Though we might never know the ultimate fate of Jon Snow, or where Drogon brought Daenerys’ body, HBO’s exploration of Westeros isn’t over. The coming years could bring as many as three Game of Thrones prequels, according to author George R.R. Martin, one of which is already well into production. The first of these prequel series—tentatively called The Long Night—is expected sometime within the next year or two. Here’s everything we know about that first Game of Thrones prequel series so far.
What’s it called?
In mid 2018, Martin wrote on his blog that his preferred title for this first prequel would be The Long Night. However, as of the most recent reports, this prequel is currently being produced under the working title Bloodmoon. As Entertainment Weekly reports, calling this new prequel series The Long Night would be confusing because that’s the title of the third episode of Game of Thrones Season Eight. Martin told EW that “I heard a suggestion that it could be called The Longest Night, which is a variant I wouldn’t mind. That would be pretty good.”
Who is making it?
The Long Night comes from Martin, showrunner Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class), and director S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones).
Who is in it?
This prequel stars Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Miranda Richardson, Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo.
What is it about?
As the official synopsis reads at this point: “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.”
As Martin has described it, “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.”
This setting—and Martin’s preferred title—lines up with a major event in the Game of Thrones universe. For those who don’t remember, The Long Night is a Westeros historical event roughly 8,000 years before the Targaryen Conquest, during which the winter lasted an entire generation. As the Game of Thrones Wiki explains:
Thousands starved as the crops and fields lay buried under dozens of feet of snow. In the darkness and cold of the Long Night, the White Walkers descended upon Westeros from the farthest north, the polar regions of the Lands of Always Winter. The conflict that arose from the Long Night is known as the War for the Dawn as the White Walkers sought to bring an end to all life and to cover the world in an endless winter.
During the events of Game of Thrones, The Long Night is simply the stuff of bedtime stories and legend. This was the period during which the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers, Bran the Builder created the Wall, and the ancient hero Azor Ahai lived. As the Wiki explains:
According to, a great darkness descended upon the land, and a hero known as wielded a flaming sword named in battle against the darkness to win back the dawn. The holy texts of the prophesy that there will come a time when the Long Night will return, and Azor Ahai will be reborn to lead the people of the world to victory once again. This specific legend is apparently widespread across the Further East of Essos, because Azor Ahai is also known as Hyrkoon the Hero, Yin Tar, Neferion, and Eldric Shadowchaser, depending on the region in which the story is told.
So, it’s safe to assume that this new prequel will detail some of these ancient characters whose names we already know. What’s also interesting is considering one Game of Thrones character is said to be Azor Ahai reborn, is it possible that the same actor would play The Prince That Was Promised thousands of years in the past?
Westeros will also look very different in this era. As Martin has told EW, “there are nine kingdoms, 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.”
Considering the time period outlined above, this series will also feature the Starks, along with White Walkers and Direwolves. But there won’t be any Lannisters around. “The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Castlery Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” Martin told EW. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.”
When will it air?
Filming officially started on this prequel series in mid June of 2019 in Northern Ireland (where much of the Game of Thrones production was based). So, if the pilot is greenlit to become a series, the earliest it could possibly air is late 20201, but spring of 2021 seems more likely, given that’s when HBO often debuted Game of Thrones seasons.