Why was 'Games of Thrones' prequel canceled? Lead actor Naomi Watts tells fans she 'feels their pain'
The shelving of the Naomi Watts-starring 'Game of Thrones' prequel came as a devastating piece of news for fans of the show across the globe. For Watts, this was personally a lot more crushing as she had already filmed the pilot of the spin-off where she was slated to play the lead role.
According to Daily Mail, Watts described that she felt the "pain" of these die-hard fans. "I feel your pain. I equally got into it. I wasn’t a huge fan and hadn’t seen the shows until I was hired and then completely binged everything within the space of a couple of months and it’s just wonderful. It’s a deep shame, it would have been great fun. But I am not allowed to give anything away I’m afraid.” the star told News.com.au.
This just leads us back to the conversation of why the prequel that was set 300 years earlier to the original series was canceled.
Why was 'Game of Thrones' prequel canceled?
HBO offered a more concrete explanation on the cancellation of the series as it opted to move ahead with another prequel titled, 'House of the Dragon'. The pilot episode of the originally planned prequel was written and produced by Jane Goldman with Watts playing the lead but was described as a challenge according to Casey Bloys, President of HBO Programming.
Talking to Deadline in an interview, Bloys said: “One of the things I think Jane took on beautifully, which was a challenge, there was a lot more world creation because she set hers 8,000 years before the [original] show, so it required a lot more.
"That is a big swing. One of the things about House of Dragons, there is a text, there is a book so that made it a little bit more of a road map for a series order. I think Jane did a beautiful job, it was a big challenge but there was nothing that I would point to and say, oh, that one element did not work, just overall it did not quite gel. We would have been very lucky to do one pilot, have that pilot go and be a success but in development, as you know, it takes a lot of tries to get it right. This is no different."
'House of the Dragon' borrows from George RR Martin's novel 'Fire & Blood' and sheds more light on the history of the Targaryens. Bloys reckoned it would debut sometime in 2022. Fansided's Dan Selcke felt it was all about the creative obstacles that came in the way. "It makes me think that the creative hurdles of coming up with a whole new cast of characters and conflicts to rival those from the original story were too much to leap."
For now, 'House of the Dragon' is the only 'Game of Thrones' prequel that has received a series order. THR, in 2017 reported the network was considering five separate spinoffs based on the hit fantasy saga. Bloys had spoken to the site in May where he explained HBO had no interest in a sequel.
Alternate theory that led to cancellation:
USA Herald has an interesting piece of information to share. In its story, it added that YouTuber, The Dragon Demands, felt it was racism. According to one of the employees with access to the footage, The Dragon Demands says that the Naomi Watts-starrer was cartoonishly racist because of two reasons:
(i) In a misguided attempt to shoehorn diversity into the cast, HBO cast black actors as “children of the forest”. In case you forgot Seasons 4 and 6 of 'Game of Thrones', “children of the forest” are a different species from humans.
(ii) A planned plot point detailed a curse put on black characters to turn them into monster-like beings.
While Bloys' statement comes in 2020, the USA Herald story broke last year. However despite all the theories, 'GoT' fans will be eager to see what the new prequel can offer.