George R.R. Martin gives a Game of Thrones prequel update
While Game of Thrones’ final season is still quite a ways off, author George R.R. Martin has been working on a prequel series, which will be set roughly 1,000 years before the events in his unfinished book series A Song of Ice and Fire, which were the template for HBO’s sword and sorcery epic. Now, in an interview with The New York Times, Martin reveals some details about the new prequel series, including where the story was pulled from.
“That’s the show I’m calling ‘The Long Night.’ HBO said, ‘Don’t call it ‘The Long Night,” so that’s not the official title. But I still think of it as ‘The Long Night.’ That’s the one Jane Goldman wrote, and they’re gearing up for preproduction. Naomi Watts has been cast, so that’s very exciting,” Martin explained.
Despite the massive amount of pages Martin has written about the world of Westeros, there’s very little of his text that covers this particular point in history for Goldman, the prequel series screenwriter, to draw from. “If you look at the published books so far, there’s really very little material about that — a sentence here, a sentence there. Old Nan tells a tale that takes up a paragraph. So Jane had to create the characters, the settings and some of the events, and we had to look at everything that was said and say, ‘O.K., here’s what was said at this point, we need to make it consistent to that.’ We kicked around some ideas and I made some suggestions. But mostly it’s been Jane running with it. It’s set thousands of years before ‘Game of Thrones.’ King’s Landing does not exist. The Iron Throne does not exist. There are no dragons there.”
Another idea that Martin has been kicking around is a riff on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which focuses on two disposable characters while Hamlet carries on in the background of their story.
“I wanted to do a show called ‘Spear Carriers,’ which would actually be set during the events of ‘Game of Thrones,’ but it wouldn’t be following Dany, Tyrion and Jaime. They would all be there in the background like Hamlet, and it would be more like, ‘Here’s a story about a guy in the City Watch; here’s a story about a prostitute at one of Littlefinger’s brothels; here’s a story about a mummer who’s in town to do juggling and tricks.’ And they all get caught up in the events. I think that kind of show would be a lot of fun to do. Maybe I’ll be able to convince them to do it!”
While that does sound like a fun idea, it’s probably best HBO passed on it. After all, The Winds of Winter isn’t gonna finish writing itself.