George R.R. Martin signs a five-year contract with HBO

George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin is not leaving HBO any time soon. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin recently signed a new contract with HBO spanning five years and worth mid-eight figures. Wait to go, George.

It’s certainly a deal that makes since, given the sheer number of projects Martin is involved with at the network. In addition to House of the Dragon, there are five other series set in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire currently in development: 9 Voyages (about Corlys Velaryon), Flea Bottom, 10,000 Ships (about Princess Nymeria), Dunk and Egg and an animated show.

Additionally, Martin will serve as executive producer for Who Fears Death, an adaptation of Nnedi Okorafor’s africanfuturist (not afrofuturist) novel as well as the fantasy show, Roadmarks, based on Roger Zelazny’s novel.

All this is in addition to several television and film projects he’s got going on outside of HBO and, of course, the long, long awaited The Winds of Winter. 

Listing all of these in one post, I understand the sense of exhaustion that was palpable in the last Not A Blog entry of his that I covered. I’m certainly excited for all the projects that Martin is attached to. I just hope he’s excited to be attached to them. Take care of yourself, George.

48 responses

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    1. Ten Bears,

      It seems to me GRRM has a pretty restless mind and always has had. Locking someone like that in a room to do only one thing would just result in paralysis. He needs the Eureka moments, where ideas happen while he is doing other things and NOT thinking about it on purpose.

      So yes, he needs to finish the series, but we can’t pretend he has EVER been the type of person to work on only one thing at a time.

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    2. As you’ve likely seen, I have given my thoughts on that in the previous thread (re: I don’t think it’s exactly a money thing since he hasn’t been hurting for money) 😅I echo awol’s feeling that GRRM has a restless mind and I’ve probably gone over my feeling (perhaps too much) that I suspect he’s feeling frustrated and looking for something to feel productive with, thus all these new projects.

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    3. Iul:
      There’s no time for any of these unless Winds of Winter and A dream of Spring are already finished.

      Eh, I don’t think he’s really concerned about time (it’s been 10 years already…) I suspect this is more about distraction, which seems to be GRRM’s m.o. Otherwise, something would have been announced and he’d be able to get the albatross off his neck.

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    4. Adrianacandle,

      Snarky Hypothetical:

      If I had commissioned an artist
      to laser-cut the parts, and build and paint a Mars Snooper rocket, and then I patiently waited years for the finished product after several missed deadlines, excuses, delays and mishaps…

      https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/Mv8AAOSweNBftJMg/s-l400.jpg

      …I’d be a bit perturbed to learn she’d just signed a mega-contract to build a fleet of rockets for someone else.

      I’m not sure how receptive I’d be to the artist’s excuse after all this time that she has “a restless mind,” and was “feeling frustrated and looking for something to feel productive with, thus all these new projects.”

      Upon learning of the obscene amount of money she was being paid for undertaking multiple new projects (leaving little time to finish my overdue Mars Snooper), I might start feeling I was being duped, and complain to the artist: “You sold me out. It was all about the Benjamins, wasn’t it?”

      I could understand if GRRM was feeling frustrated and was looking for something to do that would make him feel productive. If he’s already financially secure, he could do that on his own dime and his own time, couldn’t he?
      It’s the “mid eight figures” number ($40,000,000 to $60,000,000) that jumps out at me.

      I can’t imagine that HBO is going to commit to shelling out that kind of money if the Big Kahuna is able to blow off working on the new projects because he supposedly wants to devote his full time and efforts to finishing TWOW.

      I’ve said it before: I don’t blame the guy. After a quarter century of ASOIAF it’s probably a drag to have to return to that fictional universe. Whatever love and excitement he once had has long since rotted away.
      ⚠️ Uh oh.

      Another lyric earworm just popped into my head: 🎶 “Good loving gone bad.

      Time to throw in the towel, big guy.

      As much as he hates fanfic, at this point he’d be better off sponsoring a worldwide contest with a $1,000,000 prize for the best fan-authored version of TWOW.

