Author George R.R. Martin encouraged fans to pick up his newest book, Fire & Blood, hinting they might find clues to the planned Game of Thrones spinoffs. But while the new release chronicles the history of House Targaryen, he's clarified that audiences won't see any of that line in HBO's first prequel, now in development. There probably won't be any dragons, either.
The series, which Martin has referred to as "The Long Night" but remains officially untitled, is set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, when the White Walkers emerged, the First Men were trapped in a bleak winter and Bran the Builder famously erected the Wall.
"'10,000 years' is mentioned in the novels," Martin told Entertainment Weekly while promoting Fire & Blood. "But you also have places where maesters say, 'No, no, it wasn’t 10,000, it was 5,000.' Again, I’m trying to reflect real-life things that a lot of high fantasy doesn’t reflect. In the Bible, it has people living for hundreds of years and then people added up how long each lived and used that to figure out when events took place. Really? I don’t think so. Now we’re getting more realistic dating now from carbon dating and archeology. But Westeros doesn’t have that. They’re still in the stage of 'my grandfather told me and his grandfather told him.' So I think it’s closer to 5,000 years. But you’re right. 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."
No Targaryens likely means no dragons, which have become such a staple of Game of Thrones. That's probably fine by HBO, as the animation of the winged creatures are an expensive touch on what is already a pricey series.
Westeros is going to look very different, and rather than Dothraki invaders from Essos and fireproof challengers to the throne, we'll likely see more Children of the Forest, the origins of the White Walkers, and maybe even the early Stark, and their role in raising the Wall in the north.
Written by Jane Goldman, who also serves as showrunner, the pilot stars Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse.