Like the eight-season series from which it spawned, HBO’s first attempt at a “Game of Thrones” spin-off series is officially dead. As reported by Deadline, the specific spin-off series, a prequel starring Academy Award-nominated actress Naomi Watts, is no longer happening.
Back in May 2017, it was announced that HBO was developing four separate “Game of Thrones” spin-off series — each set in four different time periods within the universe of author George R.R. Martin’s incomplete “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga.
This untitled “Game of Thrones” prequel series was set to take place thousands of years before the story of the David Benioff and D.B. Weiss-run HBO series, with English screenwriter Jane Goldman (“Kingsman: The Secret Service,” “X-Men: First Class,” “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”) attached to write — with Martin sharing a story credit — and serve as showrunner. According to HBO’s original synopsis of the pilot, it chronicled “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.”
While HBO has not commented on Deadline’s article, the report comes just hours before WarnerMedia and its parent company, AT&T, is set to unveil details about its HBO Max streaming service to press and investors in Burbank.
The pilot was greenlit back in June 2018, followed by the reported greenlighting a few months later of a second prequel pilot from Goldman, written alongside Ryan Condal (“Rampage,” “Colony”), which brought the “Game of Thrones” prequel count to five. Goldman’s second prequel is set 300 years pre-“Game of Thrones,” focusing on the downfall of House Targaryen, Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) ancestors.
In addition to Watts, Miranda Richardson, Jamie Campbell Bower, Josh Whitehouse, Alex Sharp, and Naomi Ackie also starred in the pilot. According to Deadline, Goldman emailed the cast and crew of the pilot — which filmed in Northern Ireland this summer — to inform them that it will not be moving forward as a series.