Game of Thrones author George RR Martin has revealed new intriguing details about the prequel series, which you’ll probably know under its working title The Long Night.
Although previously thought to be set 10,000 years before the events of the HBO show, Martin has revealed the series will actually be set 5,000 years in Westeros – without any dragons.
“Westeros is a very different place,” he told EW. “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.”
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So does that mean that dragons will be completely absent from the show? Maybe not entirely. If successful, we just might see the Targaryens’ favourite pets emerge in later series. In Game of Thrones lore, the dragons’ exact origin is lost to myth, with some contending that Valyria was the first to raise dragons as weapons of war. Could the show eventually see the rise of Valyria, as Martin mentions above?
It’s worth noting however that Westerosi history doesn’t have a solid chronology, with Martin explaining that maesters aren’t exactly sure when events took place.
“Now we’re getting more realistic dating now from carbon dating and archaeology. But Westeros doesn’t have that,” Martin explained. “They’re still in the stage of, ‘My grandfather told me and his grandfather told him.'”
He added: “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.”
Martin’s approach frees the prequel series from any strict timeline, with new showrunner Jane Goldman (Kingsman) able to explores places and events that fans haven’t seen before without harming continuity within Game of Thrones. As Martin himself says: “She’s going into territory that I haven’t explored very much in the books. I’ve hinted about them.”
In short, the north doesn’t remember quite as well as it claims to and the prequel series might be better for it.
Game of Thrones will return to TV in April 2019