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Details on Prequel Pilot Revealed

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The big question is whether this is about "the Long Night" and they're just saying "Age of Heroes", or if they want to tie in or cover other stories from the Age of Heroes.  

What we know about the Age of Heroes in general:
 

  • This was long before the Targaryens, Rhoynar, or Andals migrated to Westeros.  Only the First Men.  
  • There were no "Seven Kingdoms" yet.  Basically every hill fort was its own king.  Not even the "hundred kingdoms" of the First Men had really taken shape until after the Long Night (we think).
  • The elder races, the children of the forest and the giants, were still around in some numbers but not in frequent contact with humans anymore - they retreated to the forests.  The Last Hero had to find them.  Sketchy reports on this - i.e. areas with biggest forests like the North and the Stormlands had larger surviving pockets of children and giants even into later eras....
  • Megafauna were more plentiful, before human encroachment.  Direwolves were still found south of the Wall, and even Cave Lions roamed throughout Westeros.  
  • Long before the Valyrians, no one had mastered dragons yet, though wild ones did wander around every continent (according to legend).  
  • Westeros MAY have had normal-length seasons of one year, before the Long Night.
  • Technically they all speak Old Tongue, not Common Tongue/English of the Andals - I imagine the TV show will present that with translation convention to English. 
  • Due to no Andals, there was no Faith of the Seven.  NOR were there "knights".  Not just culturally, but as shock cavalry - they had light cavalry, but not true heavy horse.
  • They didn't have iron and steel weapons - the Andals introduced those.  This was the bronze age of Westeros.
  • This predates true written history - the Andals introduced the first full writing system to the continent.  The First Men only had a basic runic script they used to mark graves and such.  
  • Most of the major cities, castles, and settlements didn't exist yet.  King's Landing and Harrenhal were just empty fields.  White Harbor didn't exist yet.  Depending on when Lann the Clever lived, before or after the Long Night, Lannisport didn't exist either.  Oldtown did exist...as a moderately sized trading town or something.
  • Winterfell may have existed at the start of this but as a basic ringfort.  This is the time when Winterfell and Storm's End were built in the first place.  
  • The Order of Maesters didn't exist yet, or only in its most nascent form.  We don't know if that happened before or after the Long Night.  Either way, without a true writing system, the raven network of communication probably didn't exist either.  
  • The Starks and Boltons were present, it's said they were fighting since as soon as the Long Night ended. 
  • Of the Great Houses of later centuries, not only the Targaryens weren't there, but any Andal families:  the Arryns, Tyrells, etc.  The "Baratheons" didn't exist though their Durrandom forebearers did.  The Freys were just pig farmers or whatever, not nobles (having only risen up 6 centuries ago) and the Twins didn't exist.  The Tullys...were around, but not a landed noble family and never kings, just followers of House Mudd.  Riverrun didn't exist until after the Andal invasion.   
  • Whole question of whether Lann the Clever got Casterly Rock before or after this - no one remembers exactly when he lived.  Though I do think the Lannisters intermarried with a daughter of House Casterly...
  • The Tyrells were Andals, but the Gardeners were First Men - possibly one of their first kingdoms.  The Tyrells did intermarry with them later so they are "Tyrell ancestors" though they wouldn't be called "Tyrell".  
  • Dorne was an odd assortment of petty kingdoms of the First Men, very different from the Dorne of later eras.  The Martells weren't even present - being an Andal family who later intermarried with the Rhoynar.  
  • The ironborn were "around"....Archmaester Hake introduced many dating errors so it's not clear how their history matches up with the greenlands.  The Greyjoys were "around", but one among many - this was the era of the kingsmoot. 

The sensible approach would be to make a one year project focused on Bran the Builder and/or the Last Hero, in which case they really wouldn't spend that much time south of the Neck anyway.

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15 minutes ago, The Dragon Demands said:

The narrative.  News sites controlling the narrative and telling us things like "TV Dorne is normal", "TV-Stannis is normal", "the Sansa rape is normal".

WE must hold the awesome power, of the fourth estate...

 

….but back to discussing plot elements...

I don’t know what you mean by “normal”, but it sounds like you’re calling us to arms. The audience does have a certain power, it’s true, but we’ve been wielding it since the dawn of television, so there’s no need to ask us. If the general audience likes the show, it will be renewed. If they don’t, it will be cancelled. It’s that simple.

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27 minutes ago, Dragon in the North said:

I don’t know what you mean by “normal”, but it sounds like you’re calling us to arms.

I am.

Haven't you heard that Rhaenyra has an army?

But this is getting off-topic, ser....

 

Are they going to do "the Long Night" or other stories from the Age of Heroes?  Lann the Clever isn't well-connected to other stuff, for example.

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Ugh....

