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A Birthday to Remember

I turned 67 on September 20. So did the Emmy Awards.

Our party was on TV. Andy Samberg gave me a shout-out. HBO gave me a cake. And the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave me an Emmy. Well, actually they gave one to GAME OF THRONES as tv's Best Drama, but since I'm a producer on the show, I get one of the trophies.

In case you missed the moment:

Truth be told, I almost missed the moment myself. While I was pleased that we had been nominated once again, I did not expect us to win... and with so much to do at home, so much pressure on so many fronts, I wasn't sure I wanted to fly out to LA again, put on a monkey suit, and sit through another loss. The first few times you are up for an Emmy it is very exciting, yes, it's cool and glamorous and all that... but this would be my seventh time. I had been nominated, and lost, six times before; four times with GAME OF THRONES, and twice more back in the 80s with BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. No fantasy show had EVER won 'the big one,' the award for Best Drama, and with MAD MEN, a four-time winner, up for its final season, it did not seem likely that this would be the year. Great shows often get a valedictory award or three to celebrate their excellence after they have left the airwaves.

So I was seriously thinking of staying home this year. It was Paul Haas, my agent at WME, who changed my mind. He said he thought that GOT might have a shot this year. Yeah, yeah, I said, I'd heard that before. (I'd thought our third season, with the buzz of the Red Wedding behind it, might be the one to break through, but I'd been way wrong). Then Paul pointed out that if we did win, and I wasn't there to be part of it, I would regret it for the rest of my life. He was right. So I came, and we won, and it was a birthday I will never forget.

Thanks, Paul.

The Emmy is sitting in my TV room right now, golden and shiny. Big thing. Very heavy. Very pretty. I smile every time I see it. (We ate the cake).

It was a great night for GAME OF THRONES, and for HBO as whole. VEEP dominated in the comedy categories, and OLIVE KITTERIDGE in miniseries... which just goes to show all of you who don't get HBO, you are missing a lot... and as for us, we were up in five categories, and won four. David Benioff and Dan Weiss won for Writing, David Nutter for Directing, and Peter Dinklage took his second for Best Supporting Actor. All of us were pulling for Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke in Best Supporting Actress, but they lost out to Uzo Aduba from ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, whose Crazy Eyes is the most unforgettable character on an amazing and addictive show. And the came Best Drama... It IS an honor just to be nominated, yes it is. But let me tell you, winning is more fun than losing, and 1-6 beats the hell out of 1-7.

Unlike the Hugo Awards (where, if seven people jointly win some award, all of them get to yammer for as long as they like), the Emmy Awards have a strict time limit, and only one or two designated acceptors speak for the group. For us, that was David and Dan, just as it should be. They thanked a lot of people... and then ran out of time.

But there's never enough time to thank everyone, of course. So I want to add my own thanks for some of those that D&D did not get to.

Starting with David Benioff and Dan Weiss themselves. Without them, there would be no show. Without their talent and dedication, there would certainly be no Emmy.

Also, I want to thank Bryan Cogman. He's been there since the beginning too, the right hand man to D&D, and he's written some of our best episodes. I am thrilled that when we finally won, it was for a year in which he'd finally snagged a "producer" credit, which meant that he got to take home a trophy as well.

And of course I want to thank Parris (so glad you were there with me, Phipps), and Paul Haas and the rest of my team at WME, and Vince Gerardis, and Kay McCauley, and Anne Groell and my team at Bantam, and Jane Johnson as my team at Voyager, and my leal minions Raya and Lenore and Jenni and Elias and Jo, and Pat (who left), and even Ty (who left even earlier).

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the dead. We have the best cast in television, as I have said a hundred times, and many of them were on the stage with us last Sunday. Thanks to all of them, of course, and thanks as well to Emilia and Kit and Dame Diana and Kristian and Natalie and Finn, who were off working and could not be there with us.

But there were ghosts standing behind us. Maybe you couldn't see them, but I could feel their presence, and I know that without them none of us would have been holding Emmys. Yes, I know, I know, the award was for Season Five... but if you truly believe that the Academy voters did not take our first four seasons into account as well, then let me tell you about this lovely bridge over the Green Fork that Walder Frey would like to sell you.

No. It was the show to date that won, I believe, and our ghosts were a huge part of that. So my thanks go out to Sean Bean, to Mark Addy, to Rose Leslie, to Pedro Pascal, to Michelle Fairley, to Richard Madden, Gethin Anthony, Harry Lloyd, Ron Donachie, Mark Stanley, Esme Bianco, Kate Dickie, Jack Gleeson, Amrita Acharia, Charles Dance, Donald Sumpter, Josef Altin, Peter Vaughn, Margaret John, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Oona Chaplin, Stephen Dillane, Francis Magee, Roxanna McKee, Kerry Ingram, Ian McElhinney, Jason Momoa, and of course Sibel Kekilli... along with all the other noble and ignoble dead that I've certainly forgotten, and I'm sure that there's a lot of them.

Some of you are dead in the books, others only on the show. But if it was up to me, all of you would have been up on the stage beside us. Every one of you played your part, large or show, in making GAME OF THRONES the record-smashing hit it is.

Thank you all.


