'Game of Thrones' Prequel Series Casts Naomi Watts as Lead

Game Thrones Prequel Series Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts is about to go from Game of Thrones fan to one of its major players, as it's being reported that the Oscar-nominated actress has now been cast in HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series.

According to Deadline, Watts will be playing a "charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret," though further details are being strictly kept under wraps along with many of the finer details about the series and it's connections to the current Game of Thrones show.

Kingsman and X-Men screenwriter Jane Goldman has been tapped to write the series, which will reportedly be set, "thousands of years before the events of Game Of Thrones. It 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…"

HBO and producers have steadily teased that the series will reveal that the chronicled history of Westeros is "not the story we think we know," hinting that it could open up new doors for the franchise to expand, while also reframing the events of the main Game of Thrones series.

Some fans are already speculating that this prequel will make Watts' character the female protagonist, but according to HBO's president of programming Casey Bloys, it's still going to be very much an ensemble-style show:

“There are very strong female characters but it’s an ensembles, there is men and women. Jane is a very good writer, we don’t want to limit her to writing female leads. There are a lot of very complicated leads in (the pilot).”

This isn't the only recent piece of intriguing casting surrounding the Game of Thrones prequel series: a growing fan theory about some recent (and very diverse) casting calls for a high-profile TV series has many hardcore fans theorizing that the continent of Essos will be a major focus at the start of the series.

Essos is a much larger continent than Westeros in the books, with a much more diverse collection of both peoples and climates. Game of Thrones fans will be familiar with relevant parts of the continent like the Free Cities (Braavos, Pentos, Volantis, etc.), the Dothraki Sea, the Valyrian Peninsula, Slaver's Bay, and Qarth, but perhaps not as familiar with the extensive history of the region, which creator George R.R. Martin's Appendixes connect to the histories of The First Men, the Valyrians and their steel, and of course the rise of the Andals and their eventual migration to become the ruling force of Westeros under the new order of the Seven Kingdoms and the religion of The Seven.

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In short, this prequel now seems like it will be more socio-political intrigue than wild medieval fantasy adventure like a lot of fans initially thought. We can't wait to know more about how Naomi Watts fits into that mix.

Are you getting excited for this Game of Thrones prequel series? The series is expected to being production in early 2019.