Game of Thrones

Great news for Northern Ireland….

With the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones set to premiere in April, HBO is already looking towards the future with The Long Night, a spinoff set in the world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire which takes place thousands of years before the epic fantasy series, and now we have details of the pilot’s cast and director.

The Long Night, which is a prequel is set 1,000 years and stars Naomi Watts. (Twin PeaksKing Kong) and Josh Whitehouse(Poldark)

The cast will also include Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Denise Gough (Colette), Jamie Campbell Bower (Camelot), Shella Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Black Mirror), Georgie Henley (The Spanish Princess), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), and Toby Regbo (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald).

The Long Night is a White Walker origin story set thousands of years before Game of Thrones during the Age of Heroes, when a great shadow was cast across the world and winter reigned supreme.

Meanwhile, it has also been announced that S.J. Clarkson while take on directing duties on the series, which has been created by Martin and Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class). Clarkson’s directing credits include Jessica JonesOrange Is the New BlackDexter and Bates Motel, and she is also attached to direct the next instalment in theStar Trek movie franchise.

While specific details on the prequel are being kept under wraps, we do have an official synopsis for the possible series:

“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. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s 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.”

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones has been great for the economy and tourism of Northern Ireland with many international visitors. Since 2010, it has been one of the largest tourist attractions next to the Titanic. Based in the The Paint Hall in Belfast, the series has filmed on location at the Dark Hedges close to Ballycastle, Shillanavogy Valley near Slemish in County Antrim and Ballintoy Harbour on the north Antrim coast. Fans of the show have visited these destinations in records numbers.

Game of Thrones - Ballintoy~Lordsport Harbour

The final series of Game of Thrones is due to air later this year.

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