First Among Prequels

House Of The Dragon wasn’t the only Game Of Thrones spin-off in the works


When it came to finding a successor to Game Of Thrones, HBO didn’t put all its dragon eggs in one basket. Back in 2017, the network put five potential spin-off shows into developmen­t, and one of them – scripted by X-men: First Class and Kick-ass writer Jane Goldman (below) – even made it to the pilot stage. Set around 8,000 years before Game Of Thrones, it featured an all-star cast (including Naomi Watts, John Simm and Miranda Richardson), and would reportedly have depicted the legendary Long Night, when the First Men and the Children Of The Forest teamed up to take down the White Walkers. As it turned out, HBO decided not to go any further with the project – “Overall it did not quite gel,” said HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys – but they did greenlight House Of The Dragon direct to series, even though it hadn’t been part of the original quintet. “This one was late to the game in the ‘successor show’ process,” admits Condal. “When I got involved, Fire & Blood hadn’t been published yet. George had sort of developed it in secret and then he kind of dropped it on the world in surprise in late 2018. But this particular story was the thing that he wanted to do. There were things that HBO was interested in and there were things that George was interested in, and there were things that George was interested in that HBO wasn’t interested in. So I think it was just about finding those places of overlap. HBO was very interested in doing a Targaryen dynasty show, and George was very interested in this particular era. House Of The Dragon was the place where they both lined up and agreed.”

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