Game of Thrones is a worldwide sensation now, filled with instantly recognizable faces, but when the HBO series premiered in 2011, most of the cast were relative unknowns. The biggest names were probably Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage, but even then, it’s hard to imagine Dinklage starring in Avengers: Infinity War and My Dinner with Hervé without Tyrion on his filmography. The Game of Thrones prequel, which won’t premiere until at least one year after the original series’ finale, is going a different route: the first announced cast member is a high-profile two-time Oscar nominee.
Naomi Watts has been tapped to star in the still-untitled prequel series as a “charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “The character’s name is not being revealed.” The Mulholland Dr. star was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her performances in 21 Grams and The Impossible, but she’s also done fine work in blockbusters, such as King Kong, and acclaimed television series, like last year’s Twin Peaks: The Returns. (Also, The Book of Henry is a bad movie masterpiece.) That combination, of finding a way to shine in projects where characters are overshadowed by the environment and story, should serve her well in Westeros (or Essos).
The Thrones prequel “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.”