Why was 'Game of Thrones' prequel axed? HBO canceled 'Bloodmoon' after $30 million pilot

HBO canceled 'GoT' prequel 'Bloodmoon' after spending $30 million on its pilot episode

                            Why was 'Game of Thrones' prequel axed? HBO canceled 'Bloodmoon' after $30 million pilot
Official logo of 'Game of Thrones' (HBO)

‘Game of Thrones’ is undoubtedly one of the best shows of this generation and some even call it the greatest TV show of all time. The HBO show ended with 8 seasons and won numerous accolades during its run. As soon as the show was in its final edition, HBO announced that it will be working on several prequels around the series and fans were quite excited to know that the makers will be giving them a satisfying backstory of how it all started.

A couple of prequels were announced by the network and both shows would have focused on two different eras. One of the shows announced was ‘Bloodmoon’, with Naomi Watts being the female lead. On the other hand, the other prequel announced was ‘House of the Dragon’ that would track the beginning of the end for House Targaryen.


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However, more than a year after the announcement, the network revealed that it has decided to not forward with the series ‘Bloodmoon’. At that time, no reason was given for the cancellation, and fans were puzzled by the network’s decision. Now, two years after the cancellation, it has finally been revealed why the prequel was canceled.

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in 'Game of Thrones' (HBO)


Why was ‘Bloodmoon’ axed by HBO?

According to a new book written by journalist James Andrew Willer, entitled ‘Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers’, it was Bob Greenblatt who decided to cancel the series after seeing some developments. The book features an interview with Greenblatt, former chairman of WarnerMedia entertainment, in which he discussed the spin-off.

The book reveals that the decision was taken after the pilot episode was already in production. Jane Goldman was the showrunner and he discussed the pilot with Greenblatt, who had some really surprising insights to share. The book quotes Greenblatt saying that HBO spent over $30 million on the pilot episode of ‘Bloodmoon’ and when he saw a part of it, he felt that something wasn’t working. The former executive said these things to HBO’s chief content officer Casey Bloys.

Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-To-Consumer, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019, in Burbank, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)


Greenblatt said, “They had spent over $30m on a ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel pilot that was in production when I got there. And when I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to [HBO’s chief content officer Casey Bloys], ‘This just doesn’t work and I don’t think it delivers on the promise of the original series.’ And he didn’t disagree, which actually was a relief.”

In the end, they both took the decision to “pull the plug” on it. Both wanted to get things right for the fans and when they got to know that it was not working, they decided to cancel it.

The show was rumored to have delved into the history of the White Walkers and the mysteries to the East while centering on the Stark and Lannister houses. Actors like Naomi Ackie, Jamie Campbell Bower, Georgie Henley, Richard McCabe, Toby Regbo, and Marquis Rodriguez were also a part of the series.

However, ‘House of the Dragon’ has already come out with a trailer and will be coming on HBO in 2022. On the other hand, there are three animated spin-offs in developments for HBO Max.

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