Personally I'm really worried that it will take all the myths like a first hand account that is 100% true (so no ambiguity about what is real or exaggerated) and show a Planetos were ridiculously little has changed (like perhaps Winterfel looking just like it did on the current series and things like that)

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3 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

If we ignore it, SOMEONE ELSE will control it.  

This time, we hold the reins.  This time, our boot is on their throat.  

Won't get fooled again.

We really have nothing we could compare such a story to. Just some sketchy fragments that are presented to us as 'unreliable legends'.

If they turned this on its head then we wouldn't really have anything to hold them to because there isn't really any material from George they could have twisted. At least not yet.

I mean, we'll learn the truth about the Others eventually in ASoIaF. But we won't get novels covering the Age of Heroes and the Long Night.

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Although it could be good I suppose I always get the shivers now when someone says the word “prequel “.......thanks George Lucas. :ack:

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7 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

The big question is whether this is about "the Long Night" and they're just saying "Age of Heroes", or if they want to tie in or cover other stories from the Age of Heroes.  

What we know about the Age of Heroes in general:
 

  • This was long before the Targaryens, Rhoynar, or Andals migrated to Westeros.  Only the First Men.  
  • There were no "Seven Kingdoms" yet.  Basically every hill fort was its own king.  Not even the "hundred kingdoms" of the First Men had really taken shape until after the Long Night (we think).
  • The elder races, the children of the forest and the giants, were still around in some numbers but not in frequent contact with humans anymore - they retreated to the forests.  The Last Hero had to find them.  Sketchy reports on this - i.e. areas with biggest forests like the North and the Stormlands had larger surviving pockets of children and giants even into later eras....
  • Megafauna were more plentiful, before human encroachment.  Direwolves were still found south of the Wall, and even Cave Lions roamed throughout Westeros.  
  • Long before the Valyrians, no one had mastered dragons yet, though wild ones did wander around every continent (according to legend).  
  • Westeros MAY have had normal-length seasons of one year, before the Long Night.
  • Technically they all speak Old Tongue, not Common Tongue/English of the Andals - I imagine the TV show will present that with translation convention to English. 
  • Due to no Andals, there was no Faith of the Seven.  NOR were there "knights".  Not just culturally, but as shock cavalry - they had light cavalry, but not true heavy horse.
  • They didn't have iron and steel weapons - the Andals introduced those.  This was the bronze age of Westeros.
  • This predates true written history - the Andals introduced the first full writing system to the continent.  The First Men only had a basic runic script they used to mark graves and such.  
  • Most of the major cities, castles, and settlements didn't exist yet.  King's Landing and Harrenhal were just empty fields.  White Harbor didn't exist yet.  Depending on when Lann the Clever lived, before or after the Long Night, Lannisport didn't exist either.  Oldtown did exist...as a moderately sized trading town or something.
  • Winterfell may have existed at the start of this but as a basic ringfort.  This is the time when Winterfell and Storm's End were built in the first place.  
  • The Order of Maesters didn't exist yet, or only in its most nascent form.  We don't know if that happened before or after the Long Night.  Either way, without a true writing system, the raven network of communication probably didn't exist either.  
  • The Starks and Boltons were present, it's said they were fighting since as soon as the Long Night ended. 
  • Of the Great Houses of later centuries, not only the Targaryens weren't there, but any Andal families:  the Arryns, Tyrells, etc.  The "Baratheons" didn't exist though their Durrandom forebearers did.  The Freys were just pig farmers or whatever, not nobles (having only risen up 6 centuries ago) and the Twins didn't exist.  The Tullys...were around, but not a landed noble family and never kings, just followers of House Mudd.  Riverrun didn't exist until after the Andal invasion.   
  • Whole question of whether Lann the Clever got Casterly Rock before or after this - no one remembers exactly when he lived.  Though I do think the Lannisters intermarried with a daughter of House Casterly...
  • The Tyrells were Andals, but the Gardeners were First Men - possibly one of their first kingdoms.  The Tyrells did intermarry with them later so they are "Tyrell ancestors" though they wouldn't be called "Tyrell".  
  • Dorne was an odd assortment of petty kingdoms of the First Men, very different from the Dorne of later eras.  The Martells weren't even present - being an Andal family who later intermarried with the Rhoynar.  
  • The ironborn were "around"....Archmaester Hake introduced many dating errors so it's not clear how their history matches up with the greenlands.  The Greyjoys were "around", but one among many - this was the era of the kingsmoot. 

The sensible approach would be to make a one year project focused on Bran the Builder and/or the Last Hero, in which case they really wouldn't spend that much time south of the Neck anyway.

There was also polygamy and thraldom at this time.  As well as the Old Gods holding much more sway obviously with no Seven which may carry with it a practice of sacrifice.

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If the first men-basically our only humans in this era-are not technologically advanced or the Valyrians-Which I think will be included even though canonically they’re a thousand years after the first men-then what’s different about this show than main show except more giants COTF?

