HBO canceled the Game of Thrones prequel about The Long Night despite spending millions of dollars on its pilot which is actually a good sign for House of the Dragon. Before Game of Thrones ended in 2019 it was reported that HBO was developing multiple spinoffs set in Westerns. That was hardly a surprise given Game of Thrones had become one of the biggest TV shows of all time by that point, and indeed what more surprising is that a spinoff still hasn’t made it to screen.
That isn’t for HBO’s lack of trying of course. House of the Dragon is expected to release sometime in 2022, having had its production delayed due to the Covid19 pandemic but had things gone according to plan then one Game of Thrones prequel may have already aired by now. The first spinoff put into production was a series set during the Age of Heroes, which was expected to tell the story of The Long Night and likely answer some lingering questions about the Night King and White Walkers. Created by Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin, with an impressive cast led by Naomi Watts a pilot for the show was shot back in the summer of 2019 but HBO ultimately decided not to move forward with it. Since then it’s been revealed the canceled Game of Thrones prequel pilot cost HBO $30 million, and the network still didn’t move ahead with it. That shows there were clearly problems HBO felt couldn’t be fixed, but it’s also reason to be more optimistic about House of the Dragon. The show was given a 10-episode series order without the need to film a pilot first which displays a great deal of faith in the project from the get go but it also confirms just how committed HBO is to getting its Game of Thrones spinoffs right
The original Game of Thrones pilot itself was infamously disastrous, with HBO deciding to re-film the vast majority of it. That cost around $10 million to produce, which is far less than canceled Game of Thrones prequel’s pilot but is still a considerable monetary investment since that likely the ballpark for the re done version, which became Game of Thrones season 1 episode 1 Winter Is Coming. Since HBO had already done this with one pilot, then its not too much of a stretch to imagine them doing something similar with the show about The Long Night re working it and trying to make it happen regardless because so much money had been spent. That $30m was effectively just written off is a sign that the Game of Thrones prequel spinoffs aren’t just a cash grab but instead that HBO will only make them if there something really great or at least with truly great potential which House of the Dragon may well be.
Similarly its also a sign that HBO will spend the money where necessary on the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel. This was something that was true of Game of Thrones itself and House of the Dragon could demand even bigger budgets. Once it gets to the thick of the Targaryen Civil War the Dance of the Dragons properly then there ll be a lot of dragon action to put on screen and clearly HBO is prepared to make the same investments in the prequel and then some. The first Game of Thrones prequel may not have worked out, but it seems a good sign that HBO is taking its time spending the money and is prepared to do what necessary to get the spinoffs right. That doesn’t guarantee success but given there cause to be wary after Game of Thrones controversial ending it does instil some more confidence in things.
House Of The Dragon Has A Different Book Problem To Game Of Thrones
James is Screen Rants Movies Lead Editor, having started out as a writer for the site back in 2019. A Sports Journalism graduate James quickly realized that supporting Sunderland AFC was painful enough without writing about it and so decided to talk a load of rubbish about movies and TV instead. Formerly the TV editor at What Culture he has a particular love of Star Wars The Last Jedi was great Game of Thrones season 8 was good and Harry Potter J K Rowling.never mind know all that really niche nerdy stuff. Spending most of his days editing articles about or writing on movies and shows James likes to really get away from work and unwind by er watching movies and shows. He fuelled by pint sized cups of tea peanut butter, more tea and a quiet constant anger like the Hulk only not green or strong or big.