One ‘Game of Thrones’ gets a green light, while another is canceled

A scene from the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”
A scene from the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”HBO via AP

HBO is moving ahead with a “Game of Thrones” prequel after all.

The network chose to halt a planned prequel starring Naomi Watts, according to multiple reports published Tuesday. Instead, the cable channel said that it’s given a 10-episode order to ‘‘House of the Dragon,’’ set 300 years before the original series that ended its eight-season run in May.

The new drama was co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal, whose credits include ‘‘Colony.’’

It will focus on House Targaryen, made famous in ‘‘Game of Thrones’’ by Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys and her fearsome dragons.

‘‘House of the Dragon’’ was announced by HBO programming president Casey Bloys during a presentation for HBO Max, the streaming service launching in May 2020. A spinoff of HBO megahit ‘‘Game of Thrones’’ would be a key attraction in the increasingly crowded streaming marketplace.


HBO declined comments on reports that it dropped the Naomi Watts prequel.

Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, the Hollywood Reporter, and Variety all published reports Tuesday that the Watts storyline won’t proceed.

That spinoff, from Jane Goldman and series author George R.R. Martin, was set to take place thousands of years before the events of “Game of Thrones.” Watts’s character was set to be a charismatic socialite with a dark secret, and the cast was to be rounded out with Josh Whitehouse from “Poldark,” among others, the Globe previously reported in October 2018.

Naomi Watts accepted an award during the 8th Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala & Benefit Dinner on October 23 in Los Angeles.
Naomi Watts accepted an award during the 8th Annual Australians in Film Awards Gala & Benefit Dinner on October 23 in Los Angeles.Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for Australians In Film

HBO’s official description of the show was previously posted: “Only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend — it’s not the story we think we know.”

A link to a page about the prequel on HBO’s website has since been taken down. The page previously said that the prequel was “in the works,” and that the cast would also include Miranda Richardson, Marquis Rodriquez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan, Dixie Egerickx, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo.


The series had started production in Northern Ireland in spring 2019, according to a previous Globe report.

The reports Tuesday come on the heels of news that “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are stepping away from their deal for a trilogy of “Star Wars” movies so they can focus on their partnership with Netflix.

“There are only so many hours in the day, and we felt we could not do justice to both ‘Star Wars’ and our Netflix projects,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement, according to Deadline. “So we are regretfully stepping away.”