HBO Dropped The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Prequel Starring Naomi Watts

by Jessica Wang
Originally Published: 
The 'Game of Thrones' prequel starring Naomi Watts has been cancelled

One Game of Thrones prequel won’t see the light of the day. HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts has been cancelled, according to reports in Entertainment Weekly and the Hollywood Reporter published on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The prequel from screenwriter Jane Goldman, which reportedly filmed a pilot episode in Northern Ireland over the summer, will not be picked up by HBO. The news has been confirmed by EW, THR and Deadline via emails that Goldman reportedly sent to staff on the series.

UPDATE: On Friday, Nov. 1, HBO confirmed to Bustle that the prequel is no longer going forward in a statement: “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.”

EARLIER: The synopsis for Goldman’s untitled Game of Thrones prequel, which was first announced in June 2018, said the series was set “thousands of years” before the events of the flagship series. The project would have chronicled the “Age of Heroes” and the first battle with a White Walker. The tagline read, in part, as per Variety, “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.”

Goldman’s project, on the other hand, wasn't the only Game of Thrones prequel in the works at the network. In September, THR reported that the second HBO prequel is nearing a deal at the network. The project, set to take place 300 years before the events put forth in the original flagship series, will focus on the “beginnings and the end” of House Targaryen, as per THR. The script, based on the book Fire & Blood, will reportedly be penned by Martin. EW reported that the series it still being developed at HBO, but a pilot has yet to be ordered.


The prequels' development after the pop culture juggernaut Game of Thrones finished its eighth and final season in May. Following its series finale, HBO programming president Casey Bloys gave THR an update about the Goldman prequel. At the time, Bloys said the pilot would shoot in June and that there was no rush in terms of when to get it on air. "We want to do the best show possible... We're doing it the old-fashioned way, which is shooting a pilot," he said. "My expectation is it will be great and we'll move forward and it'll move along on a regular TV timetable."

In the interview, Bloys also said HBO was not interested in exploring sequels. “I don't want to take characters from this world that they did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it," he said. "George has a massive, massive world; there are so many ways in. That's why we're trying to do things that feel distinct — and to not try and redo the same show."

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