House of the Dragon is the Game of Thrones prequel that HBO decided to bank on, and the spinoff has involved George RR Martin, author of the source material. GoT went off the tracks towards the end as DB Weiss and David Benioff deviated from Martin’s story. However, the author had been involved in the debut season and liked it for the most part, except for two scenes, which House of Dragon has now rectified.
Martin praised the scene where Ned Stark is killed and also liked the layers Weiss and Benioff added to Cersei’s character in her conversations with Robert Baratheon, about marriage.
However, two scenes in the 2011 season bothered him and they were both due to the production budget not fitting the epic scale of the story. Each episode cost around $6 million to make, which was then considered to be sizeable.
The one Martin disliked the most is when King Robert goes hunting and gets gored to death by a boar.
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The author explained in his book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, “Where we really fell down in terms of budget was my least favourite scene in the entire show, in all eight seasons: King Robert goes hunting”, adding, “Four guys walking on foot through the woods carrying spears and Robert is giving Renly sh*t. In the book, Robert goes off hunting, we get word he was gored by a boar, and they bring him back and he dies. So I never [wrote a hunting scene]. But I knew what a royal hunting party was like. There would have been a hundred guys. There would have been pavilions. There would have been huntsmen. There would have been dogs. There would have been horns blowing — that’s how a king goes hunting!”
Martin concluded, “He wouldn’t have just been walking through the woods with three of his friends holding spears hoping to meet a boar.”
House of the Dragon episode 3 corrects this when they show King Viserys going on a hunting trip.
The 73-year-old novelist was not too pleased with the jousting tourney in Game of Thrones either, though it allowed the show an opportunity to display impressive action and provide a peek at King’s Landing politics.
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“There were a number of points we had to cut back”, Martin said, adding, “The jousting tournament was one of them. A tournament in the Middle Ages sponsored by the king and the Capital was a huge thing. And [co-executive producer Bryan Cogman] wrote a faithful version [in the original script]. There were dozens of knights, you saw eight different jousts, you got a sense of pageantry and competitors rising and falling and the commoners betting.”
He concluded, “We should’ve been at least as big as A Knights Tale but we couldn’t even achieve that. The only jousts we saw were essential to the plot. Still, I thought it worked pretty well.”
House of the Dragon, with a budget of around $20 million per episode, rectified this in the debut episode itself when the tourney takes place in front of a large CGI-enhanced crowd.