In a new book titled Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones — which is apparently some behind-the-scenes-style look at the show that is going to cost $40 and will probably be 1/1000 as interesting as the series itself, which … whatever, it’s your money — author George R.R. Martin discusses how he initially tried to dissuade HBO from hopping on the Lord of the Rings fantasy bandwagon and adapting his books to the screen. In addition to telling them “It’s too big. It’s too complicated. It’s too expensive,” he also said this, which is one of the most George R.R. Martin things possible. From the New York Post:
In a preface written by Martin, the author says he told producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss that “Hollywood Boulevard is lined with the skulls and bleached bones” of people who tried and failed to adapt popular literature for the movies.
HBO Producer David Benioff: Hey George, we love your books and we think they’d make a cool TV show. What do you think?
George R.R. Martin: Television is like an angry winged beast that incinerates everything it sees with its fiery breath, leaving nothing behind but the ruins of a once-thriving village and the lingering stench of burnt flesh as it swoops off to the north to unleash more fury.
HBO Producer D.B. Weiss: Soooo… yes?
His biggest fear about a TV version of his first book was that a failure would cause fans to question their dedication to the series — and kill the community of readers that had grown around “A Song of Ice and Fire,” as the entire series is called.
This is certainly reasonable. The last thing you want is for someone to take the creative vision you’ve spent a huge chunk of your life developing and bastardize it in front of millions of people, and the second to last thing you want to do is be seen as a sellout by the legion of diehard fans you’ve accumulated during that process. On the other hand, some things were just meant to seen, you know?
I think he made the right call.