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George RR Martin begged HBO to make Game of Thrones 10 seasons long

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Although Game of Thrones ended in 2019 after eight long seasons, the ending was so controversial that two years from now, we still can’t stop talking about it. And with more news unraveling from behind the scenes, it just shows how much acrimony there was between creators, producers, and showrunners. A recent book has now revealed that George RR Martin practically begged HBO to make Game of Thrones at least 10 seasons long.

Related: George R.R. Martin Regrets that Game of Thrones went past his books

George RR Martin Begged HBO To Make Game Of Thrones 10 Seasons Long
Wikimedia Commons

With 8 seasons and 73 episodes, Game of Thrones’ run-time is already quite impressive. But, those who have read the source material that Martin wrote know that 8 seasons were not enough. And that’s why Martin has publicly stated he wanted Game of Thrones to run for twelve or even thirteen seasons. But, of course, that was always too huge an ask. That said, he did almost beg HBO to stretch Game of Thrones to 100 episodes across 10 seasons.

A new book, titled Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers by James Andrew Miller, has talked about HBO and a lot of their ventures that HBO has undergone in the past and is undergoing. Miller conducted 757 interviews for his book. This also included George RR Martin, Martin’s agent, Paul Haas, and Richard Plepler, HBO’s former CEO. In it, Haas told a detailed account of just how hard Martin was trying for the show to be prolonged. He said:

George would fly to New York to have lunch with Plepler, to beg him to do ten seasons of ten episodes because there was enough material for it and to tell him it would be a more satisfying and more entertaining experience

Related: HBO Spent $30 million on axed ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off pilot

George RR Martin was growing discontent of Dave and Dan after season 5 of Game of Thrones

There’s no secret that David Benioff and DB Weiss were quite literally tired and done with Game of Thrones. But, Martin was not happy with it. In 2018, he told Variety that he doesn’t understand why the show is ending after just 8 seasons when it could go on for 13 seasons. But, Haas told Miller that Martin even made formal requests to HBO as well. He said in the book:

Dan and Dave were tired, rightfully so. They were done, and wanted to move on, so they cut it short and then negotiations became, how many seasons can we stretch this out? Because of course HBO wanted more.

Moreover, Haas also revealed that George RR Martin was really discontent with David and Dan. And it began after season 5, where he saw the show steer away from his books. Haas continued:

George loves Dan and Dave, but after season five, he did start to worry about the path they were going because George knows where the story goes. He started saying, ‘You’re not following my template.’

Martin’s original book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is still incomplete with only five books published out of the intended seven. Despite the show ending two years ago, there is no official date for the release of Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the series, on which Martin has been working since 2011. After season 4, Game of Thrones entered the territory which had no source material. And thus, after season four, the show started diverging from George RR Martin’s intended storyline. Despite the show’s ending being a failure, it did not change Martin’s idea about his own ending.

The author then begged HBO’s Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys for more seasons

In Miller’s book, Bloys revealed what HBO thought of the final season and the debacle, saying:

[HBO] felt the final season delivered on its promise to fans, but more importantly it executed the vision for the finale that Dan and Dave had planned so carefully.

Moreover, he understood the criticism the show received for Daenerys Targaryen’s sudden change and “turn to war criminal” happening in just two episodes. He continued:

If there had been another episode or two, of course, that would have been helpful. I would have taken two more seasons! But I do believe if you look at the totality of her arc over the series, as opposed to the final episodes, her turn was more than earned, and was planned.

When Miller interviewed George RR Martin himself, he said Game of Thrones changed his life for good, “but in some ways for bad.” He still wished Game of Thrones had at least 10 seasons across 10 years, saying:

I wish it had run for ten years. I think that would’ve given us a little more time in the later seasons to end it. But that might be just because I’m still trying to end it in these books here. I’m working on ‘The Winds of Winter’ even now as I have been for the best part of a decade. And hopefully I’m going to get to that end soon and then people can argue about which ending they like better.

Related: George RR Martin Speaks Of Fans Who Harass Him For Not Writing

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