There's no question about it: HBO's Game of Thrones was the most influential show of the decade, drawing in an average of 17 million viewers during its eighth and final season. When the last season was announced, fans were devastated at the prospect of the fantasy series exiting the air, with seemingly no adequate replacement in sight. But, then, a prequel series was said to be in the works, and it was clear that the showrunners had a lot to live up to.
Now, it's rumored that the prequel series is no longer in production, and the series has been permanently shelved. Why is the Game of Thrones prequel canceled, when it already had a huge fanbase? We have the details on the reasons for the alleged cancelation, and what's been going on with D.B. Weiss and David Benioff in the months since GOT's disappointing final season.
Why is the Game of Thrones prequel canceled?
The Game of Thrones prequel was first announced in the summer of 2018, and the show was expected to take place thousands of years before the plot of the original series. Naomi Watts was attached to the show, and the plot was to center around the ancestors of the Stark and Lannister families.
The story would also revolve around the Age of Heroes, when the war between the White Walkers and humans first occurred. There would be no dragons or Targaryens in the show, which would provide a very different feel than the original series.
In May of 2019, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin bragged that there were five shows in the works that would take place in the GOT universe.
Though HBO has yet to confirm the news, Deadline first reported that showrunner Jane Goldman has been emailing the crew from the pilot that the show will not be moving forward. The pilot was reportedly filmed months ago, but there has been no further filming or production in since, though the show was greenlit by HBO beforehand.
There were rumored issues about finding filming locations in Northern Ireland too.
This cancellation also comes on the heels of the news that GOT writers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are no longer working on the Star Wars franchise, amid rumors that they were let go. Fans also criticized the pair for rushing through GOT's final season with storylines including Daenerys' choice to slaughter much of Westeros. It was also recently revealed that David and D.B. spent $10 million of HBO's money on the GOT pilot, and that they had no idea at the time how to actually produce a show.
The Targaryen-centered GOT prequel is still happening... for now.
Though the Naomi Watts-led prequel has been axed, the one centering on the Targaryen family is still moving forward. This GOT prequel will take place just a few hundred years before the plot of GOT, and it will encompass a span of 150 years. Moving the timeline of the show up will likely allow fans to feel more connected to the series.
The catalyst for this series will be The Dance of the Dragons, a civil war between the Seven Kingdoms, including the divided House Targaryen. Of course, there will also be dragons.
While we await official confirmation from HBO about the other prequel cancellation, we'll just have to settle for rewatching Game of Thrones on HBO Go.