After Game of Thrones ends, audiences will be taken back in time to a Westeros long before Cersei and Daenerys fought over the Iron Throne. HBO put in a pilot order for a prequel series created by Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman and GOT author George R.R. Martin.
The pilot will be written by Goldman and is based on a story she worked on with Martin. It will be set thousands of years before the events of the A Song of Ice and Fire books and the Game of Thrones series.
According to Deadline, the still-untitled project will be set near the end of the Golden Age of Heroes, just as Westeros falls into the darkest periods of its history. The true origin of the White Walkers, the legendary Starks and the mysteries of the East will be explored in ways even longtime GOT fans cannot predict.
Goldman will also be the showrunner and executive producer, alongside Martin and GOT executive producer Vince Gerardis. Daniel Zelman (Damages, Bloodline) is also joining as an executive producer.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who developed Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books for television, will not be involved in this new GOT series.
This is also one of five GOT prequel ideas HBO began developing, and none feature current GOT characters. HBO is not going to rush the other scripts, written by Max Borenstein, Brian Helgeland, Carly Wray and Bryan Cogman.
HBO is targeting a 2020 launch for the new series, giving fans only a year to wait for new programming set in Westeros after GOT wraps up in 2019.
“There is not going to be anything in any scenario where we have any sort of prequel air for at least a year after that,” HBO programming chief Casey Bloys told Deadline in January. “I want the final season of Game of Thrones to be the final season of Game Of Thrones, I don’t want to use it to launch something else, I want it to stand as the finale of the greatest TV show of all time, I don’t want to do anything that infringes on that.”
Game of Thrones has been HBO's most successful program in its history. The most recent episode, which aired back in August 2017, drew a record 12.1 million viewers, according to the New York Times. Add in HBO Go and HBO Now viewers and it had 16.5 million total viewers. The 2016 finale drew 8.9 million viewers.
While GOT prequels are in the works, Benioff and Weiss have other projects. The two were supposed to make a controversial series called Confederate, but that project has been in limo since they agreed to make new Star Wars movies.
Confederate was criticised online for its plot. The show was set in an alternative world where the American Civil War ended with a stalemate and slavery is still legal in Southern states.