Game of Thrones may have ended, but fans shouldn’t get too upset — the first of many spinoffs is already on its way. Or at least it was, until HBO cancelled it. But fret not, Thrones fans, there is still Westeros-plans underway at the network.
Back in 2017, around the time of Game of Thrones season seven, HBO teased “zero to five” potential spin-off series. Now we know that at least three, possibly four, of those potential shows are still in development, according to author George R.R. Martin. Jane Goldman (Kingsman), Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), and Carly Wray (Mad Men) are helming each project. Goldman’s was the first out of the blocks. In fact, filming already begun this January in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is where much of Game of Thrones was shot.
We’ll be collecting everything there is to know about the Game of Thrones prequel series, including the cast, story, release date, and trailers. Keep checking back for updates, and in the meantime read all of the information we have so far.
HBO cancels first ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel series (but replaces it with another)
HBO has axed Goldman’s Game of Thrones spin-off series, which had already announced its cast and begun filming earlier this year. The network confirmed decision to Deadline, issuing the following statement:
“After careful consideration, we have decided not to move forward to series with the Untitled Game of Thrones prequel. We thank Jane Goldman, S.J. Clarkson, and the talented cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication.”
Instead, HBO has picked up a different series, helmed by George R.R. Martin himself, Ryan Condal, and Miguel Sapochnik. It’s said to riff off Martin’s book, Fire & Blood, and will be titled House of the Dragon as it’ll dive deep into the Targaryen family 300 years before the original show.
More details on House of the Dragon to follow. However, as the first Game of Thrones prequel might not be canceled completely, we’ve kept all intel on the show below, just in case it gets picked up again.
What was the name of the first Game of Thrones prequel?
The first confirmed prequel was referred to as The Long Night by Martin, but it’s working title during filming was reportedly Bloodmoon. The author’s preferred title might no longer be a possibility because the third episode of Game of Thrones season eight was also titled “The Long Night.” However, Martin has revealed that a similar title might be considered, saying, “I heard a suggestion that it could be called The Longest Night, which is a variant I wouldn’t mind. That would be pretty good.”
The second confirmed prequel is currently being referred to as House of the Dragon.
What was the Game of Thrones prequel release date?
Now it’s been canceled, obviously, there is no release date. Originally, as filming begun in January, it’s was expected to premiere no earlier than 2020. More likely, the Game of Thrones prequel series will land in 2021.
Who was slated cast in the Game of Thrones prequel?
Oscar nominee Naomi Watts was the first cast member to be announced in the first confirmed prequel and would have starred alongside Josh Whitehouse (Poldark). The most recent cast additions were Jacqueline Boatswain (Bloodborne), Jasper Britton (Anonymous), newcomer Leah Gayer, and Georgina Beedle (Catherine the Great).
Those faces joined an impressive cast, including Jamie Campbell Bower (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Twilight Saga), Toby Regbo (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Ivanno Jeremiah (Black Mirror), Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Denise Gough (Colette), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Alex Sharp (To the Bone), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter), Marquis Rodriquez (Iron Fist), John Simm (Doctor Who), Richard McCabe (Collateral), John Heffernan (Collateral), and Dixie Egerickx (The Secret Garden remake).
As of yet, there are no cast members attached to the second confirmed prequel series, House of the Dragon.
What was the Game of Thrones prequel synopsis
We don’t know much about the plot of the first confirmed prequel series. However, it was going to be set around 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, so there wouldn’t have been any familiar faces, or dragons for that matter.
HBO’s official synopsis revealed that the series “chronicles the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” and that “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… it’s not the story we think we know.”
The network also said that Watts’ character is a “charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.”
The second prequel series, House of the Dragon, is said to riff off Martin’s novel Fire & Blood and will be set 300 years before the OG series. The exact plot is yet to be revealed but you can read the book’s synopsis here.
There was apparently roughly 100 Westerosi kingdoms in the Game of Thrones prequel series
As we were going so far back in time in the first confirmed prequel, Westeros would have been much more chaotic and divided. “We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin explained in July 2019. “But if you go back further then there are nine kingdoms, and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms — petty kingdoms — and that’s the era we’re talking about here.”
No specific information is known about what Westeros will look like in the second confirmed prequel series, House of the Dragon.
There were direwolves, Starks, and White Walkers, too
The direwolves, sigil of House Stark, were said to definitely make an appearance in the first confirmed prequel series. Our favorite Northern family would’ve also been there, too, Martin confirms. And we could also expect to see more fantastical creatures. “Obviously the White Walkers are here — or as they’re called in my books, The Others — and that will be an aspect of it,” Martin said. “There are things like direwolves and mammoths.”
While we don’t know if direwolves, Starks, or White Walkers will make an appearance in the second confirmed prequel series, the name House of the Dragon hints that we can expect at least one winged creature.
But don’t expect to see the Lannister family
“The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Castlery Rock is certainly there,” Martin explained about the first confirmed prequel series. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.” It’s unclear whether the Casterlys’ storyline will include Lann the Clever, who founded House Lannister, and how he became lord of Casterly Rock.
It is not known if the Lannister fam will appear in the second confirmed prequel series.
Is there a Game of Thrones prequel book?
The first confirmed prequel series was not based solely on George R.R. Martin’s novels, as Game of Thrones was. However, Martin did tease fans, telling them they should “pick up a copy of Fire and Blood and come up with your own theories.” Fire and Blood is a 736-page companion novel to the A Song of Ice and Fire series and is written in the style of a textbook about the history of Westeros.
The narrative of the second confirmed prequel series is based on Fire & Blood. You can read the synopsis here.
The Game of Thrones prequel trailer
There are no trailers yet for either the first or second prequel series. They will be added as soon as they’re available.