It has been an interesting week for “Game of Thrones” fans. From all the hullabaloo over former showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss exiting “Star Wars,” to Tuesday’s news which saw the already shot pilot for a ‘Thrones’ spin-off (rumored to be titled “The Long Night”) being rejected.
That was quickly followed by word of another potential one, “House of the Dragon,” snagging a straight-to-series order. ‘House’ is a prequel series set three centuries before ‘Thrones’ and dealing with the glory days of House Targaryen and the last great war involving dragons.
Speaking on a blog post, author George R.R. Martin talked about his reaction to Long Night’s collapse, saying: “It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series. Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her.” The episode reportedly had a problematic production last spring and summer in Northern Ireland and HBO opted to reject it, swallowing the cost of the whole thing. Martin wouldn’t explain what fully happened:
“I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one [‘Long Night’], but I do not think it had to do with HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. This was never an either/or situation. 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.
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 nought, 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.”
Martin says he is also determined to finish the much-delayed and multi-volumed novel “The Winds of Winter”, which will offer different conclusions for some of the characters from ‘Thrones’. He’s determined enough that he’s promised not to write any of the new TV series until the book is done.