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    Before "House Of The Dragon," HBO Spent $30 Million On A "Game Of Thrones" Prequel With Naomi Watts That Was Canceled

    It was an expensive mistake.

    It's been a minute since Game of Thrones wrapped. And while the show's much-discussed series finale may have divided — and disappointed — some fans, many of us are still planning to tune in when the prequel, House of the Dragon, premieres some time next year.

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    As you might know already, House of the Dragon pulls its plot from George R.R. Martin's novel Fire & Blood and focuses on House Targaryen during a civil war set several centuries prior to the beginning of GoT.

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    Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Rhys Ifans, and Fabien Frankel will star in the upcoming spinoff.

    Interestingly enough, the original plans for a Game of Thrones prequel looked remarkably different from those we'll eventually watch take shape on screen.

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    Naomi Watts was set to lead the original spinoff series, tentatively called Bloodmoon — alongside Josh Whitehouse, Georgie Henley, Toby Regbo, Naomi Ackie, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Denise Gough, and Alex Sharp — but Bob Greenblatt, the former chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, decided to cancel the show and create House of the Dragon instead.

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    Production on Bloodmoon was underway at the time. HBO Max had put together a pilot episode, which apparently cost the studio $30 million to make. At least.

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    "They had spent over $30 million on a Game of Thrones prequel pilot when I got there," said Bob in a recently published book, Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, by journalist James Andrew Miller.

    A man with long hair holding a torch
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    "And when I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to [HBO chief content officer] Casey [Bloys], 'This just doesn't work and I don't think it delivers on the premise of the original series,'" he recalled, noting that Casey "didn't disagree, which was actually a relief."

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    "So we unfortunately decided to pull the plug on [Bloodmoon]," the former executive continued, explaining that "there was enormous pressure to get it right and I don't think it would have worked."

    Presley Ann / Getty Images for WarnerMedia

    "They made the first pilot because they were protecting their own downside and protecting that brand, which I understand," he added. "But it was critical that we somehow continue that franchise and move quickly, which meant getting the series into production ASAP."

    So, yeah, it sounds like Bloodmoon was a very expensive mistake. Want to know what else costs $30 million? A ticket to space with Jeff Bezos. Or 1,000 US college graduates' student loans...