George R.R. Martin Grew Frustrated With Game Of Thrones After Season 5

Death, taxes, and the inability to please everyone with an adaptation of a popular story. You can always count on these certainties in life, but that last one takes on even further complications when you're talking about the actual author of the original story. Though it's worth remembering that it took a little time to fully catch on in the early going, "Games of Thrones" eventually transformed into a pop culture juggernaut that had fans taking in every new episode during watch parties or bars as if it were a Super Bowl-sized event. Based on George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, the violent, no-holds-barred HBO series attracted millions of viewers right up until the final seconds of its wildly divisive final season.

But for some, the signs that "Game of Thrones" had lost its way began to show far earlier than that. According to an excerpt from a new book, George R.R. Martin apparently first started to feel uneasy about the direction the show was taking as soon as season 5.

A War of Words

Anyone tasked with guiding "Game of Thrones" from beginning to end had to have expected a daunting hill to climb. But as creators of the hit series, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' jobs couldn't have been any easier with the knowledge that the legendary author of the original series intently watched every step they took along the way. Though publicly he remained diplomatic in his many blog posts over the years during the show's run, a new revelation by his representative is now shedding light on the fact that Martin counted himself among those who were disappointed in the direction that the series eventually took.

According to the popular fan blog Winter Is Coming (via Screen Rant), a new book titled "Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers" includes a chapter focused on the sensation of "Game of Thrones." Paul Haas, Martin's representative, had this to say about the author's thoughts on the series.

"George loves Dan and Dave, but after Season 5 he did start to worry about the path they were [going down] because George knows where the story goes. He started saying, 'You're not following my template.' The first 5 seasons stuck to George's roadmap. Then they went off George's roadmap."

To be entirely fair, it should be noted that "George's roadmap" wasn't actually completed while Benioff and Weiss were working on bringing the show to its end — in fact, well over two years since the "Game of Thrones" series finale, the last two planned novels in "A Song of Ice and Fire" still aren't completed. At the same time, it's also fair that the original author would have reservations about the show's much, much different approach to the same material over time. The end of season 5 and the beginning of season 6 marks the point where "Game of Thrones" began to lose me, personally ... but the equivalent marker points in the books (particularly "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons") aren't without their own flaws and shaggy storytelling, as well.

The full report is worth reading, particularly for its seeming contradiction of information regarding what Martin told Benioff and Weiss about his plans beforehand, but it's clear that the saga (controversy?) of "Game of Thrones" isn't going anywhere anytime soon. HBO, meanwhile, is moving forward with its spin-off series "House of the Dragon," premiering sometime in 2022.