HBO has officially ordered a Game of Thrones prequel TV series pilot written by Jane Goldman. Since its premiere back in 2011, the (very) bloody tale of power struggles and political maneuvering in the fantasy realm of Westeros has easily become HBO's biggest ratings draw. Eager to keep its juggernaut going, the network has been developing no less than five potential Game of Thrones spinoff series over the past year, with a team of writers that includes Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Carly Wray (Westworld), Brian Helgeland (42), and Game of Thrones veteran Brian Cogman, in addition to Goldman.
Now, however, HBO has gone ahead and given the green-light to Goldman's pilot script. Goldman will serve as the Game of Thrones prequel's showrunner (should it be ordered to series) and executive produce the show along with A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin. Vince Gerardis and Daniel Zelman will further serve as executive producers on the show, with Goldman and Martin developing the story together.
In addition to confirming the creatives, HBO has released the following synopsis for the Game of Thrones prequel series:
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. And only one thing is for sure: 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.
Assuming that the Game of Thrones TV prequel pilot is ordered to series, it could begin airing on HBO as soon as 2020. HBO president of programming Casey Bloys previously confirmed that the network won't launch a Game of Thrones spinoff until at least one year after the original series finishes it run with its eighth and final season next year. Network executives have further confirmed that the Game of Thrones prequel series will have a big budget from the get-go, though not quite as big as the massive production budgets for the original show's seventh and eighth seasons in the beginning.
Goldman's resume includes collaborations with Matthew Vaughn on the Kick-Ass, X-Men, and Kingsman films, as well as adapted scripts for supernatural horror/thriller The Woman in Black and YA fantasy adventure Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Her eclectic body of work makes Goldman an exciting pick to put a fresh spin on the Game of Thrones universe, not least of all because the synopsis indicates her prequel series may explore aspects of the world's history that not even Martin has thoroughly documented in his ASOIAF novels yet. The fact that it takes place thousands of years before the events of the original show further suggests that Goldman's show should be able to hold up on its own merits and potentially make for a fascinating expansion of the property on the small screen.
Game of Thrones season 8 airs on HBO in 2019. We will bring you more details on the TV prequel as they become available.