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George R.R. Martin says he was mostly kept in the dark on final seasons of 'Game of Thrones'
"By Season 5 and 6, and certainly 7 and 8, I was pretty much out of the loop."
Sometimes life really does imitate Westeros. During a recent conversation with The New York Times, best-selling author George R.R. Martin alleged that he was thrust into his own version of the Long Night when showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff decided to keep him in the dark with regards to the latter seasons of Game of Thrones. "By Season 5 and 6, and certainly 7 and 8, I was pretty much out of the loop," he claimed, going on to add that only Weiss and Benioff know the true answer as to why.
Based on Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels, the global television phenomenon came to an end in May of 2019 after a much-maligned final season that many viewers considered to be rushed, narratively sloppy, and generally unfulfilling. Two more books — The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring — still remain on the literary side, with Martin promising that his written conclusion to the epic saga "will be very different" from the one depicted onscreen.
In any case, the writer's apparent feeling of betrayal (a very common theme in the Thrones universe) on those final seasons may have prompted him to take a much more active role in House of the Dragon, the first spinoff project to come out of the blossoming fantasy franchise. The author and executive producer co-created the upcoming prequel series alongside Ryan Condal (Colony), adapting the content found within Fire & Blood, the 2018 history of the Targaryen family. Condal serves as showrunner, as well as executive producer alongside GoT directing veteran, Miguel Sapochnik.
“The trick here is, you don’t want to just remake the original show,” HBO's Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys explained to the Times. “You want to make a show that feels related and honors the original, but also feels like its own. It is a very important franchise to us."
Bloys also sounded off on the segment of the fan base that has purportedly disavowed anything to do with the property after the Season 8 finale left a bad taste in their mouths.
“I do believe that is a little bit more of an online narrative than it is in real life,” he said. “I mean, we have the data of who’s watching Game of Thrones, and it is consistently in the Top 10 assets that people watch on HBO Max around the world. As we’re coming closer to the premiere of this show, we’ve seen people going back, and we’ve seen an uptick in the viewership on HBO Max for the flagship series.”
House of the Dragon lights up HBO and HBO Max Sunday, Aug. 21 at 9 p.m. ET.
Looking for more fantasy adventures? Stream the entire eight-film Harry Potter saga on Peacock.