Since the first scene of the entire series, Game of Thrones has been building up to an epic showdown between the White Walkers and Westeros. Game of Thrones Season 8 is setting up the final battle. If Jon Snow and the Night King don't end up going head to head at some point in the final season, it would be shocking (and maybe even a bit of letdown). The White Walkers always have been a key part of the series, but after eight seasons, the full story of their origins and abilities still remain unknown. However, the final season of Game of Thrones and the prequel series could change all of that.
On Friday, June 8, HBO revealed that one of the five spin-off scripts had officially been ordered to pilot. The chosen script is from genre writer Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin himself. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, the premise for the potential new series will take viewers thousands of years into the past to the waning days of the Age of Heroes. The official synopsis reads:
"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."
There are lots of reasons to be excited over the possible Game of Thrones prequel, but the one that stands out the most is the potential to discover the "true origin of the white walkers."
While HBO is wisely not opting to spin off a character from the existing series, or to set the show during a time-frame that immediately precedes the events of Game of Thrones (like Robert's Rebellion). However, the two shows should share some connective tissue, and the White Walkers — and the myths that accompany them — are the perfect bridge between the two series. This is especially true in light of their impending invasion in Season 8.
Before they began encountering the White Walkers for themselves, the Long Night was just another one of Old Nan's stories as far as Bran, Jon, and the rest of the Starks knew. Now they know that the White Walkers are very real, as is their leader — the Night King, ostensibly one of the First Men who was engaged in a battle with the Children of the Forest over the rights to the land in the North.
Unless something goes terribly wrong, the Night King will be dispatched by the end of Season 8. That means fans will know how this character's long life ends. But who was he before the Children of the Forest shoved that blade into his chest?
As reported by EW, HBO wants the final season of Game of Thrones to stand on its own, and it's for this reason that the premium channel won't air any prequel series before 2020. Even with that distance, the odds of the human version of the Night King having his story told in the prequel feels good. As the only character that has lived long enough to appear in both series (aside from maybe the Three-Eyed Raven), he could serve as a gateway between the finale of Game of Thrones and the premiere of a series about the Age of Heroes. And he's the perfect choice.
Nothing is known about who this man was before he fell into the hands of the Children of the Forest, which means his story has the potential to be all kinds of tragic. Add in the part where fans will know the sheer amount of destruction he'll ultimately cause after his creation, and you have the makings of a riveting story.
Of course, the prequel will be bigger than any single person, just as the mothership is, but just knowing that there's an excellent chance of Season 8 connecting to the possible new series in a meaningful way should have fans even more excited to see how the first Long Night truly went down.