HBO Confirms Bloodmoon, Former Frontrunner for Game of Thrones’ First Spinoff, Is Canned

(10) Courtesy of HBO

Confirming what we have more or less all but already known, HBO is officially announcing that Bloodmoon/The Long Night/The Untitled Game of Thrones Naomi Watts-Led Spinoff, or whatever else you want to call it, is dead in the water. Granted, we’ve known this for a couple days now, as the craziest news week in recent GOT memory was concluded with the announcement that set the Internet ablaze. But for some reason HBO did not officially confirm it, until now…

“After careful consideration, we have decided not to move forward to series with the Untitled Game of Thrones prequel…We thank Jane Goldman, S.J. Clarkson, and the talented cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication.”

As unsurprising as this news is, it would have been nice if they provided us with a little more detail on the thought process behind all of these decisions. And why did they wait two days to confirm?! George R. R. Martin himself confirmed it in a blog post on Wednesday: “It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series. Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.”

As for me, I still hold out hope that one day HBO will find a way to revisit the origins of Houses Lannister and Stark. While it remains disappointing, at least we have the Targaryen civil war to look forward to…

55 responses

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    1. If they want to keep prestigious reputation from GoT they need strong start with new show. Prequels are mostly controversial and people are always sceptical about them.

      And they don’t need too many GoT shows at the same time if they want to keep Emmy nominations and the rest.

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    2. ”As for me, I still hold out hope that one day HBO will find a way to revisit the origins of Houses Lannister and Stark. While it remains disappointing, at least we have the Targaryen civil war to look forward to…”

      ______
      I may have missed this. Did we ever know for certain that Bloodmoon was going to be about the origins of Houses Lannister and Stark? I thought they were keeping the details of the show under wraps.

      Not that it matters now. 🤧

        Quote  Reply

    3. For anybody wondering why it’s not going ahead it isn’t much of a mystery from here (Ireland)

      Northern Ireland is too uncertain as a film location due to Brexit. The costs could double overnight. Too risky to greenlight it. The Targ centric show wouldn’t be using much if any of “The North”. A Brexit delay and the announcement of Blood Moon not going ahead were almost at the same time. Not a coincidence. GOT were also I believe recieving EU funding, not anymore if Northern Ireland doesn’t remain in the EU.

      That being said. If Brexit ends up being reversed (a slim possibility) Bloodmoon may reemerge.

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    4. GRRM: “ I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON.”

      ———-
      I do not doubt that HBO didn’t tell George why it decided to pull the plug on Bloodmoon, and that he really has no reason to believe it had to do with House of the Dragon.

      I am more cynical. Unless and until I see proof to the contrary, I’m going to assume that some corporate dweebs figured “Yay! More dragons! Who needs that other, boring prequel.”

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    5. Pigeon:
      Anyone else not finding anything on the previous WotW voting post?

      Yeah, I am too. I’m getting “That Page Not Found” whoever I try to view comments or open the next page with the poll.

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    6. So disappointed. The thought that we would see the origins of the WW, Wall, Winterfell, Kings of Winter and Lannisters helped me through the sadness of GoT ending. And now, all we have to look forward to is more incest and power hungry Targs. Even more dragons can’t erase my disappointment.

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    7. I am curious. This seemed to be in process for a long time. Did they finish post production? Which would mean the pilot would exist in full.
      There was a time, long ago, when pilots for failed shows , would turn up in ‘summer’ slots on network TV.
      ( I remember seeing , Alexander the Great (1968), TV series pilot, starring William Shatner , which may have been made before he did Star Trek.)
      I don’t keep up with TV that much these days so I don’t know if finished pilots are shown anymore ?

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    8. kevin1989,

      Have a project of my own in the same boat. A UK based company are interested in developing it and adding it to their slate…but an Irish/UK co production currently is too risky until people know what is happening. A decision on my show was due in March (originally Brexit day) now it’s still being pushed back and delayed. Would be very surprised if it was all a coincidence. Bloodmoon, due to it’s setting in the North is a riskier venture. The targ show could have been the next in line and they’ve had to jump at it now to put something into production in place of Bloodmoon as they were due to produce a series and expected everything to be resolved by now. House of the dragon, probably a more expensive series by my estimations, is even going straight to series without a pilot. That’s not risk you take after just having a failed pilot surely? My opinion. The pilot was fine. The film location is too much of a risk.

