The first season of Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon included a fair few time jumps and recastings – but according to George RR Martin, there would have been even more if it was up to him.

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The writer – who penned the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which Game of Thrones was based, and the Fire and Blook book that inspired HotD – revealed his initial desire for an earlier starting point during a video interview with author David Anthony Durham for Penguin Random House.

"One of the big issues with all of these writers was where to begin" he said. "[Showrunner Ryan Condal] began with the Great Council where the Lords vote that Jaehaerys’s heir — he’s just lost his son Baelon, who has died of appendicitis — so who is his heir now? And the lords vote to choose Viserys over Rhaenys.”

He continued that the beginning "was not handed down by some muse from ancient Greece" claiming that, "We — myself and the other writers — had a lot of spirited discussions about where to begin that story."

The suggestions for where to begin the show varied from the death of Viserys’ first wife Aemma to Viserys’ own death, but Martin's own preference was for a much earlier starting point.

Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon Ollie Upton/HBO

"I would have began it like 40 years earlier with the episode I would have called The Heir and the Spare, in which Jaehaerys’s two sons, Aemon and Baelon, are alive," he revealed. "And we see the friendship, but also the rivalry, between the two sides of the great house.

"You know, Aemon dies accidentally when a Myrish crossbowman shoots him by accident on Tarth and then Jaehaerys has to decide who becomes the new heir. Is it the daughter of the older son who’s just died or is it the second son, who has sons of his own and is a man and she’s just a teenage girl?"

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He added: "You would have had 40 more years and you would have had even more time jumps and you would have even more recastings and, yeah, I was the only one who was really enthused about that!"

The first season of House of the Dragon wrapped up last week with a brutal yet triumphant finale – bringing to a close what had been a very well-received debut run.

House of the Dragon airs on Sky Atlantic and is available on NOW – find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV. Check out more of our Fantasy coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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