The rise and fall of HBO’s Game of Thrones is one for the entertainment history books. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff kicked off a global phenomenon with their grounded, gritty fantasy series based on the books by George R.R. Martin. The series notably began dipping in quality around season 5, but there appears to be a reason for this. Martin has now openly stated that he was kept “out of the loop” of the later seasons.
Speaking to New York Times recently, Martin confirmed that he wasn’t involved in Game of Thrones‘ later seasons starting from season 5. “By Season 5 and 6, and certainly 7 and 8, I was pretty much out of the loop,” said Martin. When asked why he was distanced from the show, he replied: “I don’t know – you have to ask Dan and David.”
Fans might’ve already suspected this for a long time, but it’s good to have confirmation that Martin wasn’t involved in the show when it started its slow descent in quality from season 5 onwards. In contrast, the author was very hands-on with the series for its first few seasons which many fans agreed remains the high points of Game of Thrones.
Despite having a strong conclusion to season 6 which culminated in Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter – two of the highest-rated episodes in the series’ history – its writing declined in quality as the show went on, leading to the notoriously bad final season which rushed its climactic arcs and battles for an overall jarring and unsatisfying ending, according to long-time fans.
Martin’s lack of involvement in the later seasons certainly explains its quality dip. However, the author has yet to release the sixth title in the book series, The Winds of Winter. By this point, the show ran out of source material to adapt from the novels, meaning Weiss and Benioff had to construct new narratives going forward. It’s strange, then, that they didn’t consult Martin when veering the show off from its books. The price to pay for that was, evidently, a lot.
Source: New York Times