How House of the Dragon Fixed George RR Martin’s Most Hated Game of Thrones Scene
The fantasy author was heavily involved in the creation of HBO’s award-winning adaptation of his novels and in general, he was thrilled with the outcome.
However, there are two moments from season one of Game of Thrones that never lived up to Martin’s expectations.
The first season had to establish the intricate details of this vast, high-fantasy world all with a strict production budget, which proved difficult–even with one of the largest TV budgets (at the time of its release in 2011) of $6 million an episode.
Martin revealed that his “least favorite scene in the entire show” was when King Robert goes hunting in the woods with a handful of men and is attacked by a boar.
In the book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, Martin explained that the scene did not line up to what he had envisioned for the hunt, saying: “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.”
“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.
“So I never [wrote a hunting scene]. But I knew what a royal hunting party was like.”
Martin went on to describe how the scene should have been shot, saying: “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! He wouldn’t have just been walking through the woods with three of his friends holding spears hoping to meet a boar.”
In episode three of House of the Dragon, Martin finally got a hunt worthy of a King, as King Viserys set out on a royal hunt in the lavish scale that Martin had hoped for.
Martin had one other scruple with the first season of Game of Thrones, when the budget once again limited the scale of a jousting tournament.
“There were a number of points we had to cut back,” the author reflected on the series. “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.”
Martin was disappointed that the series couldn’t afford to create a tournament environment as lavish as some small budget movies such as A Knight’s Tale.
“We should’ve been at least as big as A Knight’s Tale but we couldn’t even achieve that,” he revealed. “The only jousts we saw were essential to the plot. Still, I thought it worked pretty well.”
The splashy budget of the House of the Dragon once again set to bring the author’s vision to fruition, as the series debut opened with a jam-packed tournament.
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