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    9. HouseStark: And now, all we have to look forward to is more incest and power hungry Targs.

      There will be lots more Houses and families involved though, it won’t just be Targs.

        Quote  Reply

    10. Speaking of Targs, I have to report back on my book journey and I was surprised that Maester Aemon Targaryen does something different in the books…

      He asks Sam to send a Maester to Dany to help her

      So, for those following my boiled leather journey I hit a major milestone today. I finished AFFC and I finished the next Arya chapter, “THE BLIND GIRL” in ADWD. So much happened my head is really spinning. I feel a bit like an Ironborn thinking their words, “What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger”. Staying with this thread, maybe Bloodmoon will come back one day harder and stronger!

      Reading these last chapters, just when I think someone’s dead, I have to question whether they are really dead or whether they will come back. GRRM really fooled me a few times.

      I thought for sure Asha (Yara) was killed with an ax to the skull, but somehow she must have been wearing a helm and survived! I think the hound is actually dead, but I’m not positive. Same goes for the mountain.. He seems pretty dead, but who knows. GRRM really keeps you guessing.

      Jenny.. I’m hoping Brienne is like the Ironborn and comes back harder and stronger and didn’t die. I’m hoping something will happen where she will be just like Asha and make it.

      Arya’s HOBAW journey is so so so much better in the books. Although it was effective in the show to have the Waif be Arya’s antagonist, it’s just not that way in the books.
      You can really see her training much better in the books…”Seeing” is a funny choice of words since she sees alot as a blind girl….

      How awesome was it that she finds out that she can see through a cat’s eye…
      And it was great that the kindly man explained to her that part of her training would have been to make her blind at some point anyways and she just got it sooner…

      Keith said something about the girl on the pale horse, but Keith it was a different person than who you said…

      I think you said it was Sansa, but it was Alys Kastark who rides to meet Jon needing help. Also it looks like Fake Arya Jeyne Poole had to bear the blunt of Ramsey’s evil instead of Sansa unless something happens later. Littlefinger’s plan for Sansa was quite brilliant as he rattled off the lines of succession like he was reading from GRRM’s house indices. Littlefinger’s plan to marry Sansa seemed to make a lot more sense (and kinder) than handing her over to Ramsey in the show…

      So now it’s all ADWD from here. I have about 250 pages to go until Arya’s last chapter “An Ugly Girl”. I think that’s about all the reading for today though. I will savor the last Arya chapter for awhile and try to process all that just happened!! there was lots with almost all of it not happening in the show, so I have no point of reference…

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    11. Luke M,

      I wish they would move towards the Netherlands or Germany. Lot of beautiful locations there.

      Tron79,
      I love you’re book journey. I wonder what you think of Dance part 2 where you will see some winds characters back. I’m not going to say who.

      I love Arya’s story also a lot more in the books. Personally I’m not a big fan in giving every character a opponent to defeat. Arya’s book journey is excited enough without it. And I even say more excited.

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    12. I’m so pissed at HBO, this is unbelievable, no offense to GRRM but I will not be watching HOTD, because I feel like Its going to fail miserably.

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    13. kevin1989:
      Luke M,

      I wish they would move towards the Netherlands or Germany. Lot of beautiful locations there.

      Tron79,
      I love you’re book journey. I wonder what you think of Dance part 2 where you will see some winds characters back. I’m not going to say who.

      I love Arya’s story also a lot more in the books. Personally I’m not a big fan in giving every character a opponent to defeat. Arya’s book journey is excited enough without it. And I even say more excited.

      Yeah Arya’s book training is more like learning how to be a totally covert spy who can blend into her surroundings who is also very deadly. And she’s finding out more about herself along the way.

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    14. Apparently bloodmoon is very different to Got it has a very different aesthetic and theme, and has been described as being was very brave and bold and too woke and subversive.

