George RR Martin appears to confirm Game Of Thrones prequel title – but what does it mean?

Forget winter: The Long Night is coming. But what exactly does that tell us about the new spin-off series?

The Night King and the White Walkers in Game of Thrones (HBO, HF)

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin appears to have confirmed the title for the new prequel spin-off – and it’s pretty ominous.

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The author had suggested earlier that his preferred title for the show would be The Long Night, and the name appears to have stuck, as Martin revealed the first casting for the new series.

“Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor series to ordered to film,” the author wrote on his blog, suggesting that, at least for now, the title is a goer.

So, prepare yourselves for The Long Night, set thousands of years before any of the events we’ve seen far, which will take us back to a period of darkness that is legendary in Westeros.

As summarised by the Starks’ nanny, Old Nan, The Long Night doesn’t sound like a particularly fun time.

“Oh my sweet summer child, what do you know about fear?” she intoned. “Fear is for the winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep. Fear is for the Long Night when the sun hides for years, and children are born and live and die, all in darkness. That is the time for fear, my little lord – when the White Walkers move through the woods.

“Thousands of years ago, there came a night that lasted a generation. Kings frozen to death in their castles, the same as the shepherds in their huts, and women smothered their babies rather than see them starve, and wept. And felt the tears freeze on their cheeks.”

She added: “In that darkness, the White Walkers came for the first time. They swept through cities and kingdoms, riding their dead horses, hunting with their packs of pale spiders as big as hounds.”

Spiders big as hounds! Smothered babies! Freezing kings!

But the fact that the prequel will be titled The Long Night leaves us with a few big questions.

Firstly: when exactly is this set? As you might guess from the name, the Long Night was looooong. Are we talking about the beginning of the Long Night, with the end of the Age of Heroes and the coming of this new disaster? Or the end – with the construction of the wall and the emergence of a new society?

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We also now know that the series will star Poldark’s Josh Whitehouse and Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts, and there’s a handy official synopsis – although it raises more questions than it answers: “Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game Of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.

“And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.”

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Apparently, we know nothing.


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