George R.R. Martin is supposed to be busy finishing The Winds of Winter, his long-threatened sixth Song of Ice and Fire book. Apparently he is. But he also keeps watching TV and blogging. At least what he’s watching and blogging about is House of the Dragon, HBO’s Game of Thrones spinoff. In a post published Wednesday, Martin broke some news about the retuning show, while praising its new season.
Per Variety, in the post Martin talks up a recent trip to London, where the “highlight” was a “sneak preview that [showrunner] Ryan [Condal] gave me of the first two episodes of ‘House of the Dragon,’ Season 2. (Rough cuts, of course).”
Rough cut and all, it still left Martin floating:
“Of course, I am hardly objective when talking about anything based on my own work… but I have to say, I thought both episodes were just great. (And they are not even finished yet.) Dark, mind you. Very dark. They may make you cry. (I did not cry myself, but one of my friends did.) Powerful, emotional, gut-wrenching, heart rending. Just the sort of thing I like. (What can I say? I was weaned on Shakespeare, and love the tragedies and history plays best of all.)”
Martin said he also “spent two days locked in a room” with Condal and his writing staff talking about the show’s future. Specifically he said they were already talking up two more seasons after this new one. Technically HBO hasn’t greenlit Seasons 3 and 4, but in a previous blog post, Martin argued that “it is going to take four full seasons of 10 episodes each to do justice to the Dance of the Dragons, from start to finish.”
Elsewhere in his blog post, Martin also freaked out over touring the London set of House of the Dragon:
“All I have to say about that is… ohmigod … Nothing I have ever seen can compare with the Red Keep and Dragonstone sets they have built at Leavesden Studios in London. HUGE, stunning, and so damned real that I felt as if I had gone through a time portal to medieval Westeros. I love castles and have visited dozens of actual medieval castles, keeps and towers in my time, and none of the real castles I’ve ever seen can hold a candle… or a torch… to our Red Keep.”
After Game of Thrones aired its very dicey finale, Martin was vague about his reaction, instead praising everyone who worked on it while very, very cryptically hinting at how his version will (eventually, when he’s done writing it) end.
“How will it all end? I hear people asking,” he wrote at the time. “The same ending as the show? Different? Well … yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.”
House of the Dragon is due on HBO sometime during the summer of 2024. Winds of Winter’s release date, however, is a bit more up-in-the-air.