George R.R. Martin is never going to finish “Game of Thrones” is he

George R.R. Martin too “busy with Winds of Winter” to write House of the Dragon

by Dan Selcke, Feb. 24, 2022, Follow @Dan_Selcke

HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon is on the way, and A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R.R. Martin seems pretty excited about it. “It’s dark, it’s powerful, it’s visceral… just the way I like my epic fantasy,” he wrote a while back. “[Showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik] have done an amazing job, and the cast… just as with GAME OF THRONES, most viewers will only have heard of a few of the actors, but I think you are going to fall in love with a lot of them.”

It’s a good sign that Martin is so high on the show — he’s seen rough cuts of a couple episodes. And he continues to praise it on his Not a Blogwriting recently about the writing team that Condal and Sapochnik have assembled:

The first season of HOUSE is now wrapped, and in large part thanks to the talents of our scribes.  So please raise your glasses and toast our writers:  Sara Hess, Gabe Fonseca, Ira Parker, Ti Mikkel, Charmaine DeGrate, Kevin Lau, and Eileen Shim.   And of course Ryan Condal himself, the ringmaster and dragon tamer.   Oh, and though they are not in the picture, I should also salute Claire Kiechel and Wes Tooke, who joined Ryan and Ti in the mini writer’s room that preceded this one, before there was even a pick up.

That photo was taken at a dinner in 2019, before certain made gatherings like that hard to pull off. As is common in TV, some of those folks have since moved on to other projects and some will be returning for House of the Dragon season 2 (assuming that happens), but Martin was taken with all of them. “I loved talking dragons with the team, and I was impressed with the depth of their knowledge of my world, and their enthusiasm for the project.”

George R.R. Martin still working on The Winds of Winter

One of the things you may notice is that the writing team on House of the Dragon is much bigger than the one on Game of Thrones; there, it was often just showrunner David Benioff and Dan Weiss with help from Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill. For the prequel, which is based on Martin’s “fake history book” Fire & Blood, HBO is putting together a bigger team. “To turn it into a television series requires a lot more work than adapting a novel or short story,” Martin wrote. “The scriptwriters need to make history come alive.”

For the first four seasons of Game of Thrones, Martin himself would turn in a script. That’s not the case on House of the Dragon. “[P]art of me would have loved to, but I have been kind of busy with WINDS OF WINTER, the other THRONES successor shows, various WILD CARDS books, the WILD CARDS tv pilot for Peacock and UCP, DARK WINDS for AMC, ROADMARKS for HBO, NIGHT OF THE COOTERS and a couple other really cool Howard Waldrop projects, and… well, yeah, okay, I bought a railroad, never mind,” he wrote. “I did co-create the series with Ryan and help give it its shape, and he and I have been in constant contact ever since.”

Indeed, Martin has a lot of projects in the works, including the long-awaited The Winds of Winter. We learn absolutely nothing new about his progress in this post, but at least point I’ll take even a tiny mention like the one he drops here. It exists, at least.

As for when House of the Dragon premieres, we’re still working that out:

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