July 10 (UPI) -- The Game of Thrones prequel will feature the Starks and some familiar creatures.
Game of Thrones is the first novel in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, which HBO previously adapted as the TV series Game of Thrones. Martin will serve as an executive producer on the new pilot.
The Long Night will take place about 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Martin said the pilot may be renamed, possibly to The Longest Night, to avoid confusion with the Game of Thrones Season 8 episode "The Long Night."
In addition, Westeros, the fictional continent where Game of Thrones takes place, is divided into 100 kingdoms in the prequel.
"We talk about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros; there were Seven Kingdoms at the time of Aegon's Conquest," Martin said. "But if you go back further then there are nine kingdoms, and 12 kingdoms, and eventually you get back to where there are a hundred kingdoms -- petty kingdoms -- and that's the era we're talking about here."
One of these kingdoms will be ruled by the Starks, a prominent family in Game of Thrones. The show will also feature direwolves, enormous wolves and the sigil of House Stark, and the Others, or White Walkers.
"The Starks will definitely be there," Martin said. "Obviously the White Walkers are here -- or as they're called in my books, The Others -- and that will be an aspect of it. There are things like direwolves and mammoths."
Martin said the prequel takes place prior to the rise of the Lannister family. Casterly Rock is instead ruled by the Casterlys, who are said to have lost their seat to Lann the Clever, the founder of House Lannister.
The prequel will star Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Josh Whitehouse, Georgie Henley and other stars. Martin said the series will have an ensemble cast versus leading stars, like Game of Thrones.
"I hesitate to use the word 'lead,'" he said. "We don't have leads so much as a large ensemble cast."