Starting on April 17, HBO will begin broadcasting the 10-part drama “Game of Thrones” based on the first book in George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, and no one is more surprised it’s going to air than Martin himself.
“I actually never thought it would be adapted,” Martin, whose unique look is more Middle Earth than Hollywood, confessed during a round-table discussion at the Television Critics Association press tour Friday.
In 1991, after a decade of writing for scripted television (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Twilight Zone”), Martin was fed up with his grand ideas constantly being shunned due to budgetary constraints. So he decided to pen a book for himself – and no one else.
“I said, ‘I’m going to write a book that’s just for me. I’m going to do something that’s as epic and huge as my imagination can contain. I’m going to have hundreds of characters, and gigantic battles, and amazing vistas of castles – because I don’t have to worry about a budget and a production schedule and how we’re going to do this. This is prose. All I need is words and my and the reader’s imaginations joining together to do this,” he said.
“So it’s ironic that here we are and we’re producing it,” he laughed, stroking his beard. “Thankfully [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] have to deal with all the problems and I don’t. They have to take this thing that was never intended to be a television show or film and adapt it for television.”
Martin, who earned an executive producer credit and wrote episode 8, said he’s pleased with Weiss and Benioff’s efforts. “So far they’re doing a hell of a job at it.
“But if the show is successful – knock wood – there’ll be a second season and a third season, and it just gets bigger and harder.”
Go behind the scenes below:
“Game of Thrones” premieres Sunday, April 17 on HBO.