Original story 24/06/2019
Were you only just starting to come to terms with a post-Game of Thrones existence? Only just getting over the fact that Mondays will never be the same? Only just beginning to accept that it’s the end of the line for our beloved characters? Well, that could all change soon. Get ready to be plunged back into the Thrones universe, but not as you’re used to it.
News of a prequel, provisionally entitled The Long Night, was announced earlier this year, and it certainly gave hope to many a fan that the fictional world could live on beyond last month’s epic series finale. HBO has now revealed some further details about the spinoff, tipped to start filming later this year in Northern Island, which has got us all excited again.
It's true that we won't be seeing best friend duo Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner returning to our screens as Arya and Sansa Stark, but the talent on board is nothing short of impressive: BAFTA-nominated John Simm, Olivier award-winners Richard McCabe and Denise Gough, Toby Regbo from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, Harry Potter franchise actors Jamie Campbell Bower and Miranda Richardson, as well as Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts, for starters. Watts, who will be starring as a ‘charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret’ (per HBO), told AP Entertainment that she hopes '[Game of Thrones'] fans come along and get to find something new and interesting in this world as well’.
The creators and executive producers are Jane Goldman and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin himself - Martin also executive produced the original GoT series and had a hand in writing a few of the scripts. It has also been reported that SJ Clarkson, best known for her work on shows such as Orange Is The New Black, Jessica Jones and Dexter, will direct the pilot episode.
What we can expect from the prequel are Starks, direwolves and White Walkers of sorts, according to Harper's Bazaar UK. The only aspects from the main series missing are the Lannisters and, most importantly, the dragons. George R.R. Martin told The Hollywood Reporter: "You're looking at a whole different era of Westeros. No dragons, no Iron Throne, no King's Landing. It will be interesting to see what the fans make of that."
And the plot? We don’t know details yet, but HBO have teased that ‘taking 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.’ Despite the production on the prequel already being done, the work itself won't air until at least 2020 - definitely something to look forward to in the new year.