Here’s why HBO canceled the Bloodmoon prequel series

Night King
Vladimir Furdik stars as the Night King in Game of Thrones. Pic credit: HBO

Before House of the Dragon, there was Bloodmoon. This prequel series was set to dig deep into the far history of Westeros as it dealt with the creation of the White Walkers.

HBO commissioned a very expensive pilot to be made that starred Naomi Watts as a socialite who was hiding some sort of dark secret.

According to HBO, this prequel series was expected to tell the story of The Long Night, which is featured in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by author George R. R. Martin. The following synopsis was provided by HBO.

“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know.”

This prequel series never really had a solid title, going by the working titles of both The Long Night and Bloodmoon. However, before a name could officially be given, HBO had pulled the Game of Thrones spinoff series and quickly announced it would be producing House of the Dragon.

Now, the network has finally revealed why they decided to scrap Bloodmoon.

Logo for HBO's House of the Dragon
Logo for House of the Dragon. Pic credit: HBO

Bloodmoon was pulled by HBO

Jane Goldman was hired as Bloodmoon’s showrunner and a pilot was filmed. However, thanks to the fact that the period in time selected by HBO within the Game of Thrones universe only had approximately eight lines written about it in the book series, it turned out to be too hard of an ask to cover in an entire series.

George R. R. Martin even went so far as to voice his concerns to HBO.

“Bloodmoon was a very difficult assignment,” Martin told The Hollywood Reporter.

“We’re dealing with a much more primitive people. There were no dragons yet. A lot of the pilot revolved around a wedding of a Southern house to a Northern house and it got into the whole history of the White Walkers.”

Because of this concern, HBO decided not to go ahead with Bloodmoon and the pilot has been hidden away, out of sight even to George R. R. Martin since then.

Robert Greenblatt, the then chairman of HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia explained further.

“It wasn’t unwatchable or horrible or anything,” Greenblatt explained.

“It was very well produced and looked extraordinary. But it didn’t take me to the same place as the original series. It didn’t have that depth and richness that the original series’ pilot did.”

HBO believes House of the Dragon is the story fans want

When Bloodmoon was originally pulled by HBO, Casey Bloys went some way to explain the sudden change in their programming change.

The reasoning back then was a little different from what they say now about the pulled TV show.

At the time, the HBO executive explained that they were looking for a story set within the Game of Thrones universe that fans of the original series would love.

And, after delving into the story associated with Bloonmoon, they decided that fans would be much more interested in learning more about House Targaryen.

Season 1 of House of the Dragon will premiere on August 21 on HBO Max.

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