If you’re still super upset that Game of Thrones is over, there’s some good news: You don’t actually have to leave Westeros just yet. HBO has been teasing us with spin-off news since 2016, but we’ve finally received something solid. Last spring, it was announced that a prequel pilot was in the works, and the details are now beginning to trickle in. Here’s everything you need to know about what’s coming next.
There’s no title...yet.
Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin referred to the spin-off as The Long Night, but that has not been confirmed as an official title. He’s mentioned on his blog that he’d like that to be the name, but in a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, he said it’s definitely untitled. He also said he’d be down for calling it The Longest Night. What an incredibly creative compromise! (Also, that was the name of an episode in the final season of GoT, so...he’s really hangin’ on to this title.)
But people have been referring to it as Blood Moon.
I don’t even know how this actually started, but the “working title” for the series is reportedly Blood Moon. FWIW, HBO has not confirmed this and that’s not what the network calls it, so this might purely be a fan thing. A fan site did claim they got a picture of the front of the script confirming the title, but it’s hard to tell whether this pic is real. So, TBD on the title.
It’s set way before Game of Thrones.
HBO made a statement last June that said the prequel will take place “thousands of years before” GoT. So, no, you won’t be seeing a little baby Jon Snow bopping around. It will focus more on the history of Westeros.
“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” the statement says. “And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s 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.”
There are going to be hundreds of kingdoms.
GRRM said so himself! “We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were seven kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest. But if you go back further, then there are 9 kingdoms and 12 kingdoms, and eventually, you get back to where there are 100 kingdoms—petty kingdoms—and that’s the era we’re talking about here,” he told Entertainment Weekly. LOL, if you thought GoT was confusing, you’re truly going to need to hire a tutor to get through this one.
Oh, and just to clear things up: “Petty” does not mean “messy” here, unfortunately. A petty kingdom is just a lil bb kingdom. I am sure there will still be pettiness though.
Everyone’s fave family will be around.
According to GRRM, “The Starks will definitely be there.” This is basically the best news ever, no? He also said the Lannisters won’t be there just yet.
The confirmed cast members are kind of amazing.
According to HBO, Naomi Watts “headlines as a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,” so count me in. The series will also feature a bunch of faces you recognise from your other favourite fantasy things, like Miranda Richardson (remember Rita Skeeter from Harry Potter?), Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd and Fantastic Beasts), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), and Toby Regbo (The Last Kingdom and Fantastic Beasts).
It also stars Marquis Rodriquez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan, Dixie Egerickx, Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, and Alex Sharp.
But GRRM says there aren’t really any leads.
He describes the cast as a “large ensemble cast,” meaning there aren’t any true leads.
“As you know, for Game of Thrones, we never even nominated anybody for lead actress or lead actor until recently. It was always supporting categories because the show is such an ensemble. I think that will be true for this show too,” he told EW.
There might be more than one spin-off.
Sure, there are plenty of story options that could be used to create awesome spin-offs, but Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming president, says, “The idea is not to do four shows. My hope is to get one show that lives up to [Game of Thrones].” But...that doesn’t sound too concrete, so who knows?
That being said, someone did catch wind of a House Targaryen prequel that might be getting a pilot order veryyy soon. That’s a different thing though.
It’ll be a while before we get to see it.
There’s no premiere date for the series yet, and when Deadline spoke to Bloys and asked if a May 2020 release date was possible, he said, “Having it on the air a year later feels a little rushed, but it’s too soon to tell.”
They have finished filming the pilot though.
Not the entire first season. Just the pilot. The production for it reportedly wrapped this summer, per Deadline. Some pilots don’t even become full TV shows though, so don’t get ahead of yourself.