Are you ready to go back to Westeros yet?
New details about the currently-in-production prequel series to Game of Thrones have come down straight from George R.R. Martin himself, and if you weren't already anxious for the watch to begin again, perhaps this news will do the trick.
Martin spoke to Entertainment Weekly about what fans can expect from the Game of Thrones prequel, which is expected to take us back thousands of years to the world's "darkest hour." The A Song of Ice and Fire author confirmed that there will be White Walkers, early members of House Stark (the pack survives), and quite a few new kingdoms at play in the new series.
"The Starks will definitely be there," Martin confirmed to EW. "Obviously the White Walkers are here — or as they're called in my books, The Others — and that will be an aspect of it. There are things like direwolves and mammoths." Perhaps the Game of Thrones prequel will finally give us the big direwolf battle sequence that was originally slated to happen in Season 8 of the HBO epic.
No word yet on whether the Targaryens or their dragons will factor into the story, but Martin did admit that we shouldn't expect to see any lion sigils lurking about in the beginning of the new series, even though we will get to meet the namesake of their family home. "The Lannisters aren't there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there; it's like the Rock of Gibraltar," Martin revealed. "It's actually occupied by the Casterlys."
The Casterlys, it seems, will be a part of the sprawling landscape of mini-kingdoms that will exist in the show's time period, long before Westeros became a seven- (and then six-) kingdom empire.
"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 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," Martin said of the show's new-old map, which will obviously look quite different than the one that was so vividly displayed in the intros for each Game of Thrones episode.
Martin also added that the show might not be titled The Long Night but may wind up being called The Longest Night instead. (It's reportedly being dubbed Blood Moon as a working title during production in Belfast, Ireland.)
The news that the Starks and White Walkers will be included in the new series was previously alluded to by the logline that was released along with the announcement that HBO had ordered a pilot for Game of Thrones prequel. The description of the series read, "It 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."
Game of Thrones is streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.