A new book, "Tinderbox" by the journalist James Andrew Miller, dives into HBO's history.
Miller interviewed the "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin and Martin's agent, Paul Haas.
Haas said Martin flew to New York to meet with an HBO exec and "beg him" make the show 10 seasons.
HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones" came to an end in 2019 with two shortened seasons, which brought the total to eight seasons and 73 episodes. But the story's original creator, the author George R.R. Martin, pushed for up to 10 seasons and 100 total episodes, according to a new book.
New accounts of Martin's wishes can be found in a book titled "Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers" by the journalist James Andrew Miller.
Miller, who conducted 757 interviews for the book, spoke with Martin, Martin's agent, Paul Haas, and Richard Plepler, HBO's former CEO.
"George would fly to New York to have lunch with Plepler, to beg him to do ten seasons of ten episodes because there was enough material for it and to tell him it would be a more satisfying and more entertaining experience," Haas told Miller.
Both Martin and HBO executives would have been happy with more seasons, but the showrunners had a different plan in mind
Martin said in the past he believed "Game of Thrones" could have continued for several more years. In 2018, Martin told Variety he didn't know why the show was ending with season eight because there was enough material to go up to 13 seasons. But Haas' quotes in "Tinderbox" are the first descriptions of Martin making requests to HBO for more seasons.
"Dan and Dave were tired, rightfully so," Haas said in Miller's book. "They were done, and wanted to move on, so they cut it short and then negotiations became, how many seasons can we stretch this out? Because of course HBO wanted more."
Haas added: "George loves Dan and Dave, but after season five, he did start to worry about the path they were going because George knows where the story goes. He started saying, 'You're not following my template.'"
The book series upon which "Game of Thrones" is based, "A Song of Ice and Fire," is still incomplete. Martin has published only the first five out of seven planned novels. He's been working on the sixth book, "The Winds of Winter," for nearly a decade.
The HBO series began diverging from Martin's storyline around the end of season four. The show's ending likely didn't "spoil" Martin's own planned ending — you can read more about how we know that here.
Miller also spoke with Casey Bloys, the chief content officer at HBO, who says the teams knew there would 'inevitably be some pushback'
In Miller's book, Bloys said HBO "felt the final season delivered on its promise to fans, but more importantly it executed the vision for the finale that Dan and Dave had planned so carefully."
Bloys added that he understood the criticism some of the fandom had about Daenerys Targaryen's "turn to war criminal" happening in the final episodes.
"If there had been another episode or two, of course, that would have been helpful," Bloys said. "I would have taken two more seasons! But I do believe if you look at the totality of her arc over the series, as opposed to the final episodes, her turn was more than earned, and was planned."
As for Martin himself, he told Miller that "Game of Thrones" changed his life mostly for good "but in some ways for bad."
"I wish it had run for ten years," Martin said in "Tinderbox." "I think that would've given us a little more time in the later seasons to end it. But that might be just because I'm still trying to end it in these books here.
"I'm working on 'The Winds of Winter' even now as I have been for the best part of a decade. And hopefully I'm going to get to that end soon and then people can argue about which ending they like better."
Martin has been providing book fans with regular updates on "The Winds of Winter," but there is still no estimated publish date for it.
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