The author behind the book series from which Game of Thrones was based, opened up on his blog about his frustration that the GoT prequel was not deemed fit for a full series order by HBO.
“It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series,” he wrote, adding, “Jane Goldman [creator of the pilot] is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her.”
The pilot was given the green light back in June 2018, while David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were still in the process of bringing Game of Thrones to its conclusion. The Long Night (which was the series’s working title) reportedly had a difficult time getting started. There were conflicts over the story, credits and between cast and crew members, which made HBO consider killing the show before it even shot a pilot. They ultimately moved forward with filming, because despite the network’s lukewarm feelings, the crew hoped it could be salvaged in post-production. Interestingly enough, GoT had experienced the same issues during the making of its pilot. It, after all, would have been quite a different show had it not been for special effects.
Alas, The Long Night couldn’t be fixed and Goldman was forced to inform stars Naomi Watts and Miranda Richardson that the project was not moving forward.
Martin played coy about what happened, writing, “I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with House of the Dragon. This was never an either/or situation.”
He went on to muse, “If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and Chicago shows…well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows.”
Speaking candidly, he wrote, “Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to naught, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy…with my thanks for all their hard work and my good wishes for whatever they do next.”
All that’s left to do now is prepare for House of the Dragon (and for Martin to finish The Winds of Winter).