THERE’S GOOD news and bad news for Northern Ireland and Game of Thrones fans.
The bad news is that plans for a big-budget spin-off series set thousands of years before the events of the HBO series and starring Naomi Watts is no more.
A pilot for the series, written by Jane Goldman and George RR Martin and set in the “Age of Heroes” when the Stark and Lannister families first came to prominence, was filmed in Northern Ireland earlier this year.
However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the project has now been scrapped in what represents the first major setback for HBO and its plans for the medieval fantasy franchise.
It’s not all bad news though.
Just hours after announcing that the planned spin-off had been cancelled, HBO revealed it was moving ahead with another Game of Thrones project, House of Dragons.
Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming made the announcement at the launch of the HBO Max streaming platform in Los Angeles.
“It’s my pleasure to announce today that we are ordering House of the Dragon straight to series for HBO,” he said.
“It tells the story of House Targaryen and the early days of Westeros.”
The new series will be set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and will focus on the rise and eventual fall of the House of Targaryen – the family Emilia Clarke’s character, Daenerys Targaryen, belonged to.
With reports suggesting at least a portion of the series will take place in Westeros, the likelihood is that filming for the series will return to Northern Ireland in the not-too-distant future.