George R.R. Martin Says ‘Game of Thrones’ Needed 13 Seasons to Remain Faithful to Books

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  • George R. R. Martin
    George R. R. Martin
    American writer

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HBO’s blockbuster series “Game of Thrones” wrapped up its Emmy-winning run earlier this year with its eighth and final season, but author George R.R. Martin estimates the show would’ve needed five more seasons if it wanted to be completely faithful to his popular “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series. Martin’s preferred run would’ve made “Thrones” a 13-season series. Speaking to Fast Company magazine (via Digital Spy), Martin said “it can be traumatic” when adapting a novel as dense as “Game of Thrones” to a visual medium.

“You get totally extraneous things like the studio or the network weighing in,” Martin said. “And they have some particular thing that has nothing to do with story, but relates to, ‘Well this character has a very high Q Rating so let’s give him a lot more stuff to do.'”

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Martin added, “The [final] series has been not completely faithful. Otherwise, it would have to run another five seasons.

Following the series finale in May, Martin took to his blog to assure fans the show did not completely represent how he’s planning on finishing his novels. “How will it all end? I hear people asking,” the author wrote. “The same ending as the show? Different? Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3,000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done…and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.”

Martin still has two books left to publish in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series: “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring.” Fans have been waiting for years for Martin to release “Winds of Winter,” and the author has long expressed frustration over the fact the show surpassed his books and gave away certain plot points on the screen before he could on the page.

“The Winds of Winter” has yet to even receive a publication date. Martin is also busy producing two “Game of Thrones” spinoff series for HBO, one of which is a Targaryen prequel series.

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