Less than a day after the Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced they wouldn't be moving forward with their upcoming Star Wars trilogy, citing their workload over at Netflix, HBO just announced it won't be moving forward with the long-awaited Thrones prequel series, citing... well, no reason has been cited yet.
The pilot for the new show was penned by Kick-Ass and Kingsman writer Jane Goldman. Naomi Watts led the cast with other great stars attached including John Simm and Naomi Ackie in supporting roles. It was shot over the summer, directed by SJ Clarkson, but ultimately, per reports, HBO passed on taking it to the next level and ordering it to series. We'll probably never even see the doomed pilot, either. The premium cable channel is remaining tight-lipped on what went wrong at the moment. It could be anything from some major behind-the-scenes issues that carried over from Thrones's tumultuous final season, giving executives cold feet, or it could be a simple case of "Eh, not good enough."
At the moment—and for the foreseeable future, it seems—HBO doesn't really have much of a guaranteed roster of big-hitters to take its once-flagship's place. Ballers, a perfectly fine show with outsized ratings, has just ended its long run, and the likes of the new, beloved Watchmen and Succession, while commanding a lot of critical admiration and cultural cache, still aren't putting up anywhere near the kind of numbers Game of Thrones could guarantee the network year after year.
Ratings mean increasingly little in this new streaming era, and that slice of the pie is about to get smaller with the likes of Apple TV+ and Disney+ both launching within the next month. HBO would be smart to prioritize quality. Let's hope that was the case here.
As the show went on, the dialogue got scarcer and scarcer.
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Originally Appeared on GQ