‘Game of Thrones’ prequel could be on the way as HBO orders pilot episode

game of thrones prequel series hbo 2 khaleesi dragons

Hold all the doors!

In a move that is somehow both out of the blue and utterly unsurprising, HBO has greenlit a Game of Thrones prequel pilot from George R.R. Martin — the author behind A Song of Ice and Fire, the books upon which the show is based — and screenwriter Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service).

If the pilot passes muster, the series, likely to be another big-budget phenomenon, will take place thousands of years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire. It reportedly involves the final days of the Age of Heroes, a time when many great kings and heroes (see: Bran the Builder, Lann the Clever, the Grey King) lived. Game of Thrones fans, then, will not be seeing many of their favorite characters onscreen.

Per Entertainment Weekly, the show “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.”

We’re not particularly surprised at the announcement of another Thrones-adjacent series; after all, rumors surrounding multiple prequels have been flying for a while. It is a bit surprising, though, that Martin would offer his assistance, considering he was less than pleased when Thrones deviated heavily from the books (the sixth volume, Winds of Winter, has been delayed several times thus far).

Apparently, Goldman “won” a sort of contest at HBO in which five writers came up with ideas for prequels and spinoffs; the other four are “still under consideration” at HBO. Her previous writing credits include Kick-AssX-Men: First Class, and X-Men: Days of Future Past, and she will be writing the script for Disney’s upcoming live-action Little Mermaid reboot.

Game of Thrones will conclude its eight-season run in 2019, after which showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will go on to develop a trilogy of Star Wars films for Disney. According to Entertainment Weekly, the two “elected not to be involved” with Goldman’s prequel project.