George R.R. Martin on the problems he's had with the TV version of Game of Thrones

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Jan 11, 2016, 4:28 PM EST (Updated)

HBO's Game of Thrones took George R.R. Martin from fantasy famous to a worldwide, household name. But that doesn't mean it's all sunshine and rainbows between the man and the network.

To our knowledge, there is no such thing as a perfect adaptation where everyone is completely satisfied. But HBO's Game of Thrones is about as close as you're gonna get. Fans of the book love the show, even when there are major changes from the text. The executives at HBO love the show since it has become the most viewed they've ever had, and Martin himself seems to be thoroughly enjoying the benefits of becoming an unlikely star.

But not everything can be perfect and there things that Martin wishes were different. The first?

“I wish we had more episodes. I’d love to have 13 episodes. With 13 episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer."

That is some epic preaching to the choir if ever we've heard it. But Martin acknowledges that, “Battles are expensive." And considering all the expensive location shoots and an average of $70 million spent per season, it's kind of understandable.

Still, Martin's want for more episodes is more than just so we aren't crying in the corner for so many Game-of-Thrones-less weekends -- it's about really getting into the metaphorical guts of his characters. And, on a related note, Martin also talked about how ignoring certain characters can come back to haunt the show. For example, in Season 1 there's a musician named Marillion who gets his tongue chopped off and is, subsequently, never seen again. However he remained in the books and, much later, winds up being the person Petyr Baelish pins the murder of Lysa Arryn on. Martin sees more of that on the horizon, saying, "The butterfly effects are accumulating."

That's not Martin's only beef, though. There's another thing he's bummed about -- the Iron Throne. He likes the HBO one fine, saying, "The HBO throne has become iconic. And well it might. It’s a terrific design, and it has served the show very well." Buuuuuuut, "It’s not the Iron Throne I see when I’m working on THE WINDS OF WINTER. It’s not the Iron Throne I want my readers to see. The way the throne is described in the books ... HUGE, hulking, black and twisted, with the steep iron stairs in front, the high seat from which the king looks DOWN on everyone in the court ... my throne is a hunched beast looming over the throne room, ugly and assymetric ... The HBO throne is none of those things."

Granted, looking at the overall aesthetic of the show, it's hard to imagine that kind of Iron Throne fitting in, really. But maybe that's the point. Maybe the Iron Throne should really stand out in a way that's almost a borderline eyesore.

What do you think? More episodes? Bigger, scarier Iron Throne? Both? Neither?

(Via The New York Times)