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Photo: Courtesy of HBO

The Game of Thrones Prequel Pilot has Begun Filming

If you’re still not quite over the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, you’re not alone. HBO’s record-breaking series has only just ended after a shortened, controversial final six episodes. Regardless of how you felt about the endingGoT became something truly rare in our culture of atomized interests, infinite options and niche programming—must-see programming that millions of people dutifully waited to watch. Considering the success of the series and the richness of George R. R. Martin’s source material, it’s no surprise that the premium cable channel is already at work filming the Game of Thrones prequel.

Entertainment Weekly reports that HBO has quietly gotten to work on the pilot, filming on location at what could be considered Game of Thrones HQ—Northern Ireland. Your showrunner is X-Men: First Class‘s Jane Goldman, alongside George R. R. Martin and director S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones). This prequel is set way, way before the events we just witnessed in the original series. We’re talking some 5,000 years before there was even a Targaryen hot-footing around Westeros.

We’ve known for a while that Naomi Watts is starring, and she’s joined by Harry Potter actress Miranda Richardson, rising star Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Denise Gough, Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Toby Regbo, and Alex Sharp.

And what about the plot? Martin told EW that the prequel dates back to before there was a King’s Landing, Iron Throne, or Targaryen line. “Valryia has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built,” he said. “We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.”

If the pilot is greenlit, the series will be a long way from airing. The earliest we might see it would be late 2020, but most folks think that HBO would push it to the spring of 2021.

Featured image: Season 8, episode 6/series finale (debut 5/19/19): Photo: Courtesy of HBO

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