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'House of the Dragon' Fixes George R.R. Martin Issue with 'GoT' Scene

A hunting scene similar to the one with Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones offers a new take.

game-of-thrones-hbo-king-robert-baratheon.jpg
Robert Baratheon's hunting scene in season 1 of Game of Thrones left a lot to be desired.
HBO

With remarkable skill and precision, HBO prequel series House of the Dragon manages to juggle multiple balls. It cleanly dives hundreds of years back into the complicated history of Westeros. It deftly etches character motivations that are always evolving. It also manages to address one of author George R.R. Martin's gripes with a series that finished airing in 2019: Game of Thrones.

"Where we really fell down in terms of budget was my least favorite scene in the entire show, in all eight seasons: King Robert goes hunting," Martin said in the book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, an oral history of the Game of Thrones show (as quoted in The Hollywood Reporter) .

"Four guys walking on foot through the woods carrying spears and Robert is giving Renly shit. In the book, Robert goes off hunting, we get word he was gored by a boar, and they bring him back and he dies. So I never [wrote a hunting scene]. But I knew what a royal hunting party was like. There would have been a hundred guys. There would have been pavilions. There would have been huntsmen. There would have been dogs. There would have been horns blowing -- that's how a king goes hunting! He wouldn't have just been walking through the woods with three of his friends holding spears hoping to meet a boar."

Here's the lackluster hunting scene Martin references from season 1 of Game of Thrones:

In episode 3 of House of the Dragon, which aired on Sunday, King Viserys Targaryen oversees a much more extravagant hunting affair. A headquarters of sorts is set up on the outskirts of the targeted woodland, bustling with people from different Houses. They partake in grand feasts and conduct a killing ceremony for the king after capturing a large stag. The weapon of choice -- an ornate gold House Lannister-sourced spear -- is a far cry from the dull weapon once in Robert Baratheon's possession.

To be fair, House Targaryen undertakes matters differently to House Baratheon. But if George R.R. Martin says a royal hunting party should be a showy affair, it should be a showy affair (as long as production budgets allow).

While the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones reportedly worked with a budget of $15 million per episode, season 1 reportedly only made the most out of $6 million per episode. As for House of the Dragon -- each episode reportedly plays with $20 million. See the difference.

Catch new episodes of House of the Dragon on HBO on Sundays.