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    5. Ten Bears,

      …I’d be a bit perturbed to learn she’d just signed a mega-contract to build a fleet of rockets for someone else.

      I’m not sure how receptive I’d be to the artist’s excuse after all this time that she has “a restless mind,” and was “feeling frustrated and looking for something to feel productive with, thus all these new projects.”

      I’d say the difference here would be that they aren’t commissioning GRRM to write for their project, ASOIAF is his own. They have set up a contract to publish the remaining books in GRRM’s series: ASOIAF books 6, 7, and whatever else GRRM may feel is necessary. GRRM hasn’t agreed to actually write the end of ASOIAF himself for another company, he’s dealing with other projects and stories.

      Publishers don’t have to wait on GRRM. If they feel there’s a breach, they can cancel their contract (per whatever stipulations are in that contract) but they’d also be cancelling a long, long awaited book which, if it ever gets published, is a guaranteed sell. Without knowing the details of these contracts, I’d imagine this is on their minds.

      Upon learning of the obscene amount of money she was being paid for undertaking multiple new projects (leaving little time to finish my overdue Mars Snooper), I might start feeling I was being duped, and complain to the artist: “You sold me out. It was all about the Benjamins, wasn’t it?”

      Well, depends on the circumstance and how well I know the artist and what I know.

      First, GRRM isn’t writing the end of ASOIAF for another publishing companies. He’s working on television projects.

      Second, if the artist had already been a Hollywood laser cutter, was one of the world’s top earning laser cutters and had frequently employed distractions (this is not the first instance of GRRM dividing his time or taking his sweet time), I’m not sure I’d come to that conclusion. I think I’d more go to using-projects-as-an-distraction conclusion.

      I could understand if GRRM was feeling frustrated and was looking for something to do that would make him feel productive. If he’s already financially secure, he could do that on his own dime and his own time, couldn’t he?
      It’s the “mid eight figures” number ($40,000,000 to $60,000,000) that jumps out at me.

      I don’t think this would be that simple for two reasons:

      1) Contracts and rights, which are a two way street. Due to a contract, I believe GRRM has mentioned that if he were to adapt his other stories for television with another production company, he couldn’t use words or names that are referential to GoT since HBO has exclusive access to those licensing rights. (Need to find source for this among my PDFs)

      2) Starting an entire production company from scratch and all the headaches (like legal) that come with it is pretty different from overseeing and leading creative projects. GRRM doesn’t have to do this to get his stories adapted — HBO has already been interested in his work for years and the HBO name itself already comes with prestige and quality.

      Plus, no matter who GRRM is doing these new projects with, time is a finite resource. It still takes away the same amount of time from TWOW, if not more, doing it all on his own steam. With HBO, GRRM gets the advantage of the HBO name and can focus on creative.

      Money does start to lose value after a certain point because you can only spend so much and I don’t think money is GRRM’s biggest issue going into this.

      I can’t imagine that HBO is going to commit to shelling out that kind of money if the Big Kahuna is able to blow off working on the new projects because he supposedly wants to devote his full time and efforts to finishing TWOW.

      I don’t think GRRM has the option of doing this for the next five years.

      I’ve said it before: I don’t blame the guy. After a quarter century of ASOIAF it’s probably a drag to have to return to that fictional universe. Whatever love and excitement he once had has long since rotted away.

      Well, I think it’s more that he’s stuck and feeling frustrated. I don’t think it’s so much that he feels it’s a drag — he’s still writing world books set in the ASOIAF universe. However, GRRM has thrown so much into the air that he has to bring home. ASOIAF has turned into such a mammoth, complex beast of a story. He gave himself an insanely difficult job to do, not helped by his lack of story-mapping in advance — just points and conclusions he wants to reach and is setting up for.

      Another lyric earworm just popped into my head: 🎶 “Good loving gone bad.”
      Time to throw in the towel, big guy.

