Yesterday was the biggest Game of Thrones news day since the original show ended earlier this year. First, we learned that HBO had opted not to pick up Jane Goldman’s Game of Thrones prequel to series. The show, purportedly titled Bloodmoon — I guess we’ll never know for sure now — would have been set thousands of years before the story we know, and would have focused on the first time the White Walkers invaded Westeros.
Naturally, people were surprised, including stars from the original show. “I just heard that today,” Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) told Entertainment Tonight right after the announcement. “I’m not really too sure [what happened]. It’s difficult to get stuff made. I wonder. Maybe it’ll be reincarnated at some point, but if it wasn’t meant to happen now, then I’m sure it’s because they know that it wasn’t going to be as perfect as it should have been.”
So what did happen? We don’t know anything for sure, but I am happily accepting rumors and tall tales. That’s probably underselling Michael Ausiello of TV Line, a former Entertainment Weekly reporter with his ear to the ground of what’s going down in Hollywood. According to his sources, the pilot for Bloodmoon was “troubled” from an early stage, with budget overruns, numerous personnel issues and lots of creative differences.
“Creative differences,” of course, can be code for absolutely anything. You have to wonder if HBO’s new parent company AT&T put in its two cents in a way that HBO didn’t back when Game of Thrones was first getting off the ground, but I digress.
Anyway, per Ausiello, Goldman and her team screened the pilot for executives in the summer. They didn’t like it and asked her to go back and make editing changes. She did, they screened it again, they still didn’t like it, and here we are.
Clarke is right that it’s hard to get things made in Hollywood. Pilots, for better or worse, are rejected pretty regularly. Still, HBO must have anticipated people being upset with the news, because it announced that it had ordered House of the Dragon — a show about the Targaryen dynasty — just a couple hours later. I wouldn’t mind seeing Clarke’s reaction to that, either.