Tonight marks the big, fancy Hollywood premiere of HBO’s new Game Of Thrones prequel House Of The Dragon—an event that author George R.R. Martin isn’t attending, apparently, despite his general support for the project, and his happy presence at many a GoT-related event. Why is the beloved author absent? Simple: He caught COVID-19 at Comic-Con.
This is per The Wrap, reporting on comments made by HBO head Casey Bloys, who reported the unhappy news to press. Luckily, Martin doesn’t appear to be suffering at the moment: Bloys reported that the author is “feeling fine” after testing positive for the disease, but is avoiding the event tonight for obvious reasons. Martin posted a video of himself tonight confirming the diagnosis, noting that he feels “fine” and only has a few minor symptoms at present.
Martin actually addressed this exact eventuality on his famed “not-a-blog” just a few weeks ago, writing, while announcing his Comic-Con plans, that, “I do not want covid, not even a mild case,” even as he prepared to get up in front of tens of thousands of people at the convention. And while we really, truly do not want to encourage the brigade of people who like to view Martin’s health as their personal property because he’s still working on books they’d like to read, the author himself acknowledged his perpetually busy schedule: “I cannot get sick. I have too much work to do.”
News of Martin’s diagnosis comes as the latest variants of COVID appear to be picking up steam in the pop culture world; both Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Witcher—two shows rarely grouped together in a single sentence—had to stop down production this week, after Meyers and Witcher star Henry Cavill both were diagnosed with the disease.
House Of The Dragon is based on Martin’s 2018 book Fire And Blood, telling the backstory of the dragon-loving Targaryen family; the series is set to debut on HBO on August 21.