Naomi Watts is officially heading back to the early days of Westeros, when White Walkers still crawled and the Starks were but direwolf pups. Deadline reports that the two-time Oscar nominee will lead the Game of Thrones prequel pilot written by Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service), from a story by Goldman and A Song of Ice and Fire creator George RR Martin.
Watts’ character-description offers the slightest possible hints as to who she will be playing, with the role described as “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.” This could be…anyone. Literally anyone. But we do know that the pilot is set thousands of years before Game of Thrones and chronicles Westeros’ transition from the Golden Age of heroes into that world’s darkest time period, which saw the rise of the icy-eyed Night’s King and his great clash with the Stark family and Joramun, the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Here’s the official logline, courtesy of HBO:
“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.”
“It’s a very different setting, a very different time in Westeros,” HBO’s President of Programming Casey Bloys said in July. “It will feel different but still Game of Thrones.”
The still-untitled prequel will be the second recent big-name TV project for Watts, who turned in a brilliant performance in Showtime’s criminally un-watched Twin Peaks: The Return. The actress, no stranger to working with David Lynch, played Janey-E Jones opposite Kyle MacLachlan‘s mute Dale Cooper doppelganger, Dougie Jones.
No official word on when the Game of Thrones prequel might debut on HBO, but sometime in 2020 seems the surest bet. Meanwhile, Thrones‘ six-episode final season is set to premiere in April 2019.