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Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts officially axed at HBO

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Oct 29, 2019, 3:13 PM EDT

This story was originally published on Tuesday, Oct. 29, and updated on Friday, Nov. 1

The high-profile Game of Thrones prequel from showrunner Jane Goldman is officially no longer moving forward at HBO, the network confirmed today via Deadline.

“After careful consideration, we have decided not to move forward to series with the Untitled Game of Thrones prequel,” HBO said in a statement to the outlet. “We thank Jane Goldman, S.J. Clarkson, and the talented cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication.”

Deadline originally broke the news on Tuesday (Oct. 29), although HBO did not verify it until today. Per the initial report, Goldman (co-writer of both Kingsman films) sent out emails to the cast and crew to let them know that the pilot was dead.

Created by Goldman and George R.R. Martin, the untitled series had cast Naomi Watts in the lead role and was said to take place thousands of years in Westeros' past, during the fantasy country's "Age of Heroes." Prior to this development, Martin had been dropping teases here and there, promising Starks and a serious lack of dragons.

The pilot episode was filmed over the summer and was in editing when HBO gave the go-ahead for another prequel effort that centers on the dragon-riding House Targaryen, which was locked in earlier this week. Aside from the Blood and Fire adaptation, Variety posits that all other prequels and/or spinoffs ordered prior to the series finale of Game of Thrones aren't moving forward either.

Credit: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The premiere episode of the series was written by Goldman and directed by S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones, The Defenders). Post-production was allegedly longer than expected, an already foreboding sign after there were reports of undefined trouble with the shoot in Northern Ireland.

In addition to Watts, the prequel had amassed a sizable supporting cast of Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp, Toby Regbo, Miranda Richardson, Marquis Rodriquez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan, and Dixie Egerickx.