HBO just gave a pilot order to its first Game of Thrones spinoff concept a month ago, and while fans were excited, past reports indicated it could be a long time before viewers actually saw a finished project. Now there's evidence that may not be the case, as filming for the pilot may happen sooner than we thought. Current reports indicate that the prequel project is set to film in Belfast, a popular filming location for the original series, this coming October.
Reports indicate that the prequel series will film at the Paint Hall studios, where the location's staff was briefed on their upcoming major project. The staff are well familiar with the Game of Thrones franchise, as Belfast Telegraph reports the studio has served as the main set location for the original series since 2010. Staff were reportedly informed the pilot will take place 1,000 years before the events of GoT, which disputes the long-standing reports that have stated thousands of years and even as far back as ten thousand years. It's possible this may be new information, although at face value it seems far more likely there was just a lack of communication.
The news that the prequel project is going to film in the fall is surprising, as previous reports made it seem as though HBO might bide its time waiting to get another project ready. Author George R.R. Martin did briefly mention filming was set to begin on the project not long after its pilot order, although with HBO stating it could be a year beyond Game of Thrones officially ending before a new prequel series happened, it was difficult to know what to believe. The idea that the prequel pilot is filming on the heels of Game of Thrones wrapping on filming would seem to suggest otherwise, and that viewers may see the prequel not too long beyond a year after GoT ends.
Of course, just because the Game of Thrones prequel pilot is filming sooner it doesn't necessarily guarantee viewers will see it any sooner. The pilot for Game of Thrones was completed in 2009 and ended up going through a reshoot of 90% of its footage due to poor reception in a private viewing. HBO might be filming the pilot for this project well in advance in order to have plenty of time for reshoots if necessary, or see if maybe they want to pursue another one of the in development projects waiting in the wings.