Game of Thrones has ended, with much fanfare and moaning, but it won't be long until we're back in Westeros by the sound of things. HBO boss Casey Bloys confirmed that the pilot for the prequel series is being filmed this summer. Written by Jane Goldman, the Game Of Thrones prequel might be called 'The Long Night' but that hasn't been confirmed. Let's get down into some Westeros history and find out what the Long Night was.
The Long Night occurred around eight thousand years before the events of Game of Thrones. It began when the White Walkers arrived down from the Lands of Always Winter (very very north of the Wall). This darkness lasted a generation, and occurred during one of the worst winters in history. The Others (as they are known in the books) drove the Children Of The Forest south, along with their allies the First Men. Old Nan gave a chilling description of it to Bran early in season one.
"The Others … Thousands and thousands of years ago, a winter fell that was cold and hard and endless beyond all memory of man. There came a night that lasted a generation, and kings shivered and died in their castles even as the swineherds in their hovels. Women smothered their children rather than see them starve, and cried, and felt their tears freeze on their cheeks.
In that darkness, the Others came for the first time … They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood in its veins. They swept over holdfasts and cities and kingdoms, felled heroes and armies by the score, riding pale dead horses, and leading hosts of the slain. All the swords of men could not stay their advance, and even maidens and suckling babes, found no pity in them. They hunted the maids through the frozen forests, and fed their dead servants on the flesh of human children. "
One of the wilder details of that story is this: "...stalking him with packs of pale white spiders big as hounds". Imagine. As if the White Walkers weren't scary enough, think about them rocking up on the backs of giant spiders.
The Long Night ended when the last hero went north with weapons of dragonglass, and formed the Night's Watch. The newly formed Watch took on the undead army and defeated them in the 'Battle for the Dawn'. The last hero, also known as Azor Ahai was a legendary hero who wielded a burning sword called Lightbringer. When the world was in darkness, Azor Ahai decided to forge a hero's sword. He laboured for thirty days and thirty nights until it was done. However, when he went to temper it in water, the sword broke. He started again.
The second time he took fifty days and fifty nights to make the sword, even better than the first. To temper it this time, he captured a lion and drove the sword into its heart, but once more the steel shattered.
The third time he knew what must be done. He worked for a hundred days and nights until it was finished. This time, he called for his wife, Nissa Nissa, and asked her to bare her breast. He drove his sword into her living heart, her soul combining with the steel of the sword, creating Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes.
Also involved should be the founder of House Stark, Brandon, otherwise known as Bran the Builder. This was the guy who took on building the Wall, and Winterfell. Not a small task I think we can agree.
So between the White Walkers, Azor Ahai, and ice spiders, we should have a lot to look forward to. The prequel is expected in April of next year.