Don’t hold your breath for any dragons in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel. In a new interview with author George R.R. Martin, the timeline for the tentatively titled The Long Night was clarified as “only” 5,000 years before GoT — but, sadly, still far enough back to preclude the Targaryens.
“Westeros is a very different place,” Martin, who will serve as an executive producer and co-creator of the prequel, explained to EW. “There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targayens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built.”
Martin went on to tease, “We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.”
Originally, it was speculated that the new series would be set 10,000 years before the events in GoT. However, even shifting that timeline up by 5,000 doesn’t make a difference when it comes to the hallmark of the House of Targaryen: dragons. These creatures weren’t tamed by the Valyrians until after the long night, per Westeros.org.
“While Westeros was recovering from The Long Night, in Essos, the peaceful sheep-herding folk o the Valyrian peninsula find dragons lairing in the Fourteen Flames, an immense chain of volcanoes extending across the neck of the peninsula,” the website reads.
So, in order for dragons to make an appearance in The Long Night prequel, the show would have to either reveal the dragons as having actually been discovered (but clearly not tamed) prior to their contact with the Valyrians or introduce them near the close of the prequel series.
But while the prequel may not have dragons, it will have Naomi Watts, who will reportedly be playing a “charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,” per Deadline‘s announcement of her casting in October. And joining her in an as-of-yet unnamed but “key role” is Poldark star Josh Whitehouse.
According to the prequel’s official logline, it will explore “the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” where only one thing is certain: “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.”
HBO president of programming Casey Bloys confirmed to TV Guide that the new series is slated to begin shooting in 2019.
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