Don’t panic, the Game of Thrones prequel will have Starks and direwolves

When the Game of Thrones finale aired in May, it left fans unsure how we were going to fill the Westeros-sized hole in our hearts. But fortunately, it might not be long before we can return to George R.R. Martin’s fantastical realm because a Game of Thrones prequel is in the works. And today, July 9th, Martin shared some new details about what we can expect from the next adventure in Westeros—including which of the great houses are still involved.

We already know that the new series is set 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones and involves a battle between humans and White Walkers (aka “The Others” for fans of the book series). Sadly, this epoch is an age before dragons and the rise of House Targaryen, so the prequel won’t involve any epic battles for the Iron Throne. But in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Martin shared that there will be some familiar faces—or at least, their ancestors.

“The Starks will definitely be there,” Martin told EW.

He added that although there will be no dragons, we can expect plenty of wild beasts. That includes direwolves, although, sadly, we won’t get to revisit the bond between Ghost and Jon Snow.

"Obviously the White Walkers are here—or as they’re called in my books, The Others—and that will be an aspect of it," Martin said. "There are things like direwolves and mammoths."

So will we see any other great houses in the Game of Thrones prequel? It’s not yet clear, but we do know who won’t be there. Martin told EW that House Lannister doesn’t yet exist at the time of the prequel, although their ancestral home, Casterly Rock, does. Martin said that the Casterlys will be occupying their namesake fortress during the new show.

Martin also shared that the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros will look way more chaotic in the prequel, with roughly 100 petty kingdoms instead of the system that fans remember from Game of Thrones. And he stressed that the upcoming show will feature a large ensemble cast rather than highlighting a few lead characters.

EW previously reported that the showrunner for the Game of Thrones prequel is Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class) and the director is S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones). No premiere date has been announced, but the show has already started filming in Northern Ireland. So far, the cast includes Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, and Denise Gough, among others.

At this point, we’d pay a greenseer to tell us what happens in the Game of Thrones prequel. For now, though, it looks like we’ll just have to wait.

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