George RR Martin worried Game of Thrones wasn’t following his ‘template’ after season five

Season five of hit HBO drama aired in 2015

Annabel Nugent
Sunday 28 November 2021 10:05
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Game of Thrones, Season five finale - trailer

George RR Martin began to worry about the HBO adaptation of his novels after the fifth season of Game of Thrones aired.

The hugely popular series was an adaptation of Martin’s fantasy novels A Song of Ice and Fire, the first of which was published in 1996.

Game of Thrones ran across eight seasons from 2011 to 2019. It starred Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Peter Dinklage and Sophie Turner.

An excerpt from the newly published book Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers by James Andrew Miller, as shared by Winter is Coming, reveals that in 2015 Martin was not happy with the show’s direction.

A quote from the author’s representative, Paul Haas, details how Martin began to “worry about the path they were [going down]” as early as season five.

Haas said: “George loves Dan [Weiss] and Dave [Benioff], 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.”

Season five aired in 2015 and featured storylines including Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) beginning her internship at the House of Black and White, as well as Daenerys Targaryen (Clarke) meeting Tyrion (Dinklage) and banishing Jorah (Iain Glen).

Spoilers for Game of Thrones season eight follow

Haas also insisted that Martin has “not told anybody” who wins the Iron Throne, despite previous claims from Benioff and Weiss that the HBO show’s ending – in which Bran Stark becomes Ruler of the Six Kingdoms – came from Martin himself.

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Isaac Hempstead Wright (who plays Bran) also said that the idea of his ascension to the throne came from Martin.

The New Jersey-born author has not published the concluding novels of A Song of Ice and Fire and so the showrunners were without a “roadmap” for some of the seasons.

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