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George R.R. Martin Vows to Finish Next ‘Game of Thrones’ Book Before Writing TV Prequel

Martin has been working on "The Winds of Winter" since 2011 and he assures fans it remains his top priority over the new "Thrones" prequel series "House of the Dragon."

US writer George R.R. Martin attends a news conference in St.Petersburg, Russia, 16 August 2017. The author of 'Song of Ice and Fire' series of fantasy novels, which inspired HBO series 'Games of Thrones', visits to take part in St.Petersburg Fantastic Assembly. The event runs from 18 to 21 August.George R. R. Martin visits St.Petersburg, Russia - 16 Aug 2017

George R.R. Martin

Anatoly Maltsev/EPA/Shutterstock

It’s been a whirlwind week for “Game of Thrones” fans. Just a couple of hours after HBO announced it would not be moving forward with a prequel television series starring Naomi Watts, the network shocked fans by saying it would be giving a Targaryen-centric prequel series entitled “House of the Dragon” a straight-to-series order. “Dragon” will be overseen by “Colony” showrunner Ryan Condal and Emmy-winning “Thrones” director Miguel Sapochnik, who in addition to serving as co-showrunner will also direct the pilot episode of the prequel series. “Thrones” author George R.R. Martin will be involved behind the scenes, but he is making a vow not to write any “House of the Dragon” episodes until he finishes the next “Thrones” book, “The Winds of Winter.”

“I expect to be involved in [‘House of the Dragon’] to some extent and, who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of ‘Game of Thrones,'” Martin wrote in a post on his blog. “But let me make this perfectly clear…I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered ‘Winds of Winter.’ Winter is still coming, and ‘Winds’ remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episode of ‘House.’”

Martin’s last “Game of Thrones” novel, “A Dance of Dragons,” was released in 2011. The author has famously expressed regrets over the flagship HBO series surpassing the novels before he could finish writing the final two installments, “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring.” In his blog post, Martin revealed “House of the Dragon” was the original idea he pitched to HBO for a “Thrones” spinoff series back in the summer of 2016. The author also weighed in on the prequel that got dropped, one that he was working on with showrunner Jane Goldman.

“It goes without saying that I was saddened to hear the show would not be going to series,” Martin wrote.  “Jane Goldman is a terrific screenwriter, and I enjoyed brainstorming with her.  I do not know why HBO decided not to go to series on this one, but I do not think it had to do with ‘House of the Dragon.’ This was never an either/or situation. If television has room enough for multiple ‘CSIs’ and ‘Chicago’ shows…well, Westeros and Essos are a lot bigger, with thousands of years of history and enough tales and legends and characters for a dozen shows.”

Martin continued, “Heartbreaking as it is to work for years on a pilot, to pour your blood and sweat and tears into it, and  have it come to nought, it’s not at all uncommon. I’ve been there myself, more than once. I know Jane and her team are feeling the disappointment just now, and they have all my sympathy…with my thanks for all their hard work, and my good wishes for whatever they do next.”

HBO confirmed the straight-to-series order for “House of the Dragon” on October 29. No casting or production details have been revealed.

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