- George RR Martin said he was “out of the loop” during the last four seasons of “Game of Thrones”.
- During an interview with The New York Times, he said he did not know why it happened.
- “You’d have to ask Dan and David,” he said, referring to the showrunners (David Benioff and DB Weiss).
George RR Martin had a surprising answer when asked why he was “out of the loop” during the last four seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” adaptation.
Speaking to New York Times reporter John Koblin, the fantasy writer said, “By seasons five and six, and certainly seven and eight, I was pretty much out of the loop.”
When Koblin asked why, Martin said, “I don’t know — you’ll have to ask Dan and David.”
Dan and David refer to the two showrunners who helmed “Game of Thrones” – David Benioff and Dan “DB” Weiss. The New York Times said a representative for Benioff and Weiss “declined to comment.”
This revelation came in the context of a feature on “House of the Dragon,” the first “Game of Thrones” prequel series that will premiere on HBO later this month. Benioff and Weiss were not involved in “House of the Dragon” (they are currently working under a joint deal with Netflix). Instead, it was Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik who took up the mantle of a new fantasy show set in the mystical lands of Westeros.
Condal was a big fan of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels before this new series came into the spotlight. He and Martin have both spoken openly about the author’s heavier involvement in “House of the Dragon”. Martin participated in early planning meetings, read scripts and previewed early cuts of the first season’s episodes.
This is a departure from his involvement with “Game of Thrones” in recent years. For the first four seasons of the adaptation, Martin wrote one script per season. This tradition stopped with the fifth season, and Martin told fans that this was due to his need to focus on writing the sixth book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series (you can read more about that debacle here ).
The fifth season was around when “Game of Thrones” began to take significant deviations from Martin’s books, including consolidations of characters or storylines. The show soon took over the written material entirely, leaving Benioff and Weiss to write their own endgame paths for characters.
As previously reported by Insider, the more it became clear that Martin wouldn’t finish his last two books before the show, the more Benioff and Weiss started talking more openly about how the show and the books might end differently. Meaning that the show’s ending probably didn’t “ruin” Martin’s own planned ending – you can read more about how we know here.
When the series finale was set to air, fans were surprised to learn that neither Martin nor the “Game of Thrones” showrunners knew for sure how the other would end the massive storyline.
“I haven’t read the scripts and haven’t been able to visit the set because I’ve been working on ‘Winds,'” Martin said in a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The same feature revealed that Martin had turned down an offer from Benioff and Weiss to make a cameo appearance in the final season.
Following the series finale in May 2019, more news emerged about certain preferences and wishes Martin had for the show, including the revelation that the writer reportedly flew to New York to “beg” an HBO executive to make “Game of Thrones” 10 seasons long.
Martin’s agent, Paul Haas, was interviewed for a 2021 book titled “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers” by journalist James Andrew Miller.
“George loves Dan and Dave, but after season five he started to worry about the path they were going down because George knows where the story is going,” Haas told Miller for the book. “He started saying, ‘You’re not following my template.'”
This complex relationship is unlikely to be replicated with “House of the Dragon” because this time Martin has already completed the story on which the series is based. Showrunners Condal and Sapochnik are working from the historical fiction of House Targaryen titled “Fire and Blood,” and Martin has been able to make specific requests about what should be included in the show.
“House of the Dragon” premieres Sunday, August 21 on HBO at 6pm PT/9pm ET.