      I don’t really think that’s up for anybody else but him to decide. Readers can abandon hope over the prospect of these unpublished books ever being finished of course but GRRM doesn’t have to decide to throw in the towel, even if he spends the rest of his life procrastinating.

      As much as he hates fanfic, at this point he’d be better off sponsoring a worldwide contest with a $1,000,000 prize for the best fan-authored version of TWOW.

      I’m not sure what the benefit would be for GRRM with doing this — for himself or the reader. This still wouldn’t be the story GRRM had planned to tell in his way but a fan’s at this point. This is what book readers are interested in: how GRRM wants to bring things home. A fan’s version still wouldn’t be GRRM’s version: for himself or the fan.

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    6. Adrianacandle:
      Ten Bears,

      Oooooh, that’s a song I know really, really well.

      Yeah, it’s Monday, it’s a rainy day, and it’s the beginning of a dreary week of real world obligations.

      When I was growing up, the Carpenters’ songs were mocked as lightweight “oldies.” It wasn’t until fairly recently that I really listened to Karen Carpenter’s singing (and drumming).

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    7. Ten Bears,

      Meanwhile, I thought you were a graphic artist and sculptor.

      Close! I’m a graphic designer and animator and sometimes an IR photographer!

      You’re not a lawyer, are you?

      No, no, no! I wouldn’t even survive day 1 of law school, much less being a lawyer XD I’ve just been involved in a few IP negotiations and have witnessed IP disputes and negotiations on both sides! Stuff like artist and gallery, artist and production company, graphic designer and client, etc. And one of my classmates in grad school successfully had a (crappy) tenured professor fired so I got to see that! 🙂

      [Clueless clip]

      “Thank-you for that perspective, Cher.”

      Cher’s smile XD

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    8. Ten Bears,

      When I was growing up, the Carpenters’ songs were mocked as lightweight “oldies.” It wasn’t until fairly recently that I really listened to Karen Carpenter’s singing (and drumming).

      I listened to a ton of Joan Jett that way too…. and j-pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a song of hers which gave me one of the worst ear worms in a long long time.

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    9. Adrianacandle,

      Joan Jett…

      I’ve always liked her style. As for her songs: “I Love Rock and Roll” – catchy cover and a great music video; “Crimson & Clover” – decent cover of original by Tommy James & The Shondells; and recently, a passable cover of T Rex’s “Jeepster” for a Marc Bolan tribute album. P.S. A different T Rex song is one of my preliminary “Favorite 70’s Songs” candidates.

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    10. Adrianacandle,

      About IP:

      “…I’ve just been involved in a few IP negotiations and have witnessed IP disputes and negotiations on both sides! Stuff like artist and gallery, artist and production company, graphic designer and client, etc.”
      Coincidentally, I was going to reference a bunch of Blondie songs I saw on the Gilmore Girls soundtrack list, and the T. Rex song, because both bands used two semi-anonymous backup singers with a bizarre IP dispute story.
      (I’m hazy on the details): When their 60’s band left their label, they learned that under their contract they not only couldn’t they use the band name going forward… but they could not even perform under their own real names.
      So they made up ridiculous pseudonyms: “Phlorescent Leech & Eddie.” First they joined Frank Zappa’s group, and then sang background vocals – often uncredited – on records for Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, T. Rex, and a host of others. I think they eventually won back the right to use their own names and the band name. I just thought it was absurd that they were prohibited from using and performing under their own names.
      • ”And one of my classmates in grad school successfully had a (crappy) tenured professor fired so I got to see that! 🙂”

      Oh, I’d love to hear that story!

        Quote  Reply

    11. Ten Bears,

      Coincidentally, I was going to reference a bunch of Blondie songs I saw on the Gilmore Girls soundtrack list, and the T. Rex song, because both bands used two semi-anonymous backup singers with a bizarre IP dispute story.
      (I’m hazy on the details): When their 60’s band left their label, they learned that under their contract they not only couldn’t they use the band name going forward… but they could not even perform under their own real names.
      So they made up ridiculous pseudonyms: “Phlorescent Leech & Eddie.” First they joined Frank Zappa’s group, and then sang background vocals – often uncredited – on records for Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, T. Rex, and a host of others. I think they eventually won back the right to use their own names and the band name. I just thought it was absurd that they were prohibited from using and performing under their own names.

