HBO cancelled an upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series from showrunner Jane Goldman and starring actress Naomi Watts.
The show was expected to chronicle “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 series was expected to deal with issues of race and power along with the fantasy elements common to Game of Thrones such as the white walkers.
Along with Watts it was to star Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker actress Naomi Ackie and Denise Gough.
TVLine reportedly confirmed the prequel spin-off series was cancelled. HBO execs viewed the pilot over the summer and sent Goldman and company to the editing room to make changes. However, those changes did not meet expectations and the show was scrapped.
Their insiders report that the spin-off was “troubled from the start, marred by budget overruns, numerous personnel issues and myriad creative differences.”
The cancellation comes exactly a year after Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin announced that Naomi Watts would be playing the lead role in the prequel in what he called The Long Night.
At the time Martin wrote, “I could not be more excited. Welcome to Westeros, Naomi.”
Emilia Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen in HBO’s Game of Thrones reacted to the news of the prequel being canned while attending the premiere for Last Christmas.
Clarke told People, “It was kind of astonishing. The show very much ended and we heard about the prequel and we’re like, ‘Okay, cool,’ but didn’t have any understanding of what it might be or who was involved.”
She added, “If it wasn’t meant to happen now, it wasn’t as perfect as everybody wanted it to have been, so it was for the right reasons. Maybe it will get reincarnated.”
Following the news that the Naomi Watts led Game of Thrones prequel was scrapped, HBO announced a separate prequel co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal.
The series is titled House of the Dragon and is based off Martin’s Fire & Blood book. It will take place 300 years before Game of Thrones and explore the origins of House Targaryen.
“We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George,” said HBO Programming President Casey Bloys.
The series is co-created by @GRRMSpeaking and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik will partner with Condal as showrunner and will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Condal will be writing the series. pic.twitter.com/9ttMzElgXm
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 29, 2019
Condal will act as showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik. Condal will write the series while Sapochnik will direct the pilot episode as well as a number of other episodes in the first season.
Entertainment Weekly reports the first season will be 10 episodes.
What do you make of HBO axing one Game of Thrones prequel series and giving the green light to another one?