New details about Blood Moon, HBO’s cancelled Game of Thrones prequel

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

What would Blood Moon, HBO’s non-starter of a Game of Thrones prequel show, have been about? Check out new details of the show that never was:

Soon after Game of Thrones ended, HBO got to work on a follow-up series, a show set thousands before the story we knew, in a time before the Wall was raised and when some of the prominent houses we’d come to know hadn’t even been formed yet. The show went by many names — The Long NightThe Longest NightBlood Moon — but all we really know about it is that it’s dead.

HBO did film a pilot, but for whatever reason, chose not to turn it into a series. But Redanian Intelligence has come upon dug up some interesting new details. Let’s take a look at the Game of Thrones prequel that never was.

The cast for Blood Moon (I’m just gonna call it Blood Moon cause that’s the title I got used to) looked very solid. It was led by Naomi Watts, who was playing “a charismatic socialite with a dark secret.” But there was a full ensemble here, including the likes of Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Jamie Campbell Bower, Denise Gough, and many more.

According to Redanian Intelligence, Watts’ character would have had a daughter played by Amy McPherson, named Aurelia. And yeah, we can see it.

And that’s just the tip of the ice berg when it comes to new characters. Some other tidbits:

  • Leah Gayer and Mhairi Gayer would have played twin sisters Caera and Vera. Would Blood Moon have kept up the hallowed Game of Thrones traditional of incredibly unhealthy codependent twin relationships? We’ll probably never know.
  • Gabriella Morales would have played a “Princess double.” Blood Moon would have been set long before the Seven Kingdoms as we know them would coalesce. Instead, there were hundreds of petty kingdoms, with minor princes and princesses probably running around everywhere.
  • Ewan Bailey was cast as a dungeon keep. Hello, dungeons!
  • A sampling of fantasy names we missed out on: Ianthe (Rosy McEwen), Reynard (Sean Rigby), Robben (Richard McCabe), Maiev (Dixie Egerickx), Sorcha (Georgina Campbell) and Flavia (Georgina Beedle).

We don’t really know anything about any of these characters. We do, however, know that the Children of the Forest would have played a big role; at the time, they still would have been more common in Westeros. Remember Leaf, Bran’s main point of contact with the Children on Game of Thrones? She was played by Octavia Alexandru in season 4 and Kae Alexander in season 6. On Blood Moon, she would have been played by Doyin Ajiboye and been a series regular. Other Children of the Forest characters would have included Cloud and Lake, played by Seyi Andes-Pelumi and Felicia Mukasa.

So it looks like HBO was going to cast actual children to play Children of the Forest, which is interesting. Less interesting is the impression I get from these three choices that they were only going to cast black actors to play members of a non-human race? That…seems like a really bad idea.

So there are some details. But what would Blood Moon actually have been about? Well, nothing’s for certain, but YouTuber Lucifer means Lightbringer talked to an extra on the show and had some very intriguing things to report.

According to this extra, Blood Moon would have involved a marriage alliance between the Starks of Winterfell and the Casterlys of Casterly Rock, with a princess marrying the “last Casterly.” That could mean that Naomi Watts was playing a Stark and that her daughter is the princess, because remember, every house is a kingdom unto itself at this point in history, with their own royal hierarchy.

Anyway, sometime around the wedding, there would have been a “blood moon” — a creepy eclipse, I’m guessing — and meteors would have rained down on Westeros. Then, in that darkness, the White Walkers come, and the Long Night begins.

So let’s locate this in Westerosi history. A long long time ago, the First Men crossed the Arm of Dorne and fought a war with the Children of the Forest, the original inhabitants of Westeros. The Children broke the Arm of Dorne; didn’t work. They tried to break the Neck, which is why that part of Westeros is so swampy; didn’t work. Eventually, they created the White Walkers as a kind of super-weapon and sent them against the First Men. We even saw the creation of the first White Walker on Game of Thrones:

The war goes on for a while longer until both sides come together and sign the Pact, which puts an end to hostilities. We don’t know what happens to the White Walkers then. Perhaps they’re banished to the Lands of Always Winter. Perhaps they’re sealed away. Perhaps they’re hunted down but a few make it out to plan their revenge. All we know is that they come back in force during the Long Night, which is when Blood Moon would have been set.

Maybe the meteors and the blood moon have something to do with the White Walkers returning? Maybe they free them from whatever prison where they’d been shut away? We don’t know, but if HBO wants to release the Blood Moon pilot on DVD someday, I’d certainly pay to find out, hint hint.

Overall, I think I like the idea for the show, give or take a few caveats. But it was not to be. Happily, we’re getting another Game of Thrones prequel set much more recently, with some more familiar trappings:

dark. Next. Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon casting lead roles

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h/t The Wertzone