'Game of Thrones' prequel: George RR Martin hints at Starks, White Walkers, direwolves and mammoths in ancient Westeros
Tentatively titled 'The Long Night', the show is set almost 5,000 years prior to the era of 'Game of Thrones'
'Game of Thrones' may have dashed hopes of fans after a disappointing season eight run. But, the prequel has given a glimmer of hope for hard-core fans, especially now that the plot seems to be approved by author and executive producer George RR Martin.
In an interview with EW, Martin spilled the beans on showrunner Jane Goldman's pilot, which is being filmed in Northern Ireland. Tentatively titled 'The Long Night', the show is set almost 5,000 years prior to the era when 'Game of Thrones' started. Split up into roughly 100 kingdoms, Westeros was quite distinct from what it appears in the show.
Wilderness in Westeros
"We talk about the seven kingdoms of Westeros; there were seven kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin says. "But if you go back further, there are nine and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms — petty kingdoms — and that’s the era we’re talking about here."
Seems like life and times in that era were on the extreme wild side with much mayhem and madness than when the seven kingdoms came into being, doesn't it?
The pack survives
Were the Starks, Targaryens, and Lannisters still around? Martin gives a green signal as the Starks descended from the first men. “The Starks will definitely be there,” he said. “The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” he says. "It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of 'Game of Thrones'."
Who were the White Walkers?
The burning question that wasn't answered in the last season was 'who were the White Walkers and why did the Dead want to fight the Living?' Hopefully, the prequel will leave more room to reveal their actual agenda. Confirming a supposed storyline around them, Martin said, “Obviously the White Walkers are here — or as they’re called in my books, The Others — and that will be an aspect of it,” adding, "There are things like direwolves and mammoths."
The darkest hour
If one was really to know the storyline, HBO outlined it as: "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. 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, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know."
If we try to put the missing pieces together, the show might paint the picture of the Age of Heroes when the First Men and the Children of the Forest signed a pact that brought peace between them. Since Westeros was divided into 100 kingdoms, there might be a story about how the Stark ancestor Bran the Builder built the Wall and waged a war against the White Walkers. Here's what you might be excited to know: Who did the wall protect and how were the White Walkers defeated? What's more, the myths of Azor Ahai, who saves the world from darkness and wields a flaming sword called Lightbringer, could turn out to be the most interesting aspects of the show.
Currently busy writing the most-anticipated sixth novel, 'The Winds of Winter', Martin has hinted the title to be tweaked a little. “I heard a suggestion that it could be called ‘The Longest Night,’ which is a variant I wouldn’t mind,” he said, adding, “That would be pretty good.”