6 Things We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel Series

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Although Game of Thrones still has one season to go, many fans of George RR Martin’s fictional world are already gearing up for his next television project: the prequel series.

While fans understandably have lots of questions—like which families and houses will be involved—we do know some key details already, many of which have been gleaned from inadvertent spoilers from Martin himself. (Oops!) Here is everything we know so far.

1. It will likely be titled The Long Night.

Although HBO has yet to confirm it, Martin did let it slip on his blog that the series will be titled The Long Night. Though we can't consider that a definite until the studio has announced it, it's pretty much the accepted title at this point, and even IMDb has officially adopted the moniker.

Martin did attempt to backtrack his spoiler by saying it’s not actually the title just yet. "HBO has informed me that the Jane Goldman pilot is not (yet) titled THE LONG NIGHT," he wrote on his blog. "That is certainly the title I prefer, but for the moment the pilot is still officially UNTITLED. So … mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa."

2. It's set about 5000 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

The ​prequel series is set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, in the Age of Heroes. If Martin’s reveal of the title is true, it will be a bleak period, as the Long Night is what the people of Westeros call the time when darkness fell upon the Known World, and it lasted for a generation.

Martin recently made the time frame a bit clearer in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, explaining that it’s closer to 5000 years before the events in Game of Thrones, not the 10,000 years many fans had originally thought.

3. You won't hear any mention of King's Landing, the Iron Throne, or the Targaryens.

The story is set before the rise of Valyria, the city in which the House Targaryen originated. "Westeros is a very different place," Martin told Entertainment Weekly of the prequel series. "There’s no King’s Landing. 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." (Though just because we won't hear about them when the series kicks off, doesn't mean they couldn't pop up later.)

4. Two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts will star.

Naomi Watts attends the 14th Annual Worldwide Orphans Gala at Cipriani Wall Street on November 05, 2018 in New York City
Rob Kim, Getty Images

So far, two of the main characters have been cast in the series. The first is two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts, who, according to Variety, is playing "a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret." Fans have been speculating that because of her blonde hair and light complexion, her character could be someone related to the Lannister line.

Josh Whitehouse, who had a major role in the Masterpiece series Poldark and will star in the upcoming remake of Valley Girl, has also been cast in a mystery role.

5. George RR Martin is co-creating it with Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and X-Men screenwriter Jane Goldman.

Since it was announced the series was getting a pilot order, co-creators George RR Martin and Jane Goldman, who wrote the screenplays for Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and more, have been attached.

6. Filming is set to begin in early 2019.

Although there is no release date set for the prequel series, we do know that filming will begin in February 2019 in Belfast, Ireland—which likely means a 2020 release date (but that's just speculation). It will, of course, air on HBO.

HBO Is Offering Nearly 500 Hours of Free Content, From The Sopranos to Succession

Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun talk business and omelettes in Succession.
Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun talk business and omelettes in Succession.
Peter Kramer/HBO

If shelter-in-place orders have you burning through your streaming service selections, HBO might be able to help. The premium network has just announced nearly 500 hours of content will be made available for free beginning Friday, April 3. In a press release, the channel said that content would be unlocked via HBO NOW and HBO GO without a subscription. Viewers can expect a mix of HBO’s original series as well as documentaries and catalog movie titles. For original series, viewers can select these nine shows:

  1. Ballers
  2. Barry
  3. Silicon Valley
  4. Six Feet Under
  5. The Sopranos
  6. Succession
  7. True Blood
  8. Veep
  9. The Wire

Documentary and Docuseries titles include:

  1. The Apollo
  2. The Case Against Adnan Syed
  3. Elvis Presley: The Searcher
  4. I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth v. Michelle Carter
  5. The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
  6. Jane Fonda in Five Acts
  7. McMillion$
  8. True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality
  9. United Skates
  10. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the MLK Oakland Oratorical Fest

Movies are from the Warner Bros. library and, unlike The Sopranos, are mostly family-friendly. They include:

  1. Arthur
  2. Arthur 2: On the Rocks
  3. Blinded By the Light
  4. The Bridges of Madison County
  5. Crazy, Stupid, Love
  6. Empire of the Sun
  7. Forget Paris
  8. Happy Feet Two
  9. Isn't It Romantic?
  10. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
  11. Midnight Special
  12. My Dog Skip
  13. Nancy Drew And The Hidden Staircase
  14. Pan
  15. Pokémon Detective Pikachu
  16. Red Riding Hood
  17. Smallfoot
  18. Storks
  19. Sucker Punch
  20. Unknown Title To Be Announced

The shows can be viewed directly without a sign-in on the HBO GO and HBO NOW websites or via their apps. (The services are nearly identical, but HBO GO is typically included with a cable subscription; HBO NOW is a standalone streaming service.) If you’d like to sample the full range of HBO series like Game of Thrones, The Outsider, or Curb Your Enthusiasm, the channel is offering a seven-day free trial.

According to the press release, the programming will be available to watch without subscribing through the end of April.

Which Fictional Character Are You? This Online Quiz Might Give You an Eerily Accurate Answer

Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is the unofficial king of witty side comments. Are you, too?
Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister is the unofficial king of witty side comments. Are you, too?
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

While watching a TV show or movie, you might find yourself trying to draw parallels between you and a certain character you’d want to be. If you’re like many viewers, it’s probably one of the heroic ones—the handsome private investigator with a tortured past and an unerring moral compass or the fearless queen who builds her kingdom from nothing and defends it to the death, etc.

But which character would you actually be? Openpsychometrics.org, a site that develops personality tests, has a new online quiz that might give you an uncannily accurate answer. You’ll be confronted with a series of 28 questions that ask you to pinpoint where you fall between two traits on a percentage-based spectrum. For example, if you’re more playful than serious, slide the bar toward the word playful until you’ve reached your desired ratio. The ratio could be anything from 51 percent playful and 49 percent serious, to a full 100 percent playful and not a single iota of seriousness at all. Other spectrums include artistic versus scientific, dominant versus submissive, spiritual versus skeptical, and more.

Once you’ve completed the quiz, you’ll find out which fictional character your personality most closely matches from a database of around 500 television and film characters. To pinpoint the personalities of the characters themselves, the quiz creators asked survey participants to rate them on a series of traits, and those collective results are then compared to your own self-ratings.

If you scroll down below your top result, you’ll see an option to show your full match list, which will give you a much more comprehensive picture of what kind of character you’d be. My top two results—which, ironically, were the same as Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy’s—were The West Wing’s C.J. Cregg and Joey Lucas, suggesting that we both have a no-nonsense attitude, a perfectionist streak, and an apparent aptitude for national politics that (at least in our cases) will likely go unfulfilled.

The fictional twin of managing editor Jenn Wood, on the other hand, is Game of Thrones’s Tyrion Lannister, unofficial king of witty side comments and all-around fan favorite. This was not surprising. As runner-up, Jenn got her personal hero, Elizabeth Bennet, which, in her words “makes me feel better about myself.” (Jenn has Pride and Prejudice-themed “writing gloves,” which seems important to mention.)

Take the quiz here to find out just how much you have in common with your own personal (fictional) hero.

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