HBO Drained $30 Million On Pilot Of The Long Night, Game Of Thrones Prequel

A new book disclosed that HBO emptied a huge amount of $30 million and the pilot of Game of Thrones prequel. The said prequel was

By Soniya Hinduja
December 7,2021
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A new book disclosed that HBO emptied a huge amount of $30 million and the pilot of Game of Thrones prequel. The said prequel was called The Long Night and was ultimately cancelled. Game of Thrones’ 2019 conclusion will finally see a continuation in House of the Dragon in the upcoming year. The spin-off is based on House Targaryen’s rise and fall in the rule. And it is set in a time long before the events of its successor.

Ever since Game of Thrones began to draw phenomenal applause from audiences, HBO has worked towards creating several spin-offs. And this is even before the main series came to a closure with its final season. And back in 2018, The Long Night appeared to be the first show in the long list of potential shows to hit the screens alongside the flagship series.  

HBO’s The Long Night plot

HBO's The Long Night plot

Jane Goldman, and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, were responsible for supervising everything related to The Long Night. The series supposedly depicted a time around 10,000 years before the instances of the original series. The show would elaborate on the events of the first Long Night. Or the period when the White Walkers invaded Westeros. 

The lead star appointed for the series was Naomi Watts. And it also included renowned stars like Josh Whitehouse, Jamie Campbell Bower, Georgie Henley, and Naomie Ackie. The Long Night did make an appearance as planned. But the series could not make it further than the pilot. That was when HBO cancelled the series in the fall of 2019.

WarnerMedia chairman Bob Greenblatt review of The Long Night 

The Night King in HBO’s Game of Thrones

Only recently, The Long Night has sprung up on the discussion. Especially because of some details revealed in James Andrew Miller’s new book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers (via Insider). This has caused a few questions to rise against HBO’s decisions regarding the show. Former WarnerMedia chairman Bob Greenblatt joined the company when the pilot was already in development. When he saw the cut of the episode, Greenblatt turned to HBO’s chief content officer Casey Bloys. And to him, she expressed his unfiltered opinions. Greenblatt said in the book:

“They had spent over $30 million on a ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel pilot that was in production when I got there. And when I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to Casey, ‘This just doesn’t work and I don’t think it delivers on the promise of the original series.’ And he didn’t disagree, which actually was a relief.”

Greenblatt ended the conversation by adding, “There was enormous pressure to get it right and I don’t think that would have worked.”

Also Read: Game of Thrones Prequel House of The Dragon Every Character Explained

Details regarding The Long Night were always scarce.

The media has not covered much on the said Game of Thrones prequel. This is why the details about the plot are still blurry. Even Actress Naomi Watts chose to stay silent about her experience on the pilot episode. When asked about the storyline, she seemed reluctant in revealing anything. She said some show characteristics could someday be applied to a future project. 

And yet, it appears as if The Long Night did not require having a pilot shot at such an enormous scale. Thus, the figure in the budget is not at all justified. It is possible that the production values lacked in some aspects. Or the story was not arresting enough to carry the rest of the series ahead.    

Game of Thrones vs The Long Night 

Game of Thrones opened with an awful first pilot. So to say that The Long Night aired with a pilot that led the series to be cancelled in its entirety is something. And it reveals just how badly the production would have gone. While the pilot may have had the chance to beat that of Game of Thrones, the ultimate quality of the ongoing series affected the score. Thus setting it at a lower scale altogether. 

Although, the forthcoming prequel House of the Dragon is weighing with great expectations from HBO. And in time, we will figure out if the show will exceed the marvellous performance put up by Game of Thrones. For now, we know that the series at least has an order set, which is farther than The Long Night ever got to have.