George RR Martin Was ‘Out of the Loop’ of ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8

  • George RR Martin said he was “out of the loop” during the final four seasons of “Game of Thrones.”
  • During an interview with The New York Times, he said he didn’t know why that happened.
  • “You have to ask Dan and David,” he said, referencing showrunners (David Benioff and DB Weiss).

George RR Martin had a surprising response when asked why he was “out of the loop” during the last four seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” adaptation.

Speaking with New York Times reporter John Koblin, the fantasy author said: “By season five and six, and certainly seven and eight, I was pretty much out of the loop.”

When Koblin asked why, Martin said: “I don’t know — you have to ask Dan and David.”

Dan and David refers to the two showrunners who helmed “Game of Thrones” — David Benioff and Dan “DB” Weiss. The New York Times said a representative for Benioff and Weiss “declined to comment.”

This revelation came in the context of a feature about “House of the Dragon,” the first “Game of Thrones” prequel series that will premiere on HBO later this month. Benioff and Weiss were not involved with “House of the Dragon” (they’re currently working within an overall deal at Netflix). Instead it was Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik who took up the mantle for a new fantasy show set in the mystical lands of Westeros.

Condal was a huge fan of Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels prior to this new series coming into the spotlight. He and Martin have both spoken openly about the author’s heavier involvement in “House of the Dragon.” Martin participated in early planning meetings, read scripts, and previewed early cuts of the first season’s episodes.

This is a departure from his involvement with “Game of Thrones” in the later years. For the first four seasons of the adaptation, Martin wrote one script per season. This tradition stopped with the fifth season, and Martin told fans this was due to his need to focus on writing the sixth book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series (you can read more about that debacle here).

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George RR Martin with one of the many Emmy Awards won by “Game of Thrones.”

Getty Images


The fifth season was around when “Game of Thrones” began taking significant departures from Martin’s books, including consolidations of characters or storylines. The show soon overtook the written material entirely, leaving Benioff and Weiss to write their own endgame pathways for characters.

As previously reported by Insider, the more it became clear that Martin wouldn’t finish his last two books ahead of the show, the more Benioff and Weiss started speaking more openly about how the show and books might end differently. The means the show’s ending probably didn’t “spoil” Martin’s own planned ending — you can read more about how we know that here.

By the time the series finale was about to air, fans were surprised to learn that neither Martin nor the “Game of Thrones” showrunners knew for sure how the other would wrap up the massive story.

“I haven’t read the scripts and haven’t been able to visit the set because I’ve been working on ‘Winds,'” Martin said in a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly.

That same feature revealed that Martin had turned down an offer from Benioff and Weiss to make a cameo appearance in the final season.

Following the series finale in May 2019, more news came out about certain preferences and desires Martin had for the show, including the revelation that the author reportedly flew to New York to “beg” an HBO executive to make “Game of Thrones” 10 seasons long.

Martin’s agent, Paul Haas, was interviewed for a 2021 book titled “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers” by the journalist James Andrew Miller.

“George loves Dan and Dave, but after season five, he started to worry about the path they were going because George knows where the story goes,” Haas told Miller for the book. “He started saying, ‘You’re not following my template.'”

This complex relationship is unlikely to be replicated with “House of the Dragon” because this time around Martin has already finished the story upon which the series is based. Showrunners Condal and Sapochnik are working from the historical fiction about House Targaryen titled “Fire and Blood,” and Martin has been able to make specific requests about what should be included in the show.

“House of the Dragon” premieres on Sunday, August 21 on HBO at 6 pm PT/9 pm ET.

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