HBO Hid Canceled Game of Thrones Prequel From George R.R. Martin
In just about a month, Game of Thrones fans will finally get to revisit Westeros in the first spinoff/prequel, House of the Dragon. Or make that the first one to actually air. Prior to House, HBO shot and completed an entirely different prequel pilot, entitled Bloodmoon. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the $35 million cancelled Game of Thrones prequel, starring Naomi Watts, “was locked away in a dungeon so deep that even [author George R.R. ] Martin has never been allowed to see it.”
What was the problem? According to then-WarnerMedia chairman Robert Greenblatt, “It wasn’t unwatchable or horrible or anything. It was very well produced and looked extraordinary. But it didn’t take me to the same place as the original series. It didn’t have that depth and richness that the original series’ pilot did.” The plot, extrapolated from eight lines of Martin’s text, “revolved around a wedding of a Southern house to a Northern house and it got into the whole history of the White Walkers.”
Bloodmoon initially beat out other pitches, including ones similar to House of the Dragon. Mainly because HBO wanted to do something completely different from Game of Thrones battle for the throne formula. Among the initially rejected ideas: “a script about the destruction of the ancient Targaryen empire of Valyria by Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), another was a take on the Dornish warrior queen Nymeria by Oscar winner Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) and yet another…was about Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of Westeros and penned by Rand Ravich and Far Shariat (The Astronaut’s Wife). That script portrayed the William the Conqueror-inspired figure as a drunken lout.”
In the end, it was George R.R. Martin who kept pushing for the Dance of Dragons-based storyline. And frequent Game of Thrones director — now House of the Dragon showrunner — Miguel Sapochnik who made the point that fans probably didn’t want something drastically different, saying, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.’ And [HBO’s chief content officer, Casey Bloys] said, ‘Good.’ I think season eight had been divisive, Bloodmoon hadn’t worked out for them, and they wanted to retain their fans. They wanted to come back to what they knew.”
Are you glad to hear the spinoff will be closer to the original? Or would you have preferred to see something more different? Let us know in comments!
Recommended Reading: Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones
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