George R.R. Martin has some answers for the lingering questions facing viewers about what to expect from the upcoming “Game of Thrones” prequel series.
In the original series, seven kingdoms vie for the Iron Throne, but the show’s successor will see a kingdom count that runs many orders higher. Martin said, “If you go back further, then there are nine kingdoms, and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms — petty kingdoms — and that’s the era we’re talking about here.”
The show is set roughly 5,000 years before the events of “Game of Thrones” in an era known as “The Golden Age of Heroes.”
Martin revealed which of the beloved family lines will be around millennia ago and which are left out.
“The Starks will definitely be there,” he said. “The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there.”
The author also confirmed the presence of non-human denizens of Westeros including mammoths, direwolves and White Walkers — no dragons, however.
Martin said the show would have a similar ensemble format to that of its predecessor.
“For ‘Game of Thrones,’ we never even nominated anybody for lead actress or lead actor until recently. It was always for supporting [categories] because the show is such an ensemble.” He continued, “I think that will be true for this show too. We don’t have leads so much as a large ensemble cast.” Naomi Watts, Miranda Richardson, Naromi Ackie and Denise Gough are among the ensemble cast announced by HBO.
The show’s title is still under wraps, but Martin has some ideas, like “The Long Night.” He remains open to other names, however: “I heard a suggestion that it could be called ‘The Longest Night,’ which is a variant I wouldn’t mind,” he said. “That would be pretty good.”
In an interview with with Leonard and Jessie Maltin on the podcast “Maltin on Movies,” Martin said he doesn’t expect the success of “Game of Thrones” to be replicated. “The scale of ‘Game of Thrones’s’ success has — reaching all over the world and invading the culture to [such an extent] — it’s not something anyone could ever anticipate, not something I expect to ever experience again.”