      There is an exclusive story featured in the Sun newspaper. Here is a brief outline of what the show was going to feature. “It was to feature the first White Walker as black, put lesbian characters at the heart of the plot and make one of Ned Stark’s ancestors mixed race” .

      The bosses chose to axe bloodmoon in favour of of House of the dragon as its more similar to Got and has an easier script thanks to GRR Martin.

      The show might be given the green light in the future when people are actually ready for it.

      Here is the link to the article
      https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/10254771/game-of-thrones-prequel-axed/

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    15. Necromancer of asshai,

      Meh if any of that stuff is true. No issue with the lesbian lovers, the black White Walker is kind of unnecessary since most of the zombies would be eaten and created in the north. The Starks having a mixed race heritage is ridiculous.

      There’s definitely a way where you can do diversity without it being cringy and beating people over the head with it. I really think they should’ve had one of the story lines be in the Summer Isles where they could focus on a black kingdom or any area in Essos where you have a lot more different ethnicities where it makes more sense to have diversity: Braavos, Volantis, Asshai, pretty much anywhere outside of Westeros honestly. Or if in Westeros, the south, particularly Dorne, makes the best sense in this regard.

      Shoehorning diversity into the north just seems lazy and meh. It seems like they just want to do a story that’s mainly white focused and sprinkle in a few token characters where it makes no sense. You had all of Essos to work with, why not do a separate storyline there (like how Dany’s story was separate)?

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    16. Farimer123,

      Bloody awful and yet I want to see if it’s actually as bad as legend claims it to be. I kinda have a thing for bad borderline trainwreck movies and TV.

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    17. Speaking of the White Walkers, a random thought came into my head when I was rewatching 8×3. It got to the crypt scene where all the corpses were breaking out and killing people, and all I could think was: “Where’s Michael Jackson when you need him? This whole sequence could’ve had Vincent Price narrating over it!”

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    18. Farimer123,

      ha!
      Tron79,

      re Master Aemon yeah he is involved a lot more.
      I was disappointed that they didn’t do the same in the show, but they managed to get the bits with Sam and Gilly on the ship

      Arya’s HOBAW journey is so so so much better in the books. Although it was effective in the show to have the Waif be Arya’s antagonist, it’s just not that way in the books.
      You can really see her training much better in the books…”Seeing” is a funny choice of words since she sees alot as a blind girl….

      right, all the language learning, poisons, cat of the canals (tell me three things I didn’t know – loved kindly old man) I know they couldn’t have done it all, maybe if they left part of that silly chase out….ah well been there done that. So glad you are experiencing that story in full!

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    19. LatrineDiggerBrian,

      But just think of the missed fancasting opportunities!

      (from the dubious Sun article about Bloodmoon, cited by the comment to which you responded):
      ”There is an exclusive story featured in the Sun newspaper. Here is a brief outline of what the show was going to feature. “It was to feature the first White Walker as black, put lesbian characters at the heart of the plot and make one of Ned Stark’s ancestors mixed race” .

      • White Walker primogenitor:
      Idris Elba; Edi Gathegi; Hisham Tawfiq (Dembe in “The Blacklist”).
      (I suppose they’d include a brief explanation how the ancient Walkers became “White” Walkers, e.g., UV light protection from melanin coloration gradually became unnecessary during the change in climate, and eventual 24-hour darkness accompanying the Long Night; or that
      like chameleons, the Walkers had the biological ability to change appearance, and a white coloration provided effective camouflage in wintry terrains or during the snowstorms that they brought with them; or simply that the same process that turns eyes blue during the human-to-Walker transformation also blanches the skin white.)

      • “Lesbian characters at the heart of the plot”:
      Kristen Stewart*; Cara Delevingne; Ruby Rose
      * (More on that in Part 2)

      • Mixed Race Stark Ancestor:
      Vanessa Hudgens [I adore her! 🧡] Rashida Jones; Olivia Munn; Frank Dillane [Stannis!]; Hailee Steinfeld; Dev Patel
      (Nobody said there couldn’t be an Eastern influence. Besides, what does “race” or “mixed-race” really mean? Isn’t everyone a mixture of at least 1/32 of some other “race”? Reason #38 why racism is so ridiculous.)

