers and the Long Night, which is also Martin's suggestion for the title of the show.
The Long Night was a winter that lasted an entire generation and allowed the White Walkers to descend from the north into Westeros, and it was the title of the episode that featured the more recent war against the White Walkers, so we're definitely in for a whole lotta ice zombies in this new series.
The show stars Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo, and is executive produced by Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin.
While the show is currently filming in Northern Ireland, which is also where Game of Thrones often shot, we know pretty much nothing about who any of those actors are playing, so maybe one of them is an early Stark. Who knows?!
All we actually know is that we can't wait to find out, someday on HBO.