George R.R. Martin Doesn't Want To Be The Game Of Thrones Stan Lee

The "Game of Thrones" prequel "House of the Dragon" premiered to the biggest audience in HBO history. Set almost 200 years before the birth of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), the series will show us the downfall of the Targaryens who ruled Westeros. It's not the first attempt at a spinoff of the series based on the novels by George R.R. Martin. A different prequel from Jane Goldman, starring Naomi Watts, never saw the light of day. There is talk of a Jon Snow spinoff, and the development of a "Tales of Dunk and Egg" series based on Martin's novellas set within the universe. Those are just a few of the ideas that are being bandied about. 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the new show, Martin talks about how the world he created is expanding, and how it will continue to do so. Though there was a part of the "Game of Thrones" fandom that was unhappy with the final season of the series, the world of Westeros and Essos, its dragons, and its battles for power are ripe for more adaptations. It's a rich world, and the planned seven-book series (with novellas and additional content, including a Duolingo course on the fictional language of High Valyrian) has more than enough content to keep the world going on our screens for quite some time to come. There will be even more once Martin finishes the sixth and seventh books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series that everything is based on.

If that brings the Marvel Cinematic Universe to mind for you, you're not alone. Martin has some thoughts about the idea of an extended "Game of Thrones" universe, and the people who have created such universes before. 

'A variety that showcases the history of this world'

Martin hopes that his world will continue to expand. He told The Hollywood Reporter:

"The MCU has the Avengers, but they also have something offbeat like 'WandaVision.' That's what I hope we can do with these other 'Game of Thrones' shows, so we can have a variety that showcases the history of this world. There are only so many times you can do a competition for the Iron Throne."

That's good to hear. "House of the Dragon" is already fascinating, despite the fact that the battle for that very uncomfortable seat is happening again, but a third show about the same thing might be too much. 

Martin has also been musing about his role as the creator of a franchise, and comparing himself to those who have come before. He explained, "Sometimes I sit around trying to figure out who the hell I am in this whole scenario," mentioning George Lucas, the creator of "Star Wars," Gene Roddenberry, the creator of "Star Trek," or Stan Lee, who gave us some of the biggest superheroes in the MCU, including Spider-Man. Martin wonders what his journey will be, because those men have very different stories in terms of how their extended universes expanded.

Martin's role in the future of the franchise

When Martin was asked which one of those three he would want to be, the author revealed that it wasn't the creator of so many Marvel properties. He said:

"Not Stan Lee at the end. He had no power, no influence. He wasn't writing any stories. He couldn't say, 'Don't do this character.' He was just a friendly person they brought to conventions and who did cameos. To be sidelined on the world and characters that you created, that would be tough." 

That absolutely makes sense. Lee, Lucas, and Roddenberry had very different paths that led to the creation of their universes, and how much power other people had in terms of the telling of them.

That said, I used to work with Stan Lee, and he did tell me a number of times that he loved seeing what other people did with his creations. He also loved cameos, and would actively campaign to get more of them.

That is no judgment on what Martin said. Not at all. Everyone has their own relationship to what they've made, and with so many years of work dedicated to "A Song of Ice and Fire," (the first book came out in 1991), it absolutely makes sense that he'd want to keep an active hand in what people do with his creation.

"House of the Dragon" is currently airing its first season on HBO and HBO Max.