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    20. Part 2 (continued from 10:46 am)

      re: “Lesbian characters at the heart of the plot”

      Kristen Stewart. unapologetically gender fluid, played it for laughs (but believably so) in this Totinos Pizza Rolls spoof commercial with Vanessa Bayer on Saturday Night Live.

        Quote  Reply

    21. ash:
      Farimer123,

      ha!
      Tron79,

      re Master Aemon yeah he is involved a lot more.
      I was disappointed that they didn’t do the same in the show,but they managed to get the bits with Sam and Gilly on the ship

      Arya’s HOBAW journey is so so so much better in the books. Although it was effective in the show to have the Waif be Arya’s antagonist, it’s just not that way in the books.
      You can really see her training much better in the books…”Seeing” is a funny choice of words since she sees alot as a blind girl….

      right, all the language learning, poisons, cat of the canals (tell me three things I didn’t know – loved kindly old man) I know they couldn’t have done it all, maybe if they left part of that silly chase out….ah well been there done that.So glad you are experiencing that story in full!

      I’m not sure if the books will even have a Waif vs. Arya encounter…
      The only thing I will say is that I’m a little less upset with the way Arya beat the Waif offscreen, because in the books something else was done offscreen (a different killing), so maybe it was in line with the way GRRM writes things…but I would have still liked to see the Waif’s final fight

      through the eye of a CAT!!

        Quote  Reply

    22. I feel sorry for all those involved in this project. But I feel sorry most of all for Naomi Watts. It’s a shame not to see her character or what she could have added to the GOT world.

      Can’t she be repurposed aka re-cast for the new show! It kinda sucks to let someone like her go! She could most certainly play one of the Targaryen family members!

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    23. Tron79: I’m not sure if the books will even have a Waif vs. Arya encounter…

      I highly, highly doubt that it will happen. For one they’re friends in the book and the waif teaches her languages and poisons. Also, the waif being a sickly looking, frail woman she’s more of a servant and maid at the HoBaW rather than a dangerous fighting FM.

      They were just so set on abbreviating Arya’s time in Braavos that they came up with the easiest story path to get her out of there. It’s really a shame in my opinion because I actually enjoyed that arc. I just wanted more to it. I was upset that they cut her learning languages and that doubled when they didn’t have her speak to Daenerys in Valyrian. I’m very positive that will happen when the two eventually meet in the books. I was also upset that they completely cut her warging ability that she discovers while blind. They could have easily included that.

      I believe George plans to have their (J, A & B) warging abilities be a bigger element to his story near the end too. They hardly used it with Bran and it was pretty much limited to “fly overs” the last few times. Pointless other than having the ability to give us a literal bird’s eye view.

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    24. Clob: I highly, highly doubt that it will happen.For one they’re friends in the book and the waif teaches her languages and poisons.Also, the waif being a sickly looking, frail woman she’s more of a servant and maid at the HoBaW rather than a dangerous fighting FM.

      They were just so set on abbreviating Arya’s time in Braavos that they came up with the easiest story path to get her out of there.It’s really a shame in my opinion because I actually enjoyed that arc.I just wanted more to it.I was upset that they cut her learning languages and that doubled when they didn’t have her speak to Daenerys in Valyrian.I’m very positive that will happen when the two eventually meet in the books.I was also upset that they completely cut her warging ability that she discovers while blind.They could have easily included that.

      I believe George plans to have their (J, A & B) warging abilities be a bigger element to his story near the end too.They hardly used it with Bran and it was pretty much limited to “fly overs” the last few times.Pointless other than having the ability to give us a literal bird’s eye view.

