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The 'Game Of Thrones' prequel series now has a name & an Oscar-nominated star confirmed

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Harvey Day
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King Kong star Naomi Watts is the first big name attached to HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off series The Long Night - and she’ll be playing ‘a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret’

Exciting news everyone! We’ve got some of the biggest nuggets of info so far about the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series.

Set thousands of years before the intrigue and gory backstabbing of our beloved TV series, HBO bosses have now announced the very first cast member who’ll be joining the show – along with a tantalising character description.

And that cast member is none other than Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts.

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“Watts will play a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The character’s name is not being revealed, however.

Watts, 50, is a strong choice for the Jane Goldman-helmed project, after noted appearances in films like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001), The Ring (2002), 21 Grams (2003) and King Kong (2005).

WHAT THE WHAT??!! It’s Naomi Watts! 

The English actress, who spent her childhood in Australia, was rumoured to be attached to the project earlier this month by the site Recapped.

“The only thing we know is they want British actors for all of the roles or actors with a perfect British accent,” the site said. “The pilot is set to shoot early next year so we should be getting some cast announcements soon.”

We’re super curious to find out more about this ‘charismatic socialite with a dark secret’ and how she fits into the prequel’s storyline.

Game of Thrones supremo George RR Martin confirmed the casting on his blog – and also casually dropped the title of the new show.

“Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor series to ordered to film,” he wrote.

“HBO has just announced the first cast member: NAOMI WATTS is coming on board as one of our stars. I could not be more excited. Welcome to Westeros, Naomi.”

Martin added: “Jane Goldman scripted the LONG NIGHT pilot and will be running the show. She and her team are busy in London right now, neck deep in casting, and I expect some more names will be announced soon.”

According to fan site a Wiki of Ice and Fire, the Long Night is how the Westerosi refer to a period when a terrible darkness fell across the Known World.

“It occurred during the Age of Heroes approximately eight thousand years before Aegon’s Conquest, in the midst of a great winter that lasted for years. The Long Night lasted a generation and laid waste through famine and terror.”

And this seems to confirm the description of the show that HBO released earlier: 

“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.”

None of the actors from the current show will appear in the prequel, according to Deadline.

“It’s a very different setting, a very different time in Westeros, It will feel different but still Game of Thrones,” HBO President of programming Casey Bloys said in August.

So it looks like we’ll be getting the origin story of the creepy Others in the spin-off series

On his blog, Martin also discussed the other spin-off series that are coming down the pipeline. “Meanwhile, there are still a couple of other possible prequels in active development,” he said.

“I can’t tell you the subject matter of those projects, no, sorry, wish I could. The readers among you might want to grab a copy of FIRE & BLOOD when it is released on November 20, though.”

Fire & Blood is a complete history of House Targaryen that’ll be released on 20 November.

You’ve really gotta love ol’ Georgie Boy – he knows how to keep us hooked on all his GOT goodness! 

Most emails are rubbish. Ours isn't.

(Images: HBO / Getty)

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Harvey Day

Digital writer for Shortlist.com / @harveyday94 / harvey.day@shortlist.com

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