Following the news that Naomi Watts is the lead actor in the Game of Thrones prequel, creator George R R Martin has revealed further details about the highly-anticipated show.
But, as stalwart fans of the HBO show will tell you in no uncertain terms, the show was far more complex than the sum of its parts. We witnessed political intrigue, regicide, treason and complex battle strategies. We gasped at broken families, incest, murder plots and shocking acts of betrayal. Then there’s the deeper, more thought-provoking topics to contend with: slavery, genital mutilation, sexual assault, infertility, arranged marriage, disability, alcoholism and mental health.
This is why the prequel, which is currently being filmed in Northern Ireland, is something to get very excited about. And GOT creator George R R Martin has just revealed some further surprising details about it.
Set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the project – co-created by R R Martin and Jane Goldman – focuses on the world of Westeros’ descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. Which means that, yes, we will finally learn the origin of the horrifying white walkers, not to mention unpick the past to get to the nitty-gritty truth of the world’s most enduring legends (think Brandon the Builder, Symeon Star-Eyes, Lann the Clever, Garth Green Hand and the children of the forest, to name just a few).
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, R R Martin confirmed that there will be no Targaryens or Lannisters – but it will feature the Starks.
“The Starks will definitely be there,” he said. “Obviously the White Walkers are here – or as they’re called in my books, the Others – and that will be an aspect of it [along with] things like direwolves and mammoths”.
He added: “The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.”
Here’s everything else we know about the Game of Thrones prequel
Naomi Watts has been confirmed as the lead character, and Miranda Richardson will also star.
According to Variety, little has been revealed about Watts’ character, although show creators have let slip that she will play “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.” Hmm – perhaps she’s the legendary mermaid who married the Grey king of the Iron Islands, eh?
Whatever her role, it’s safe to say that the show will not be a feel-good one (go figure). Why? Well, while the Age of Heroes is steeped in beauty, romance, creativity and peace (it begins with the signing of the legendary pact on the Isle of Faces), it was also a time of the darkest and blackest of winters – otherwise known as the Long Night, which heralded the arrival of the Others.
To quote Samwell Tarly: “The oldest histories we have were written after the Andals came to Westeros. The First Menonly left us runes on rocks, so everything we know about the Age of Heroes and the Dawn Age and the Long Night comes from accounts set down by septons thousands of years later. There are archmaesters at the Citadel who question all of it. Those old histories are full of kings who reigned for a hundred years, and knights riding around a thousand years before there were knights.”
Goldman’s series is one of five Game of Thrones projects in the works at HBO and, while the plot of each has been kept under wraps, Martin has stated that each is a prequel rather than a spin-off. This means that, sadly, none of the original GoT cast will appear in the shows, so we’d best make our peace with their characters’ endings come the eighth and final series of the show (due to air in 2019).
However, it has been hinted that things… well, that things may not end the way you might expect. Indeed, Maisie Williams, who famously plays Arya Stark in the fantasy drama, recently revealed that she and her mum “cracked open a bottle of wine and made predictions about how it was going to end” before they read the scripts.
“Neither of us was right,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s gonna surprise people, but it’s just different to what you think it’s going to be.”