When the original Game of Thrones was cast back in 2009 (with a few recastings in 2010) it was mostly a group of unknowns, with some very high-end British actors in crucial roles. The anchor though was Sean Bean as Ned Stark. His was the biggest name in the cast, and it was his was face on the side of the bus. When it comes to the forthcoming prequel, fans have expected the plan will be somewhat the same. The first casting announcement has not disappointed. It turns out, the Game Of Thrones prequel will star Naomi Watts.
Casting for the prequel has been underway for the last week or so, with call lists leaking out, though no character names to go with them. Though Watt's casting has been announced, she has no character name either.
Naomi Watts will star in the as-yet-untitled follow-up to the HBO fantasy sensation. The King Kong and Mulholland Drive actress will play a character described as 'a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.'
Considering Watts is blonde and willowy, one might guess her socialite may be under the name of Lannister, but this is total speculation at this juncture.
EW also notes just because Watts is being cast know doesn't mean she'll be on the show for long.
The series is actively casting for numerous roles and also seeking a director. Of course, since this is Westeros, you never know how long even a lead actor might stay on a show — Sean Bean famously led the cast of the original series until he checked out in the ninth episode.
The Lannisters and the Starks are the two families whose line stretches back long enough to be part of a story set 10,000 years in the past. This doesn't mean Watts will play a member of either family, but it's hard not to imagine viewers would not be meeting the ancestors of Sansa and Cersei.
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.
Meanwhile, there's a huge cast list of other parts floating around Twitter.
It should be noted at this time the Game of Thrones prequel is not actually greenlit to air yet. This is merely for the pilot filming stage. Depending on how the pilot is received by HBO heads, it still could get shelved, or recast, or reshot. But if it does make it to air, this will be the first time HBO has done a direct sequel/prequel for any of their hit shows in the history of the channel's existence.
Game of Thrones Season 8 is expected to arrive on HBO in 2019. If the prequel makes it to air, it will hopefully debut in 2020.