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George R.R. Martin Confirms ‘Thrones’ Prequel Features Starks, 100 Westeros Kingdoms, and More

Don't expect the Lannister family to show up in the prequel series.

Kit Harington, "Game of Thrones"

Kit Harington, “Game of Thrones”

HBO

The super-secretive “Game of Thrones” prequel television series just got slightly less mysterious thanks to franchise creator George R.R. Martin. The author is behind the upcoming series alongside showrunner Jane Goldman and shared some new facts to Entertainment Weekly about what “Thrones” fans can expect in the prequel. The biggest revelation is that the Stark family, a driving force behind HBO’s flagship “Game of Thrones” series, will be featured in some capacity in the prequel story.

“The Starks will definitely be there,” Martin said. “Obviously the White Walkers are here — or as they’re called in my books, The Others — and that will be an aspect of it. There are things like direwolves and mammoths.”

The prequel takes place thousands of years before the events of “Game of Thrones.” According to Martin, the setting means this version of Westeros has far more than just the seven kingdoms “Thrones” fans are used to hearing about. “We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” the author said. “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.”

One group of characters that will not be included in the “Thrones” prequel are the Lannisters. The conflict between the Stark and Lannister families was a driving force behind “Game of Thrones,” but the prequel series is set long before the Lannister family makes a claim in Westeros.

“The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there; it’s like the Rock of Gibraltar,” Martin said. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.”

As for the title, Martin has been outspoken about wanting to call the series “The Long Night.” That title was what “Game of Thrones” named its much-discussed Battle of Winterfell episode in the final season, which means Martin might have to come up with a different title. “I heard a suggestion that it could be called ‘The Longest Night,’ which is a variant I wouldn’t mind,” he said. “That would be pretty good.”

HBO kicked of production on the pilot episode for the “Thrones” prequel in June.

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