While production on the final six episodes of Game of Thrones is still underway for broadcast sometime in the first half of 2019, there are already plans for a prequel series which would likely debut around a year later. It was announced as far back as May 2017 that HBO was considering several ways to continue or expand upon the world of Westeros but while three others remain in very preliminary ‘active production’ as concepts, there is only one moving forward at any practical pace.
Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse (Poldark) are the first names to be formally announced for the spin-off series which creator George R R Martin has said is called The Long Road (though whether this is the formal title for the series or just the opening episode is not completely clear so far). Martin’s involvement is largely in a consulting role and Jane Goldman (Kingsman, Stardust) will serve as showrunner on the series which will be set thousands of years before the events we’ve seen in Game of Thrones but which set the landscape for that ongoing conflict. Watts’ character has not formally been given a name, though she id described as ‘a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret…’
The cast of the ‘mothership’ (should that be motherofdragonsship?) show are keeping tongue-tied about the fate of their characters in the final blast of stories but given that the previous season ended with ‘Winter’ finally coming to Westeros as the White Walkers and the hordes of the undead broke through the Wall and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington)coming together in both a personal and military sense, everything appears up for grabs.
Martin, of course, has yet to finish the literary version of the saga that inspired the series and which overtook his own publishing schedule some time ago. That hasn’t, apparently, stopped the author from keeping busy with other projects including being involved in some of the other potential prequel shows and with the SyFy adaptation of Nightflyers which will air next month.