House HBO’s changes also spilled over into Westeros.
George R.R. Martin states that HBO Max’s merger with Discovery and subsequent developments have hurt the Game of Thrones series.
In a blog post published Wednesday, he said some projects were on hold due to restructuring, but don’t worry, backers. He said he “would not agree that they are dead.”
After taking a few days off on vacation, Martin said at the beginning of the article that he was back in the salt mines pouring bloody stuff, and that his head could soon explode.
That includes the eagerly awaited second season of the popular television program House of the Dragon and the upcoming Song of Ice and Fire book, The Winds of Winter.
Dragon and the upcoming Song of Ice and Fire novel, The Winds of Winter.
Regarding the other successor programs, “Some of those are moving faster than others, as is always the case with development,” Martin stated.
He added: “None have been greenlit yet, though we are hoping… maybe soon. A couple have been shelved, but I would disagree that they are dead. You can take something off the shelf as easily as you can put it on the shelf.”
“All the changes at HBO Max have impacted us, certainly,” Martin stated.
Declined Potential Film/TV
Martin didn’t elaborate on which projects have been shelved, but since the flagship series ended in 2019, several spin-off series have been revealed and confirmed by Martin:
- The Tales of Dunk and Egg series, which will focus on Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg);
- The Sea Snake (previously known as Nine Voyages) series;
- The 10,000 Ships series, which will chronicle the story of Princess Nymeria, an ancestor of House Martell;
- And three animated series, one of which is termed The Golden Empire and is set in the region of Yi Ti, Martin’s realm.
Following the bitter cancellation of Batgirl, the merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ was announced on a conference call earlier this year. It will debut in the US in the summer of 2023, followed by Latin America, Europe and the rest of the world.
Several programs, including Minx, Gordita Chronicles, Love Life, and Legendary, have been canceled or deleted from the HBO Max catalog and will transfer to a third-party platform, FAST, as a result of the restructure (some despite earlier extensions).
When EW contacted Martin and HBO/HBO Max for comment, no one responded right away.
More Punctual Finishing
Now that House of the Dragon’s first season is over, it’s time to reflect on the creative choices made.
The way the HBO fantasy series used time leaps and different cast members to convey its story over the course of several years was highly audacious. But were these wise decisions?
In a recent interview with fellow fantasy author David Anthony Durham, Westeros creator Martin—whose book Fire & Blood served as the inspiration for House of the Dragon—discusses that topic.
The Great Council is called by King Jaehaerys Targaryen (Michael Carter) at the start of House of the Dragon. It is to decide whether Princess Rhaenys (Eve Best), the daughter of his first son, or Prince Viserys (Paddy Considine), the son of his second son, shall be his heir.
The Great Council takes place roughly halfway through Fire & Blood when they decide on Viserys. There were a ton of alternative starting points for House of the Dragon, so massive speak, and Martin now claims that this sparked “spirited arguments” among the authors.
“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 stated.
“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.”
Story of How It Started
Martin’s chosen starting point would have been far earlier in Targaryen’s history, which he claims “no one liked except for me.”
“I would’ve begun it like 40 years earlier, with an episode I would’ve called ‘The Heir and the Spare,'” Martin said.
“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. 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.”
In the end, no response is incorrect, according to Martin. He doesn’t appear very upset over missing the show’s depiction of Aemon and Baelon’s past.
“There are many ways you can approach these things,” he stated, “and if you do it well, it can work.”
Watch the interview with Martin here.