A Game of Thrones Animated Movie Could've Happened But Fate Intervened

Simpler times on the set of Game of Thrones.
Simpler times on the set of Game of Thrones.
Photo: HBO

No, the final season of Game of Thrones was not great. For seven seasons, though, fans got probably as impressive a literary adaptation as one could imagine thanks to HBO. What you may not know, though, is that if one executive hadn’t stood up George R.R. Martin for lunch, things could’ve taken a completely different path.

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According to a LiveJournal post from way back in 2015 (unearthed by Los Siete Reinos), Martin answered a fan question about whether or not he had ever been approached about turning A Song of Ice and Fire, now popularly referred to as Game of Thrones, into animation. Here’s his reply.

Yes. Often.

In fact, one of the proposed feature deals I turned down before HBO was from a major animator. Odd thing is, I might have accepted that offer… I was on the fence… until an exec I was supposed to meet failed to turn up for a lunch we had scheduled to discuss their approach. I did get an apology, later… but being stood up pushed me off the fence back into “No” land.

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So if this executive from whatever “major animator” Martin is referring to had not stood the author up for lunch, the franchise could have gone the animation route. We know. It’s a hell of a “What if?” but talk about a crazy butterfly effect.

Who knows why this person was delayed, right? Was there some traffic? Did they get a phone call? Maybe they blew it off? Imagine what the one thing was that stopped them from landing fucking Game of Thrones. Whatever the case, if they had, and Game of Thrones had become an animated movie, what would that even look like? What part of the story do you do? Is it R-rated? Would it have been a success?

All things considered, the teeny tiny bullseye that an animated film would’ve needed to hit to reach the level of success of the TV show is almost unfathomable. For fans and George R.R. Martin alike, turning down that deal in favor of HBO was almost certainly the best-case scenario, resulting in eight seasons of incredibly high-quality production and seven seasons of incredibly high-quality storytelling. That’s way more than most book fans get.

As for the executive who didn’t make it to lunch and missed out on one of the most popular franchises of modern times? Not as happy a story.

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(h/t Winter Is Coming)

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Entertainment Reporter for io9/Gizmodo

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DISCUSSION

kazuhiramiller
Kazuhira (master) Miller

While the story could have been great in animation, it would need serious commitment from a studio to tell the story that HBO gave 8 seasons. A bigger commitment than was ever given to Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, Matt Groening, Adam Reed, Dwayne McDuffie, Greg Wiesman, Rebecca Sugar or Genndy Tartakovsky.

Just look how much success Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko had for 3 seasons and then couldn’t get a firm “yes” to more than one season at a time.