Game of Thrones may have ended earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean HBO is ready to leave Westeros. A Game of Thrones prequel series is on the way, complete with a cast and crew already filming the first (of hopefully many) seasons. New information about key prequel series plot details from George R.R. Martin emerged in July which only serve to excite prospective audiences. Thankfully, these details aren’t the only ones we have about the forthcoming series.
Game of Thrones ended its run on HBO in May 2019. With eight seasons under its belt, the series will be remembered as a critically-acclaimed series that was arguably one of the last great watercooler series of the modern era. Featuring an ensemble cast led by Peter Dinklage, Lena Heady, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams, the world of and characters in Game of Thrones are now lovingly and permanently a part of the fabric of pop culture. Considering how big the first series was, it’s hardly a shock the prequel series was greenlit.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel on HBO, from a possible release date to the confirmed series title and cast members.
When Is the Game of Thrones Prequel Release Date?
An exact release date is unknown. Principal photography for the prequel pilot began in early May 2019 in Belfast, Ireland, according to The Sun. Some outlets claim the pilot will air on HBO in summer 2019, but that’s an extremely tall order by any standard. If anything, the prequel pilot will arrive on HBO in late 2019 at the earliest, but could more likely arrive in spring or summer 2020, once the dust on Game of Thrones has settled.
This information was seemingly confirmed by HBO programming president Casey Bloys in 2017. Reported via The Hollywood Reporter, Bloys commented, “My guess is it would be at least a year before you saw anything else” after the final season of Game of Thrones. What I don’t want is the attention to be drawn from the final season, which I think is going to be epic and amazing, and somehow have the distraction of a new Game of Thrones airing right after that. It’s best to separate it and that’s what we’ll do.”
Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on the Game of Thrones, has already voiced his excitement for the prequel, telling Variety he thinks the “balls out” nature and “bigger” budget of the final season will “establish that HBO can do this” with GoT possibly expanding with a prequel. Richard Pepler, who is exiting as HBO’s CEO, called the prequel “something special,” with “a fresh, exciting perspective that didn’t let the franchise go away,” in the same interview.
However, the new HBO boss Bob Greenblatt seems a bit more hesitant about GoT spinoffs. “I think to figure out a way to sustain Game of Thrones or the Game of Thrones world for the future is a really good idea — if it makes sense creatively and if everybody is on board,” he said to The Wrap. “Because the last thing you want to do is roll out a spinoff or two and they’re not up to the standard of the original show and then you’ve just sort of failed miserably.”
“Can you really do two spinoffs? I don’t know,” Greenblatt said. “I’m not even sure you can do one.”
When Will the Game of Thrones Prequel Trailer Be Released?
Again, this is all assuming HBO orders the prequel to series. However, if it does, it’s likely that fans will see a teaser or two before an official trailer.
It will all depend on how secretive HBO decides to be about a Game of Thrones prequel. The level of security likely won’t be as high as it is for the final season, but that doesn’t mean we’ll necessarily get too much footage too early on. With production not slated to start until the summer, we shouldn’t expect anything soon.
In all likelihood, a teaser will probably arrive during a major television event like the Super Bowl. The 2019 Super Bowl featured a commercial previewing all of the new and returning series for the 2019 TV season, including the final season of Game of Thrones. A similar move is possible with production already begun on the prequel since it’s like there will be enough footage to include in a commercial in early 2020.
What Is the Game of Thrones Prequel’s Actual Title?
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Martin reconfirmed the prequel series doesn’t have a title. Since the Game of Thrones series finale was titled “The Long Night,” it’s unlikely the prequel series will also have the same title even though Martin wrote on his blog he had suggested it.
It was previously believed, per The Evening Standard, that the new working title for the prequel series is Bloodmoon. A source speaking with ES shared that “those working on the set in Belfast are referring to the series as Bloodmoon. Producers have put together a stellar cast and it will be must-watch telly for anyone who loves Game of Thrones.” Martin’s newest comments now seem to refute this report once and for all.
What Is the Game of Thrones Prequel Plot?
HBO hasn’t revealed much about the prequel, but it has released a description.
“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. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know.”
Martin narrowed down the timeline a bit more and gave a few more details in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “It’s closer to 5,000 years,” he said. “Westeros is a very different place. 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.”
In July 2019, Entertainment Weekly interviewed Martin again. This go-round, he revealed five key facts about the forthcoming prequel series. The information Martin revealed ties directly to the plot, including what the sociopolitical structure of Westeros will look like, which characters to keep an eye on, which Game of Thrones character could return in a big way, and what familiar locations will be revisited. Martin’s reveals are:
- There will be over 100 kingdoms in the prequel’s version of Westeros, making it feel more like the Wild West than a unified nation of only seven kingdoms.
- The prequel series will introduce a new animal, the mammoth, which will be featured alongside direwolves, also back for the new season.
- Where there’s direwolves, there’s also Starks. Martin confirmed the ancestors of Ned Stark will also appear in the series.
- There won’t be any Lannisters when the series begins, but that will all change as the series will likely depict how Lann the Clever, founder of House Lannister, swindled Casterly Rock from House Caster.
- The series will feature three female lead characters, played by Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, and Denise Gough. As with Game of Thrones, the characters these actresses play respectively will still be part of an ensemble cast but the implication is they will lead the way, so to speak.
Who Is in the Game of Thrones Prequel Cast?
The prequel has also cast Miranda Richardson as what will be a series regular if HBO orders it to series, Entertainment Weekly reported.
The rest of the cast includes Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo. However, no details about any of their characters have been revealed.
Who Is Part of the Game of Thrones Prequel Crew?
Jane Goldman created the prequel alongside original author Martin. Goldman will also serve as series showrunner.
Goldman, Martin, SJ Clarkson, James Farrell, Jim Danger Gray, Vince Gerardis, Daniel Zelman, and Chris Symes will all serve as executive producers.
Clarkson will also direct the pilot. She previously worked on The Defenders and Jessica Jones and will direct the next Star Trek film.
Stay tuned for more news about the Game of Thrones prequel series as it comes out.