'Game of Thrones' Prequel Gets 'Jessica Jones' Director, Cast Announced

Now that production on Game of Thrones has come to an end, HBO is looking ahead to the franchise's first spinoff series. On Monday, the network named the director for the first episode of the Game of Thrones prequel, as well as the series regular cast.

According to Deadline, The Defenders and Jessica Jones director S.J. Clarkson has been hired to helm the project's first episode, and serve as an executive producer. The pilot script is being written by Jane Goldman and franchise creator George R.R. Martin. HBO reportedly recruited Clarkson after her schedule recently opened up.

Previously, the only two stars attached to the Game of Thrones prequel were Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse. That changed with this announcement on Tuesday as eight up-and-coming actors have signed on for roles.

Naomie Ackie (Yardie, Lady MacBeth), Denise Gough (People, Places and Things), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Twilight Saga), Shelia Atim (Girl From the North Country), Ivanno Jeremiah (Doctor Who, Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), and Tony Regbo (Reign, The Last Kingdom) have all been named as series regulars.

While many of these new actors aren't exactly household names, that's exactly what HBO wants in a Game of Thrones star. Barely anyone knew Kit Harington or Emilia Clarke before Game of Thrones aired, but now they are two of the most well-known TV stars on the planet. Game of Thrones will do that to a career.

It is worth noting that, before the first episode of this prequel series airs, fans around the globe will get a chance to see Ackie in the spotlight. The actress is set for a leading role in Star Wars: Episode IX, which will hit theaters in December.

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Goldman and Martin created the prequel series together, and it will take place thousands of years before the events of the current Game of Thrones. It will highlight the period of time in which the world descended into it's darkest age. In addition to writing the pilot, Goldman will serve as showrunner.

Are you looking forward to the Game of Thrones prequel series? What do you think of the cast? Let us know in the comments!