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George R.R. Martin 'feeling fine' after testing positive for COVID-19 following SDCC appearance

Martin was present at Comic-Con to discuss HBO's Game of Thrones spinoff, House of the Dragon.

By Josh Weiss
George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has officially tested positive for COVID-19.

The 73-year-old writer — who is fully vaccinated and multi-boosted against the virus — broke the news to fans via a pre-recorded video message on YouTube, explaining that he is currently quarantining in a Los Angeles hotel room after his appearance at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend. His sojourn to the Pacific Coast was also set to include a number of business meetings and an appearance at the world premieres for House of the Dragon, HBO's upcoming prequel series to Game of Thrones, Wednesday evening.

"With COVID raging in San Diego County and California in general, I decided to be very cautious and conservative," Martin explains in the video. "I did the panel and that was a lot of fun ... but I skipped all of the parties, I did not go on the convention floor, and I canceled my in-person autographing. I did sign hundreds of books and comic books and posters to sell or give away, so my signature was available at Comic-Con. I went out for a few meals, and that was fine. Then we drove up to Los Angeles for the second leg of this trip. Well, a funny thing happened and the first day in Los Angeles, yesterday, I woke up and tested positive for COVID."

Thankfully, the celebrated writer is feeling fine, beyond a few minor symptoms. "That's pretty much still where I am," he continued, explaining that the members of his close inner circle (like his wife, Parris, for example) are also in self-isolation. "This is the second day. I'm still sniffling a little and occasionally coughing, but mostly, I feel fine ... Honestly, it's a mystery how in the world I got this because I am positive, but everybody around me is negative. And all of the people I ate with in San Diego, all of the people who assisted me from here and there, are negative. I'm the only positive person in this particular group ... But this virus is tricky, so here I am."

Once his quarantine period is over, Martin will head home to Santa Fe, New Mexico "to catch up on all the emails and resume working on The Winds of Winter and mindless other projects," he said, going on to voice his profound disappointment over having to miss the premieres for House of the Dragon and Night of the Cooters.

Fortunately, a second House of the Dragon screening will be held at the author's own movie theater, the Jean Cocteau Cinema, several days before the first episode drops. "If you're in Santa Fe or traveling through New Mexico, you can drop by and see Episode 1 of House of the Dragon. I hope I'll be there [and] over COVID by then ... But, of course, that's a much smaller event. We only have 78 seats in the Cocteau right now, so it won't be quite like the 500-seat red carpet gala that they're having today."

He concluded: "I hope you won't worry too much about me. I seem to be fine for someone in quarantine and I will say that if you are gonna have to go in quarantine, a four-star hotel is a good place to do it. Thank you all. I'm sorry if I disappointed anyone at Comic-Con or someone who was hoping to see me at one of these premieres. It's not easy to back out on that because I hate disappointing my fans and it's also a huge disappointment to me and my staff and my minions — all of whom were looking forward to going to these things. But that is the world we live in and I'm gonna take my pills, rest a lot, sleep a lot, drink plenty of fluids, and get over this. And then I'll be back on the road again and back in Santa Fe, resuming work on the book that I know you're all [hoping] for."

House of the Dragon premieres on HBO and HBO Max on Sunday, Aug. 21.

Looking for more fantasy adventures? Stream the entire eight-film Harry Potter saga on Peacock.