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the night king

Now that the biggest and most streamed television show of ALL TIME is finally over, whatever will we do with our sad lives?

We've got no more character deaths to mourn, no more badass dragon 'Dracarys' moments, and no more twists and fan theories to obsess over. All seems lost.

Never fear, Game of Thrones fanatics, for a prequel series has already begun filming in Belfast. That's right: Bloodmoon is coming. Here's everything you need to know…

While George RR Martin still hasn't written the last two books (for the love of God, hurry up), he's been working on the much-anticipated prequel which was tentatively called, The Long Night but later became Bloodmoon.

HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys told the Hollywood Reporter last year, “We’re shooting the pilot in June.”

“This is a pilot, so we’re doing it the old-fashioned way, which is shooting a pilot. My expectation is it will be great."

Fans have spotted parts of the set popping up around Belfast at The Paint Hall in the Titanic Quart, and it looks absolutely amazing.

The Paint Hall was once where the component parts of ships were painted in climate controlled conditions, according to inews.co.uk, and the same studio was used to shoot many of GOT's renowned interior shots.

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin claims the premise is set some 10,000 years before the events of current GOT times, and "really puts the 'pre' in prequel."

"Since it is set not 90 years before Game of Thrones, or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years.” The show will begin during the Age of Heroes, and chronicles how the world descended into darkness.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Bloodmoon follow's the continent's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. The period is named for the men and women who lives in the years of peace after the First Man and Children of the Forest signed a pact.

From the horrifying history of Westeros to the origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries and secret legends are set to be spine-chilling. The Children of the Men created the White Walkers, so both groups will presumably play a strong role in the show.

Among the heroes of the time are Bran the Builder, who built the famous Wall and Winterfell, and founded House Stark. Lann the Clever, who started the Lannister bloodline, will also be involved.

Around 8,000 years before Aegon I Targaryen conquered Westeros, the Long Night took place. During the Age of Heroes, this brutal winter lasted a generation and the White Walkers came into existence.

Fan faves may be making an appearance in younger form, but Martin dispelled this myth in his blog posts;

"Nnone of the characters or actors from Game of Thrones will appear in the new show." It's all new characters for us to enjoy, and Casey Bloys also confirmed that this world will be entirely different.

“I want the original Game of Thrones to be its own thing. I don’t want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it."

“George has a massive, massive world; there are so many ways in. That’s why we’re trying to do things that feel distinct — and to not try and redo the same show.”

The actors who have already been cast in the show are definitely ones to watch, we're so excited to see what their characters will bring:

Naomi Watts is heading the new cast, and the English actress is set to play “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret”.

Naomi Ackie has also been cast, who is most known for her role in 2016's Lady Macbeth and will feature in the next instalment of the Star Wars saga: Episode IX

Irish actress Denise Gough will also be included, and Jamie Campbell Bower of Fantastic Beasts fame.

He is known for roles in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Caius in The Twilight Saga, and the young Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter's spin-off franchise.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans, Black Mirror), George Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Toby Regbo (Mr. Nobody, The Last Kingdom) and Sheila Atim (Twelfth Night) have also been confirmed for the prequel.

Many of the actors are relatively new on the scene, so these roles could be the making of their careers. George RR Martin is creating the series in collaboration with Jane Goldman.

Goldman is familiar with most people for her writing work on films such as X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass and the Kingsman franchise. They wrote the tale together and will executive-produce, with Goldman writing the teleplay.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Vince Gerardis, who executive-produced Game of Thrones, is also signed on to help with Bloodmoon, which isn't the only GOT spin-off in the pipeline.

It's rumoured that three more are reportedly in pre-production, but Brian Cogman's prequel is not going ahead. George R.R. Martin also shared his massive workload with fans;

“I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel,” he said. “I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others."

white walker prepare for winter GIF by Game of Thrones

“There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced.”

In terms of when it might air, HBO's Casey Bloys told the Hollywood Reporter, “You can do the math and figure out when it would be on the air.” Translation: Not for a while.

“What I’m not doing is working backwards by saying, ‘This has to be on the air by this date,'” he said. “We want to do the best show possible. I don’t want to speculate any dates.”

Sad Season 8 GIF by Game of Thrones

This will be a vision of us awaiting Bloodmoon, settled into dust while our watch continues. Set your calendar for about five years' time, we suspect.

Feature image: Twitter/@WightsKing

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Let's get real for a second; Arya Stark is the Game of Thrones GOAT. No doubt about it. So why shouldn't we expect to be given more badass ninja assassin content from HBO, considering she's a fan fave?

