'Game of Thrones' Prequel Starring Naomi Watts Dead at HBO

The first Game of Thrones prequel in in production at HBO has ended before it began. The series starring Naomi Watts has been dropped, according to a report by Deadline. The show was supposed to explore the ancient history of Westeros, but now that will remain a mystery.

When Game of Thrones ended earlier this year, a number of "successor shows" were put into development. The first among them was a prequel set in the distant past, written by Jane Goldman. The show even filmed a pilot earlier this year, but now it is reportedly dead in the water.

Sources close to the production told Deadline that Goldman has been sending out emails saying the show is canceled. So far, HBO has not confirmed these reports.

This is sad news for fans, who hoped that this show might be on the air by the end of 2021. The series was made under the working title Bloodmoon, but author George R. R. Martin repeatedly said that he hoped it would be called The Long Night. HBO never announced an official title for the project.

Bloodmoon was to be set about 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, the last time the White Walkers marched on Westeros. It was to include the origin for the Wall, a look at the ancestors of House Stark and, some hoped, a glimpse of the ancient fire mages that would become dragon-riding Valyrians like Daenerys Targaryen.

The pilot for Bloodmoon was ordered back in June of 2018. It filmed this year on many of the same sets used by Game of Thrones, including the main Winterfell set in Belfast. In addition to Watts, its cast included Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Toby Regbo, Alex Sharp, Georgie Henley and Ivanno Jeremiah.

Goldman seemed to have worked closely with Martin on the script, as he discussed it often in interviews over the last year. She is known for action movies such as Kingsmen and X-Men: First Class, so fans were excited to see what she would bring to Westeros.

Still, this is by no means the end of the partnership between HBO and the Seven Kingdoms. There is another project nearing fruition at the network, written by Ryan Condal and set about 300 years before the events of the main series. This show has an "unofficial green light" for a pilot, though so far no order has been made. Fans expect it to cover material from Martin's fictional history Fire and Blood, about the early days of House Targaryen's dynasty in Westeros.

Meanwhile, last we heard, there is a third mysterious project in development for HBO. While Martin has mentioned it on his blog, we have no details on when it is set or who might be working on it.

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Finally, if all else fails, there are more books in Martin's series on the way, including The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring to round out the main series, another volume of Fire and Blood, and more novellas in the Dunk and Egg series.

Stay tuned to PopCulture.com for updates on all things Game of Thrones.