GAME Of THRONES, the hit fantasy series filmed in Northern Ireland, is to get a prequel, it has been announced.
Filming has almost finished on the final season of the original series, which turned the likes of the Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim into popular tourist spots.
It is set to air in 2019, however Thrones fans upset at its conclusion can now look forward to a spin-off.
HBO, the network behind the hit series, has ordered a pilot for a prequel, one of five possible spin-offs that will delve into the ‘horrifying secrets’ or Westeros.
In a statement, the network said: “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 statement indicates that what we learned in season six about the creation of the White Walkers may not be true, or at least not the whole story.
As well as that link to the ongoing saga, the mention of learning more about the ancestors of the House of Stark is sure to excite fans.
The new series is being created by George RR Martin and Jane Goldman.
American author Martin penned the books upon which Game of Thrones was based, while British screenwriter Goldman’s credits include Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and The Woman in Black.
With the new series again set in Westeros, albeit thousands of years in the past, Northern Ireland could again double for the mythical continent.
The original series brought a host of Irish actors to a global audience, including Liam Cunningham, Ciaran Hinds, Aidan Gillen and Jack Gleeson.