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HBO cancels “Game of Thrones” prequel show

It’s been a newsworthy day on the Game of Thrones front, and this bit of intel isn’t of the good variety. HBO has canceled the prequel spin-off series that would’ve been set thousands of years before the events of one of the most celebrated shows in TV history, per Entertainment Weekly.

As the EW report states, a full pilot episode for the new series had been fully shot. However, upon further review of the material, HBO decided to pull the plug.

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You’d be excused in pulling a double take upon learning of Tuesday’s hot news. This comes on the heels of O.G. showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss exiting their planned Star Wars project to focus on their new contract with Netflix.

But back to the news at hand: this is definitely a shock to the Game of Thrones system.

How is this possible?

The GoT fanbase is diverse and worldwide, so the prospect of a new show in that unique universe was promising. No less, Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts was to star in the show. It would’ve been fascinating to see what she could’ve done, regardless of what type of character she’d have played.

The polarizing — to be kind — reception of Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season left many fans unfulfilled following the grand finale. Throwing back to some of the show’s successful elements with a fresh story could’ve been a big brand comeback for Westeros.

HBO took a gamble on this little-known property in the first place, and it became a global phenomenon. That it decided to abruptly halt this next venture makes it all the more baffling.

One big reason for optimism

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Good news, though! There’s another prequel spin-off show focused on the Targaryen Civil War! According to EW, it’s adapted from original story author George R.R. Martin’s Fire and Blood, which covers a 150-year period of Targaryen history.

Speaking of redemptive storylines, much of the criticism surrounding Games of Thrones’ last several episodes came from the treatment of the Queen of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen.

It’d be pretty neat to see some deep-dive character work on House Targaryen to cleanse the palate. And hey, if it goes on long enough, we’ll presumably see more of Aerys the Mad King.

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