There will have to be some big AH HA reveals for show only watchers to make this have any real connection to the main show, surely? Which would in turn perhaps spoil the main books?

I want to be excited.  But I’m so burned after season 5/6/7 I just can’t be.

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I thought of an issue which I thought might be a problem but upon further reflection is kind of mixed:

The question of racial diversity in an Age of Heroes / Long Night TV show.  

This is before the Rhoynar or the Andals migrated to Westeros, only the First Men are there.  

UNLIKE Game of Thrones, the story wouldn't really need to travel to Essos...nor are many in place there anyway:

  • 8,000 years ago, Valyria wasn't on the scene yet.  
  • The Free Cities didn't exist either.
  • The Dothraki didn't cross west of the Bone Mountains until much later.
  • The Ghiscari Empire / Slaver's Bay was around, in its earliest years though.

As for the Summer Islanders...the great thing about them is that they're the Sea People, the merchant sea people:  you don't need to go TO the Summer Isles, they come to you.  Summer Islander ships and crews are a common sight in the five major port cities of Westeros in the modern era.  

...and the Summer Islanders have been visiting Westeros since their own earliest days, indeed, some argue they might have visited Westeros BEFORE the First Men, to build supply outposts for their fishing fleets and trade with the children of the forest.  They just never "settled" it.  

Now a question that arose is that in the earliest part of the Dawn Age, the Summer Islands actually didn't venture beyond their own horizons, and only did that after Ghiscari ships stumbled on them.  Putting their earliest date when they expanded and reached Westeros at about 8,000 years ago (we don't know if it was before or after the Long Night).  
 

…..wait a minute....if the First Men migrated to Westeros 12,000 years ago, and the Ghiscari Empire formed slightly before the Long Night 8,000 years ago, and the Summer Islanders only left their shores when the Ghiscari encountered them....there's no plausible way for there to be any possibility that the Summer Islanders visited the region around Oldtown BEFORE the First Men.

(Shrug)

The point is I think you plausible COULD have "foreign ships" from the Summer Isles along the coasts for trade, given that it's said they were trading with Westeros for a long time.

 

…….

Point 2:  regardless of Summer Islander backstory, the tantalizing mention of how "The East" factors into the Long Night, Azor Ahai and so forth, calmed me down; going east they'd encounter non-white characters.  Possibly even the proto-Rhoynar.

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13 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I mean, we'll learn the truth about the Others eventually in ASoIaF. But we won't get novels covering the Age of Heroes and the Long Night.

I hope we won't. But who knows, what GRRM is doing next instead of TWoW... if he gets heavily involved, it could shift his interests once again.

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7 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

There was thralldom.  Polygamy may have been more of a case by case basis.  Hard to say.

But it did seem to exist in ways that it no longer does in the present timeline.  It doesn't seem like it was everywhere all the time but certainly it did appear and was more widespread than later after the Andals came and the Seven became the dominant Faith.  There was also examples of people being sold into slavery back then as well so the taboo on slavery was perhaps a bit less maybe due to having thraldom, which would prove a counterpoint in this serious to contrast it with Dany's quest in GOT.

4 hours ago, The Dragon Demands said:

Point 2:  regardless of Summer Islander backstory, the tantalizing mention of how "The East" factors into the Long Night, Azor Ahai and so forth, calmed me down; going east they'd encounter non-white characters.  Possibly even the proto-Rhoynar.

I like the mention of seeing some of the east because there is a lot East so there are many possibilities, especially because we did get some information on this in the World Book about how those civilisations of the east dealt with the Long Night and what their own myths about that event were.  Maybe we might get to see what the Dothraki Sea looked like at this time.  Something of the Rhoynar.  Maybe even hear some Asshai rumours.  Golden Empire of the Dawn/Yi Ti would also be very interesting at this time as well.

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This sounds like a rehash in some ways (another story about politicking leading up to a Long Night, this time the first one), but overall very interesting if they lean into the "magical Bronze Age" aspect of it. Show COTF, wild beasts, wild dragons, stone and bronze weapons and primitive armor, and so forth.

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George R.R. Martin blog update on the Jane Goldman announcement:

http://georgerrmartin.com/notablog/2018/06/11/hbo-greenlights-goldman-pilot/

[Transcript begins]

To clarify, what we have here is a pilot order, not as yet a series order.   Though of course we are all hoping that will follow.

Yes, this is a prequel, not a sequel.   None of the characters or actors from GAME OF THRONES will appear in the new show.   All of the successor shows we’ve been developing have been prequels, as I have mentioned before.   This one really puts the PRE in prequel, since it is set not ninety years before GAME OF THRONES (like Dunk & Egg), or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years (well, assuming the oral histories of the First Men are accurate, but there are maesters at the Citadel who insist it has only been half that long).   We’re very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don’t have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title.   (My vote would be THE LONG NIGHT, which says it all, but I’d be surprised if that’s where we end up.  More likely HBO will want to work the phrase “game of thrones” in there somewhere.  We’ll know sooner or later).

