Naomi Watts
photo: Getty Images

With the Game of Thrones series conclusion, fans were left wondering what was next for the Westerosi world. 

The universe created by George R.R. Martin will live on with an HBO series and TV movie that's set thousands of years before the events of the recently ceased series. 

With all of the backlash faced from the final season, a prequel could make or break fans' opinions of the saga. Details surrounding the project are under wraps, but HBO released some snippets of information on what is to be expected. Oscar nominee Naomi Watts will headline the upcoming project.

Due to the timeline, it's highly unlikely that any fan-favorite characters will make an appearance, but Martin is known for surprises, so you never know. The prequel isn't the only GOT content fans have to look forward to; a documentary about the season eight production will air on Sunday. 

George R.R. Martin has revealed that there are five GOT prequels in development

In an interview at the season eight premiere, Martin revealed that five prequels were in the works. The yet-to-be-named greenlit project is the first of the five to enter the production stages. Martin has been calling the unnamed TV movie The Long Night, but no name has been confirmed by the network. "One of them... is fully cast now, and we have a director. That's going to start shooting in Belfast, I think, pretty soon," he said.

Martin suggested readers keep up with his latest novel for hints about the new project. 

In an October 2018 tweet, Martin announced that Naomi Watts will star in the upcoming film. "Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor series ordered to film. HBO has just announced the first cast member: NAOMI WATTS is coming on board as one of our stars." 

He also wrote on his blog that while he could give no spoilers or hints about the project, fans who want an idea of what to expect should read his latest novel from the series Fire & Blood. The novel, which was released in November last year, is set 300 years before the start of the Game of Thrones events. Meanwhile, the upcoming spin-off is set thousands of years prior, so it could include elements to Martin's novel plus countless other plot points. 

According to HBO: "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. 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, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know." 

Naomi Watts is leading the cast and was the first person to join. 

So far the only thing we know about Watts' role is that she is a "charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret," according to the HBO official statement. The two-time Oscar-nominated actor has most recently starred alongside Daisey Ridley in Ophelia and The Wolf Hour. Watts took to Instagram to announce her GOT star status, "Westeros, here I come... #gameon #darksecrets."

Marquis Rodriguez from the series Manifest has also been cast. 

Rodriguez took to Instagram to express his gratitude to be included in the project, "I am utterly speechless. Thank you God. Thank you Mama. Here goes..." Previously, the actor has been featured in the NBC series Manifest about a sci-fi mystery revolving around a plane crash. He's also appeared in five episodes of the Netflix Original Iron Fist from the Marvel universe. 

Naomi Ackie, who is in the upcoming Star Wars film, will star alongside Watts. 

Naomi Ackie has been seen in Lady Macbeth with Florence Pugh, plus she will star alongside John Boyega and Daisey Ridley in the upcoming installment of the Star Wars saga. Ackie is among the many rising stars featured in the prequel created by Martin and screenwriter Jane Goldman. 

Georgie Henley, Lucy from the Chronicles of Narnia, will also be in the upcoming prequel. 

Henley has been featured in period pieces, and follow-ups to the children's classic. The former child actor got her start at seven years old in the Chronicles of Narnia series.  Most recently she has starred in the Starz drama Spanish Princess. Next, she'll appear in the prequel project. 

Coincidentally, a former Game of Thrones alum works alongside Henley in the Starz mini-series. Charlotte Hope plays the titular princess Catherine of Aragon, but in Game of Thrones she was Ramsay Bolton's (Iwan Rheon) deranged and violent love interest Myranda.  

The White Walker history will finally be revealed. 

White Walker Night King, "Game of Thrones"
photo: HBO

Fans were disappointed during the finale when little was revealed about the series-long enemy. Martin has called the upcoming prequel The Long Night, and while that name is not confirmed, it does give a hint about what the future project could be about. Considering the episode that featured the Battle of Winterfell and the destruction of the White Walker army was called "The Long Night," too, it's entirely possible we'll find out more about the undead characters. 

It has already been confirmed that we will learn more about the White Walker origin story. Maybe we'll finally get our answers to those infamous spiral symbols. 

Jamie Campbell Bower, who's been seen in multiple other fantasy series, will play a part. 

The London actor starred in the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film alongside Lily Collins. He also played a young Grindelwald in Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, not to mention, the Twilight saga and Sweeney Todd

Another Harry Potter alum Miranda Richardson has been cast in the upcoming project.

Infamously known as Rita Skeeter in the Harry Potter series, Miranda Richardson will play one leading role with Watts in the ensemble. The British star has been nominated for two Oscars for her work in the '90s films, Tom & Viv and Damage.  While these two leading ladies are starring in the upcoming pilot episode, the prequel will feature a strong ensemble cast similar to its predecessor. 

The cast and crew is far more diverse than Game of Thrones. 

One of the biggest complaints with the globally successful series was its lack of diversity in its cast and crew. Now, with a primarily women-led team and an already more diverse cast, fans are excited for the future of the upcoming prequel. 

One person on Twitter wrote, "Things are looking diverse for the new #GameofThrones prequel! HBO is bringing on SJ Clarkson (#JessicaJones and #StarTrek) to direct the first episode. She'll be joinging showrunner and writer Jane Goldman on the woman-led crew."

SJ Clarkson will direct the pilot episode and Jane Goldman, who wrote Stardust and The Woman in Black, will write the prequel with Martin.