'Game of Thrones' Season 3 premiere: George R.R. Martin on his new HBO drama, 'The Winds of Winter' and the Red Wedding
George R.R. Martin is the master of the "Game of Thrones" universe. The author of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series is also a co-executive producer on the HBO show and the writer of one episode in each of its seasons. This year he's written episode 7, "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," and Zap2it asked him on the "Game of Thrones" Season 3 red carpet why he decided that was the one episode he wanted to pen.
"There was some cool stuff in that episode. There were a number of characters that I didn't get to write about last year because remember last year I did 'Blackwater,' which was a very focused episode," he said. "It just all takes place in King's Landing, so I didn't get to write about Dany, I didn't get to write about Arya, I didn't get to write about Bran or Jon Snow. I was just strictly writing, so I've been away from those characters for like two years. I wanted to write an episode that had some cool stuff for all of them in it and it worked out pretty well."
There was one event in Season 3 that Martin said he knew for certain he didn't want to write. Fans know it simply as the Red Wedding, and saying any more than that would be a spoiler (don't Google it if you want to remain spoiler free). Martin has said in the past that he waited until the end of "A Storm of Swords," the novel that Season 3 is based on, to write the Red Wedding scene, and told Zap2it that writing it again would have been even more difficult.
"It would have been very hard for me to write that episode again, but fortunately ['Game of Thrones' showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] wanted to write that episode, so I didn't fight them on it," he said. "That was a very tough thing to write it the first time."
Martin signed a deal with HBO in early February that, among other things, said he will develop and produce a new series for the network. He told Zap2it that it will definitely be a drama, but beyond that he's not sure what the show will entail.
"I have a number of ideas. I haven't actually met with [HBO] yet. Some of them are fantasy, some of them are science fiction, some of them are like straight historical adventure. I like to do different things, so we'll throw them all at them and see which one excites HBO," he said. "It will be drama. I'm not much of a comedy guy, although I like comedy. That's about all I know."
Martin continued, "The hard part will be -- because I have to write these two more ['ASoIaF'] books, as you're aware -- so I have to find another David and Dan to actually run these shows for me after I come up with the concepts and get it going, so I'm looking for those now. It's hard to find a David and a Dan, they're really incredible talents."
Speaking of those two more books, Martin is currently working on the penultimate installment on the "ASoIaF" saga. "A Dance with Dragons," book 5, came out in 2011, and fans had to wait six years for its release. Martin said he hopes that book 6, "The Winds of Winter," doesn't take nearly as long.
"I'm working on it. It's going to be a monster. It's going to take a real long time," he said. "I'm not making any predictions when it's going to be done, but I hope it will be faster than the last two. I'm certainly trying to get it done faster than the last two."
Martin has been reading chapters from the incomplete book at fan conventions and even posted one to his website, and said he expects those chapters to make it into the final "Winds of Winter" cut. "I never say definitely, but those are pretty close to final chapters. Unless something really radical happens -- and I'm not saying that won't happen, I do sometimes make changes -- I think those chapters will be in the final book," he said.
And fans don't need to keep stressing out about Martin potentially stretching "ASoIaF" into eight books instead of his planned seven. Zap2it asked Martin whether he thinks he'll need to add an eighth book to the series like he's said in the past, and he said he doesn't plan to.
"No, seven books. I'm still aiming for seven books, but once again, I don't write anything in blood," he said. "I really regard it as one story: beginning, middle, end. If it takes seven books, if it takes eight books, if it takes 103 books, I've got to tell the whole story. I'm not going to truncate it just because I only said so many books. It's a question of to reach the end and to wrap the story up the way I want to wrap it up."
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on March 31 at 9 p.m. ET. Stay tuned to Zap2it in the days leading up to the premiere for more of our red carpet coverage.