Game of Thrones spin-off starring Naomi Watts begins filming in Northern Ireland

Charley Ross

The Game of Thrones prequel series has began filming in Northern Ireland, using locations close to memorable first season moments in County Down, Tollymore Forest and Titanic Studios in Belfast.

The behemoth HBO series only finished a few months ago, but the next fix of the world of dragons and ice is already on the horizon.

The new project – which reportedly has the working title of Bloodmoon – will be set “thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones”, according to HBO, and will star Naomi Watts, as well as BAFTA-winning Miranda Richardson and Doctor Who’s John Simm.

The pilot episode is currently under production, with hopes that a full series will be ordered.

Fans will recognise the Northern Irish settings from Game of Thrones’ Winterfell and Castle Ward settings, but rest assured the story being told this time around will be very different.

“Westeros is a very different place,” Game of Thrones author George RR Martin told Entertainment Weekly previously. “There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built. We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.”

The author is working alongside showrunner Jane Goldman – a writer and producer on smash movies such as Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class – on the new series.