George R.R. Martin has been lucky enough to remain close to the production of Game of Thrones, so much so that he's even written an episode for season two of the epic series based on his even more epic novels. But Martin admits that even he doesn't know everything about the show, and waiting to see if one particular moment from his books turns out right actually has him a little on edge.
Season two is adapted from A Clash of Kings, the second novel in Martin's projected seven-part A Song of Ice and Fire saga. A central element of the novel is the Battle of Blackwater, a massive fight between two factions vying for control of the capital of Westeros, King's Landing. We won't spoil the end result for you, but the clash is so vital to the story that Game of Thrones producers tapped Martin himself to pen the episode that contains the battle.
"Blackwater" will be the ninth episode of season two, and it's a big one. Executive Producer Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly that it took a month to shoot, compared to the normal episode shooting time of about 10 days. It's a nonstop battle with big implications for the rest of the season, and in a new interview Martin said waiting to see how it'll turn out has him a bit nervous.
"I'm on tenterhooks to see what sort of (production) values (were used) and how much . . . they were able to capture on screen," Martin said. "The Battle of the Blackwater is a gigantic set piece in the book; it occupies 12 chapters, or something like that. It fills up the entire episode, and we had to cut certain elements of it, or it would have demanded a Lord of the Rings-style budget.
"Of course, we (have) a high budget for a TV show, but we are low-budget for a feature film,"
Martin has a lot of experience with TV, including acclaimed work on the Beauty and the Beast series in the '80s, so he knows how these things work. He's also confident that the episode's director—The Descent's Neil Marshall—can pull maximum production value out of the budget.
In the same interview, Martin also noted that the adaptation process has taken its toll on some of his characters. Fans of the books won't see every single one of the people filling Martin's pages up on screen, and though the author worries they won't be happy, he sees character cuts as part of the inevitable reality of adaptation.
"The elimination of a character, (or) the introduction of a new character, is likely not to please the majority of (readers)," Martin said. "(But) the (TV-only audience) ... they want a story they can understand and they want to know who all these characters are. They can't refer to a genealogy in the back of a book, because they don't have the books. You can't confuse them too much with a multiplicity of characters. "
Game of Thrones season two premieres Sunday, April 1, on HBO.
(via Vancouver Sun)