George RR Martin Critiques ‘House of the Dragon’ Episode 2’s Ending, but Praises New Character: ‘I Wish I’d Thought of That Dog’

The mastermind behind “Game of Thrones” revealed that one character’s inclusion in the new season of the prequel series “House of the Dragon” was not his doing but was undoubtedly “brilliant.”

Admittedly not a fan of when screenwriters make changes to his source material, executive producer and author of “Fire and Blood” George R.R. Martin took to his personal blog Friday to praise the “House of the Dragon” team for the inclusion of a canine companion for one of the show’s most-hated characters.

“I am… ahem… not usually a fan of screenwriters adding characters to the source material when adapting a story. Especially not when the source material is mine,” Martin wrote. “But that dog was brilliant. I was prepared to hate Cheese, but I hated him even more when he kicked that dog.”

In the season two episode two, Cheese, the ratcatcher, along with Blood, a thug that Daemon hired, infiltrated the Red Keep with intentions to kill Aemond Targaryen. The two aren’t the brightest in the bunch and wind up killing (spoiler alert!) Helaena and Aegon’s son, Jaehaerys, instead. The entire episode Cheeses pup never leaves his side. On their way to the murder, Cheese gets frustrated and kicks his loyal pet. Once caught for the murder, Cheese gets hanged, and the last shot is of the dog watching his owner gone for good.

“That damn near broke my heart,” Martin writes. “Such a little thing… such a little dog… but his presence, the few short moments he was on screen, gave the ratcatcher so much humanity. Human beings are such complex creatures. The silent presence of that dog reminded us that even the worst of men, the vile and the venal, can love and be loved.”

Though he praised the show for the dog’s inclusion, Martin did not let up on the screenwriter’s choice to change the plot from his original playbook. In his book “Fire and Blood,” the plan is clear. Daemon issues the hitmen to kill the infant, whereas in the show Daemon’s orders could be interpreted in different ways.

“Well, there’s  a lot to be said about that, but this is not the place for me to say it. The issues are too complicated,” he writes, promising to compose a post at a later time about “all the issues raised” by the storyline and the character of Maelor Targaryen, who figures prominently in the tale in Fire & Blood but who has not yet been introduced in the show. “There’s a lot to say.”

New episodes of “House of the Dragon” air Sundays on HBO and stream on Max.

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