George R. R. Martin was shocked recently to learn that he didn’t watch Game of Thrones, according to EW.
A large number of media outlets reported on Wednesday that the author did not watch the television adaptation of his popular A Song of Ice and Fire series. Among these were publications of repute, such as the New York Post. One article even directly attributed the sentence “I don’t watch Game of Thrones” to Martin in its very title.
While the series has stirred conflict amongst fans of the source material for years, this is not the case.* When EW reached out to Martin, he claimed that this information was utterly false, and attributed the misconception to poor translations of an interview he gave while attending a convention in Russia. He did, however, express that his trip abroad had caused him to fall behind on the show.
*(Admittedly, as a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, the author of this article finds the show far more palatable when considered to be a work of fan fiction rather than an adaptation. As a show, it mostly succeeds, but without much of the intelligence, subtlety, or general masterful storytelling and genre revision which are hallmarks of the original material. Game of Thrones is simultaneously great television and a truly terrible adaptation.)
There have been rumors that Martin is displeased with Game of Thrones for some time, and while it is likely true that he is not thrilled that the show is telling his story before he gets to (in a very simplified, if different, way), when one considers how frequently he surrounds himself with the cast, crew, and creators of the show, it becomes apparent that this is false. Would Martin run the show differently? That is almost certain. But to paint a picture of an author boycotting an adaptation of his own work, as many publications have done, is to twist his words (or mistranslations of his words) into something with no resemblance to the truth.
The way the media has treated George R. R. Martin has been extremely unfair, and publications of alleged repute, such as the New York Post, should be held to a higher standard.