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George R. R. Martin has “more influence” over House of the Dragon compared to his role on Game of Thrones. During the run of the original series, Martin says that his input became less and less important as the show progressed to later seasons. But, the author — who is serving as an executive producer on House of the Dragon — says that won’t happen with the prequel. However, he admits that he still didn’t get his way with the newer series in one major way.

‘House of the Dragon’ and Game Of Thrones" Creator George R. R. Martin attends the "Game Of Thrones" Season 8 NY Premiere on April 3, 2019 in New York City
‘House of the Dragon and ‘Game of Thrones’ creator George R.R. Martin | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

George R. R. Martin wanted ‘Game of Thrones’ to last 10 seasons

In the final seasons of Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had progressed the story to a point where they had run out of source material from Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. 

Martin was (and still is) working on the sixth book Winds of Winter, and he told Benioff and Weiss the outline of where the story was going. But then, the producers put their own mark on the story and took it in an unintended direction. What’s more, they rushed the end of the series instead of taking their time with more episodes or more seasons.

“I was saying it needs to be 10 seasons at least and maybe 12, 13. I lost that one,” Martin told The Wall Street Journal. “I had no contribution to the later seasons except, you know, inventing the world, the story and all the characters. I believe I have more influence now [on House of the Dragon] than I did on the original show.”

He may have more influence over ‘House of the Dragon’ but he didn’t get his way in 1 major way

House of the Dragon Season 1 was based on Martin’s completed Westeros history book Fire & Blood, and set approximately two centuries before the events of Game of Thrones. According to the author, there were “spirited discussions” in the writer’s room about where to begin the prequel.

“One of the writers wanted to begin it later, with Aemma dying. Skip the Great Council, skip the tournament, a scream sounds out, Aemma is dead, that’s where you begin. That was one possibility,” Martin said, during a discussion with fellow fantasy writer David Anthony Durham on Penguin Random House’s YouTube page

“Another of the writers wanted to begin even later than that, with Viserys dying. But what happens there? Then you have to present all that material in flashbacks or dialogue, that becomes challenging too. But we discussed all these possibilities.”

They ultimately chose to begin with the Great Council convened by King Jaehaerys Targaryen (Michael Carter) that determined his heir. The choice was between Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best), the daughter of his eldest son, or Prince Viserys (Paddy Considine), the son of his second son. The council chose Viserys, but this moment occurs about halfway through Fire & Blood. According to Martin, he believes they should have started the series “much earlier.”

George R. R. Martin wanted to start ‘House of the Dragon’ with an episode titled ‘The Heir and the Spare’

Martin wanted to see the prequel begin even earlier in Targaryen’s history than the prequel actually portrayed. However, he says “no one liked” the idea except for him.

“I would’ve begun it like 40 years earlier, with an episode I would’ve called ‘The Heir and the Spare.’ Jaehaerys’ two sons, Aemon and Baelon, are alive, and we see the friendship but also the rivalry between the two sides of the great house,” Martin explained.


‘House of the Dragon’: George R.R. Martin Calls the ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel ‘Dark, Powerful, Visceral, Disturbing, Stunning to Look at’

“Then Aemon dies accidentally when a Myrish crossbowman shoots him by accident on Tarth, then Jaehaerys has to decide who becomes the new heir. Is it the daughter of the son who’s just died, or the second son who has children of his own and is a man, where she’s a teenager? You could’ve presented all that stuff, but then you would’ve had 40 more years, and even more time jumps and recastings. I was the only one who was really enthused about that.”

House of the Dragon Season 1 is now playing on HBO Max.