      There are alot of major scenes in the show that aren’t in the books, and that has surprised me during my read. Before I started reading, I guess I figured that there would be things in the books that they didn’t use in the show, but I really never imagined that there would be so much that D&D created for the show that wasn’t in the books!!! As I read, I was wondering when this or that might happen, and then it ends up being totally different. I guess anything after season 5 was up for grabs since it was past the source material anyway. But even season 5 is different from the source material in numerous ways. Arya’s arc has similarities for sure, but very different in the books as you said. I would say season 7 and 8 the way Arya is totally stealth may be closer to the books. Yes, that would have been great to see Arya surprise Dany with talking her native tongue. I have one more chapter of hers to go, and about 300 pages left in ADWD before my book journey comes to an end for now. Then I’ll be waiting like everyone else for WoW.

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    25. Tron79,

      And are you going to read the Winds chapters that he released? I personally would advice to read them. All of them are great. But if you are there’s only one reading order that you should follow

      First read the Baristan chapter before Tyrion’s, because of chronical order. As for Arya, Damphair, Arianne, Sansa or Theon it doesn’t matter. That depends on which characters you like best. Personally I would go with Barristan first, then Tyrion, because it involved the preparing of the battle. Then I would go with the Stark sisters. Both are pretty straight forward. Then Theon, there’s a little puzzle for you there if you like it, simply what’s the plan of…. Fill that in after you read it. Then I would advice the 2 Arianne chapters. First is pretty straight forward. Second has a nice connection to another storyline which you probably will like. And end with Damphair. I would say that that’s one of the most interesting of them all. I really wish we didn’t got the first Damphair chapter, the first one was dull. This one is not, it’s one of the most interesting chapters of the saga in my honest opinion.

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    26. kevin1989:
      Tron79,

      And are you going to read the Winds chapters that he released? I personally would advice to read them. All of them are great. But if you are there’s only one reading order that you should follow

      I didn’t realize he released that many chapters! Do you think they will all be in the actual book? Yeah, I might as well read them….I’ll follow your suggested order then. I did read the Mercy chapter when it first came out, but I don’t really remember much about it now and it won’t be in the same context now that I read the books (well almost read them.. I still have 300 pages to go, but it’s amazing how 300 pages doesn’t seem like alot anymore!) I just remember she was with the actor troupe, and I was just curious at the time, since I heard it was an Arya chapter.

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    27. Tron79,

      Yes they all will be in the book. I don’t know the reading order and if some chapters are in between. But these are the ones he gave us. And the reading order is more, if you are like me, when in a chapter something strange or mysterious happened you just want to know what it is and think about it, and then you can’t focus on the next chapter. Especially when it’s the last chapter of a character that is out there.

      And as for the chapters, I think all the characters end in a much exciting way with those chapters than how Dance ended for them. I’m happy I finally read them.

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    28. kevin1989:
      Tron79,

      Yes they all will be in the book. I don’t know the reading order and if some chapters are in between. But these are the ones he gave us. And the reading order is more, if you are like me, when in a chapter something strange or mysterious happened you just want to know what it is and think about it, and then you can’t focus on the next chapter. Especially when it’s the last chapter of a character that is out there.

      And as for the chapters, I think all the characters end in a much exciting way with those chapters than how Dance ended for them. I’m happy I finally read them.

      OK sounds great! Thanks for the reading order tip. I have really enjoyed your boiled leather order tip, but it does look like the site disappeared. I do have a copy of the image that I printed out. I have only used the printout during the 2nd half. I wrote little notes to myself at the end of each chapter so I didn’t have to have another sheet to refer to. But it helped motivate me to check off chapters during the second 1000 pages… and I could also see when the next Arya chapter was going to arrive…

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    29. Grandmaester Flash:
      Ball Of Beasts is still available.
      https://ballofbeasts.weebly.com
      And there’s a discussion on reddit about the various reading orders.
      https://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf/comments/5xrzwl/no_spoilers_what_exactly_are_a_ball_of_beasts_and/dekjthe/

      I have to say that 2 things are better with BoB.
      – As for the combination chapter, personally I didn’t liked it. It was strange and didn’t make sense how you have 2 povs in one chapter. Personally I would have liked that they made it 2 chapters, but having one of the 2 having a though about the conversation. Like Jon thinking back about Sam leaving.
      – The structure of Cersei Reek Bran Soiled Knight is better I agree.
      – Agree with the Davos/Cersei chapter. I think BoB is better.
      – I don’t like the changed names. Those names have a reason, even when we don’t understand those now.

