George R.R. Martin: House of the Dragon needs “four full seasons”

WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: George R. R. Martin attends the LA Special Screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures' "Tolkien" at Regency Village Theatre on May 08, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MAY 08: George R. R. Martin attends the LA Special Screening of Fox Searchlight Pictures' "Tolkien" at Regency Village Theatre on May 08, 2019 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images) /

A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin is watching House of the Dragon along with the rest of us, and while he admits on his Not a Blog that it would be “crazy” to try and review it — he’s consulted on the show, which is based on his book Fire & Blood; he’d hardly be objective — he wanted to give everyone involved with the latest episode a hearty pat on the back.

“Kudos to Eileen Shim, the scriptwriter, to Geeta Patel, the director, to our incredible cast… and particularly to Paddy Considine, for his portrayal of King Viserys, the First of His Name,” Martin wrote. “The character he created (with Ryan and Sara and Ti and the rest of our writers) for the show is so much more powerful and tragic and fully-fleshed than my own version in FIRE & BLOOD that I am half tempted to go back and rip up those chapters and rewrite the whole history of his reign.”

"Paddy deserves an Emmy for this episode alone. If he doesn’t get one, hey, there’s no justice. Meanwhile, I am going to give Archmaester Gyldayn a smack for leaving out so much good stuff."

Archmaester Gyladyn is the “writer” of Fire & Blood, which is a fake history book written in-universe by this maester piecing together the history of the Targaryen dynasty. And just FYI, Martin confirmed that he’s not actually going to rewrite Fire & Blood. He’s just joking. “And no, I am not going to assault Archmaester Glydayn, who does not actually exist. I made him up.”

George R.R. Martin wishes House of the Dragon had spent more time telling its story

Martin also took some time to address the various time jumps House of the Dragon has taken in its first season, where years often pass between episodes. “I think [showrunner Ryan Condal] has handled the ‘jumps’ very well, and I love love love both the younger Alicent and Rhaenyra and the adult versions, and the actresses who play them.”

"Do I wish we’d had more time to explore the relationship between Rhaenyra and Ser Harwin, the marriage of Daemon and Laena and their time in Pentos, the birth of various and sundry children (and YES, Alicent gave Viserys four children, three sons and a daughter, their youngest son Daeron is down in Oldtown, we just did not have the time to work him in this season), and everything else we had to skip? Sure. But there are only so many minutes in an episode (more on HBO than on the network shows I once wrote for), and only so many episodes in a season."

Martin tends toward maximalism in his writing; there’s no detail too insignificant to mention, or even to spend chapters exploring, so it’s no surprise to hear that he would have House of the Dragon take a bit more time sitting with the story. There were things I thought could have used a bit more fleshing out, particularly in that 10-year time jump between Episodes 5 and 6, but overall I agree that the show has performed admirably well given the task it had in front of it.

“If HOUSE OF THE DRAGON had 13 episodes per season, maybe we could have shown all the things we had to ‘time jump’ over… though that would have risked having some viewers complain that the show was too ‘slow,’ that ‘nothing happened,'” Martin mused. “As it is, I am thrilled that we still have 10 hours every season to tell our tale…I hope that will continue to be true. It is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.”

The words of George R.R. Martin do not necessarily represent the intentions of Ryan Condal, HBO, or Warner Bros. Discovery…but yeah, four seasons sounds about right.

Finally, Martin reassured fans that his focus “is on THE WINDS OF WINTER.” Wouldn’t that be nice.

Next. George R.R. Martin told Paddy Considine he improved Book Viserys. dark

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