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Sep. 26th, 2015 11:55 pm (UTC)
I can't help but notice you didn't list Kit Harington among the ghosts. ;)
Sep. 27th, 2015 12:53 am (UTC)
Probably because he's still part of the show and the others aren't. If he is dead (and I don't think he is) he could still come back for flashback scenes or possibly scenes of Bran seeing him through the weirwood trees. Anyway, I don't think it was oversight on his part, just that Kit is still part of the current cast (or at least the cast for season five which is what this award is for).

Also, congrats GRRM! A great win! :)
Re: Congrats! - dirtside - Sep. 27th, 2015 03:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Congrats! - purell07 - Sep. 28th, 2015 07:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - talkingwaffle - Sep. 27th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - April Hill - Sep. 27th, 2015 06:46 am (UTC) - Expand
battle of the bowls - Aedras - Sep. 28th, 2015 01:10 am (UTC) - Expand
The Hound - Frank Probst - Sep. 28th, 2015 07:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 26th, 2015 11:57 pm (UTC)
Sep. 27th, 2015 12:32 am (UTC)
Congratulations for Winning!
Congratulations. You deserve it!

We all have different opinions about what are the best and not so good decisions for adapting.
By the end, it´s such a great production in so many aspects, that we keep watching, getting shocked and amazed and wanting more from both the books and TV show.

Hope HBO find you a great castle for celebrating with!

P.S: I heard they melted some Valyrian steel sword to make your Emmy :D You´re now White Walker-Safe.
Sep. 27th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
Joyous Birthday
Thank you for sharing your joy and sense of accomplishment. I feel like a proud member of your clan. You so deserve everything great George, not only because of your brilliant writing and the amazing world you created for us, but also for the noble and thoughtful things you do with your success!
Sep. 27th, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
September 20th? SEPTEMBER 20th IS YOUR BIRTHDAY? WOO-HOO! Happy birthday, same day birthday mate! Wow.... we share the same day/month. Very cool! I feel I'm in very good company.
Sep. 27th, 2015 01:27 am (UTC)
A lovely bridge, Heh.
Sep. 27th, 2015 02:01 am (UTC)
Happy birthday !
Many belated happy returns of the day! And congratulations !

Sad to remember the ghosts of Charles Dance, Sean Bean, Jason M and Stephen Dillane. All the ghosts played a great part but these guys had that 'presence' factor - their just being in a scene added some gravitas.
Todd Frankson
Sep. 27th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
I dont care what anyone says game of thrones is amazing and does perfect justice to the epicness that is a song of ice and fire. I started with the books, and i will wait till the end of time for them to come out if i have to, but game of thrones is incredible and deserves every award it gets. And i want to personally thank you, the man who brought this incredible world to being in the beginning. Regretfully, i haven't been here since the beginning( i was only 8 in '96) but i still hope i can be counted as one of the biggest fans of this series. Keep up the amazing work sir. Cant wait for the next book.

Edited at 2015-09-27 02:29 am (UTC)
Sep. 27th, 2015 02:43 am (UTC)
Happiest Birthday, George!
Happiest Birthday, George!

May you continue to be richly blessed with all that is wondrous, joyful, and amazing! It was very appropriate that you won your incredibly well-deserved Emmy on your birthday. I'm so happy for you!

Love, Kcat
April Hill
Sep. 27th, 2015 02:58 am (UTC)
Anxiety Dump
This was very well written.

I can't even begin to tell you how much the world you've created has helped me with my awful anxiety over the years. I love escaping, for a few hours a day, into another world and living one of my "thousand lives." The TV show made it even better. Books aside, Game of Thrones is just good television.

Your awards are well earned!
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:01 am (UTC)
This Emmy validates those of us who love and respect both the show and the books. I'm grateful to the show not only for introducing me to these amazing books, but for standing on its own merit and legitimately holding the title of "the best show on television." I don't understand why people have to constantly measure "the show vs. the books." They're not at war. They're all part of a great big world that Mr. Martin introduced us to, and I'm very grateful to have them both in my life.

Congrats, Mr. Martin! It's been well-deserved for a while now, and it's awesome you were there for it. (And also, happy birthday).
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:16 am (UTC)
Congrats George! You deserve it!
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:22 am (UTC)
May there soon be a nice silver rocket for Best Novel to keep it company. Congrats!
Sep. 27th, 2015 03:27 am (UTC)
Congratulations and Happy Belated Birthday!
Sreekar Yemmanoor
Sep. 27th, 2015 04:37 am (UTC)
A small mistake
I think it's Andy Samberg, not 'Samburg'.

Also, is it "1-6 beats the hell out of 0-7" or "1-6 beats the hell out of 1-7"? Because you've won this time, it became 1-6, considering this is the 7th nomination for you. If you had not won, it would've been 0-7, right? Please, correct me if I'm wrong in any of the above cases.

I'm really sorry Mr. Martin, this is a pet peeve of mine. I didn't mean to offend you. Also, I'm a great fan of your books. Love them all. Thank you for telling these spectacular stories, sir. And also, congratulations on the win and belated birthday wishes to you.

Edited at 2015-09-27 04:44 am (UTC)
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George R.R. Martin
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