      Wow. That is ridiculous. Losing artistic license to your own name. I’ve got to look that up.

      Oh, I’d love to hear that story!

      Oh, it was a total mess. At the time, I was in my early 20s and thought this was how it was supposed to be but I had some “older” classmates who had experience otherwise. I wasn’t aware of anything shocking — it was more things (as far as I knew) like consistently failing to show up to class, trying to move up our deadlines by a month so he could go on personal trips to Paris and then failure to assess our work (giving us all Cs), all of which J would either formally object to (the professor’s conduct) or his decisions (deadlines). I believe there were some other things my classmate discovered but she had uncovered evidence this professor wasn’t having our work assessed, by himself or anyone else, giving us all the same grade because he had to produce a grade for each of us, and she also had some pull with people who could put pressure on the university’s administration.

      I wasn’t privy to everything but I remember this being a subject of discussion when we gathered to put together exhibition documents, when we went out for drinks, dinner, to watch America’s Next Top Model, etc. or all of the above.

      I never spoke up in seminars but this guy trying to move up our deadlines by a month made me find my voice XD; He ended up crossing the wrong person since J got done what others had tried to do before…

        Quote  Reply

    12. Ten Bears,

      I’ve always liked her style. As for her songs: “I Love Rock and Roll” – catchy cover and a great music video; “Crimson & Clover” – decent cover of original by Tommy James & The Shondells; and recently, a passable cover of T Rex’s “Jeepster” for a Marc Bolan tribute album. P.S. A different T Rex song is one of my preliminary “Favorite 70’s Songs” candidates.

      I’ve always liked her style too! And often, they are so catchy, they end up as earworms…

        Quote  Reply

    13. Does anybody really give a flying eff at this point? Or try to be surprised?

      If you look at his career path, it becomes clear that the big multivolume epic is not his thing but lots of diverse, quick projects -> Short stories, editing, TV/movie scripts, single volume novels, articles about God, NFL and the world. And ever since *Beauty and the Beast*, the medium of moving pictures has caught his preferred attention. So this latest move is a logical consequence.

      Re the money: He doesn’´´ t really need it. The guy is frugal, he was living pretty well even before aSoIaF.

      Now…tWoW? Don´t hold your breath, kids.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Adrianacandle,

      Re: IP disputes, cont.

      Here’s a wikipedia synopsis of “Phlorescent Leech & Eddie” aka Flo & Eddie aka (real names) Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan aka The Turtles.*

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flo_%26_Eddie

      I didn’t realize they had sued Sirius XM satellite radio for failing to pay sound-recording royalties on songs broadcasted, or that Sirius wound up paying $210 million to major record labels and
      “between $25-99 million” to pre-1972 song owners.

      * Six Degrees of Game of Thrones:

      The Turtles song “Happy Together” was the trigger for the concluding pivotal scene in Lena Headey’s rom-com “Imagine Me and You,” and the movie’s title = the opening line of the song.

        Quote  Reply

    15. flintstonewielder,

      ”Short stories, editing, TV/movie scripts, single volume novels, articles about God, NFL and the world.”

      And blogging. I’ll bet he’s written ten times as many words in his online LiveJournal than TWOW over the past ten years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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    16. Ten Bears:
      flintstonewielder,

      ”Short stories, editing, TV/movie scripts, single volume novels, articles about God, NFL and the world.”

      And blogging. I’ll bet he’s written ten times as many words in his online LiveJournal than TWOW over the past ten years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      Just to counter that perennial claim that *GRRM is lazy*. GRRM is not lazy – he is just dispersive as f*ck. Well, nowadays you call that *multitasking*.

