George R.R. Martin Secured a 5-Year HBO Deal and an 8-Figure Salary Due To Game of Thrones Season 8 Backlash


  • Game of Thrones' influence in pop culture is nothing to sneeze at considering just how insanely popular it was for its full runtime.
  • The show's final season ended up getting so much backlash that it evidently changed how HBO viewed their relationship with George R.R. Martin.
  • In fact, the criticism related to how the series ended led to George R.R. Martin signing a lucrative long-term deal with HBO.

Game of Thrones unquestionably stands as one of the most significant shows in television history, leaving a lasting impact across various mediums. Even more than four years after its conclusion, the series remains a massive topic of discussion but not always for good reasons. This is because of how the show ended back in 2019. In fact, George R.R. Martin bagged himself a 5-year deal with HBO and a lot of money because of the backlash that Game of Thrones season 8 received.

Game of Thrones‘ success lay in the fact that it created a compelling narrative, coupled with excellent world-building, that gave fans something to look forward to for over eight years. Unfortunately, the series ended in the worst way possible, as season 8’s final episode is regarded as one of the worst endings to a show ever – effectively killing the series’ hype.

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones Game of Thrones

Also read: “Redo GoT S8 in animation”: George R.R. Martin Confirms 3 Separate Game of Thrones Animated Projects But Fans Have Other Plans

Game of Thrones Season 8 Backlash And Other Failed Projects Ended Up Changing HBO’s Relationship With George R.R. Martin

The Night King in Game of Thrones season 8 Another still from Game of Thrones

According to The Hollywood Reporter, screenwriter Ryan Condal began a friendship with George R.R. Martin while shooting an NBC pilot in Santa Fe back in 2013. Five years later, Martin approached Condal with a proposition related to The Dance of the Dragons, a Targaryen epic he was determined to bring to life. HBO immediately responded to their meeting, making an offer based on Martin’s recommendation.

This development marked a major moment in Martin’s relationship with HBO. Following the conclusion of Game of Thrones and the network’s quest for a successor series, Martin felt somewhat disconnected. However, after the backlash to Thrones‘ season eight and HBO’s rejection of Bloodmoon, Martin’s influence within the network grew. HBO recognized the value of listening to the creator of the fantasy series in the end.

Also read: “The most gorgeous art I’ve ever seen”: Game of Thrones Creator George R.R. Martin Loses His Mind Over a Famous Netflix Animated Series

The Negativity Surrounding Game of Thrones Proved Beneficial For George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin posing for the camera after bagging a lucrative deal with HBOGeorge R.R. Martin

It has already been established that Game of Thrones‘ final season received such backlash that it ended up disgracing the show’s legacy and fans all over the world were more or less ready with pitchforks in outrage.

Also read: A Game of Thrones Animated Spinoff Based on a Fan-Favorite House of the Dragon Character is in the Works

That said, all this negativity ended up working in George R.R. Martin’s favor. According to The Hollywood Reporter, In 2021, HBO signed George R.R. Martin to an extensive five-year deal valued in the mid-eight figures as HBO realized they needed the legendary author for the long run if they wanted to make more shows based on his fantasy writing. Considering how successful House of The Dragon is, it’s safe to say HBO made the right choice.

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George R.R. Martin


Written by Subhojeet Mookherjee

Subhojeet Mookherjee is a Freelance Entertainment Writer for FandomWire. A lover and expert in all things movies, games, TV shows, music and more. I've been in the writing business for over five years now, covering various topics all over the world. I love engaging in deep conversations with like-minded people.