Watts will be leading the ensemble cast of the still-untitled pilot, which will be a prequel, set thousands of years before GoT. Yep, we’re going waaaay back. As per the official synopsis, released when the prequel pilot was ordered in June:
“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.”
While plot details are, of course, being kept firmly under wraps, Watts’ character is being described as “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.”
The “darkest hour” mentioned in the synopsis has led fans to believe that the prequel series will cover the Long Night, a period of time Old Nan described to a young Bran in GoT season 1.
Could we also see the expanded story she described in the book? As excerpted by Business Insider:
“So as cold and death filled the earth, the last hero determined to seek out the [Children of the Forest], in the hopes that their ancient magics could win back what the armies of men had lost. He set out into the dead lands with a sword, a horse, a dog, and a dozen companions. For years he searched until he despaired of ever finding the Children of the Forest in their secret cities. One by one his friends died, and his horse, and finally even his dog, and his sword froze so hard the blade snapped when he tried to use it. And the [White Walkers] smelled the hot blood in him and came silent on his trail, stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds — .”
Game of Thrones author and co-executive producer George R.R. Martin is also behind this prequel, co-writing the pilot with Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kick Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service). Goldman will be showrunner on the prequel, as well as executive producing alongside Martin, GoT co-exec producer Vince Gerardis, Daniel Zelman (Damages, Bloodline), and James Farrell and Jim Danger Gray (Orange Is the New Black, Hannibal). David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, creators and exec producer of GoT, will not be involved.
Game of Thrones season 8, the final chapter of the series, will be arriving in the first half of 2019.