The first 'Game of Thrones' prequel episode is almost done, GRRM reveals

'The Long Night' is coming, as are more dragons.

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If you thought the end of Game of Thrones back in May meant you’d get some time off from Thrones-related news, think again. Like any smart network that finds itself with the most popular TV show in the world would, HBO has already put a number of prequels and spin-offs into development. Thankfully, these projects don’t seem to be hacky attempts to keep the property and the channel in the spotlight. “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George RR Martin’s Westeros saga spans thousands upon thousands of years, very little of which was actually depicted in the show, and that will be the well from which future series draw. (We still want an Arya spin-off, though.)

The author recently offered some updates on a few of the projects currently in development and things seem optimistic. According to a recent post on his blog, there have been at various points four, five, and three (the current number) series development. The most high-profile (and the only one currently in active production) is The Long Night — or, as he calls it, “Jane Goldman’s as-yet-untitled show, which I am still not supposed to be calling The Long Night.” He goes on to confirm that not-The Long Night wrapped production on its pilot a month ago and is now in post-production. He expects a rough cut will be ready very soon. Martin also speaks very highly of the show’s sets, which he calls “fantastic.”

While not-The Long Night will cover the first war between the humans of Westeros and the Army of the Dead thousands upon thousands of years before the events of the original show, another show Martin confirms is in development will cover a period of time far closer. Showrunner Ryan Condal, who recently ran the show Colony and directed the pilot to the failed adaptation of Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s The Sixth Gun, is developing a series that will depict the rise and fall of the Targaryen dynasty as depicted in Martin’s recent book Fire & Blood. Perhaps most crucially, he confirms that yes, there will be dragons.

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Martin insists that the show won’t be taking its title from the book—though he confirms that the show does have a title. He also says that while this prequel is “moving closer to pilot order,” that does not necessarily mean that a pilot has been ordered. That said, let’s be honest: given how well dragons worked out for HBO the first time around, it’d be dumb not to push this one to the pilot stage.

Lastly, Martin shuts down the idea that the success of either show’s production negates that of the other (as recent rumors have alleged). Westeros, he reminds us, is a massive world full of stories and characters ripe for television. There’s room on television for all of them and we’ll likely be hearing quite a bit more about them all soon.

Whatever not-The Long Night and not-Fire & Blood end up being called, stay tuned for more updates on them as they’re made available. For now, the future of Westeros looks far brighter than that lousy series finale may have led us to believe.

Media via HBO