What we know about the cancelled Game of Thrones prequel

Naomi Watts was said to be involved
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Spoiler alert: This article contains some spoilers for Game of Thrones, you’ve been warned.

House of the Dragon has been a massive hit for HBO

After the disastrous ending to Game of Thrones there was some trepidation about how this series would go but it has been a ratings smash.

WATCH BELOW: The cancelled Game of Thrones prequel

Catch House of the Dragon now on BINGE.

Interestingly, we almost didn’t get House of the Dragon. In fact, HBO had a whole different prequel in the works.

Back in 2019, HBO filmed a US$30 million pilot starring Naomi Watts for a series they were calling ‘Bloodmoon’. 

They ended up scrapping the project and rumour has it not even George R. R. Martin (the author of Song of Ice and Fire, the book series Game of Thrones is based on) saw the pilot. 

But from the little we know about it, it sounds incredible.

House of the Dragon
We almost didn’t get House of the Dragon (Credit: HBO/BINGE)

Bloodmoon was due to be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, in contrast to the paltry 200 years between House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones, and would cover several topics. 

Here’s the official synopsis:

“The series chronicles 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‘s 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.”

If you’ve forgotten about the White Walkers, they were the big bad in the final season of Game of Thrones (until you-know-who lost her mind). They’re a group of zombie-like creatures that were created by the Children of the Forest when the First Men initially arrived in Westeros. 

You might be asking, Children of the Forest? First Men? What are you talking about? And these are fair questions.

While Game of Thrones touched on this part of the Song of Ice and Fire lore it didn’t really go into much detail about it. Which is why a series like this would have been amazing. 

Like J. R. R. Tolkin and The Silmarillion, George R. R. Martin has created a rich vein of source material that showrunners can mine for years. The guy wrote a history book for his made up world called The World of Ice and Fire.

Twitter post
Bloodmoon was said to have an actual female perspective (Credit: Twitter)

Not only would Bloodmoon have covered a topic we know so little about, it also would have been from an entirely new perspective. The female perspective.

While actors like Milly Alcock are doing an incredible job centering the female experience in House of the Dragon, it’s still a show created and written by men.

For Bloodmoon, Jane Goldman, who is the screenwriter for the upcoming Little Mermaid film, was set to be showrunner. And unlike Game of Thrones, which was literally written by two men, she intended to have a full writing staff. 

Martin himself was supposed to be pretty removed from the show, operating only in an advisory role and was allowing the writers to create their own story from scratch. A bit like the new Lord of the Rings TV show.

WATCH BELOW: Everything You Need To Know About ‘House Of The Dragon’ Star Milly Alcock

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The cast connected to the show was also rather impressive. Naomi Watts was due to star in the lead role alongside Naomi Ackie (Star Wars), Sheila Atim (The Woman King), Jamie Bower (Stranger Things) and John Simm (Life on Mars, Doctor Who).

Despite the incredible potential the show never took off. HBO scrapped Bloodmoon on the same day it announced House of the Dragon

The official reasoning for canning the series is a little wishy washy. HBO’s head of drama programming Casey Bloys that it didn’t deliver “on the premise of the original series”. 

The pilot was filmed in 2019, the same year Game of Thrones wrapped up, so it’s likely HBO were a little unsure about diving into such an ambitious topic. House of The Dragon with its solid premise and based on books written by Martin was perhaps seen as a safer bet. 

It’s unfortunate though because Bloodmoon sounded awesome. Now that House of the Dragon is confirmed for another season, maybe HBO will relent and we’ll get to see something like it down the line.

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