There’s still a full season of Big Moments and character deaths yet to come for Game of Thrones, but HBO’s plans to follow it up with more stories from George R.R. Martin’s world are already beginning to take shape. As details continue to trickle out about the tentatively titled The Long Night, it’s clear that whatever Martin, showrunner Jane Goldman, and HBO have in mind for the next phase of the GoT franchise will look quite different from the current iteration — at least at first.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin divulged that the prequel series will take 5,000 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones. “Westeros is a very different place. 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,” Martin explained.
From the sounds of it, fans shouldn’t expect to be introduced to the ancestors of Daenerys nor Drogon, Rhaegal, or Viserion. Still, EW notes that if Goldman really “wants to get a dragon or two in there, she’ll certainly figure it out,” perhaps towards the series final… if it’s even greenlit to a full run, of course.
At least in its earlier seasons, Thrones did an excellent job of hinting at the ancient worlds and battles that built Westeros to begin with. Between that and Martin’s known penchant for keeping detailed guides to the minutiae of his labyrinthian ancient worlds, it’s quite possible that The Long Night will give fans a reason to stick around, even without the fire-breathers and silver-haired queens.