Pilot prequel is on books as 'Thrones' plans throwback
Rumours of a Game of Thrones prequel or spin-off have abounded for years. But now, with months still to go until the final season begins, the HBO network has announced that it has ordered a pilot episode of a potential prequel series.
British screenwriter and producer Jane Goldman (whose credits include The Limehouse Golem, Kingsman, X-Men: First Class), who will be showrunner if a full series is ordered, is set to work with author George RR Martin to create the project.
It will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, and "chronicles the world's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour".
HBO also unveiled other hyperbolic teasers: "From the horrifying secrets of Westeros's 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."
The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones - much of which is filmed in Northern Ireland - will air some time in 2019, and no new spin-off or prequel will air before the show ends, executives say.
The network has been exploring its options for a while, with writers Max Borenstein, Brian Helgeland, Carly Wray and Bryan Cogman all being considered to expand the story.
While the Game of Thrones series has captivated viewers, a prequel set thousands of years beforehand will mean that the characters and events featured will be those so far only heard about, rather than seen.
They could include the often-mentioned Age of Heroes, an epoch that took place 10,000 years earlier, which saw the peace between the First Men and the Children of the Forest, and the origin of the White Walkers, as well as the founding of the Houses Stark and Lannister.