Is George R.R. Martin Abandoning ‘The Winds of Winter’ For ‘House of the Dragon’?

George R.R. Martin is responsible for conjuring up the cultural phenomenon that is Game of Thrones. Without him, GoT wouldn’t have been the HBO hit it is today, so it’s only right for Martin to help with the spin-off, House of the Dragon

But will that new gig with the HBO prequel stop him from working on the second to last A Song of Fire and Ice book, Winds of Winter? While it’s taken a long time to get to this point, it doesn’t look like Martin is slowing down the book at all. 

George R.R. Martin at the premiere of 'Game of Thrones' Season 8.
George R. R. Martin at the ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 8 NYC Premiere | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

The ‘Song of Fire and Ice’ author has some big roles on the newest spin-off

According to Deadline, on Oct. 29, the spin-off was greenlit for a full series, and Martin will be an executive producer. The next day, Martin wrote on his website that he’d be involved with the development of the show. “Ryan Condal [the showrunner] has already done a considerable amount of writing on HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, but a lot of work remains ahead of us,” he wrote. “There’s a writer’s room to be assembled, episodes to be broken down and scripted, a cast and crew to be assembled, budgets and production details to be worked out.” Miguel Sapochnik will also be a showrunner for the prequel.

Martin also wrote that he’d probably be involved in figuring out filming locations and maybe even write for it, too. “Who knows, if things work out, I may even be able to script a few episodes, as I did for the first four seasons of GAME OF THRONES.” Martin wrote four episodes across those seasons, including “Blackwater” and “The Lion and the Rose.”

Will this impact when the upcoming ‘Game of Thrones’ novel comes out?

George R.R. Martin at the 2019 Emmys with his award.
George R. R. Martin with his Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series at the 2019 Emmy Awards | Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

For fans of the books, who have waited since 2011 for the last two novels in the series, this news might be a little unsettling because it sounds like it could mean a longer wait for The Winds of Winter. But fear not, because Martin is committed to finishing that before he does any work on House of the Dragon

“But… let me make this perfectly clear,” he wrote. “I am not taking on any scripts until I have finished and delivered WINDS OF WINTER. Winter is still coming, and WINDS remains my priority, as much as I’d love to write an episodes of HOUSE.” Despite the long wait for Winds of Winter, it looks like nothing HBO or Game of Thrones related will stand in the way of Martin’s upcoming novel. 

What is ‘House of the Dragon’ about?

House of the Dragon will take place 300 years before Game of Thrones started, and will be all about House Targaryen. Specifically, it will show the events of the Dance of Dragons, the civil war between Rhaenyra and her half-brother Aegon II for the Iron Throne. If you want to read all about it, Martin has a fictional history book that delves into the house called Fire and Blood.

Martin also revealed in that post on his site that the show was his idea, too. “HOUSE OF THE DRAGON has been in development for several years (though the title has changed a couple of times during that process),” he wrote on his site. “It was actually the first concept I pitched to HBO when we started talking about a successor show, way back in the summer of 2016.”

So don’t worry about Winds of Winter taking longer; it’s still on track, but the release date isn’t that definite. If you’re a fan, at least know you’re getting it eventually.