Next year — likely in mid-to-late Spring, if I had to guess — HBO will be rolling out the first of their *many* Game of Thrones spinoffs, the House Targaryen-focused House of the Dragon.
Despite once being considered one of the greatest TV series of all time, HBO faces something of an uphill battle when it comes to convincing fans to return to Westeros, as the bad taste from Game of Thrones season 8, which concluded back in 2019, still largely lingers in the mouth of the pop-cultural zeitgeist. As I’ve said quite a few times, I am not one of those people as I simply refuse to allow a poor ending to erase half a decade of excellence.
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The reason, though, that audiences are hesitant about returning to the world of Game of Thrones is due to how the flagship series ended, which is something that creator George R.R. Martin was reportedly concerned about as early as season six, a full two years before the series eventually concluded.
In his new book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, author James Andrew Miller spoke to Martin’s representative Paul Haas, who said, “George loves Dan and Dave, but after season five, he did start to worry about the path they were [going down] because George knows where the story goes. He started saying, ‘You’re not following my template.’ The first five seasons stuck to George’s roadmap. Then they went off George’s roadmap.” They went off the map, and set it on fire. [via Uproxx]
While Martin’s concerns may have been legitimate, I reckon most fans will likely wonder why he didn’t put his money where his mouth is and finish the damn novels, something that seems increasingly unlikely with every passing year, as it’s now been over a decade since the most recent entry in A Song of Ice and Fire, A Dance With Dragons, was released.
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