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Everything We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Winter is coming for the last time, but as “Game of Thrones” nears the end of its phenomenal run, a new series will rise from the ashes. Join WatchMojo as we dive into the world of George R. R. Martin and discuss everything we know about the Game of Thrones prequel.

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Everything We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel

Winter is coming for the last time, but as “Game of Thrones” nears the end of its phenomenal run, a new series will rise from the ashes. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be discussing everything we know about the Game of Thrones prequel.

The world George R. R. Martin created in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series is so intricate and detailed that not even 65+ hours of television could cover everything. In June 2018, it was confirmed that HBO had officially ordered a pilot for a prequel series that would expand upon the franchise’s rich lore. According to HBO, “the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.” Commencing approximately 10,000 years before “Game of Thrones”, the Age of Heroes is a significant period in Westeros history that saw the formation of several key Houses and the birth of the White Walkers. Even if you consider yourself a “Game of Thrones” expert, HBO asserts that this is “not the story we think we know.”

In the books, the Age of Heroes occurred on the heels of the Dawn Age, an era in which Westeros was largely dominated by Giants and the Children of the Forest. This all changed with the arrival of human settlers, which sparked a centuries-long confrontation between the Children and the First Men. After two thousand years of wars, a peaceful resolution was reached through The Pact, which gave all open land to the humans, and the forests to the Children. With the Age of Heroes now underway, the seeds were planted for Westeros’ most prominent Houses.

The notable Houses that rose to power during this era include House Durrandon, founded by House Gardener of Highgarden Durran Godsgrief, which originally ruled over the Reach proper, and House Reyne of Castamere, whose fall was immortalized in the song “The Rains of Castamere”. Of course, the most significant Houses that can be traced back to the Age of Heroes are House Stark and House Lannister. Brandon Stark, aka Bran the Builder, was the first King in the North, not only leading to the formation of House Stark, but Winterfell as well. House Lannister descended from legendary swindler Lann the Clever, who seized control of Casterly Rock from House Casterly through his wits alone. Back then, the city that would come to be known as King’s Landing was nothing more than three large hills, and the Iron Throne had yet to be forged by Aegon the Conqueror.

The most consequential event during the Age however was the rise of the White Walkers. Resulting from experiments the Children of the Forest conducted on First Men, this ancient race of undead ice creatures rebelled against their creators, ushering in a generation of darkness known as the Long Night. The First Men and the Children of the Forest eventually joined forces in the War for the Dawn, which resulted in the defeated White Walkers retreating further north. The Night’s Watch was subsequently formed to defend a newly-constructed fortification called the Wall. As we all know, this massive structure got the job done for about 8,000 years . . . until the Night King acquired his ice dragon.

What ended the Age of Heroes was not the Long Night, but the Andal Invasion. Approximately 6,000 years before the War of the Five Kings, the Andals migrated from Andalos - in Essos - to Westeros, displacing the First Men and slaughtering countless Children of the Forest. It’s worth noting that up until then, there wasn’t really any form of written language in Westeros. The Age of Heroes is thus primarily grounded in legend with much of its history being passed down orally. This leaves the prequel ample room to change what we think we know about the era, as HBO seems to be suggesting. At the least though, it’s safe to say that the characters and events we’ve discussed today will all play important roles.

Speaking of important roles, HBO has already announced a slew of stars that’ve signed on for the project. The biggest name enlisted so far is two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, who will reportedly portray “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.” Although Watts is being billed as a lead for the pilot, that doesn’t necessarily mean her character will stick around long. Just ask Ned Stark. Jamie Campbell Bower, who’s played everyone from King Arthur to a young Gellert Grindelwald, will add another major fantasy franchise to his filmography. The pilot also attracted Georgie Henley, who made her film debut playing Lucy Pevensie in “The Chronicles of Narnia.” The cast additionally includes Sheila Atim of “Harlots,” Naomi Ackie of “Star Wars: Episode IX,” Denise Gough of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” Ivanno Jeremiah of “Humans,” Toby Regbo of “Reign,” and Tony-winner Alex Sharp.

It’s been reported that that “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss won’t be heavily involved in this prequel, which isn’t surprising since the duo is set to develop a new “Star Wars” film series after departing Westeros. The prequel is still in more than capable hands, however. Not only is creator George R.R. Martin onboard, but the series’ showrunner is Jane Goldman, who worked on the screenplays for “Stardust,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” and “X-Men: First Class.” The pilot will be directed by SJ Clarkson, whose credits include “Jessica Jones,” “Orange Is the New Black,” and HBO’s “Succession.”

There’s still a fair deal that’s yet to be revealed about the “Game of Thrones” prequel, but two questions in particular are on our minds. First, what’s it going to be called? While it’s not official, Martin has mentioned on his website that his vote would be for “The Long Night,” which gives us a pretty good idea about the series premise. Second, when can we watch it? Well, keep in mind that the series hasn’t even moved out of its pilot phase yet. When and if it moves beyond this point, HBO’s Casey Bloys has stated that the series won’t arrive for “at least a year” after “Game of Thrones” wraps up. Since the final season doesn’t even air until April 2019, we’re going to have to wait a long night.

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