According to a recent novel, Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin was concerned about the series’ direction after season 5 and even fought for the programme to extend further than its eight seasons.
The blockbuster HBO drama ended its run in 2019 – however, its last season was widely panned, with many criticising parts such as Daenerys Targaryen’s character development and the decreased length.
Author James Andrew Miller interviewed Martin’s agent Paul Haas, among others, for his new book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers.
Haas stated that the author had reservations about the programme beginning with season 5 the moment it began to deviate from the source material, with parts based on Martin’s still-unpublished sixth novel in the series, The Winds of Winter.
“George RR Martin likes showrunners, but after season five, he started worrying about the course they were taking since George knows where the tale is headed,” he explained. “He began to remark, ‘You are not implementing my template.'”
Martin, according to Haas, lobbied with HBO’s previous CEO Richard Plepler to make the programme ten seasons lengthy to provide a more “pleasing experience.”
“George would go to New York for lunch with Plepler, begging him to do ten seasons of ten episodes as there was sufficient content for it, and telling him it would be a more rewarding and enjoyable experience,” he continued.
However, Haas stated that the showrunners “were exhausted, and rightly so,” and that they intended to terminate it after episode eight.
“They were tired and wanted to go on, so they keep it short, and afterwards the discussions became, how many years can we drag this out for?” HBO, of course, wanted more.”
Miller also interviewed Martin for the book, and the latter said, “I wish it had run for ten years.” Of course, that would have given us some more time in the later seasons to wrap things up. But that may be because I am still attempting to finish it in these volumes.