George R.R. Martin has a few tantalizing details — and some surprises — to share about that Game of Thrones prequel show.
The prequel already has a glittering cast, set to star Naomi Watts, Jack Whitehouse, Naomie Ackie, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Sheila Atim and Ivanno Jeremiah.
But Martin emphasizes that the Game of Thrones prequel, like the original series, is not designed as a story focused on particular leads.
“As you know for Game of Thrones, we never even nominated anybody for lead actress or lead actor [during awards season] until recently; it was always for supporting [categories] because the show is such an ensemble,” he says. “I think that will be true for this show too. We don’t have leads so much as a large ensemble cast.”
The Game of Thrones prequel is set thousands of years before Game of Thrones, a reality that will be strongly reflected in the cast. “The Starks will definitely be there,” Martin says, as will the White Walkers and direwolves around which so much of the mythology of Game of Thrones revolved. Don’t look for any familiar, golden-haired members of House Lannister, however.
“The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” says Martin. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys, for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.”
Hypable has speculated that Naomi Watts’ role may be tied into the origins of House Lannister by way of the legend of Lan the Clever, the mythologized progenitor of the wealthy family. Regardless, the absence of the Lannisters is only one way in which the geopolitical makeup of the Game of Thrones prequel will be significantly different from the original series.
For example, remember the Seven Kingdoms? Well, forget the Seven Kingdoms.
“We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin says. “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.”