New ‘Game Of Thrones’ Prequel Details From George R.R. Martin Tease The Return Of The Starks

Macall B. Polay/HBO

Our days of watching Jon Snow brood and seeing Daenerys take flight on the back of a dragon may be over, but there's still plenty for us to learn about Westeros, long before the Targaryens, Lannisters, and Baratheons ever laid claim to the Iron Throne. That's why you'll be pleased to learn that a few tantalizing details about the Game of Thrones prequel have now come out of the woodwork, thanks to author George R.R. Martin, who recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly and spilled some intriguing secrets about the pilot, which is currently filming in Northern Ireland.

In true Game of Thrones fashion, the new series has been mostly shrouded in mystery with a few casting announcements and plot points being divulged every so often. But for the most part, fans are unclear what exactly to expect from the highly anticipated prequel. However, thanks to Martin's latest revelations, interested parties can now have a better idea about the premise of the story and — perhaps more importantly — what prominent, well-known families you can look forward to seeing return to the small screen.

Naturally, none of the same characters will appear in the prequel, considering that it's supposed to take place roughly 5,000 years before the events in Game of Thrones occurred. But as many of you know, some of these Westeros families have been around since the very beginning, which means you'll be able to see the ancestors of characters you've come to know and love.

Which families will this include, you may wonder? Here's what Martin had to say about the upcoming series...

Starks & Direwolves Will Return

Giphy

“The Starks will definitely be there,” Martin told EW. “Obviously the White Walkers are here — or as they’re called in my books, The Others — and that will be an aspect of it ... There are things like direwolves and mammoths.” Considering that Starks are descended from the First Men, this isn't exactly shocking to hear, but it's comforting to get some sort of confirmation that such a prominent family will be back in our lives. Perhaps we'll even get to hear the iconic Stark mantra "Winter is coming," said for the first time!

The Lannisters Will Be MIA, At Least At First

Giphy

“The Lannisters aren’t there yet, but Casterly Rock is certainly there," Martin explained, which served as the ancestral home of the Lannisters during the original HBO series. “It’s actually occupied by the Casterlys — for whom it’s still named after in the time of Game of Thrones.” That means, if the show does well, there's a decent chance viewers will eventually be able to see how the Lannisters took over the land and made it their own.

Westeros Will Be Made Up Of 100 Kingdoms

Giphy

“We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon’s Conquest,” Martin revealed. “But 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.” Let's hope the prequel will include some sort of map-based intro song to help us learn all of these new areas and locations.

The Prequel May Get A New Title

Giphy

Martin has stated that he would prefer for the prequel to be called The Long Night, but given that this was the name of Season 8's third episode, it may end up undergoing a slight alteration. “I heard a suggestion that it could be called The Longest Night, which is a variant I wouldn’t mind,” Martin admitted. “That would be pretty good.”

Suffice it to say, this prequel already sounds pretty great and has all the makings to be able to quench your Game of Thrones thirst.