The 'Game of Thrones' Prequel Starring Naomi Watts Was Canceled

Wait, what?

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Update, 10/29/2019: Per a report from Deadline, a pilot episode of the prequel was filmed—but HBO didn't pick it up, meaning that the project is dead in the water. According to Deadline, the cast and crew have been informed that the project will not be moving past the pilot phase. Apparently, it was "not well received."

Original post, 05/14/2019, Game of Thrones has easily been one of the most popular and buzz-worthy shows of the last decade, and sadly the show is coming to a close with its eighth season this spring. Fans won't be leaving Westeros that quickly, though: In early 2018, HBO confirmed that would officially be going ahead with the idea of Game of Thrones prequel series, and thanks to a handful of details released by HBO this month, we've got all the fun details for you.

What's the show going to be about?

According to HBO, the as-of-now untitled new show (initially rumored to be called "The Long Night") will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, and would chronicle "the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know."

Who's in the cast?

News broke back in October that Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts is set to lead the cast, with exact details of her character are being kept unsurprisingly under wraps (considering the source, and all.) All we know so far is that she’ll play “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret, according to Variety.

Per HBO, also joining Watts is Josh Whitehouse (Poldark), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Denise Gough (Monday), Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia films), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties) and Toby Regbo (The Last KingdomFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald).

Who's working on the series?

Jane Goldman and GoT author George R.R. Martin are listed as creators of this new series, with Goldman serving as the showrunner. They will both also executive produce alongside SJ Clarkson (The DefendersJessica Jones), who is also directing the pilot episode; James Farrell, Jim Danger Gray, Vince Gerardis, Daniel Zelman, and co-executive producer Chris Symes.

Is this the only Game of Thrones spin-off?

Naw, man. We're not leaving Westeros any time soon. This series is just one of at least three future Game of Thrones-related projects that will be coming to a screen near you. According to George R.R. Martin himself,"a couple more shows" set within the franchise are "still being scripted", and probably could end up on HBO at some point in the future. At one point, a rumored five GoT spin-offs were rumored to be in development from writers Bryan Cogman, Max Borenstein, Brian Helgeland and Carly Wray

What will it be called?

Don’t worry, you won’t just be tuning in to Game of Thrones: The Prequel, or Game of Thrones: The Early Years, or even a retro-inspired Game of Thrones: Rewind. The highly anticipated new show has reportedly been given the working title of Bloodmoon, to make it a completely stand-alone show in its own right. Although it’s thought to just be a temporary title right now, these things often stick, and it definitely suits the supernatural, fantasy element of Westeros.

When does filming begin?

Excitingly, sources are claiming that shooting has officially commenced for Bloodmoon/the Game of Thrones prequel. According to reports by The Sun, principal photography began in Belfast, Ireland, around a fortnight ago (early May 2019). Interestingly, the source also goes on to say that the series, set five thousand years before the original HBO show, will follow the story of early Westeros inhabitants, the Children of the Forest. We’ve met them in Game of Thrones—they’re the mysterious beings who were living in Westeros when the First Men arrived, 12,000 years before Robert Baratheon's rebellion. They also created the White Walkers as a form of protection against the First Men, so we've got a lot to thank 'em for.

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Amanda Mitchell

Amanda Mitchell is a writer and podcaster with bylines at Marie Claire, OprahMag, Allure, Byrdie, Stylecaster, Bon Appetit, and more. Her work exists at the apex of beauty, pop culture, and absurdity. A human Funfetti cake, she watches too much television, and her favorite season is awards season. You can read more of her work at or follow her on Instagram and Twitter @lochnessmanda.