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Peter Game Of Thrones

February 8, 2012 by staff 

Peter Game Of Thrones, Like a graybeard king, George R.R. Martin sat near the center of the ballroom at the 69th Annual Golden Globes and watched the royal court of Hollywood pass by his table Sunday night and, yes, in a room packed with lithe starlets and square-jawed leading men it was easy to pick out the only plump fantasy novelist in the room.

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“It is another surreal thing,” said Martin, the grand mythmaker behind HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” “But this is not my first Golden Globes. I was here before. It was years ago but it was nothinglike this. It was one-tenth the size. It wasn’t so completely crazy and with the stars who are here now and the coverage, it’s a different thing.”

Those previous visits to the Globes were in the late 1980s, when Martin was a writer/producer for “Beauty and the Beast,” the acclaimed live-action fantasy series that starred Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton that was twice nominated for best television drama (it lost to ”L.A. Law” in 1988 and to “thirtysomething” a year later). The show was an important stop in Martin’s career (he got his first Emmy nominations for it, for instance) but it’s on his mind lately for less than pleasant reasons. Martin recently went on the record with his concerns about The CW’s plan to reboot and “modernize” the series. On Sunday night, he was thinking about a perilous parallel between “Thrones” and “Beauty”: What happens when a key actor leaves the show.

“Linda Hamilton decided to leave ['Beauty'] after the second season, and so we killed off her character right at the beginning at the third season and the ratings just went through the floor,” Martin said. “People hated it and the show was done after that.”

The sharp edges of that memory are back now as “Game of Thrones” ramps up toward its second season premiere on April 1. That’s because the show is moving forward without Sean Bean, who was viewed as the most bankable star of the show and, early on, was the face of the show in its marketing and promotional materials. Bean’s character, Eddard Stark, was killed off in the ninth episode of the first season and while that didn’t surprise anyone who read Martin’s books, it did shock many fans who have come to Martin’s kingdoms through the cable series.

“We’ve only had one episode after Sean’s character died and, well, we’ll find out how it affects things,” Martin said. “It was a big shock to a lot of people and it was interesting to see the response to it. It’s something I did, you know, 16 years ago when the book came out. So it wasn’t a secret, of course, but I could see the shock of it in the emails I got and on the blogs and the headlines. Time will tell how it affects the show, but hopefully the rest of the characters and their stories have become compelling to people… but I have to admit I worry about it a little after the experience with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and Linda Hamilton.”

Martin’s concerns may be misplaced. “Game of Thrones” didn’t win the Golden Globe for best drama on Sunday (the winner was “Homeland,” the fascinating Showtime series), but in that intensely competitive category the nomination alone speaks to the show’s foothold with critics. And while Bean will certainly be missed, on Sunday night on the Globes stage it was Peter Dinklage who represented the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros and he picked up the award for best supporting actor in a drama series, a trophy that he can put right next to the Emmy he won in September.

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