      I agree with one person, first I didn’t love Feast and Dance. But with the BL it became my favorite book of the saga.

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    30. While I agree this is a normal aspect of television and pilots, there is one thing I find odd….

      They decided not to pick up Bloodmoon after the production of a pilot. Fine, not unusual of abnormal.

      However, I do find it odd they not only then around and greenlight an entirely new series with a different premise but order an entire season of it without ever even seeing or having a pilot. Including making one of the showrunners a former director with no experience in being a showrunner.

      I don’t think it’s unfair to say that seems a bit strange on the surface.

        Quote  Reply

    31. See my point up top. All of what you said is perfectly rational considering the political climate in Northern Ireland right now. They were expecting to green light a series. With Bloodmoons location in doubt they threw House of the Dragon into it’s slot as it would be unaffected either way, assuming it has less of, if any of The North in it, while Bloodmoon was pretty much all set there.

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    32. Geez, Watchmen numbers are garbage!
      WATCHMEN RATINGS (RATING / VIEWERS):
      10/20/2019 episode one: 0.25 / 799k

      10/27/2019 episode two: 0.25 / 765k

      11/3/2019 episode three: 0.19 / 648k

      If they don’t turn it around and stop the free-fall I don’t think it will last long. Several poor reviews claim it’s too PC-Hollywood and ignores the source material too much. Whatever it is or isn’t it certainly doesn’t appear in position to grab the flagship title for HBO.

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    33. Luke M:
      For anybody wondering why it’s not going ahead it isn’t much of a mystery from here (Ireland)

      Northern Ireland is too uncertain as a film location due to Brexit. The costs could double overnight. Too risky to greenlight it. The Targ centric show wouldn’t be using much if any of “The North”. A Brexit delay and the announcement of Blood Moon not going ahead were almost at the same time. Not a coincidence. GOT were also I believe recieving EU funding, not anymore if Northern Ireland doesn’t remain in the EU.

      That being said. If Brexit ends up being reversed (a slim possibility) Blood Moon may reemerge.

      Blimey, so its a Brexit related thing as to why the prequel ‘Blood Moon’ has been canned? The way the election campaign is going I can see Brexit being canned also so I wouldn’t worry about it 🙂

      So have HBO got some other prequel in mind to replace it?

        Quote  Reply

    34. orange:
      While I agree this is a normal aspect of television and pilots, there is one thing I find odd….

      They decided not to pick up Bloodmoon after the production of a pilot. Fine, not unusual of abnormal.

      However, I do find it odd they not only then around and greenlight an entirely new series with a different premise but order an entire season of it without ever even seeing or having a pilot. Including making one of the showrunners a former director with no experience in being a showrunner.

      I don’t think it’s unfair to say that seems a bit strange on the surface.

      Yes, it is strange on the surface. It is also good marketing and good fan management.

      Let me say first that I believe that HBO will do a follow-up series. It is likely to be House of the Dragon as we have heard in the press.

      However, I do not think they exactly ordered it “blind”. My speculation is that the order for 10 episodes have terms in it that requires HBO to review/approve the first episode (pilot) before it is required to pay to make (or accept) the other 9. This would be the best way to order from a new showrunner on scripts that are not yet written. It is also the best way to cancel a planned series if you think it will fail and immediately tie up the Targ stories for future production. And be able to announce it in a manner that will not upset the fans too much – whether they liked GOT8 or not.

      Big orders in many industries are cancellable under certain circumstances. Boeing had billions of dollars in orders for the 737Max plane canceled after their accidents. Even regular folks can cancel their Amazon orders on one pretext or another.

      That is just my speculation.

      Also interesting is the news that said the GRRM will finish his next book before writing any HoD scripts? Is that correct? If so, it may mean he is either close to finishing the book (as in responding to his editor’s comments on the manuscript ) or that he will not be writing scripts for some time and the HoD will not be here soon. (As in the pilot is written but he will not help write any more scripts until the pilot is made, seen and approved.) I hope it means the book is nearly here.

      Let us see what happens.

        Quote  Reply

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