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George R.R. Martin ‘saddened’ by Game of Thrones prequel cancellation

George R.R. Martin is “saddened” by HBO’s cancellation of its ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel show.

It was announced this week that HBO had axed plans for a prequel to the hugely popular fantasy series – which was based on the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ book series by George – after the pilot episode was not picked up for a full series.

And now, George has said he’s “heartbroken” by the decision not to continue with the series, which was supposed to be set thousands of years before the main show, and would tell the story of how the White Walkers came to be.

Writing on his blog as he addressed the news that HBO would be picking up a different prequel series titled ‘House of the Dragon’, the author wrote: “As exciting as the series order is, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the bad news. HBO also announced that it has decided not to proceed with the other successor show we had in development, the one I kept calling ‘The Long Night’ (though it was, and remains, officially untitled), the pilot for which was shot in Northern Ireland last spring and summer.

“Set thousands of years before either ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘House of the Dragon’, and centered on the Starks and the White Walkers, the untitled pilot was written by Jane Goldman, directed by S.J. Clarkson, and starred Naomi Watts, Miranda Richardson, and a splendid cast. It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series.”

George insists the decision to ax the show has nothing to do with ‘House of the Dragon’ – which will be centered around the Targaryen household – but says he doesn’t know why HBO didn’t pick up both shows.

He added: “Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, 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 ‘CSI’s 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.”

The writer believes everyone involved with the show is “feeling the disappointment”, and sent them his “good wishes” for their future ventures.

He concluded: “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 naught, 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.”

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