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The Wall Street Journal: Inside ‘House of the Dragon’ and the Reign of George R.R. Martin

Can George R.R. Martin help restore “Game of Thrones” to glory? 

HBO is betting on the author as a guiding force as it finally launches a follow-up series to its biggest hit. The new show “House of the Dragon” is a test of the network’s high-stakes effort to establish its first bonafide franchise. 

Mr. Martin, whose fantasy books established a mythology on par with J.R.R. Tolkien’s, is reasserting control of his material in the TV realm. Though he had a close hand in the formative seasons of “Game of Thrones,” people involved in the show said he grew frustrated by a lack of involvement in its final stretch. That’s when the plot of HBO’s eight-season adaptation passed the events published in his books, and headed toward a 2019 finale that left many viewers feeling as burned as Daenerys Targaryen’s victims in King’s Landing. 

“I had no contribution to the later seasons except, you know, inventing the world, the story and all the characters,” Mr. Martin said. “I believe I have more influence now than I did on the original show.”

Among the five potential series HBO initially considered for spinoffs, Mr. Martin pushed most for “House of the Dragon,” producers said. Premiering Sunday, it is set two centuries before the “Game of Thrones” saga, amid a looming war for the Iron Throne among members of the House Targaryen dynasty and their dragons.

This story originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal. Read more here.

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