In a move that not even Varys or Littlefinger could have predicted, Deadline is reporting that the Game of Thrones prequel, which was to be headlined by Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, is dead in the water. While as many as five spinoffs were once said to be in development, the one that had gained the most traction was the one set during the Age of Heroes. A pilot had been filmed, and we’ve been tracking its progress rather diligently, with updates slowly trickling in. While a filmed pilot is by no means a guarantee that a show will go to series, we were all pretty sure that with the eyes of the world on GOT, the hunger for more (by both the fans and the HBO execs) would only grow larger. And yet….
Right now, reports suggest that showrunner Jane Goldman has been emailing the cast and crew to let them know the devastating news, but it should be noted that it has not yet been confirmed by HBO. We can only speculate at the time being what led to this show’s alleged cancellation. It could be behind the scenes drama, or it could be set or even cost concerns (though unlikely). Reportedly, HBO hadn’t been thrilled with the cut they saw and had requested edits…but even with that, I would still have not expected an outright cancellation of the project!
As recently as mid-September, A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R. R. Martin indicated in a blog post that he would soon see the rough cut of the pilot, and that his earlier behind-the-scenes look had been “spectacular.” He also noted at that time that we were getting closer to the Targaryen-centered spinoff. So, could the rumor mill take us towards an assumption that HBO might be turning tide and putting their eggs in the Targaryen basket? I honestly don’t know, but it seems unlikely to me, given that the Targaryen show has not even been given so much as a pilot order, so they’d be literally comparing a completed episode of television vs. unfilmed text. I know only that as soon as I saw this news and flocked here to start writing this article, my jaw has been agape and still is, even while writing these final sentences. I was immensely excited for this project, and am currently devastated, and rather unsure of what to think. We’ll update this once we get a confirmation from HBO regarding its cancellation.