One of the most anticipated HBO series is the fantasy saga GAME OF THRONES (airing in April) and based on the popular George R.R. Martin novels of the same name and at today’s Winter TCA session, we got some info on the project.

According to Martin, who is co-executive producer on the series, he says “I never thought they would make this as a film or movie.”

The author/creator admits HBO was always a dream for this project and is thrilled by how rabid his fans are to see the finished HBO product.

“Fantasy and science fiction fans are intense,” says Martin. “They love their favorites with a great deal of passion and there is relatively little of it out there [on TV]. Television is filled with lawyer shows, medical shows and situation comedies, but fantasy has largely bee restricted to books for a long time. Readers of the books have their favorite series’, and some of their favorites are some of my series – [that’s why they’re looking forward to this].”

Martin will also write Episode 7 of the show, and says things had changed since he last wrote for television.

“It had been ten years since I wrote a screenplay or teleplay, but the biggest challenge was mastering the new software,” says Martin. “The screenwriting programs had changed in the ten years since I last wrote for television.”

In terms of doing more for GAME OF THRONES, he says his fans would be better served if he finished working on his novels.

“Part of me would like to be more involved, and to be there every day on set with these guys, on the other hand I have books to finish, and I have a mob outside of my house with pitchforks already irritated that Book 5 is late,” says Martin. “As much as part of me would like to be part of the process, I would like to stay and  finish the books.”

Showrunner and executive producer David Benioff also says Martin’s books were a gift in developing the show because so much of it has been plotted out in the novels – so it makes it easier to plan multi-year arcs.

“We’re not making it up as we go along, because we have it well mapped out where the storylines can continue season after season,” says Benioff. “We have characters and storylines that carry on for years because of what George has already built. It gives us a huge canvas to paint.”

For Sean Bean who plays Eddard Stark (and who also was in Peter Jackson’s massive LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy),  he says there are differences and similarities between the two worlds and enjoys working in the fantasy film and TV world.

“I certainly enjoy this genre,” says Bean. “The good thing about GAME OF THRONES, there’s so much scope to it. LORD OF THE RINGS, there’s three films, and it was very replicated on screen. But with what George has created it is a very different world and goes much further and much longer with many more twists and turns. I certainly enjoy this genre.”

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