George R. R. Martin Praises FX’s ‘Shogun’ Despite Criticizing Book Adaptations

“Nine hundred ninety-nine times out of a thousand, they make it worse.” – George R. R. Martin

George R.R. Martin, renowned for his A Song of Ice and Fire series, which inspired HBO’s Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, has remarked that the majority of film and TV adaptations pale in comparison to their original source material.

On his website, under his ‘Not a Blog‘ page, Martin shared his thoughts on the topic of adaptations. He recalled a panel discussion he participated in alongside Sandman creator Neil Gaiman back in 2022. While he refrained from commenting on the Netflix adaptation of the comic book series, he remarked that “very little has changed since then” in regards to adaptations. “If anything, things have gotten worse.”

George R.R. Martin
Image Credit: HBO

Martin goes on to say, “Nine hundred ninety-nine times out of a thousand, they make it worse.” Yet, he did not comment on HBO’s adaptations of his own books, avoiding a potential misstep ahead of the airing of the second season of House of the Dragon.

Despite this, he lavished praise on FX’s Shogun, describing it as “superb.” The historical drama, based on the 1975 novel by James Clavell, sees Pilot Major John Blackthorne and what remains of his crew arrive in Japan in May 1600. The Pilot, whom the Japanese call ‘Anjin-san’, is thrust into a world of dangerous politics and intrigue between rival Japanese Warlords, the Regency, the Catholic Church, and the Empires of Spain and Portugal.

house of the dragon
Image Credit: HBO

You can read George R.R. Martin’s full post below.

Image Credit: Hulu/FX

In recent years, adaptations have taken center stage, particularly in the realms of books and games. There has been a series of successful adaptations, including the recent blockbuster Dune: Part Two, Netflix’s The Witcher, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. With upcoming shows like The Last of Us season 2 on the horizon, adaptations are poised to become even more prevalent.

As for Shogun it has become a runaway hit for FX, smashing streaming records on their platform. It has garnered praise for its historical accuracy and epic storytelling. The series is available for streaming on Hulu in the US and Disney+ in the UK.

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