George R.R. Martin is still in the process of finishing The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, however, that isn't preventing the author from sharing a few details about the highly anticipated HBO prequel, possibly titled The Long Night, of which Martin serves as an executive producer and co-creator. During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin revealed that the Game of Thrones prequel won't include Targaryens or dragons (at least to start), which may come as a huge disappointment to avid viewers who don't wish to see such a prominent house be completely MIA. (Not to mention the collective outcry of a dragon-less Westeros: "WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!?!")
But before you start writing off the prequel entirely, it's important to take Martin's reasoning for the omission into account, given that this is his world he's been so kind to share with us, both on the page and on-screen, for all of these years. Originally, the prequel was thought to be set 10,000 years before the events in Game of Thrones., but according to Martin, the new HBO series will take place closer to 5,000 years before the events of its predecessor. Even with the shift in this timeline, that's still before the existence of the city of Valyria, a place in Essos that eventually brought about the rise of dragons and introduced House Targaryen in the first place, according to Westeros.org. Long story short: dragons came into the picture after The Long Night — not before it.
"Westeros is a very different place," Martin explained to EW, regarding the prequel, which will star Naomi Watts. "There's no King’s Landing. There's no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built. We're dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.”
The HBO description of the series reads as follows:
"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. 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, only one thing is for sure: it's not the story we think we know."
As exciting as that all sounds, though, it comes as a definite blow to know that the plot won't include anything of a fire-breathing variety. Sure, there's a possibility that dragons could be Incorporated into the story at some point down the line, depending upon how successful the prequel becomes and how fast the timeline ends up moving, but when the series debuts you can expect there to be a major dragon-sized hole in your heart.
Then again, we should probably just be grateful to be getting any kind of Game of Thrones off-shoot at all — even if it involves less fire and more ice.