The First Game of Thrones Spinoff Is a ‘Golden Age of Heroes’ Prequel

The birth of the first White Walker, as seen in Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
The birth of the first White Walker, as seen in Game of Thrones’ sixth season.
Image: HBO

HBO has just given a pilot order to Jane Goldman’s Game of Thrones spinoff, one of five potential follow up shows to the acclaimed series currently in the works—and with it, we have the first story details, revealing a show set well before the Westeros we’re familiar with.


HBO officially revealed today that Goldman’s series will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, in a period where Westeros transitions from an era of fantastical prosperity known as the “Age of Heroes” into something more akin to the world we know of in the show—heralded by the arrival of the horrifying White Walkers, and the Long Night they cast over the land. Here’s the brief plot description, courtesy of Variety:

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.

The story we think we know has already been told by Martin in the pages of his fascinating lore book, The World of Ice and Fire, which chronicled how Westeros used to be a land where Men cohabited with mystical creatures, like giants and the magical children of the forest, before the arrival of the White Walkers nearly drove the inhabitants of Westeros to extinction. But now that we’re going to actually see that lore on screen, it’ll be interesting to see what gets changed in Goldman’s adaptation.

We’ll bring you more on HBO’s Game of Thrones spinoff plans as we learn them.

James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!



My theory is that the further east you go in Martin’s world, the further back in time you go in the history of modern fantasy literature. Westeros is basically post-Tolkien/D&D epic fantasy, all castles and knights. But Essos is more like Fritz Leiber or Robert Howard-type sword and sorcery, and by the time you get to the Shadow, you’re basically in CthulhuLand.

And as a number of people have pointed out, the Targaryens are pretty much the Melniboneans from Moorcock’s Elric series.