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George RR Martin has commented on the supposed rivalry between his own Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon and the forthcoming JRR Tolkien-inspired show The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, saying: “If they win six Emmys, and I hope they do, I hope we win seven.”

Martin spoke exclusively to The Independent at the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival, which took place last weekend in the New Mexico capital.

House of the Dragon is based on Martin’s 2018 novel Fire & Blood, and will tell the story of the Targaryen civil war which took place around 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones. It is set to premiere on HBO on 21 August.

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is being produced by Amazon Studios and is set to debut on 2 September. It is primarily based on Tolkien’s appendices for The Lord of the Rings.

“It’s kind of a weird deal, as you know. Amazon bought Tolkien, but they didn’t actually get any of the books,” said Martin. “They didn’t get Lord of the Rings, they didn’t get The Hobbit, they didn’t even get The Silmarillion.

“I don’t think they got Farmer Giles of Ham or Leaf by Niggle, but they got the appendices, I guess, and they’re constructing a Second Age story about that. There’s a lot of myth about that, so it’ll be interesting to see what they did.”

Commenting on the supposed rivalry between the two shows, Martin said he hoped both shows could be a success to prove the demand for more than one epic fantasy. “I know a lot of articles, the minute the dates were announced, it’s: ‘Oh, the battle for fantasy supremacy. It’s Rings of Power versus House of Dragon, who will win?’ I don’t know why they always have to do that.”

He added: “I hope both shows succeed. I’m competitive enough. I hope we succeed more. If they win six Emmys, and I hope they do, I hope we win seven. But nonetheless, it’s good for fantasy. I love fantasy. I love science fiction. I want more shows on television.”

Matt Smith in ‘House of the Dragon’

(Sky)

You can read the full interview with Martin here.

The Independent, as the event’s international media partner, is providing coverage across each day of the festival with exclusive interviews with some of the headline authors. For more on the festival visit our Santa Fe Literary Festival section or visit the festival’s website.