We do have a showrunner: Jane Goldman, who penned the pilot script.

All of the news stories about the pilot being greenlit are slapping my own picture up there next to Jane’s, which is very flattering but also a little misleading Remember, they also slapped my picture up on the news stories about the TV development of Nnedi Okarafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH, when they should have been using Nnedi’s picture. I’ve consulted with all of the writers on all of the successor shows, and several of them have visited me in Santa Fe for long days of discussion, and we’ve gone back and forth in email, text, and telephone, so I have definitely been involved… but really, the accolades here should go to Jane.   She has been an absolute thrill to work with… and my god, what a talent.

Those of you who are fans of not just GAME OF THRONES, but of television, film, and sf and fantasy in the broader sense are already well familiar with her work, whether you know it or not.   She’s wrote the KINGSMEN movies, scripted one X-MEN film and did the story for another, did the screenplay for the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s STARDUST, and for the superhero satire KICKASS as well.   Among lots of other credits.  Oh, and she’s written the script for Disney’s forthcoming live action version of THE LITTLE MERMAID too.   Can’t wait for that one.

I will try to keep you all informed as work progresses on the new show (whatever we end up calling it)… though, given the amount of stuff I am trying to juggle right now, news will probably break on a dozen other places before I get around to it, as happened here.

As for the other successor shows… if you have been following along, you know that we started with four, and eventually went to five.   One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand, and of course Jane’s pilot is now moving to film.   But that does not mean the others are dead.   Three more GAME OF THRONES prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development.   Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.   We do have an entire world and tens of thousands of years of history to play with, after all.   But this is television, so nothing is certain.

(Oh, and WHO FEARS DEATH is moving along well too, and I am very excited about that one as well.  Selwyn Seyfu Hinds did a terrific job with his first draft of the pilot, based on Nnedi’s novel).

(And yes, before you ask, work on WINDS OF WINTER continues, and remains my top priority.   It is ridiculous to think otherwise.   If I wasn’t busy with WINDS, don’t you think I’d be scripting one or more of these pilots myself?  It’s not as if I’ve never written for TV… )

So cross your fingers and your toes, fantasy fans.   Some good stuff is coming.   And let’s have a round of applause for Jane Goldman.

[Transcript ends]

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I wonder which prequel idea got shelved, out of the five?

We have a name:  "The Long Night".  

So sayeth the shepherd, so sayeth the flock.

….For wiki purposes, I'm going to functionally call this "Game of Thrones: The Long Night" - it was either that or "The Long Night - A Game of Thrones Story".  

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One of the five pitches was rejected?  I wonder whose? (Carly Wray, Brian Helgeland, Max Borenstein, Bryan Cogman).

GRRM has ruled out:

  • Robert's Rebellion (never)
  • Dunk & Egg (until the print series finishes) - I think this would include 1st Blackfyre Rebellion
  • Aegon IV (confirmed it isn't one of the 5 pitch ideas)

Also notice that he refers to them as "prequels", for anyone who still insists "why not a sequel"? (ugh)

My functional guesses at other prequel ideas largely matched with Elio & Linda's old video, simply because it's what's logical based on prequel novellas he's actually written:

  • The Targaryen Conquest (probably combined with the Sons of the Dragon for later seasons)
  • The Dance of the Dragons (possibly combined with the Regency)
  • Young Tywin and the Reyne Rebellion
  • One "not in Westeros" - Nymeria and the Rhoynar?

Doubtful they'd jump in to Daeron the Young Dragon and the Conquest of Dorne era.

I...SUSPECTED that Cogman wanted to do Young Tywin.  But GRRM himself keeps saying "they don't involve any characters we know from the main series".  

I'm kind of hoping that instead of some of these ideas being ruled out, they're pitching them as six year long projects combining both:  "Conquest/Sons of the Dragon" and "Dance/Regency" as two projects.  I don't know.

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Westeros.org discusses...Jane Goldman's Game of Thrones: The Long Night successor project


31 minutes in:  "You've said things before in jest, Elio, that then end up on the show..."

Season 5 finale review, Elio:  "This makes no sense, why would Ellaria poison Myrcella right before sending her away on a ship?  What the hell is going to happen, they're going to have her kill Doran too and take over Dorne?!"

Damn it Elio, you've murdered us all!  
 

 

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This is... Interesting. Honestly, previously The Long Night sounded like generic High Fantasy backstory. Then again, we might be surprised by that what actually happen and just like in ASOIAF this might ultimately be the strong characters-based story.

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