Game of Thrones fans waiting with bated breath for news about the prequel series will be excited to learn that its pilot episode will most likely be shot in early 2019.
According to Geeks Worldwide, the Westeros-set, officially unnamed prequel series pilot, which was ordered in June, will start shooting in February at Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland — which has long been the home of filming on Game of Thrones.
While it's unclear how reliable that information is, the February filming date falls in line with several comments made by people associated with the show, including HBO programming president Casey Bloys, who said, "we're hoping to go into production in early '19" and GOT visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer, who said, "[The prequel is starting to shoot in February, at least the pilot."
Fans excited about the idea of a prequel following the final Game of Thrones season next year should be cautiously so, and remember that only a pilot episode has been ordered; a full season order depends on the success of the pilot.
The tentative February shoot date for the prequel could mean that fans bereft over the loss of their favorite show in 2019 could have the first season of the prequel to look forward to in 2020.
As previously reported, the pilot will be written by Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman and will be based on a story she worked on with GOT author George R.R. 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.
While the prequel series is officially unnamed, Martin expressed excitement that the process was moving forward in June on his personal blog, and wrote that he would like the series to be titled The Long Night.
"We're very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don't have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title," he wrote. "(My vote would be THE LONG NIGHT, which says it all, but I'd be surprised if that's where we end up. More likely HBO will want to work the phrase "game of thrones" in there somewhere. We'll know sooner or later)."
"The long night" is how the characters in Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire typically refer to the first appearance of the White Walkers, thousands of years before their fictional history. Shrouded in mystery, some characters speculate that the era never even happened — which means the origin of the White Walkers, legendary Starks and the mysteries of the East will be explored in ways even longtime GOT fans cannot predict.