HBO held the world premiere of its first Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon on Wednesday, but it was missing one key member of the Westeros family: author George R.R. Martin. The GoT creator apparently caught COVID while attending the HotD panel at this past weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, forcing him to stay away from the premiere event.
“I was going to start today by introducing George R.R. Martin and tell you how great it is to have George on the journey with us,” Casey Bloys, HBO and HBO MAX’s chief content officer, told the audience at the Los Angeles premiere (via Variety). “Unfortunately, George got COVID at Comic-Con, so he’s not here. I think he’s feeling fine, so nothing to worry about.”
During Martin’s appearance at Comic-Con on Saturday, the author said he’d been staying very cautious during the pandemic, spending most of his time at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In fact, Comic-Con was the first time he’d met most of the House of the Dragon cast, as he hadn’t even visited the set of the production.
Instead, Martin has been working on the long-awaited The Winds of Winter, the (ostensibly) penultimate novel in the Game of Thrones series. “You may not know but there’s this book that I’m writing, it’s a little late,” Martin told the Comic-Con crowd. “I don’t see me visiting a set or doing anything until I finish and deliver that book.”
Bloys noted that Martin was still involved in House of the Dragon, saying it’s been “a pleasure… to have the architect of this world on this journey with us.” The series co-showrunner and pilot writer Ryan Condal also expressed appreciation for Martin’s involvement. “House of the Dragon could not exist without the beautiful work and words of George R.R. Martin. We are incredibly grateful that he was bold enough to entrust his opus to me as the writer and Miguel (Sapotchnik) as the director.”
Unfortunately, Martin had to read those remarks in the press while he stayed home recovering from COVID. He’ll also have to catch the premiere of House of the Dragon along with the rest of us when it debuts on HBO and HBO Max on August 21st.
Revisit that latest trailer below.