George RR Martin praises House of the Dragon writers for making a major change in season 2

George RR Martin, the visionary behind the beloved “A Song of Ice and Fire” series which later morphed into the iconic HBO series “Game of Thrones”, has recently given his take on the latest developments in the prequel series “House of the Dragon”. Based on his book “Fire & Blood”, this series has taken some creative liberties, including introducing a completely new character by the second episode of its second season. **Warning: Spoilers for season two ahead.**

While “Game of Thrones” largely remained true to Martin’s original novels, it did omit certain elements due to the expansive nature of the books. However, “House of the Dragon” has ventured to add an entirely new character early in its sophomore season, a move that has caught the attention of Martin himself.

In a post on his “Not a Blog” dated July 5, Martin expressed his initial reservation about screenwriters adding characters to adaptations, particularly when they involve his own works. Despite his reservations, he admitted to being pleasantly surprised by one particular addition in “House of the Dragon” season two: a dog introduced alongside the characters Cheese (played by Mark Stobbart) and Blood (played by Sam C. Wilson), a duo of rat-catcher assassins hired by Prince Daemon Targaryen.

Martin wrote, “I was prepared to dislike Cheese, but my feelings intensified when he kicked that dog. Yet, seeing the dog later sitting at his feet, looking up with such devotion… that almost broke my heart. Such a tiny creature added so much humanity to the rat-catcher.”

He continued, “The silent presence of that dog showed that even the most despicable men can love and be loved. I wish I’d thought of that dog myself. I didn’t, but I’m glad someone did.”

Apart from the dog, Martin also praised the show’s reinterpretation of other characters from his books. He highlighted the transformation of King Viserys, noting that the show gave him a much more complex and detailed backstory than the original “Fire & Blood” had offered. Paddy Considine’s portrayal of Viserys was particularly lauded by Martin, who felt the actor deserved an Emmy for his role.

Mark Stobbart and Sam C Wilson in House of the Dragon (HBO)

Another standout performance came from Phia Saban, who plays Helaena Targaryen, the tortured queen of Aegon. Martin pointed out that much of Saban’s portrayal, including her character’s eerie prophecies, were not present in the books. He remarked, “These elements were conceived in the writers’ room, and now that I’ve seen this version of Helaena, I can’t argue. Phia Saban’s Helaena is far more intriguing and complex than my original creation.”

The poor kicked dog (HBO)

As “House of the Dragon” continues to unfold every Sunday on HBO, it’s clear that both fans and the original creator are in for more surprises and potentially heart-wrenching twists. Whether it’s the addition of a small, impactful dog or the deepening of royal characters, the series promises to keep viewers hooked with its fresh interpretations and compelling storytelling.