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Exclusive: George R.R. Martin opens up about 'love and hate' from fans on Idris Elba's podcast

The celebrated fantasy author stopped by Season 2 of Coupledom with House of the Dragon co-creator, Ryan Condal.

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) George R.R. Martin and Idris Elba

George R.R. Martin is well aware of your impatience with regards to his progress on The Winds of Winter, so you might as well stop hounding him online.

How do we know this? Easy. During his appearance on a Season 2 episode of Coupledom, an exclusive Audible podcast co-hosted by actor Idris Elba and his wife, Sabrina, alongside House of the Dragon co-creator, Ryan Condal (Colony), the celebrated fantasy author and Game of Thrones mastermind didn't hold back when it came to his relationship with overly rabid fans. SYFY WIRE has an exclusive clip from the conversation, in which Martin discusses his relationship with fans who — like Schrödinger's famous cat — can occupy two states at once.

"I love the fans, although I do think Twitter and the internet and social media has brought out a viciousness I never saw in the old days," he says. "The love and hate are very close, particularly with comic books or any established franchises."

He then briefly touched on the status of his next book in the Song of Ice and Fire saga: "I get [that] Winds of Winter, the sixth book is late. I can get a hundred good comments, but there's still gonna be a few fans out there who are gonna remind me of it on my blog or whatever. I say, 'Happy Thanksgiving!' And they say, 'Never mind Thanksgiving, where's the book?!'"

Condal, who serves as co-showrunner and executive producer on GoT spinoff House of the Dragon, along with veteran Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik, stated that the overall goal with the fiery prequel series, which premieres later this summer, is "to create a fitting successor show that keeps [fans] happy." The onus is more on him and Sapochnik, as Martin "already has his fans and the fans of the book are numerous and strong." 

Take a listen below:

See below for the full list of guests and topics featured in Coupledom Season 2:

  • Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg: Growing Together - Filmmakers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been making audiences laugh for decades. But when one of their films triggered one of the biggest cyber hacks in entertainment history, they thought they might never work again. How did their friendship help them survive?
  • Rita Ora and Elena Ora: Sibling Revelry - Pop superstar Rita Ora is one of the most played female artists of the 21st century in the U.K. Her secret weapon? Rita’s powerhouse manager (and sister) Elena. How did two sisters go up against a male-dominated industry to build such successful music careers? 
  • Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black: Fatherdom - Olympian Tom Daley and Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black are facing one of their biggest challenges to date – fatherhood. In this episode, Tom and Lance debunk myths about surrogacy and uncover how parenting can bring your life and relationship into sharp focus.
  • Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez: Letting Go - Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez aren’t just the Oscar-winning songwriting team behind Frozen’s Let It Go. They’re also husband and wife. In this episode, they open up about what it takes to write a hit song with your spouse all while trying to get your kids to do their homework and eat their vegetables.
  • Ryan Condal and George R.R. Martin: Fandom - How do you follow up a TV hit as huge as Game of Thrones? George R.R. Martin had the right story but what he didn’t have was somebody to adapt it. And so, he turned to someone who wasn’t just a writer – but was one of his biggest fans. In this episode, we sit down with George and showrunner Ryan Condal to talk about their high-stakes collaboration on television’s most-anticipated new show, House of the Dragon.
  • Yin Chang and Moonlynn Tsai: Open Hearts - Chef Moonlynn Tsai and actor Yin Chang were nearing their 7-year itch at the same time as COVID-19 hit and a wave of anti-Asian racism threatened them and their community. Their response? To launch Heart of Dinner, a service delivering culturally-appropriate meals to elders in their community along with letters of love and support.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Coupledom are now available to stream via the Audible website

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

Sabrina and Idris Elba

Looking for some fantasy content to tide you over for the next four months? Click here for our list of the best fantasy films available on Peacock.