There were two big announcements for Game of Thrones fans this week. The news that HBO was not moving forward with the Naomi Watts-starring prequel show was quickly followed by the announcement of a full series order for another spin-off, titled House of the Dragon. Now George RR Martin, who wrote the novels that the franchise is based on, has commented on the situation.
Martin wrote on his blog about the HBO’s decision not to take the first prequel to series, and had much praise for showrunner Jame Goldman. “It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series,” he said. “Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her. I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with House of the Dragon. If television has room enough for multiple CSIs and Chicago shows… well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows.
“Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and have it come to nought, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy.”
Nevertheless, Martin was clearly excited about House of the Dragon, which is based on his 2018 book Fire & Blood. He revealed that he first pitched the idea for the show to HBO back in 2016 and stated that as as well as reading Fire & Blood, fans should check out Dangerous Women and Rogues, two multi-author anthologies he edited with Gardner Dozois.
Martin also had much praise for House of the Dragon’s showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik and said that while the filming locations for the show had not yet been decided, he expected that it would return to some of the places used throughout the eight years of Game of Thrones. As for whether he would be working on the show itself, Martin stated that while he would “love to write an episode,” he wouldn’t get involved until he finished his long-promised next novel, Winds of Winter.
Game of Thrones wrapped up its eight-season run back in May. Since then, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have left HBO for a production deal at Netflix. They then also stepped down from the proposed trilogy of Star Wars movies they were attached to write and direct.