Fans of Game of Thrones still have several months to go before the final six episodes of the series arrive. But this doesn't mean HBO has gone quiet on the Westeros front. The premium cable network has agreed to attempt the first ever spinoff for a hit series, with a Game of Thrones prequel aiming to arrive in 2020. Casting is now underway for the pilot stage. In making the announcement, author George R.R. Martin also seemingly confirmed the series' title. It turns out the Game Of Thrones prequel is titled The Long Night, just as he suggested it should be.
HBO is so determined to make a Game of Thrones spinoff work, it originally commissioned no less than five potential pilot scripts. This was the first series to get the green light to move forward to the pilot stage. The synopsis reads:
Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ 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.
At the time, Martin noted this "put the pre in prequel," since it was set so far in the past. He also stated he thought of the show as The Long Night, but knew the title wasn't sexy (and didn't include the words "Game" or "Thrones"), so HBO would probably go with something else.
Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor series to ordered to film... Jane Goldman scripted the LONG NIGHT pilot and will be running the show. She and her team are busy in London right now, neck deep in casting, and I expect some more names will be announced soon.
But this is not the only news Martin dropped. When The Long Night's prequel script was sent to the pilot stage over the summer, HBO heads claimed this was the only one the network would be focusing on going forward, effectively shelving the other four ideas for the time being. But according to Martin, this is not entirely true.
Meanwhile, there are still a couple of other possible prequels in active development. I can’t tell you the subject matter of those projects, no, sorry, wish I could. The readers among you might want to grab a copy of FIRE & BLOOD when it is released on November 20, though.
Fans have long believed a second prequel is coming from HBO, one focusing on the Targaryen clan and their dragons, especially since The Long Night is a Stark and Lannister focused tale, set millennial before Valyria came into being. Martin's hint to go out and get his first volume based in early Targaryen history suggests this theory is correct.
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones Season 8 arrives on HBO in 2019.