Interview: George R.R. Martin on Game of Thrones

Did you watch the first episode of HBO’s new show Game of Thrones? It is based on the book A Game of Thrones in the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. Collider had a nice chat with the author, reflecting on the book series and the new television series.

Based on author George R.R. Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series of books, the HBO epic drama series Game of Thrones is a magnificent and brutal fantasy about two families who are engaged in a deadly battle for power and control. Although it takes place in another time and world that appears to be very foreign on the surface, the struggles are surprisingly universal and so intriguing that you will be immediately hooked and in for the 10-episode ride of Season 1.

During a recent interview, George R.R. Martin talked about the process of bringing his written words to the screen in a way that he never could have imagined, the experience of turning over his long-time work to the producers of the series (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss), how thrilled he is with what he’s already seen of the final product, his desire to do a cameo at some point, the Twitter battle that started when executive producer Damon Lindelof started when he heard he didn’t like the ending of Lost, and how he hopes to finish the book series before the TV show catches up. Check out what he had to say after the jump:

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For those not familiar with the story, here is HBO’s synopsis:

Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. It will stretch from the south, where heat breeds plots, lusts and intrigues; to the vast and savage eastern lands; all the way to the frozen north, where an 800-foot wall of ice protects the kingdom from the dark forces that lie beyond. Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars, lords and honest men . . . all will play the Game of Thrones.

If you would like to learn about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, HBO has posted an official viewer’s guide here that you might want to check out prior to viewing the series. And because author George R.R. Martin was so generous with his time, I’ve broken down the interview with a list of the 10 coolest highlights. A full transcript of the interview follows.

  • When he began the Song of Ice and Fire series in 1991, he never imagined that his work would be able to be adapted for film and television
  • He was first approached about adapting his books after the release of the second book, A Clash of Kings
  • He gave some insights to producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss about where he’s headed with the books, so that they knew where the story was going
  • There is one character who dies in the first season of the television show, who does not die until the third or fourth book, and who dies differently
  • He wrote Episode 8, called “The Pointy End”
  • He filmed a cameo in the Dothraki wedding scene, but was cut when all of the footage from Morocco ended up on the cutting room floor, only to be re-shot in Malta without him
  • Natalia Tena, who plays Osha, has really made him rethink that character, for when she returns to the story in the book
  • He’s concerned with how some of the battle scenes will be brought to life, but has faith in Benioff and Weiss, who he feels have tackled everything so far
  • He’s very impressed with the marketing machine behind the series, as he never experienced that when he was working on Beauty and the Beast and The Twilight Zone
  • Because he likes to take his time with the work, he hopes to have the last two books in the series (#6 and 7) finished before the show catches up

Click here for the full interview.

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