        Quote  Reply

    17. The tiny spark of hope that Martin would some day finish his series died upon hearing this news. With his other television projects, you can convince yourself that he’s only taking a limited supervisory role only and it won’t eat up too much of his time, but this is different. If HBO is going to shelve out tens of millions of dollars, you can bet they’re going to put him to work.

        Quote  Reply

    18. 3eyes,

      You’re going to drop a bomb like that and… just tiptoe away? 🤔

      Now the Big Kahuna is working on a Broadway show prequel too? So that ”at last, we can tell the whole story [of the Tourney at Harrenhal] on the stage”? *

      This news should be the final nail on the coffin of TWOW. ⚰️

      * GRRM, as quoted in the linked theguardian.com article:
      The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace,” Martin said in a statement. “Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO’s Game of Thrones, and in my novels, A Song of Ice & Fire … and now, at last, we can tell the whole story … on the stage.”

      The as-yet-untitled show will launch in the UK, the US and Australia in 2022. “It ought to be spectacular,” Martin said.

        Quote  Reply

    19. Ten Bears,

      I think doing a stage production is a… creative… way to tell more prequel story while the books are still unfinished. 

I kind of notice a pattern with GRRM: he reaches a point where he takes a break from the books and focuses on writing out yet more history.

      

I mean, he’s…. consistent.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Adrianacandle:
      3eyes,

      I hope it’ll include The Knight of the Laughing Tree 🙂

      Hmmm. A GoT-based stage show at the West End in London. Telling the story of Lyanna Stark aka The Knight of the Laughing Tree. A fearless young woman skilled in martial arts, masquerading as a boy.
      Who pray tell could they cast in that role to draw in audiences? Someone who according to canon resembles Lyanna Stark? Maybe an actress – a familiar face – who’s already got stage experience in London?

      https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2018/i-and-you/

        Quote  Reply

    21. Ten Bears: Hmmm. A GoT-based stage show at the West End in London. Telling the story of Lyanna Stark aka The Knight of the Laughing Tree. A fearless young woman skilled in martial arts, masquerading as a boy. Who pray tell could they cast in that role to draw in audiences?Someone who according to canon resembles Lyanna Stark? Maybe an actress – a familiar face – who’s already got stage experience in London?

      https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2018/i-and-you/

      I would prefer to see a Misery-style thriller where Maisie Williams crashes her car in a snowstorm and subsequently awakens to find that she’s been saved by her #1 fan, Ten Bears.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Young Dragon,

      Agreed. The ending B&W supplied in Game of Thrones now becomes the “official” ending, because it will be the only ending. As my nym shows, I’m fine with that, but I have no doubt many others will not be so happy.

      I’ll always enjoy re-watching the show, and I have no need to re-read the book series now; on to something else. (Back to real-world history for me, I suppose; A Song of Ice and Fire was the first fiction I’d read in about twenty years.)

        Quote  Reply

    23. Tensor the Mage, Still Loving the Ending,

      Well, I think there’s a bit of a difference: if the books remain unfinished, which is a strong possibility, Martin’s plans for the conclusion of his books may never be known, leaving those plans as their own mysteries. I think that’ll be the distinction (as it kind of already is). Currently and for a number of years now, quite a few readers have already resigned themselves to this possibility of never getting the books. I had thought TWOW was possible but not really ADOS. I’ve certainly managed my expectations. In a way, this would keep quite a few theories alive (ie. Schrodinger’s Theory) in spirit.

        Quote  Reply

    24. flintstonewielder:
      Does anybody really give a flying eff at this point? Or try to be surprised?

      If you look at his career path, it becomes clear that the big multivolume epic is not his thing but lots of diverse, quick projects -> Short stories, editing, TV/movie scripts, single volume novels, articles about God, NFL and the world. And ever since *Beauty and the Beast*, the medium of moving pictures has caught his preferred attention. So this latest move is a logical consequence.

      Re the money: Hedoesn’´´ t really need it. The guy is frugal, he was living pretty well even before aSoIaF.

      Now…tWoW? Don´t hold your breath, kids.

      You complete me.

        Quote  Reply

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