Well, that didn’t take long. Apparently eager to erase the bad taste that season 8 left in the mouths of many fans, HBO has already begun filming the first of several planned Game of Thrones prequels.
According to EW, production on the new series has kicked off in Northern Ireland — a country where much of the filming for Game of Thrones also took place. As for the prequel’s subject matter, though, that couldn’t be any less familiar. The series will take place roughly 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, so good luck spotting any of your favorite characters. “Westeros is a very different place,” said author George R. R. Martin, one of the series’ co-creators. “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.” Along with Martin, the show is being developed by showrunner Jane Goldman and director S.J. Clarkson, while the ensemble cast is led by Naomi Watts.
While we don’t yet know what the series will actually be about, Martin has suggested it could be titled The Long Night. Readers of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series should recognize that name as it refers to the first time the White Walkers (called the Others in the books) emerged and devastated Westeros, causing a winter that lasted for a generation. After they were defeated and forced back to the Land of Always Winter, the Wall was constructed. But given the way Game of Thrones nerfed the White Walkers in a single night during the ironically-titled episode “The Long Night,” focusing an entire series on the now-disgraced ice demons seems like a curious choice.
There is no premiere date set yet for the new series, but EW suggests a spring 2021 launch date is likely, so we’ll surely find out more information before then.