After much negotiation, English actress Naomi Watts signed on to lead the ensemble cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel pilot, a series from writer Jane Goldman and author George R.R. Martin.
Created by Goldman and Martin, the prequel is set to take place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, and will tell the story of the world’s decline from the golden Age of Heroes. The untitled series will also shed light on a handful of horrifying Westeros secrets, including the true origin of the infamous White Walkers.
While the project’s creative team has kept quiet about Watts’ character, we do know that she will play a charming socialite with a deep, dark secret. The casting seemed to reaffirm rumors that the prequel would opt for a female lead, but HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys stated that that’s not necessarily the case.
“There are very strong female characters but it’s an ensemble, there are men and women,” he said. “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).”
Unfortunately, none of the actors from the current show will show face in the prequel, as it’s set a good 8,000 years before GOT. “It’s a very different setting, a very different time in Westeros, It will feel different but still Game of Thrones,” Bloys said in August.
For Watts, this could be another high-profile gig. She recently signed on to play Gretchen Carlson in the Roger Ailes limited series for Showtime. She also appeared in Showtime’s revival of Twin Peaks, and is known for her work in films such as Mulholland Drive, I Heart Huckabees, Birdman, St. Vincent, The Ring, King Kong, and J. Edgar.