In 2019 we reached the end of Game of Thrones, finishing an eight-year saga spanning seven kingdoms, three dragons (that we know of), and too many stabbings and beheadings to count. In the weeks leading up to the finale there was much wringing of hands over how it marked the end of the monoculture, the final iteration of a time when we all, I don’t know, gathered around in our sunken living rooms with our TV dinners to watch M*A*S*H, or something. The flip side of all this talk of fragmentation, though, is that we’re still very much in an age of serialization and franchise juggernauts, so it made absolute sense when HBO announced that multiple spinoffs would vie to fill the Wun Wun–size hole in our hearts after Game of Thrones ended. So take comfort in knowing that at least one new series is coming — even though HBO nixed several others — and regardless of whether or not GOT stuck the landing (it didn’t), we don’t have to say good-bye to George R.R. Martin’s world. So let’s put on our Samwell hats and lay out everything we know about the post–Game of Thrones–iverse so far.
The Fire & Blood adaptation is happening, and it will be called House of the Dragon.
In the fall of 2018, George R.R. Martin released the 800-page companion book Fire & Blood, which covers Targaryen history going back to the conquest of Westeros, 300 years before the events of the television series. Martin remains enamored with the Targaryens, and in a May blog post wrote about the upcoming series in development: “What are they about? I cannot say. But maybe some of you should pick up a copy of Fire & Blood and come up with your own theories.” Then, on October 29, HBO gave a ten-episode direct-to-series order to a Fire & Blood adaptation that will be called House of the Dragon. The series will be co-created by Martin and Colony creator and showrunner Ryan Condal. Condal will serve as co-showrunner alongside “Battle of the Bastards” and “Winds of Winter” director Miguel Sapochnik.
Naomi Watts’s pilot is a no-go for HBO.
Prior to the House of the Dragon announcement, it seemed like the first post-GOT project we’d actually get to see would be one helmed by Jane Goldman and co-written by Martin, which filmed its pilot this past summer. HBO ordered the pilot in 2018, and later that year we learned that the series would star Naomi Watts as a “charismatic socialite with a dark secret” and take place around 10,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, near the end of the Age of Heroes. This series was one of many initially announced with women at the helm. Back in September when rumors about the Fire & Blood series were spreading, Martin wrote on his blog: “Some websites are suggesting that the news about Ryan’s show moving forward means that Jane’s show won’t. If that’s so, no one has told me. I don’t think it’s so.” In October, however, Goldman sent emails to the cast and crew to tell them that the pilot would not be moving forward. It would seem it was, in fact, so. According to Deadline, this news comes “after a lengthy post-production, which included re-editing of the initial cut after it was not well-received, and rumors about issues during filming in Northern Ireland.” What kind of world are we living in, where people can treat Naomi Watts like this? HBO has yet to comment.
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