5 Things We Learned From Game Of Thrones Writers' Disastrous Q&A
The end of Game of Thrones was never really, truly going to be the end of Game of Thrones, was it? Nothing that colossal could just evaporate overnight.
Now, all that energy and time which used to be sunk into elaborate theories as to how Gendry was secretly a giant, or that the White Walkers would be undone by something Hot Pie mentioned back in season two, is invested in dunking on David Benioff and DB Weiss, the Thrones showrunners.
The backlash against season eight – too rushed and featuring scarcely credible contortions of conscience and character, some said – has transmuted into a general tendency to kick Benioff and Weiss at any opportunity. That includes trying to make them the top Google result if you search 'bad writers'.
Another opportunity arrived in the form of a panel interview at Austin Film Festival, in which the writers' self-deprecating tone made it sound like almost everything that happened on the show was a completely fortuitous accident that happened in spite of them, rather than because of them. So what did we learn?
They had to tell George RR Martin that they didn't have any writing credentials at all
David is describing the pre-meeting with GRRM who was questioning their bona fides and “we didn’t really have any.” We had never done TV and we didn’t have any. We don’t know why he trusted us with his life’s work.”— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
Sounds like the equivalent of a job interview where someone says the uni on your CV doesn't sound like it existed, you shrug and blow a raspberry, and you're immediately invited to become CEO.
They were as surprised as anyone that their awful pilot didn't kill the series
They acknowledge that they have no idea why after such a dismal pilot why they went forward. “Everything we could make a mistake in, we did.” Script, casting, costume.— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
They think HBO went forward bc they had a lot of foreign pre-sales on the series.
Again, the fact that something can go so clearly and catastrophically wrong and yet turn into something good is a lesson for us all. Just make sure you've got loads of foreign pre-sale in your back pocket when you tell the family you forgot to book anywhere for mum's birthday, but that there's a lovely place next to the station that does these tremendous things called Whoppers.
The characters only came into focus very, very, very late on
The moderator is asking them about their comments acknowledging they didn’t understand the characters, and the extra minutes helped them understand the characters better. ????— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
"We didn't really understand who these characters were until we were forced to write more scenes to fulfil our contracts" is one of those things that probably sounds better in your head than when you say it out loud.
NFL players were the target audience
Dan wanted to remove as many fantasy elements as possible bc “we didn’t just want to appeal to that type of fan.” They wanted to expand the fan base to people beyond the fantasy fan base to “mothers, NFL players”...— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
See above: could just not say that. Lifelong fantasy fans don't often take kindly to having their beloved sagas pitched at enormous men who get battered around the head for a living. Or mums.
Angry fans kicked off and 'upset' Benioff
Were you listening to the feedback to your fans as things went along?— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
Dan: “We really did not.”
Dan doesn’t see the value of considering other people’s reactions.
Dave acknowledged that he googled the show and it upset him. Dan, no. @dndgoogling
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.