In June, HBO officially ordered a still-untitled series from Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kick-Ass writer Jane Goldman that “chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.” But despite only being announced last month, The Long Night pilot, as creator George R.R. Martin would prefer it to be called, is reportedly set to begin production this October.
As first reported by the Belfast Telegraph but later picked up by Deadline, “The fantasy drama spin-off [is] reportedly set to film at the Paint Hall in Belfast’s Titanic Quarters. The studio has been used to film the main Game of Thrones series and is also home to the Superman TV prequel Krypton and set to house a Star Wars spin-off next year.” Remember: HBO hasn’t picked up the series yet; only a pilot has been ordered, so the quick turnaround checks out.
It’s also not the only prequel under consideration. Do you like dragons? Duh. Everyone likes dragons (except Pyat Pree). Then you might also like Empire of Ash. It sounds like a Mastodon album, but it’s actually another Game of Thrones prequel, this one from Kong: Skull Island writer Max Borenstein.
The gist of it is this: the multi-season series, Empire of Ash, would be set during the decline and fall of Valyria, recording “the social, economic, and political crises which tore apart the empire from within”, and the Doom. It would include expected elements such as dragons and House Targaryen, a minor family of dragon-lords at the time. (Via)
That summation comes from Watchers on the Wall, but the Empire of Ash whispers originate from an administrator at the Game of Thrones Wiki, who was “recently contacted by a tipster with knowledge of the four potential Game of Thrones prequel series being pitched to HBO. I was sworn to total secrecy, and only got a tantalizing glimpse of some extensive written materials.” So, grain of salt, etc., but the level of details is impressive, and makes me believe there’s more than a little truth to the report. It would also make sense for a prequel to focus on Valyria, which Martin described as “like the Roman Republic, with dragons,” considering it involves a family we’re familiar with (it’s the ancestral home of House Targaryen) and there’s the easy hook of fire-breathing dragons.
Empire of Ash would also have a sprawling, diverse cast, which has been a major criticism of Game of Thrones.
Multiple members of the primary cast are to be played by actors of color. As a result, something like a third to a half of the cast isn’t white. It explicitly instructs this in their casting sheets. This also extends to diversity of female and LGBT characters, several of whom are also core cast members… Something like a third to a half of this prequel series is actually set in Sothoryos, George R.R. Martin’s fantasy version of Africa, mentioned in A Song of Ice and Fire and The World of Ice and Fire. Sothoryos and Valyria are the two big axises around which the show revolves: the tension between the capital city and its provinces. (Via)
Stay tuned for more details.