Game of Thrones may be coming to an end next year, but the fantasy saga will still live on in a spinoff series set to debut after the main series finale. Although set in the same world as Game of Thrones, the new show will have some very important differences from the GoT we all know and love. For one thing, the new series will be set thousands of years in the past in relation to the fight for the Iron Throne we've been watching, and George R. R. Martin revealed another big change: the Game of Thrones prequel won't have dragons!
Game of Thrones mastermind George R. R. Martin clarified some important details about the upcoming spinoff series in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, informing fans of what they can expect from this more ancient period in Westerosi history. Martin clarified that The Long Night — the name of the new series — will be set about 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and that the world is obviously a much different place back then:
Westeros is a very different place. There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built. We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.
So, in particular, fans can expect all that fighting for the Iron Throne to not play into this new series... because there won't even be an Iron Throne to fight over. But probably the most notable bit of information from George R. R. Martin's statement is that we will not be seeing any dragons in The Long Night.
According to Game of Thrones lore, dragons actually did not appear in the Game of Thrones realm until after the event known as the Long Night. Dragons were first discovered by sheep-herders in Essos in volcanoes off the coast of the Valyrian peninsula shortly after the Long Night. These herders were able to tame the dragons with magic, and they founded the city of Valyria. It was not until Valyria was destroyed much later on that House Targaryen was founded, comprised of the only remaining dragon riders from the former city.
So unfortunately, it looks like fans will have to say goodbye to all those big, CGI-filled dragon fights after Game of Thrones ends. But although The Long Night will not have dragons, it will still be filled with magic. The series will focus largely on the White Walkers, mysterious ice zombies from the far north that have threatened to destroy Westeros in the past as they are currently doing in Game of Thrones' final season. Other than that, we don't know too much about the new show, except that it will star Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse in currently unnamed roles.
Look for Game of Thrones to debut its final season in April, and The Long Night to premiere some time after that.