In the series finale, which divided critics and fans alike, Arya told her family that she wouldn't be returning to Winterfell. Instead, she decides to go off the maps, to discover what's "west of Westeros". 

"Nobody knows," she ponders. "That's where all the maps stop. That's where I'm going." Maisie Williams has played the role for a decade, but HBO bosses have since shut down our hopes for a spin-off.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The final shots of the baby Stark sis shows Arya boarding a ship, looking very much in charge. HBO programming president Casey Bloys dashed everyone's hopes in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, and we may cry.

When asked about everyone's favourite ninja getting her very own show, Bloys said;

"Nope, nope, nope. No. Part of it is, I do want this show- this Game of Thrones, Dan and David's show- to be its own thing. I don't want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it.

"I want to let it be the artistic piece they've got."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Arya Stark (@aryastark80) on

With three Game of Thrones prequel projects in the works at HBO, this isn't the last we'll be seeing of author George RR Martin's humongous literary world.

"That's one of reasons why I'm not trying to do the same show over," Bloys added.

"George has massive, massive world; there are so many ways in. That's why we're trying to do things that feel distinct- and to not try and re-do the same show. That's probably one of the reasons why, right now, a sequel or picking up any of the other characters doesn't make sense for us."

We see his point, but can't forgive him for depriving us of more iconic scenes surrounding the assassin.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Arya Stark (@aryastark80) on

From her butchering of Walder Frey, stabbing the Night King and banter with the Hound to her Many Faced God training and ruthless attitude; her character has become a cultural icon.

Maise Williams spoke to ET ahead of season eight, and opened up about saying goodbye to the show, where she began working at age 12.

"It was just really emotional. You can start to get yourself so down on everything, being like, 'This is the last time I'm gonna read scripts. This is the last time I'm going to be in this location.' I got to a point where I had to stop doing that, because then I was just going to have a nervous breakdown."

The 22-year-old actress explained that she found herself "putting off" her last scene, where she sails into a new world.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"I watched so many people wrap and cry. I had to like, stay out of that emotion because there was so much to do- like, some really difficult scenes to do. And then I wrapped and I was emotional," she recalled. "I really did feel numb."

"That's when my numbness came, and then it wasn't until like a week later that I was like- you know when you’re just doing something and then you drop a spoon? I was like , 'Ahhhhhhh!' like, overreacting entirely and I just felt like an insane person a little bit," she added. 

Understandable, seeing as her entire adolescence was spent on a huge set playing a teenaged murderer seeking vengeance for her father's death and family's demise. SOB.

Let's watch some of Arya's most badass moments below to reminisce on her legendary nature, while trying not to cry:

Feature image: Instagram/@aryastark80

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The countdown is officially on for the final season of HBO's hit show Game of Thrones. 

The fantasy franchise, which is based on the George R. R. Martin book series, has fans in a FRENZY awaiting the return of their favourite (and most likely doomed) characters.

The season eight cast list how now been leaked by HBO and there's a very noticeable key player missing from episode one, according to metro.co.uk.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The broadcaster unveiled which of our token loved ones wil be popping up on April 14, as Westeros comes together (let us pray) to fight The Night King.

They may have to sit tight, as Vladimir Furdik, AKA The Night King and leader of the white walkers, is ABSENT from the season eight premiere, but don't relax yet.

It's been almost two long years since the season seven finale, and there are just six episodes left to go until we see who sits on the Iron Throne. There will be plenty of action, with the Night King or not.

Season seven saw the army of the dead blasting the wall down with their new phantom ice dragon (RIP), so we're surprised that the Night King seemingly has no feature at all in episode one.

Furdik mentioned in an interview that the biggest battle television has ever seen will begin two episodes later, so his screen time is more than secure.

He spoke to Hungarian website Sorozat Wiki and let the GOT cat out of the bag:

"In the third part of the last season, there is a battle that the creators intend to be the biggest in television history. Almost the full episode will be about the battle, it will take about an hour."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Vladimír Furdík (@vladimir_furdik_) on

The GOT cast list has since been deleted, but two surprising faces are returning to bring joy to many fans; Tobias Menzies and Lino Facioli, as Edmure Tully and Robin Arryn. Menzies is about to star as Prince Philip in The Crown.

Entertainment Weekly somehow managed to watch filming one of the key scenes, and confirmed that some very unexpected old names are in the mix;

There are characters in the finale that I did not expect, I gradually begin to piece together what has happened in Westeros over the previous five episodes and try not to look like I’m freaking out."

Game of Thrones returns to HBO and Sky Atlantic on April 14, get ready for the most drama you'll see in our lifetime.

Feature image: Polygon

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