Exec explains why HBO didn’t go forward with Blood Moon


Back in October, HBO rocked the Game of Thrones with a pair of announcements: first, it wasn’t going forward with Blood Moon, a highly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel show set during the Age of Heroes, thousands of years before the base show.

Fans were apoplectic…but they didn’t have time to dwell on that, because very shortly after the network announced that not only would it be going forward with a different prequel show, but that this one would be ordered straight to series, meaning we wouldn’t have to wait for them to make a pilot and decide whether it was good enough to justify continuing, as we did with Blood Moon.

That show was House of the Dragon, which will be all about the history of the Targaryen dynasty, with material drawn from George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood. We finally got some details about the show on the Television Critics Association press tour. HBO programming president Casey Bloys also talked a little about why Blood Moon — which starred heavy hitters like Naomi Watts and Miranda Richardson, didn’t move forward.

“In development, in pilots, sometimes things come together, sometimes they don’t,” Bloys said. “One of the things I think [showrunner Jane Goldman] took on beautifully, which was a challenge, there was a lot more world creation because she set hers 8,000 years before the (mothership) 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. That’s one of the reasons when we started out to think about ‘Is there a life after Game of Thrones in terms of Game of Thrones’, we purposefully developed multiple projects. 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."

So we don’t get a ton of specifics here, but Bloys’ comments about Blood Moon not having enough of a road map make 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, and fair enough. That will indeed be less of a problem for House of the Dragon showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, since Fire & Blood overflows with interesting characters at each other’s throats.

Also, Bloys is right that sometimes things just don’t work out. TV is complicated. We’ll probably never know the full story of exactly what happened to Blood Moon — some reports had it that the production was “troubled” from the start — but hopefully this helps us put some of these issues to bed.

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