George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, reacts to the first nine episodes of “House of the Dragon” season 1, which will be broadcast on HBO on August 21. Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series began in 1996 with A Game of Thrones and ended in 2011 with A Dance With Dragons, the fifth and most recent installment. The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, the sixth and seventh books in the series, are still in the works, but in the meanwhile, Martin released the 2018 prequel novel Fire & Blood, on which “House of the Dragon” is based.
Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, HBO’s new adaptation will focus mostly on the Targaryen House and their terrible fall from grace by exploring the events leading up to the “Dance of the Dragons” civil war and the resulting bloodshed. Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans star alongside Paddy Considine star in House of the Martin has often complimented “House of the Dragon”, which bodes well for the prequel series.
George R.R. Martin offered his unfiltered reaction to the first nine episodes of “House of the Dragon”, which he has now seen rough cuts of, in the “Not a blog” section of his official website. The author admits to being impressed by the show, adding “the look of it is amazing, and the acting, directing, and writing are the first notch,” while not being able to comment on the quality of the visual effects, which are still unfinished. Martin also reassured book readers that the HBO version of Fire & Blood is an accurate adaptation of the novel, despite certain plot modifications. Here’s what he had to say:
I’ve now watched rough cuts of nine of the ten episodes, and I continue to be impressed. I cannot speak to the SFX, many of which are not in yet, but the look of it is great, and the acting, the directing, and writing are first rate. And yes, for all you book fans, it IS my story. Sure, there are some changes from FIRE & BLOOD — we could not present three alternative versions of every major event, not and keep our sanity — but I think Ryan Condal and his writers made good choices. Even some improvements. (Heresy, I know, but being the author, I am allowed to say so).
Martin’s praise for “House of the Dragon” is thrilling, and it’s comforting to hear him confess that showrunner Ryan J. Condal and his writers have improved several aspects of the source material in their adaptation. This is something the author of A Song of Ice and Fire has never been reluctant to accept, claiming for years that Game of Thrones’ Shae (played by Sibel Kekilli) was a far superior character to the one portrayed in his books. Martin was also blown away by Considine’s portrayal of King Viserys in “House of the Dragon”, in which the actor imbues the character with a “tragic majesty” that Martin acknowledges he could never attain in the novel.
Martin has expressed his enthusiasm for “House of the Dragon” on several occasions, and each time he has been glowing. The author of Fire & Blood is clearly pleased with how his work is being adapted for television. Martin is listed as a co-creator of the prequel series, albeit he appears to be more of a bystander than a participant in the show’s creation. Martin has only watched the first nine episodes of “House of the Dragon”, which means the season 1 finale will be delayed for now, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the season’s climax.