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What is Blood Moon? (Game of Thrones Prequel)

2019 has been a year of cinematic landmarks, it is the year that saw Avengers: Endgame take the coveted place of highest-grossing movie of all time, finally knocking James Cameron’s Avatar into second place. It is also the year that, as a universal audience, we waved goodbye to the most successful television show of all time. Yes, this is another Game of Thrones post, but don’t worry, I won’t spend over 1000 words explaining why the final season was a convoluted mess – again. No, instead I’m here to talk about the show’s upcoming spin-off Blood Moon, which right now is the working title, which means it could change to something a bit more interesting. But for now it’s Blood Moon.

Now, I bet a few of you didn’t even know that GOT was going to receive the spin-off treatment, but it is. And the show is already in production, which means that the latest we could get it on our television screens is late 2020. But again, I suspect a lot of people didn’t really know about this, so I have decided to composite a list of things that we definitely know about the show so far. Just to keep any interested fans up to date. So here it goes.

  1. The show is the only GOT spin-off in production (for now).

In May 2017, HBO commissioned a group of acclaimed screenwriters to go forth and create their own individual Game of Thrones spin-off. Among these writers were names such as Max Borstein (Godzilla), Carly Ray (Mad Men)  and Bryan Cogman (GOT). Each of the five chosen writers worked closely with George R.R. Martin to develop their respected scripts. But so far it seems that only one of the scripts was chosen to go into production. Cogman even announced that his own spin-off script had been rejected, ending his relationship with the world of ice and fire. However, according to George R.R. Martin, two other projects are showing particular potential, even though they are still in the writing phase.

2. The chosen script was written by Jane Goldman.

Out of the five writers chosen, we find Jane Goldman, who you may know as being the writer of blockbuster films such as Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and The Woman in Black. Goldman wrote the lucky script that was greenlit by HBO and will serve as head writer for the show.

3. D & D will not be involved.

D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will not be involved in the project in any way. Yes, you heard me right. According to reports, the writing duo won’t even produce the finished project and instead have chosen to step away from the land of Westeros, just like they stepped away from Comic Con (am I right?). This means that Goldman will have primary creative control when it comes to the show’ overall narrative. And it will be nice to see some fresh new talent getting to play with this expansive world.

4. The show will be set during the Age of Heroes.

So far there has been very little about what the show will focus on, or who the characters will be. But it has been revealed that the show will be set during the Age of Heroes, which places it around 10,000 years before the events of GOT. Which means that we are going back to a time where the noble houses are newly formed, where the Andal invasion of Westeros is taking place and where White walkers first appeared. Which opens the door for a world of possibility.

5.The show will star Naomi Watts…and a bunch of other actors.

Yes, Hollywood legend Naomi Watts will have a primary role in the show, and not only that, but she will be joined by quite an epic group of talented performers. Accompanying Watts to the shores of Westeros are Miranda Richardson, Jamie Campbell Bower, John Simm and Alex Sharp – just to name a few. As of yet we do not know who the actors will be playing, although judging from some leaked set photos, Watts will be playing a noble lady. Maybe she will be playing one of the invading Andals, or even a Lannister ancestor?

6. The show is filming in Northern Ireland and Italy.

So far it has also been confirmed that the show is currently filming in Northern Ireland, where Goldman is working, and also in the Grotta del Turco near the town of Gaeta, Italy. Already this seems like a small list, especially when compared to the original show’s rather impressive list of locations. But it does mean that we are going to see more beautiful landscapes and backgrounds, which will hopefully bring Martin’s stunning world to accurate life.

7. And there will be a cave.

Recently more on set photos have been leaked or revealed to the world. Still filming at the Titanic Studios in Ireland, the show’s set was snapped by a couple of passers-by, allowing us a glimpse at what appears to be a some sort of cave-like set. Already fans are speculating what this could mean, but seeing as the show is set in the Age of Heroes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Children of the Forest are somewhat involved. There has also been word that the production teams have been asked to create a large throne-like structure from wood. Now, the show is set centuries before the Targaryen invasion, so that means there was no Iron Throne in this time period. Let’s just hope that the throne is purely for aesthetic, rather than an eight-year long metaphor about the power of politics.

So there we go, everything that we know about the new show. It may not sound like much, but there’s already loads to analyse and pick apart. Personally I am very happy Goldman got the gig, although I have had some issues with her solo work in the past, I’m hoping the television format will help with her approach to story-telling. I am also a tiny bit sceptical about setting the show during the Age of Heroes, after all, we have already had a White Walker invasion to worry about, and I don’t really want another one. I do fear that HBO simply went for what sounded like the safest choice, a show almost exactly like the one that spawned it. But we’ll see how far this new show follows the old when it finally airs. I’m going to watch it regardless, if only to see if this world can be done better by a writer who actually care.

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