Game of Thrones Prequel Pilot Greenlit at HBO, Promises to Show Westeros' 'Darkest Hour'

Game of Thrones Prequel Series Order HBO

History is long and full of terrors, and the next series in the Game of Thrones universe is going to show us all of ’em.

HBO on Friday officially ordered a prequel pilot set in the same world as its massively successful, award-winning fantasy drama — except the action will take place thousands of years before the Cersei’s/Daenerys’/Stannis’/etc. fight for the Iron Throne, TVLine has learned.

Per the official logline, “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.”

Last May, HBO announced that it had deals with four writers — Carly Wray (Mad Men), Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class), Brian Helgeland (Mystic River) and Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island) — to “explore different time periods of [George R.R. Martin]’s vast and rich universe. There is no set timetable for these projects. We’ll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scripts are in.” (It was later confirmed that Thrones co-executive producer Bryan Cogman was working on a fifth idea.)

In the end, Goldman’s concept was chosen for production. She and Thrones author George R.R. Martin will executive-produce, along with Vince Gerardis (Game of Thrones) and Daniel Zelman (Bloodline). Goldman also will serve as showrunner.

In January, HBO president Casey Bloys told TVLine that the earliest the prequel would air would be one year after Game of Thrones‘ series finale (which will bow in 2019).“We want the final season of Game of Thrones, being the special event that it is [to stand on its own],” he said. “We don’t want to use it to launch [a new series]. We want some separation there.”

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the prequel had received a series, not a pilot, order.)