HBO spent more than $30 million (Rs. 225.10 crore) on the pilot for scrapped Game of Thrones spin-off, according to the new book “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers” by James Andrew Miller. As per the book, the hefty price tag for the initial prequel encouraged the network to greenlight House of the Dragon directly to series.
According to Variety, though it never officially had a title, the Game of Thrones spinoff had some big names attached, in addition to Naomi Watts, the show would also have featured S.J. Clarkson as director and Jane Goldman as show runner. The fantasy prequel series would have been set thousands of years before Game of Thrones, and would have involved the distant ancestors of noble families like the Starks and Lannisters but it would not have included dragons, since it would have predated House Targaryen’s arrival in Westeros.
This prequel author George R.R. Martin had suggested The Long Night as a possible title, but that phrase was instead used as the episode title for the final season’s epic battle at Winterfell.
Then it was reported that the series was not moving forward rather HBO confirmed that it was giving a full series order to House of the Dragon, a prequel set much closer in time to Game of Thrones about the dragon-filled civil war in House Targaryen. Unlike the Watts show, House of the Dragon has direct source material in the form of Martin’s 2018 book “Fire & Blood”. The reason House of the Dragon was ordered directly to series was to avoid another costly failed pilot like the Naomi Watts starring prequel.
Though the dramatization of the Dance of the Dragons is currently the only one greenlit. Earlier this year in March, the network was reportedly developing shows about the seafarer Corlys Velaryon (a.k.a the Sea Snake, a character who will be played by Steve Toussaint in House of the Dragon, which is set in the later years of his life), the legendary warrior Princess Nymeria (namesake of Arya Stark’s direwolf), and the poor residents of Flea Bottom, among others.
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