The Game of Thrones Prequel Has 100 Kingdoms, Some Starks, But No Lannisters

Casterly Rock is under new management. Well, old, given it’s a prequel.
Image: HBO

Understandably, given that it is set millennia before the events of Game of Thrones, the upcoming HBO prequel series will introduce viewers to a familiar, yet very different version of Westeros. Now, George R.R. Martin has lifted the lid on just a few of those differences.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the A Song of Ice and Fire author had a few interesting tidbits to reveal about the still-untitled prequel series—although Martin himself has taken to calling it The Long Night, a title that may be changed thanks to the season eight Thrones episode of the same namecoming from Jane Goldman.

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Set during what is known as the “Golden Age of Heroes” in Westerosi history, the show will present a Westeros far more fantastical than the one seen during the events of Game of Thrones, even with all the dragons and ice zombies shuffling around by the time it ended. You’ll be getting a slightly different flavor of fantastic beasts when you’ve found them: Dragons? No! Direwolves? Yes! White Walkers? But of course! Mammoths? Sure, why not!

Meanwhile, in things that are familiar but different, remember the seven kingdoms people fought over in Game of Thrones? Well, in the time of the prequel, Westeros is divided into 100 kingdoms, as the great houses we know from the show have yet to truly form in most cases, leading to the men of this time vying for control of different territories across the continent.

Despite all those kingdoms, however, there will be some familiar names among them. Up north, as direct descendants of the First Men who inhabited Westeros alongside the Children of the Forest, there’ll still be Starks, according to Martin. But down on Casterly Rock, there won’t be any Lannisters—it’ll still be the Casterlys, the family the rock was named after, and that Lann the Clever infamously bamboozled to swipe the region from under them for his own House.

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All this is pretty minor information in the grand scheme of things. After all, the series is still a ways off, so these little morsels of worldbuilding are likely all we’re going to hear about for a while. But they’re already painting a picture for an HBO that doesn’t want you to cancel that subscription just yet; just like winter, more Game of Thrones is coming. It’ll still look mostly Game of Thrones-y...just a little different. Please be excited and forget that foofaraw about the ending! Please.

We’ll bring you more on the untitled Game of Thrones prequel as and when we learn it.

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!