The Game of Thrones prequel series is set to take fans back in time to an era roughly 5,000 years before the events of the original HBO series, to a time when Targaryens and their fire breathing dragons did not yet roam the lands of Westeros, and fans are wondering if a few other key families and creatures will be absent from the series. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, author and executive producer George R.R. Martin opened up about showrunner Jane Goldman’s pilot and what fans can expect.
According to Martin, while the recently-ended Game of Thrones had focused on the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the Westeros of the prequel boasts roughly a hundred different kingdoms ruled by roughly a hundred different houses, with House Stark of the North, whose sigil bears a direwolf, among them.
“The Starks will definitely be there,” Martin told the outlet. “The Starks will definitely be there,” he said. And while much has been made about the fact the prequel predates dragons, that doesn’t mean there won’t be other 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 says. “There are things like direwolves and mammoths.”
One other household, the Lannisters, will not be present, as the house had not yet been formed in the pre-Targeryen era in which the prequel is set.
“The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” he said. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.”
According to Martin, Casterlys were forced from their homestead by Lann the Clever, who founded House Lannister. It remains unclear if the prequel series will venture into the story of House Lannister’s founding.
The still untitled prequel series, which does not yet have a premiere date, is currently filming in Northern Ireland, a location that also served as a production hub for Game of Thrones.
From Goldman along with Martin and director S.J. Clarkson, the prequel boasts an ensemble cast led by Naomi Watts, who will portray “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,” along with Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Miranda Richardson, Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo.
Although Martin has suggested that the series could be titled The Long Night, a nod to a battle with the White Walkers as well as the title of a Season 8 GoT episode, and other alleged leaks have suggested it will be titled Bloodmoon, Martin stated that its actual title could be The Longest Night.