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George R.R. Martin is providing more insight into the much-anticipated Game of Thrones prequel. The pilot for the series reportedly began filming last month. Thus, sending off a siren of continued speculation as to what it will entail. Martin has provided crucial clarity before and now he is at it again.

Fans of House Stark will be thrilled with what he has to say. The author of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels that started it all has spoken. Not about toxic fan culture again, but rather confirming critical components of the Game of Thrones prequels. It turns out the Starks will be in it, and so will direwolves, and the White Walkers! George R.R. Martin told EW:

The Starks will definitely be there. 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 Starks are back! Given that the upcoming predecessor series is set thousands of years in the past, it seemed feasible they would be. House Stark is one of the older Houses in Westeros. Now comes confirmation to help yours truly breathe a bit easier over the prospect of their presence.

As for the state of Westeros in the Game of Thrones prequel, it will have a kingdom explosion. George R.R. Martin explained that the series will heavily pre-date the days of only having seven kingdoms. Six by the end of Game of Thrones, thanks to the North heading out on its own.

As for the prequel’s kingdom count, prepare yourself for a stunning hundred or so. George R.R. Martin describes some of them as “petty kingdoms.” Does this mean they will not hit with all of the grandeur spotted in King’s Landing? Maybe.

If that King’s Landing reference got you thinking about Daenerys’ rampage or the Lannisters, that is understandable. Well, the House that gave viewers Tywin, Tyrion, Cersei, and Jaime will not initially be part of the prequel’s game. George R.R. Martin explained, saying:

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

Yes, you can rule out Naomi Watts playing a Lannister. With that settled, who is eager to meet up with House Casterly? For those curious to learn more about the original occupiers of House Lannister’s would-be ancestral stronghold, the prequel should be must-see TV.

Considering the large ensemble that comprises the Game of Thrones prequel pilot, you can expect there to be no leads. George R.R. Martin confirms that the predecessor series will maintain the ensemble sensibility that composed Game of Thrones. It worked for the original show!

As for the prequel’s title, George R.R. Martin confirms that has not gotten settled. Last year, Martin revealed that he and HBO had not come to an agreement on it. That has yet to change. Martin is still preferential to The Long Night as the series’ title. He did reveal that The Longest Night (emphasis on “-est”) has been suggested.

Time will tell what title prevails and if Melisandre could turn up at some point. Either way, the pressure is on. Naomi Watts recently discussed why doing the high-profile prequel is “scary” for her. Then there is the issue of the pilot receiving a series order, which has not happened.

If the pilot gets picked up, it will mean getting to see the ancestors of Ned and all of the other Starks in action, as well as the animal of their sigil: direwolves! Will they get to face off with White Walkers after that chance got cut from the final season? Stay tuned.

As someone who felt the direwolves were always underplayed on Game of Thrones, confirmation of their prequel presence is particularly great news. It is a second chance to get something right!

Yes, I was a bit bitter way before Jon Snow did not pet Ghost in the final season. The lack of affection sent shockwaves through the fanbase and got some clarity from Game of Thrones’ director David Nutter. Thank goodness for that scene in the finale where Jon finally reunited with Ghost!

If you want to relive that moment from the final season, I totally understand. You can already do so on digital. While you wait for more Game of Thrones prequel news from George R.R. Martin, there are loads of summer premieres to enjoy.

Game of Thrones Prequel | What We Know So Far

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