The author previously expressed disappointment at how a hunt shown in the first season of the original HBO fantasy in 2011 was portrayed, sharing in the book Fire Cannot Kill A Dragon that budget constraints at the time meant things were scaled down from how he envisioned it.
“Where we really fell down in terms of budget was my least favorite scene in the entire show, in all eight seasons: King Robert goes hunting,” the author said (via The Hollywood Reporter).
“Four guys walking on foot through the woods carrying spears and Robert is giving Renly shit. In the book, Robert goes off hunting, we get word he was gored by a boar, and they bring him back and he dies.”
Drawing attention to the fact he never wrote the scene in his original book, Martin noted that a royal hunting party would have been much more lavish.
“There would have been a hundred guys,” he noted. “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! He wouldn’t have just been walking through the woods with three of his friends holding spears hoping to meet a boar.”
However, prequel show House Of The Dragon appears to have rectified the moment, with the show’s just-aired third episode showing King Viserys Targaryen having a much more expansive hunting party.
The new series also has a much bigger scale jousting tournament in its first episode than that shown in Game Of Thrones‘ first season, a mistake that also appears to have been corrected to Martin’s vision following comments by the author in the book.
“A tournament in the Middle Ages sponsored by the king and the Capital was a huge thing,” the writer said. “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. 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.”
The series is set 200 years before the events of Game Of Thrones, and follows the war of succession within House Targaryen, starring Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans.
NME wrote in a four-star review: “What is reassuring is that House Of The Dragon feels as though it is walking on solid ground: the bubbling rivalries, the jostling for power, the eruptions of violence; six episodes in, it is all coming together to create a rich stew.”