George R R Martin calls out “illegitimate” changes Hollywood makes when adapting books

"You’re fucking morons", Martin said of those who make "illegitimate" changes to books in adaptations

Game of Thrones writer George R.R Martin has called out those in Hollywood who make “illegitimate” changes to books for screen adaptations.

In a conversation with The Sandman author Neil Gaiman at New York City’s Symphony Space last week (October 27), Martin spoke about the “obligation to be faithful to the written material” – something he said is a “controversial” issue in Hollywood (as per Variety).

The author went on to explain that he thinks the book should always be honoured.


“How faithful do you have to be? Some people don’t feel that they have to be faithful at all. There’s this phrase that goes around: ‘I’m going to make it my own.’ I hate that phrase,” Martin said.

He continued: “There are changes that you have to make — or that you’re called upon to make — that I think are legitimate. And there are other ones that are not legitimate.”

Martin went on to speak about how he adapted  Roger Zelazny’s The Last Defender of Camelot for an episode of The Twilight Zone and was asked about choosing between two kinds of props due to budget constraints in a battle scene. Martin recalled calling author Zelazny for advice as it was his novel that was being adapted.

“That, to my mind, is the kind of stuff you are called upon to do in Hollywood that is legitimate,” he continued, before talking about an “illegitimate” change he felt he was asked to do by one television network.

“I was new to Hollywood,” Martin recalled of the time he was asked to do it. “I didn’t say, ‘You’re fucking morons.’”

George R.R. Martin Comic-Con
George R.R. Martin at the ‘House Of The Dragon’ panel at Comic-Con 2022 CREDIT: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO


Meanwhile, House Of The Dragon season two will not be released until “sometime” in 2024, according to HBO.

The Game Of Thrones prequel’s first season recently concluded on Sunday (October 23) with episode The Black Queen, which set the stage for the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons.

After the show was renewed for a second season back in August, HBO chief content officer Casey Bloys told Vulture : “Don’t expect it in ‘23, but I think sometime in ‘24.”

He added: “We’re just starting to put the plan together, and just like last time, there are so many unknowns. It’s not to be coy or secretive, but you don’t want to say it’s going to be ready on this date, and then you have to move it.”