George R.R. Martin Kept ‘Out of the Loop’ on Four ‘Game of Thrones’ Seasons and Doesn’t Know Why: ‘Ask’ the Showrunners

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George R.R. Martin told The New York Times that he was kept “out of the loop” during the last four seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” a mistake that “House of the Dragon” co-showrunner Ryan Condal did not want to make during the development of the upcoming prequel series. “House of the Dragon” is based on Martin’s 2018 novel “Fire & Blood.” Martin maintained that he doesn’t know why “Thrones” showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff let him become estranged from the show.

According to The Times: “As Condal got to work on ‘House of the Dragon,’ he leaned on Martin’s expertise a lot — the opposite of what had happened with Martin in the later seasons of ‘Game of Thrones.’ In the early seasons, Martin wrote and read scripts, consulted on casting decisions and visited sets. Over time, however, as he stepped back to focus on his long-delayed next ‘Thrones’ novel, ‘The Winds of Winter,’ Martin grew estranged from the show.”

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“By Season 5 and 6, and certainly 7 and 8, I was pretty much out of the loop,” Martin said of his involvement with “Game of Thrones.”

Asked why he grew estranged from the show, Martin did not cite his work on “The Winds of Winter” and instead said, “I don’t know — you have to ask Dan and David.”

Martin disagreed with Benioff and Weiss’ decision to cut the show short. The author long envisioned “Game of Thrones” to run for 10 seasons. Martin’s agent, Paul Haas, revealed last year that the author would fly to New York City to meet with then-HBO CEO Richard Plepler in order to convince him to extend the series’ television run.

“George would fly to New York to have lunch with Plepler, to beg him to do 10 seasons of 10 episodes because there was enough material for it and to tell him it would be a more satisfying and more entertaining experience,” Haas said. “[Weiss and Benioff] were tired, rightfully so. They were done, and wanted to move on, so they cut it short and then negotiations became, how many seasons can we stretch this out? Because of course HBO wanted more.”

Martin published a blog post before “Game of Thrones” aired its final season in which he wrote how “complex and a little sad” it was to be ending the show in its eighth year. The author added, “I wish we had a few more seasons. But I understand… I’m sure some of the actors were signed up for like seven or eight years, and they would like to go on and take other roles. All of that is fair. I’m not angry or anything like that, but there’s a little wistfulness in me.”

The world of “Game of Thrones” returns to HBO when “House of the Dragon” debuts Aug. 21.

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