HBO isn't planning on letting its Game of Thrones empire die anytime soon; as the series returns for its final season in early 2019, there will already be a Game of Thrones spinoff series in the works. The spinoff is a prequel to the current saga, and it was reported earlier this month that the pilot could start filming this fall; however, during the TCA's HBO confirmed that production isn't slated to start until 2019:
#GameofThrones spin off update: "We are doing a pilot that Jane Golden wrote," Bloys says, and they are starting the search for a director & casting director, with an eye to start shooting in early 2019. There are no current plans for any other GoT spin-offs. #TCA18— Meghan O’Keefe (@megsokay) July 25, 2018
The prequel series will look at a pivotal point in Westeros' history, when the world took a dark turn. As the first press releases for the show explain:
“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’ 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."
The Age of Heroes came about when the pact between the First Men and Children of the Forest was made. It lasted 4,000 years until the Andal Invasion that remade Westeros into what we know it to be in Game of Thrones - essentially serving as the "Bronze Age." It was a time when there were no "Knights" or "Kingdoms" or the religion of "The Seven " yet - no Lannister, Stark, or Targaryen rulers yet. The Heroes of legend from the era included Bran the Builder, who built The Wall and Winterfell; Garth Greenhand, the first farmer; and any number of other figures who would win or establish key locations like Casterly Rock, The Iron Islands, or Storm's End.
As Game of Thrones has already revealed, the legends of Westeros can be (and often are) grossly inaccurate in their telling of events. Seeing the reality behind the "heroes" of the ancient age, the influence of the Children of the Forest and their magic, and the invasion of the Andals, will truly be a one of the more novel and thrilling prequel story experiences.
We'll keep you updated about production on the Game of Thrones spinoff.