We have a lead in the Game of Thrones prequel, everyone! Naomi Watts has been cast as (one) of the leads, starring as, “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.” We know that a prequel to Game of Thrones has been in the works from writer Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class, YAS to a lead female writer!) and of course George R.R. Martin., but we don’t know much about it other than the vague synopsis:
“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’ 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.”
Martin has reportedly suggested that the show be called The Long Night, presumably to tell the tale of the White Walkers. If you dig into our Game of Thrones podcast A Podcast Remembers, we dive into the history of the World of Ice and Fire. Our latest episode dives into the history of the ancient city of dragonlords, Valyria, but it also sheds light into the 5,000-plus-year-old history of the ancient people of Ghis (present-day Mereen, Yunkai, and Astapor.) Some of this history could be where the prequel takes place.
The cast will be an ensemble cast like the current show, spanning across the world Martin has created. Here are a few educated guesses as to who Watts could be playing—remember, this is supposedly eight-to-ten thousand years before the world of Game of Thrones we know now (that’s when Martin’s Age of Heroes takes place), so it’s before the time of the Targaryens, The Doom of Valyria, and like events. It’s also likely that the prequel will balance politics and mythology, so our “dragons and White Walkers” will likely be filled by The Children and the origin of the White Walkers, combined with the political drama of Watts’ character and her peers.
A leader of Ghis
As mentioned in our podcast, Ghis was an ancient city that ruled over what we know as the ancient Valyrian Freehold. Long story short, Valyrians were shepherds that the Ghis ruled over. When Valyrians discovered dragon eggs, obviously it was a game-changer. Valyrians became the dragonlords (AKA, families like the Targaryens), and were at war with the people of Ghis. These wars went on for YEARS, and finally the Valyarians used their dragons to burn Ghis to ash, which is why in the show we see Mereen and the other Free Cities a complete desert. The Ghis culture is old AF, so it’s likely that Watts could be playing a leader of this ancient civilization. Dig into our podcast to learn more about the Ghis.
A Rhoynish socialite
According to A Wiki of Ice and Fire, “the Rhoyner are one of the three major ethic groups from which the humans of Westeros descend, the others being the Andals and the First Men.” We hear these names a gazillion times when referring to the king/queen of Westeros. The First Men were of course those that resided in The North, of which the Starks descend, the Andals come from Essos (they fled during the Valyrian Freehold expansion and had a medieval-like culture), and the Rhoynish are what we know as present-day Dornish people. The Rhoynar were the closest of the groups to put a dent in Valyria and their dragons, and they are also said to have cursed The Doom (listen to more about that in our podcast.)
Dorne is a very elaborate, lavish culture, and hearing that Watts is playing a “socialite” fits that mold better than being of the First Men or Andals groups.
Once we know more about the prequel we’ll dive more into what type of character Watts could be playing. Comment your thoughts on her role below, or tweet me @lizprugh.
Featured image: HBO