Back in 2018, HBO announced a pilot for a now-cancelled Game of Thrones prequel – Bloodmoon. It even entered development, and a $30 million pilot episode was made.
According to The Hollywood Reporternot even George RR Martin himself has seen the failed pilot.
“It wasn’t unwatchable or horrible or anything,” said former WarnerMedia chairman Robert Greenblatt. “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.”
Bloodmoon would have taken place years before Game of Thrones during the fabled Age of Heroes and the wintry apocalypse known as The Long Night.
Starring Naomi Watts, the prequel would have delved into a time period unseen on screen… and that’s half the problem. There were only a few lines in George RR Martin’s books that ever touched upon the events this series would cover.
“Bloodmoon was a very difficult assignment,” said Martin. “We’re dealing with a much more primitive people. There were no dragons yet. A lot of the pilot revolved around a wedding of a Southern house to a Northern house and it got into the whole history of the White Walkers.”
Despite concerns, showrunner Jane Goldman was reportedly confident in the pilot, assembling a writers’ room and making changes to the episode based on studio feedback.
And that’s when the show was canceled.
“Having a show that’s pure invention and had George scratching his head at various moments was troubling at times,” claimed an unnamed insider.
“It required a lot more invention; it was higher risk, higher reward,” said HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys. “There wasn’t anything glaringly wrong with it. Development and pilots are hard.”
The pilot episode of the unreleased Game of Thrones prequel was filmed in Northern Ireland back in 2019 but was ultimately sheltered. However, HBO did announce that a separate series, the upcoming Game of Thrones: House of the Dragonhad been given the greenlight.
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