George R.R. Martin recently shared five new factoids about the Game of Thrones prequel with Entertainment Weekly, giving fans a glimpse of what’s to come.
Very little is known about the plot, characters, and setting of the first HBO-approved Game of Thrones prequel series, currently helmed by Jane Goldman, but Martin’s sit-down with Entertainment Weekly does confirm some key details. (While, naturally, obscuring others.)
1. The current working title of the prequel is “The Long Night”. (Or “The Longest Night”.)
Long rumored but now confirmed by Martin, this prequel will tackle “The Long Night,” a near-apocalypse experienced thousands of years ago in Westeros where the White Walkers/Others surged down from the North, plunging the world into ice and unrelenting darkness and coming very close to complete victory. (More so than in the show, for sure.)
(What’s “The Longest Night” from? That’s Martin conjecturing to EW about what the show may actually be titled.)
The events of The Long Night occur during an epoch known in the book lore as the “Age of Heroes,” where an ensemble of heroes including Azor Ahai (the guy Melisandre thought Stannis was the rebirth of, to the woe of many) successfully restores light to the world. It isn’t really known if their success (known as “The Battle For The Dawn”) marks the end of the Age of Heroes or not. This era also sees the birth of several lords and figures that originate the great houses we know from Game of Thrones: the Starks, the Lannisters, the Ironborn, and more.
Being rooted in mythology and legend, these events aren’t given precise time frames in the Song of Ice and Fire books. And it seems like the prequel show will play with that haziness quite a bit.
2. Casterly Rock figures prominently…but the Lannisters don’t exist yet.
Probably the biggest clue that the prequel show will play with the timing of events in Martin’s mythology of Westeros is the story of Casterly Rock, home seat of the Lannisters. As the lore goes, Casterly Rock was originally occupied by the Casterlys (who knew?!?) until it was swindled out from under them by Lann the Clever, originator of the Lannister family line.
Martin tells EW that the Casterlys still occupy that castle in the prequel show, even though the lore of the books places the Casterlys’ downfall well before–like thousands of years before–the events of The Long Night.
Then again, the history of Westeros is only as solid as its narrators. And it’s easy to imagine a maester setting all of these events thousands of years apart and no one ever bothering to challenge them on it, or even research it further.
That’s not the only aspect of the prequel show that’s reconfigured from the timeline of the books.
3. There are Starks in Winterfell.
Martin mentions that the Starks are established and in Winterfell in the prequel show, which is another event placed during or after The Long Night.
Since the prequel show is clearly playing with the timeline of events in the lore of Westeros, what else might we see? Bran the Builder’s construction of The Wall? The Night King? Will there be tension between the Children of the Forest and the First Men of Westeros? The possibilities now seem wide open.
4. In this time, Westeros is split into “100 kingdoms”.
There is no game of thrones to occupy the cast of the prequel show. No Targaryens. No dragons. No Valyria. No Faith of the Seven. No King’s Landing. Laws and loyalties and whims change from castle to castle in this Westeros. Which means everything that is now familiar may be completely different.
We may learn about scores of new Houses. Or we may avoid them altogether. The Boltons and Freys may offer safe harbor! The Tarlys might be nice to their children! The Mormonts…well, the Mormonts are probably still gruff and awesome.
Some things probably never change.
George R. R. Martin’s full interview is available over at Entertainment Weekly.