Way back in June 2018, before we even saw that final season full of coffee cups and rushed conclusions and expensive, poorly lit battles, HBO announced the first Game of Thrones spinoff series: a prequel set a whopping ten thousand years before the events of the original show, during the first rise of the White Walkers and the subsequent construction of the Wall. Naomi Watts signed on to star, they shot a pilot that was slated to premiere in 2020, and even George R.R. Martin took time away from his busy schedule to blog about what he wanted to call it. But, uh, it looks like none of that matters now anyway, because HBO just killed the whole project.
On Tuesday, HBO said that it would not be moving forward with production for the Naomi Watts-led project, Deadline reports—but the network just gave a straight-to-series order to a whole separate GoT spinoff. And this one sounds even better!
The new series is an adaptation of George R.R. Martin's sprawling, encyclopedic history of House Targaryen, Fire and Blood, and it's called, unsurprisingly, House of the Dragon. HBO has been talking about the idea for the last few months, but apparently everyone wanted to get the old series out of the way, Robert Baratheon-style, before the network would officially commit.
The straight-to-series order means that the show will skip over the standard pilot process and instead start shooting a full, ten-episode season right away. The show will be written by Colony's Ryan Condal from a story by Condal and Martin. Game of Thrones episode director Miguel Sapochnik will direct the pilot and will also split showrunner duties alongside Condal.
"The Game of Thrones universe is so rich with stories, HBO head Casey Bloys said in a statement, according to Deadline. "We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan, and George."
It's unclear why, exactly, the initial prequel series got the axe and House of Dragon is heading straight for a full season, but come on—Naomi Watts may be a brilliant actress, but was anyone actually excited about seeing more ice zombies fight very, very, very old relatives of Ned Stark or whatever? The Fire and Blood stories, on the other hand, have everything from Aegon I Targaryen's conquest of the Seven Kingdoms to the building of the Iron Throne to the Dance of the Dragons. And, yeah. So, so, so many dragons. This one's going to be good.