4:37 pm EDT, October 30, 2018

‘Game of Thrones’ prequel casting begins with Naomi Watts, Josh Whitehouse

Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse have joined the highly-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel in lead roles.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Watts will play “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.” Given that almost nothing else is known about the Game of Thrones prequel coming from HBO, even this short description feels like a fountain of information.

It’s also hard to ignore the fact that Watts has a textbook Lannister look… but of course, it’s too early to know just how this character may be aligned (be it by blood or other loyalties.)

Update (October 31): British actor Josh Whitehouse has also been cast in a lead role in the Game of Thrones prequel. Whitehouse has previously appeared on Poldark, and will be seen in the upcoming musical Valley Girl.

HBO’s billing of the as-yet-untitled show has the series set “thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones.” Further description doesn’t offer much by way of character or detail, but it does make clear that the same elemental forces that drive Game of Thrones will be at work in the prequel.

“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” the network says. “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.”

Given the survival-level struggles that are sure to be front and center in the Game of Thrones prequel, it was previously not clear whether the shifting politics that so characterize the original series will also be present in the new show. Naomi Watts’ casting suggests that, even as humanity enters “The Long Night” (George R.R. Martin’s suggested title) the women and men of Westeros and beyond will still be playing their own game of thrones.

Naomi Watts is well-known for her work in Mulholland Drive and Peter Jackson‘s King Kong. She has also recently been seen the return of Twin Peaks.

The Game of Thrones prequel comes from Jane Goldman, writer of X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Goldman will serve as showrunner, and A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin will produce the new series set in his epic world.

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