George R.R. Martin Applauds the ‘Brilliant’ House of the Dragon Season 2 Change ‘I Wish I’d Thought Of’

Note to screenwriters: You can’t go wrong by adding an adorably scruffy pup to the mix.

Case in point: House of the Dragon executive producer George R.R. Martin took to his personal blog on Friday to salute the writers who gave Cheese — aka the ratcatcher involved in Prince Jaehaerys’ murder — a canine companion. The dog does not appear in the show’s source material, Fire & Blood.

More from TVLine

“I am… ahem… not usually a fan of screenwriters adding characters to the source material when adapting a story. Especially not when the source material is mine,” Martin wrote. “But that dog was brilliant. I was prepared to hate Cheese, but I hated him even more when he kicked that dog.”

He refers to the events of the Season 2 premiere, “A Son for a Son,” in which Daemon hires a thug (referred to as “Blood”) and the aforementioned ratcatcher (“Cheese”) to infiltrate the Red Keep and murder Aemond Targaryen. But the pair of vicious idiots bungle the job and wind up killing Helaena and Aegon’s young son, Jaehaerys. On their way to the royal family’s private quarters, the pair get frustrated and angrily kick the loyal dog who’s been by Cheese’s side the entire episode. Cheese eventually is apprehended and hanged in Episode 2; our final shot of the pup is as it gazes up at its master’s swinging body (Read a full recap.)


“That damn near broke my heart,” Martin writes. “Such a little thing… such a little dog… but his presence, the few short moments he was on screen, gave the ratcatcher so much humanity. Human beings are such complex creatures. The silent presence of that dog reminded us that even the worst of men, the vile and the venal, can love and be loved.”

He added: “I wish I’d thought of that dog. I didn’t, but someone else did. I am glad of that.”

However, Martin seems less glad about how the HBO series resolved the Blood & Cheese storyline, which played out much differently on screen than it did in the book. (Hear what showrunner Ryan Condal has to say about that here.)

HBO Best Characters
HBO Best Characters

HBO’s 50 Best Characters Ever, Ranked

View List

“Well, there’s  a lot of be said about that, but this is not the place for me to say it. The issues are too complicated,” he writes, promising to compose a post at a later time about “all the issues raised” by the storyline and the character of Maelor Targaryen, who figures prominently in the tale in Fire & Blood but who has not yet been introduced in the show. “There’s a lot to say.”

Best of TVLine

Get more from Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter