Game Of Thrones Spinoff Cost $35 Million And You’ll Never See It

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Published

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First released in 2011 and concluding after eight seasons in 2019, Game of Thrones quickly became one of the most-watched series of all time. Like most successful series, both producers and fans were calling for a spin-off, and while we got House of the Dragon in 2022, another spin-off was originally planned. Bloodmoon cost HBO $35 million to make, and it never saw the light of day.

Before House Of The Dragon

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Like House of the Dragon, Bloodmoon was meant to be a prequel series set in the Game of Thrones universe. Initially, HBO earmarked a staggering $30-35 million for the production of a pilot episode for Bloodmoon. However, the project was abruptly shelved in 2019, leaving fans wondering about its demise.

Very Little Material To Work With

HBO’s Chief Content Officer, Casey Bloys, explained the challenges that the team encountered during the development of Bloodmoon. One major hurdle was the scarcity of source material from George R.R. Martin, the author of the original Game of Thrones series. Martin had reportedly only penned about eight lines of text related to the time period Bloodmoon was set in.

HBO Spent Millions

“It required a lot more invention; it was higher risk, higher reward,” Bloys said. But HBO decided to go for it anyway, and, without a lot of context for this period in the Game of Thrones universe, executives threw millions into production to make it happen. “It was very well produced and looked extraordinary,” Robert Greenblatt, the then chairmen of HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia said. 

But, despite its considerable investment, the project failed to capture the essence and depth fans knew and loved about Game of Thrones.

The Origin Of The White Walkers

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Martin, who never witnessed the pilot of the Game of Thrones spin-off, elaborated on the intricacies of the scrapped project, saying it was a “difficult assignment.” Bloodmoon delved into a primitive era devoid of dragons, focusing on the interwoven narratives surrounding a significant wedding between a Southern and Northern house while also exploring the origins of the White Walkers.

Plan B

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Despite its cancellation, HBO didn’t abandon the Game of Thrones universe entirely. Instead, the network opted to greenlight another spin-off titled House of the Dragon. Set 200 years prior to the events of the original series, House of the Dragon chronicles the saga of the Targaryen family during a tumultuous succession war.

Season 2 Is On The Way

Featuring an ensemble cast including Doctor Who star Matt Smith as Daemon Targaryen, alongside Paddy Considine and Rhys Ifans, the series premiered with a 10-episode season. The series was immediately renewed for a second season a week following its premiere because of the record-breaking ratings it created for HBO. Season 2 of the Game of Thrones spin-off is set to release in June 2024.

House Of The Dragon Is A Success

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While we didn’t get a Bloodmoon spin-off directly following the conclusion of Game of Thrones, that’s not to say the series will never get a second chance. With the success of House of the Dragon, HBO will likely not want to let the Game of Thrones universe die so easily. If future seasons of House of the Dragon continue to be as successful as the first season, there’s no doubt that the studio will continue to look for more Westeros stories to tell.