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George R.R. Martin and Neil Gaiman absolutely hate it whenever Hollywood makes ‘illegitimate’ changes to source material




Game of Thrones prequel House of The Dragon was one of the most highly anticipated shows of 2022. The hype around the show is genuine, with the pilot scoring a massive 9 rating on IMDb. Avid readers of George R. R. Martin’s works are looking forward to seeing some of their favorite characters from the novel Fire and Blood, as the show is based on an infamous incident from its storyline. The excitement is through the roof, and due to all the positive reactions, House of The Dragon has been officially renewed for season 2.

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However, there were times when fans were dissatisfied with some of the scenes being adapted differently from what was initially suggested by the source material. And the fans are not alone, even Martin agrees that in general whenever an unfaithful adaptation is being made, it irks him a lot, and The Sandman author Neil Gaiman agrees with him.


The two celebrated authors gathered at the New York City’s Symphony Space Thursday night to share stories about book tour mishaps and Hollywood tales. Martin said, “How faithful do you have to be? Some people don’t feel that they have to be faithful at all. There’s this phrase that goes around: ‘I’m going to make it my own.’ I hate that phrase. And I think Neil probably hates that phrase, too.”

Gaiman responded, “I do. I spent 30 years watching people make ‘Sandman’ their own. And some of those people hadn’t even read ‘Sandman’ to make it their own, they’d just flipped through a few comics or something.”

Martin continued, “There are changes that you have to make — or that you’re called upon to make — that I think are legitimate. And there are other ones that are not legitimate.” He recalled adapting Roger Zelazny’s “The Last Defender of Camelot” for an episode of “The Twilight Zone” and, due to budget constraints, being forced to choose between having horses or an elaborate Stonehenge-esque set for a battle scene. (He didn’t want to make the decision, so he called up Zelazny, who chose to scrap the horses.)

“That, to my mind, is the kind of stuff you are called upon to do in Hollywood that is legitimate.” An example of an “illegitimate” change, Martin said, was CBS making him include an “ordinary person” who just “tags along” in the episode in order to appeal to a “high concept. I was new to Hollywood. I didn’t say, ‘You’re fucking morons.’”

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Read Next: House of The Dragon Season 2 to begin filming in Spain in the spring of 2023


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