Scotland could be set to star in a new Game of Thrones prequel, with popular movie location the Isle of Skye reportedly earmarked for filming.
US network HBO, which makes the hit fantasy drama, confirmed last week that shooting on the first of four Game of Thrones TV spin-offs is to begin in Belfast this October.
But now it seems like Scotland could also be in line for an appearance.
Location scouts for the new show have been eyeing up Skye for potential outdoor filming spots, according to reports.
Scotland has made a fleeting appearance in Game of Thrones before, with Doune Castle standing in as Winterfell in the pilot episode, but this would be the first time the franchise has spent any considerable time here, with the main show primarily shot in Belfast, Croatia and Spain.
Those locations have seen a huge boost in popularity among tourists looking to seek out the filming locations.
Scottish tourism chiefs will hoping for a similar effect, although concerns have already been raised over the rise of “mass tourism” to Skye.
The Long Night
The series is being produced under the working title of ‘The Long Night’, and will be a prequel.
It’s being created by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, and is described as telling the story behind Westeros’ “descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour”.
The Long Night is set 10,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, and Martin said in a blog post that “none of the characters or actors from Game of Thrones will appear in the new show”.
“This one really puts the ‘pre’ in ‘prequel’, since it is set not 90 years before Game of Thrones, or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years,” he added.
Stressing that production on the show is very early in the process, he hinted at the direction of the other spin-offs currently in the works, saying that “all of the successor shows we’ve been developing have been prequels”.
Over the sea to Skye
As is often the case with Game of Thrones, fan speculation and theories as to what could happen in the future is rife.
Some devotees have even pointed out a connection between The Long Night’s rumoured filming locations and fellow Scotland-based production Outlander, suggesting a fantasy crossover could be in the works.
The theme tune to Outlander is an extended version of folk song ‘The Skye Boat Song’, with the lyrics reading: “Sing me a song of a lass that is gone, say, could that lass be I? Merry of soul she sailed on a day, over the sea to Skye.”