Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin slams writers for adaptations

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GoT's George RR Martin slams writers' adaptationsAmanda Edwards / Stringer - Getty Images

Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin has slammed screenwriters for their approach to adaptations, saying they rarely improve upon the source material.

The author is well accustomed to having his work adapted for the small screen, with his A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels being the basis of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Ahead of the second season of House of the Dragon, which is based on his 2018 novel Fire & Blood, Martin wrote a blog post in which he assessed the effectiveness of modern-day adaptations, and he didn’t have particularly high praise.

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The post began by referencing a panel that Martin appeared on with Neil Gaiman ahead of the release of The Sandman, with the author noting: "That was all back in 2022, but very little has changed since then. If anything, things have gotten worse.

"Everywhere you look, there are more screenwriters and producers eager to take great stories and ‘make them their own.’ It does not seem to matter whether the source material was written by Stan Lee, Charles Dickens, Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, Ursula K. Le Guin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mark Twain, Raymond Chandler, Jane Austen, or… well, anyone.

"No matter how major a writer it is, no matter how great the book, there always seems to be someone on hand who thinks he can do better, eager to take the story and 'improve' on it.

george rr martin
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"'The book is the book, the film is the film,' they will tell you, as if they were saying something profound. Then they make the story their own. They never make it better, though. Nine hundred ninety-nine times out of a thousand, they make it worse."

Martin, who is currently writing The Winds of Winter, did list an adaptation that he felt was worthy of praise, lauding Netflix’s Shogun for being “faithful” to the source material as it “resisted the impulse to make it their own”.

Game of Thrones seasons 1-8 are available on DVD and Blu-ray. House of the Dragon airs on HBO in the US, and on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK.

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