With this week’s episode, The Bells, we’ve got only 90 minutes of action left in this epic HBO series that started eight years ago. Viewers of this epic adventure have one episode remaining during which they need to find out who will end up on the Iron Throne. With Daenerys burning down the whole King’s Landing (showing that she truly is a Targaryen), we need to find out if Khaleesi will be able to establish her reign of terror, or maybe Jon Snow (or Aegon Targaryen, which is his real name) will impose his stronger claim to the throne.
But there are many questions left unanswered, and they will remain so, as there’s simply not enough time to cover it in what already feels like a rushed final season. Who were the white walkers? Why were they going against humanity? What happened before Game of Thrones happened?
Just like with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, Game of Thrones creators plan on making a prequel. That comes as no surprise, as it was clear that HBO was not going to kill off such a major cash cow, with so much more material left in the books. Apart from the events depicted in the original show, there are many stories from Essos and Westeros left untold. While the production house hasn’t come out with a release date, we know that they’ve cast actors and that they’re working on a pilot.
Age of Heroes
George R.R. Martin, the creator of this world, will be involved in the production of the show. In his blog, he wrote that his suggestion for the prequel’s title was The Long Night, which is a reference to the White Walkers’ invasion of Westeros. The prequel, logically, will cover events before Ned Stark takes off for King’s Landing in season one. The show’s synopsis (officially released by HBO) uncovers that the new series will take place ‘thousands of years’ before the original show when the world descended from the Age of Heroes.
What’s Age of Heroes, we hear you, non-book-reading fans, asking? It represents the era just after the Children of the Forest (mythical beings who created the Night King) and the First Men signed a peace pact. That happened 10,000 years before Robert Baratheon was king and ends with the Coming of the Andals. Depending on who you want to believe across Westeros, the Andals came 6,000, 4,000 or 2,000 years before the Game (Martin made the history of Westeros as is the history of the world — if you haven’t, you should really give the books a go). So we don’t know precisely at what point in time we’ll be dropped in, but we know for sure none of the characters from GoT will show up (maybe they cast Sean Bean again to portray someone who dies soon).
Now, if you’ve watched the show, you’ll know that the White Walkers (or ‘The Others,’ as was their first name) were successfully expelled to the north, thanks to mutual efforts by the Children of the Forest and the First Men. After this, they’ve created The Wall, which was supposed to keep them away.
During the Age of Heroes, many of the noble houses were formed. Bran the Builder, who erected The Wall, continued on his building adventures and created Winterfell.
Bran founded House Stark at Winterfell, known as the Kings of Winter. At the same time, Lann the Clever managed to con the Casterlys and take over Casterly Rock, which allowed him to make foundations for House Lannister. As Bronn said it, all good houses start with a hard bastard who was good at killing people. In Lannisters’ case, their bastard was good at tricking people.
However, all of this is speculation, as the First Men were not of a writing-stuff-down variety — every tale comes from songs or stories that were written centuries later. So, as is the case in the real world, a lot of details are probably not true.
Although we can only debate about when the show will take place, what it will be about, and which characters will show up, we know some of the actors that will be involved. The first name HBO went public with was Naomi Watts, the star of movies such as Mulholland Drive, Birdman, and 21 Grams. She will portray the leading female character, who has been described as ‘a socialite who has a dark secret.’ The leading male role goes to Josh Whitehouse, who is yet to hit it big in the world of cinema. Other actors, though we don’t know about their roles, that HBO confirmed are Jamie Campbell Bower, Miranda Richardson, and Georgie Henley.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of the Game of Thrones series will not take an important part in the prequel (which some fans, disappointed by the final season, will be happy to hear). The writer, George Martin, will be the executive producer. Jane Goldman, screenwriter of movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past and Kingsman: The Secret Service, will take Weiss and Benioff’s place.
When Will We See It?
We don’t know yet. So far, HBO has worked only on the pilot of the show — not an entire season. So it’s safe to say it’ll probably be in 2021, or even 2022.
However, it’s possible this is not where they’ll stop. Martin said that he proposed five spinoffs, three of which are already in development. Still, even that is plenty of screen hours to look forward to.