George R.R. Martin warned fans the story will unfold in «a very different place.»
In case there was any lingering doubt, let it linger no longer: The prequel to Game of Thrones—which George R.R. Martin said is titled The Long Night—has a full cast and a director. So, it’s on.
In October 2018 Naomi Watts was attached to the production, and we learned she will play «a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.» She’ll be joined by a number of relatively new names, perhaps unfamiliar to fans of the original series.
Now HBO have confirmed who she will star alongside, and the cast includes Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX), Denise Gough (Angels in America), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), and Toby Regbo (Reign).
Director S.J. Clarkson has also been attached. Her resume includes Jessica Jones and the upcoming fourth installment in the rebooted Star Trek. Jane Goldman who wrote Kingsman: the Secret Service, is set to write the screenplay.
George R.R. Martin has been working to manage expectations where The Long Night (or whatever the final title will be) is concerned. He told EW that events in the prequel occur «about 5,000 words» before Game of Thrones and «Westeros is a very different place.»
«There’s no King’s Landing,» Martin continued, «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.»
One thing seems certain: managed expectations or not, Thrones fans will be jonesing for Martin’s fantasy world as soon as the last Lannister is gone from their TV screens.