The 'Game of Thrones' prequel sets full cast, which gives fans some clues
SJ Clarkson will direct the pilot of the first 'Game of Thrones' prequel series.
SJ Clarkson will direct the pilot of the first 'Game of Thrones' prequel series.
Image: WireImage

HBO's still-unnamed Game of Thrones prequel finally announced its cast and pilot director, and things are already looking way more diverse on both sides of the camera compared to the long-running hit. 

The cast, as announced by EW includes Denise Gough, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp, Reign's Toby Regbo, Harlots' Shella Atim Naomi Ackie, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts actor Jamie Campbell Bower, Black Mirror's Ivanno Jeremiah, and Naomi Ackie, whose Star Wars Episode IX role is still undisclosed. 

These actors will join Naomi Watts, whose leading role as a "socialite" was announced months ago.

Including three Black British actors (Atim, Ackie, and Jeremiah) in the prequel's main cast is already more than Game of Thrones managed to do in several seasons. Diverse casting is important on its own, and their inclusion could also hint at how and why Westeros was markedly different, and definitely less white, during its Age of Heroes than it was in the periods leading up to the War of the Five Kings and White Walkers' invasion. 

Maybe the storied land bridge connecting Essos (where all of Thrones' characters characters of color hail from) to Westeros is still intact in the events of the prequel — the only canon information about the bridge notes that the Children of the Forest destroyed it with magic ten thousand years ago, leaving behind a series of islands called The Stepstones...but even Maesters of the Citadel have been known to fudge numbers when it comes to the history of Westeros.  

In addition to the casting, director SJ Clarkson will be directing the pilot episode of the show. Clarkson, a British director who has worked on Orange is the New Black, Bates Motel, Jessica Jones, and more popular shows, will join showrunner Jane Goldman as a two-woman team bringing the new tales of ice and fire to the small screen. 

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