George R.R. Martin trashed TV adaptations of books five years after the controversial 'Game of Thron...

The Game Of Thrones Creator Trashed TV Adaptations Of Books

"They never make it better."


The Game of Thrones TV series may have ended half a decade ago, but the high-fantasy saga is still continuing in print form. Author George R.R. Martin still has at least two more forthcoming novels in his A Song of Ice and Fire collection. And as fans continue to anxiously await his version of the story’s ending, Martin has opened up about the dangers of turning a hit book into a TV show. In almost every case, he’s not a fan.

Martin revealed his issues with book-to-TV and book-to-film adaptations in a May 24 blog post, which also seemed to shed some light on potential regrets he might have about seeing his own famous novels turn into a buzzy TV series. “Everywhere you look, there are more screenwriters and producers eager to take great stories and ‘make them their own,’” Martin wrote. “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.”

“They never make it better, though. Nine hundred ninety-nine times out of a thousand, they make it worse,” Martin asserted.

The claim is particularly potent coming from Martin, after Game of Thrones fans tore apart the show’s 2019 finale for shock-value twists that seemed largely out of character. For the first several seasons, the HBO series stuck to Martin’s books as source material, but since the author has yet to complete his saga in print, the final few seasons were created on their own (with Martin’s input as an executive producer).

Amy Sussman/GA/The Hollywood Reporter/Getty Images

Martin has addressed the chatter around the show’s ending before, stating at the time that while the main plot points in the finale are pretty close to his outline, his ending in the books will be much more expansive and detailed thanks to the freedom provided by “working in a very different medium.”

Though Martin was clearly frustrated by this whole book adaptation pipeline as a whole, he did note one recent exception. He called FX’s 2024 breakout Shōgun a “superb” adaptation of James Clavell’s 1975 novel, applauding the team who made it for “resisting the impulse to ‘make it their own.’”

Currently, Martin is a co-creator and executive producer on The House of the Dragon, another adaptation of his A Song of Ice and Fire novels, which will premiere its second season on June 16.