Now that HBO’s award-winning fantasy epic Game of Thrones has come to an end after eight seasons, fans anxiously anticipate a new prequel series that will focus on new adventures in Westeros. For now, little is known about the series, except that it will take place thousands of years prior to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and the rest of George R. R. Martin’s novels.
Based on excerpts of information from HBO’s website explaining that it will focus on ancient Westeros, White Walkers, and the first members of the Stark family, fans have already started speculating about what other characters, events, and species might come into play. Will there be giants? Will there be dragons? Will we see the First Men as they team up with the Children of the Forest during the Long Night? As HBO cements its final casting and showrunner Jane Goldman and GoT author George R. R. Martin hash out the storylines, we can be sure that intrigue, adventure, and enchantment await us when we return to Westeros once again.
10 IT WILL TELL THE STORY OF THE NIGHT KING
After all the build up for eight seasons, the Night King's threat was eradicated in a way that truncated his mystique, leaving fans deeply dissatisfied. Perhaps this was intentional - though the Night King didn't exist in the books in the form we see him take, a character like him had a brief mention.
Fans theorize that the Night King was once human (possibly even a Stark), who was captured by the Children of the Forest and turned into a menacing White Walker to utilize in their conflict with the First Men. The Night King betrayed them, made more of his kind, and fought the Children of the Forest and the First Men during the Long Night when they were forced to band together.
9 IT WILL FEATURE THE CHILDREN OF THE FOREST
Though we saw glimpses of the sprite-like Children of the Forest in Season 4 of Game of Thrones through their interactions with Bran the broken, we didn't get to dive into their culture. They remained a mysterious ancient presence, which could be illuminated upon in this new prequel series. It would possibly predate the Age of Heroes and focus mainly on their fight with the First Men.
This allows for plenty of mystical weapons and enchanted objects to be used such as the Hammer of the Waters against the Arm of Dorne and the Neck of Dorne. It would allow for the presence of giants, who were prolific in Westeros in that time.
8 IT WILL EXPLORE THE WHITE WALKER CULTURE
The White Walkers were perceived as some to be a two dimensional threat - voiceless, nameless enemies with no souls and no motivation save death. Essentially Winter incarnate. The prequels may "flesh" out their culture, especially if they take place thousands of years ago. In Game of Thrones they could be heard "speaking" to each other in their own language albeit briefly.
The language of the White Walkers is called Skroth, and it sounds like ice breaking. Its described in the first few pages of the first book in Martin's series, though he himself admits to not developing the rest of their culture very much.
7 IT WILL REVEAL THE FIRST MAN
There is some speculation that the series will focus on the First Man, who will be turned into the first White Walker, aka the Night King by the Children of the Forest. It was the First Man who discovered dragonglass could kill White Walkers, which in turn changed the tide of the Long Night conflict, so hopefully he will have passed that secret along before he's turned into a member of the undead.
When the White Walkers were pushed North and the Wall was built by Bran the Builder of House Stark, he imbued it with magic so they couldn't cross it, leaving the Night King and his legions waiting for his revenge. Some fans have also theorized the series will have Bran become the Night King.
6 IT WILL SHOW THE RISE OF THE HOUSES
Every famous House in Game of Thrones, from the Starks to the Targaryens to the Lannisters, had an epic origin story. Each had members even more valiant, cruel, and flawed than the characters we watched for eight seasons in the series. Some of their origins were covered in the books, but some of the best yarns from their family lineages go back generations.
Rumor has it the show will be set thousands of years prior to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, meaning that none of the Houses existed yet. If that’s the case, the prequels may show humankind as a nomadic species, with more in common with the Wildings/Free Folk than a hierarchical society we’re accustomed to seeing.
5 IT WILL FEATURE OLD GODS AND PREHISTORIC RACES
While there were lots of hints bandied about in the Game of Thrones series about ancient Westeros, when giants roamed the land, fae folk flitted through the trees, and the Old Gods were keepers of spiritual mysteries for its inhabitants, it didn’t delve too deeply into the concepts introduced.
Fans have often speculated about the relationship between the different races of Westeros during those times, especially before the creation of the Wall. If the prequels take place before the First Men, how did the Children of the Forest interact with the giants, and the Free Folk? Were there other creatures present as well, that we haven’t seen yet? Since some can be millennia old, perhaps they existed well into the creation of the Seven Kingdoms, or even helped with their formation.
4 IT WILL FOCUS ON THE EAST
<While much of the Game of Thrones series focused on Westeros, with occasional diversions with secondary plotlines to the East, there was an incredible amount of source material from George R. R. Martin’s books that weren’t mentioned from that region. Many fans are hoping the prequels touch on ancient stories from Yi-Ti, an ancient kingdom that existed long before the Seven Kingdoms.
Yi-Ti was the first, and most ancient civilization to exist in Martin’s world, known as The Great Empire of the Dawn, and the Long Night between the First Men and the White Walkers devastated it. Many of the legends from the East chronicle how its people blamed themselves for the Long Night, from their own perspective of breaking blood pacts and welcoming demons onto their shores.
3 IT WILL HAVE DIFFERENT WRITERS
A lot of fans were happy with the writing in Game of Thrones up until the last two seasons, when they felt the plot became rushed, the characters became underdeveloped, and the finale left a bad taste in their mouths. The writers worked with author George R. R. Martin, but his novel series wasn't finished, and without the last book they had to make up the plot as they went along.
The writers have been tapped to pen storylines for future Star Wars films, giving the opportunity for new talent to add fresh ideas to the prequels. Fans are convinced since the prequels might focus on things Martin has barely touched on in the books, the writers won't be beholden to their expectations.
2 IT WILL FOCUS ON THE AGE OF VALYRIA
Game of Thrones often made mention of people, languages, and objects from the Age of Valyria, a period of great prosperity in Westeros. The Valyrian Empire, responsible for magical swords of Valyrian steel, the High Valyrian language, and dragon bonds, was the most powerful entity in all of Westeros until its fall, known simply as the Doom.
Fans have been intrigued by its mysterious demise since reading of it in Martin’s books, postulating on the decadence and hubris that lead to its destruction. Only House Targaryen, because of a prophetic dream from Daenys the Dreamer, knew to move to Dragonstone, thus avoiding the fate of the rest of the Valyrians that mocked them.
1 THERE WON'T BE AN IRON THRONE OR KING'S LANDING
As exciting as the “Game of Thrones” was to follow for eight seasons, seeing it be destroyed by Drogon was almost a relief. With so many missed opportunities and disappointing letdowns from high expectations of the series finale, fans were disenchanted by anything to do with the Iron Throne or King’s Landing by the time the series wrapped.
George R. R. Martin has gone on record explaining that the Valyrian Empire has scarcely begun with its dragons during the time of the prequels, giving fans a fresh new perspective on Westerosi culture. New characters, in a different and older world, seem to be where the prequel are headed, which seems to be fine with the fans.