By James Hibberd
September 29, 2020 at 04:57 PM EDT
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  • TV Show
network
  • HBO

George R.R. Martin has a least favorite scene in Game of Thrones, and it's probably not one that you'd expect.

In my new book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, the Song of Ice and Fire saga author candidly discusses many aspects of HBO's hit series. He has high praise for many elements of the epic adaptation (such as the show's staging of Ned Stark's death and the Red Wedding), but occasionally he's critical as well.

Martin reveals that his least favorite scene came in the show's first season, when the production struggled with a budget that was very large for 2011 (roughly $6 million per episode), but still not large enough to stage many elements of his grand fantasy vision.

Helen Sloan/HBO

″Where we really fell down in terms of budget was my least favorite scene in the entire show, in all eight seasons: King Robert goes hunting,″ Martin says. ″Four guys walking on foot through the woods carrying spears and Robert is giving Renly s—. In the books, Robert goes off hunting, we get word he was gored by a boar, and they bring him back and he dies. So I never did [a hunting scene]. But I knew what a royal hunting party was like. There would have been a hundred guys. There would have been pavilions. There would have been huntsmen. There would have been dogs. There would have been horns blowing — that's how a king goes hunting! He wouldn't have just been walking through the woods with three of his friends holding spears hoping to meet a boar. But at that point, we couldn't afford horses or dogs or pavilions."

This is probably not a choice the show's fans would have picked, but it's one that makes perfect sense given Martin's love of medieval history and — given his own experience as a former TV writer — his history of having to fight against budget constraints.

Here's the scene in the show:

Thrones had a far more generous budget in its later seasons, though there were still some financial struggles in season 2 when the show staged the Battle of the Blackwater.

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon will be released Tuesday, Oct. 6, and tells the inside story of making Thrones from its earliest meetings to the airing of its final season. The book is available for preorder.

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Episode Recaps

Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 8
episodes
  • 73
rating
  • TV-MA
creator
  • David Benioff
  • D.B. Weiss
network
  • HBO
stream service

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