The world of Westeros will live on at HBO, but the first prequel series the network had planned has been given the axe. Recently, several reports stated that the proposed show, which would have starred Naomi Watts in the lead role, is dead in the water. Now, not only has HBO confirmed the news in a statement, but Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin has also weighed in on the matter.

Developed by Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin, the prequel was tentatively titled The Long Night. Or, at the very least, that's what Martin was calling it. It was set to take place thousands of years before the events of the main series and was just one of as many as five Game of Thrones spin-offs that the network was developing, in the hopes of keeping the franchise alive beyond the main series, which concluded its run this year. HBO had this to say in a statement.

"After careful consideration, we have decided not to move forward to series with the untitled Game of Thrones prequel. We thank Jane Goldman, S.J. Clarkson, and the talented cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication."

HBO has decided to move forward with a GoT prequel titled House of the Dragon, which was co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal. That show has already been given a full-season, 10 episode order. Martin, in a recent blog post, expressed his excitement for that development, as well as his disappointment over the cancellation of the other show.

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"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. 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 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. "

The Naomi Watts-led prequel had filmed a pilot and wasn't given a series order right off the bat. HBO intends to capitalize on the desire for more Game of Thrones, but they're sure to be careful about how they approach it. It's no secret that season 8 of the series disappointed a great many fans, which is influencing the approach to these other possible spin-offs.

Case in point, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who created the flagship series, will not be involved in House of the Dragon. This show will be set 300 years before the events of the main series and will tell the story of House Targaryen. As George R.R. Martin explains, if this goes well, other spin-offs could happen down the line. This news was previously reported by Deadline.

Ryan Scott at TVweb
Ryan Scott