Emilia Clarke Reacts to HBO Scrapping Game of Thrones Prequel: 'It Was Kind of Astonishing'
Emilia Clarke played Daenerys Targaryen in all eight seasons of the HBO series
Don’t worry, Emilia Clarke; we were shocked too.
On Tuesday, the 33-year-old actress learned at the N.Y.C premiere for her film Last Christmas that HBO had scrapped plans for a Game of Thrones prequel from showrunner Jane Goldman. A full pilot episode starring Naomi Watts was shot in Northern Ireland earlier this year.
“It was kind of astonishing,” said Clarke, who played Daenerys Targaryen in all eight seasons of the acclaimed series. “The show very much ended and we heard about the prequel and we’re like, ‘Okay, cool,’ but didn’t have any understanding of what it might be or who was involved.”
“If it wasn’t meant to happen now, it wasn’t as perfect as everybody wanted it to have been, so it was for the right reasons,” she added. “Maybe it will get reincarnated.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Goldman e-mailed the cast to share the news that the prequel was no longer moving forward.
Along with Watts, the series was supposed to star Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth) and Denise Gough (Broadway’s Angels in America).
George R.R. Martin, who wrote the Song of Ice and Fire book series from which Game of Thrones was adapted, was co-creating the series with Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass), who was also set to serve as showrunner. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of the original series, were never involved.
Still officially untitled, the prequel was set to take place roughly 5,000 years before the events of the HBO series. Martin had previously confirmed that the fan-favorite Stark family, who were descendants of the First Men, would be featured, but not the Lannisters, as the prequel would predate their rise.
But just hours after HBO announced that the Watts-led prequel would not be moving forward, the network revealed that the other planned prequel — based on House Targaryen — was given a series order.
The green-lit prequel has received a 10-episode, straight-to-series order and will be based on Martin’s Fire and Blood, the Targaryen history book that was released earlier this year.
Titled House of the Dragon, the prequel series is co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal, who will act as co-showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik, who directed some of the most memorable Game of Thrones episodes including “The Bells,” “The Long Night” and “Battle of the Bastards.”
Sapochnik is set to direct the pilot, as well as additional episodes throughout the season.
“We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George,” said HBO Programming President Casey Bloys in a statement.
House of the Dragon will take place 300 years before the story of Clarke‘s Khaleesi, who perished during GoT‘s series finale at the hands of Jon Snow (Kit Harington).