‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel ‘The Long Night’ Reportedly Cancelled

Game of Thrones
Winter is going, it seems. The first planned Game of Thrones spin-off, The Long Night, is reportedly no longer moving forward at HBO.


According to DeadlineThe Long Night won’t be the first Game of Thrones released because the network has agreed to can the show after completing work on the pilot episode. Filming on the pilot occurred in Northern Ireland, where much of Game of Thrones was filmed, and was handled by director S. J. Clarkson and writer/intended showrunner Jane Goldman, co-produced by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin. The pilot’s cast included the likes of Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Miranda Richardson, Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo.


Problematic pilots are nothing new for the series, as the initial episode of Game of Thrones was said to be pretty disappointing before it was heavily reshot and overhauled to HBO’s liking before going on to become a wildly successful, adored series (with a controversial, divisive conclusion). That the network seems to be uninterested in trying to overhaul this suggests that the pilot itself wasn’t all that great, which is unfortunate considering the talent involved. Goldman has reportedly been the one telling the cast and crew of the series not to expect the series to receive a pick-up, though HBO has not officially confirmed that the watch of this Game of Thrones spin-off has ended.


The Long Night was to be set about 5,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, showcasing the first White Walker invasion of Westeros well before King’s Landing was built and the Targaryens and their dragons took control of the Seven Kingdoms. The synopsis that HBO had revealed for the aborted series read as follows:

“[The Long Night] takes place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones. It chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.”

Though The Long Night is no longer in development at HBO, the network is still developing other projects in the universe. One such project is based on Martin’s book Fire and Blood, set much closer to the show’s timeline (300 years before Game of Thrones) and focuses on the Targaryen dynasty during “The Dance with Dragons”, when a series of civil wars led by dragons devastated Westeros. Ryan Condal is writing the pilot of this planned adaptation, which Martin will also co-produce. The plus side for this series is that it will have plenty of dragons and elements closer to Game of Thrones will be familiar with.