It has become one of HBO’s most popular series, yet “Game of Thrones” is a series that almost didn’t happen. And if it hadn’t happened, fans would only be allowed to blame one person: It’s famed author, George R.R. Martin.
Martin made the revelation in an upcoming companion book to the HBO series called “Inside HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones,'” as part of the preface the author wrote, according to the New York Post. In the book, Martin said he approached producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and told them that “Hollywood Boulevard is lined with the skulls and bleached bones” of those who were unsuccessful in adapting popular books into visual media like television and movies.
It wasn’t that Martin didn’t want to expand the audience for his book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which “Game of Thrones” is based on. It’s that he feared that if the television version of the first book in that series was a failure, it would “cause fans to question their dedication to the series,” and thus, destroy the community of readers that had grown around the book series.
Hollywood highlights the triumph books successfully adapted into television series and movies (like the Harry Potter series as a prime example). But for each success, there have been far many more failures.
Some examples include Philip Pullman’s book “The Golden Compass,” which crashed at the box office in 2007. It also includes others like David Brin’s “The Postman” that Kevin Costner tried to re-create in the 1990s as well as “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
“Game of Thrones” is not included in that, however. The series averages more than 10 million total viewers per episode, and recently won five Emmys out of 11 nominations.
“Game of Thrones” returns with Season 3 in March on HBO.