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.

    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 SmithPaddy 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.

    A knight jousting

    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.

    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.

    A man holding a sword

    "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

    "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."

    "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."

    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...