HBO’s fantasy show Game of Thrones is ending. The six-episode eighth and final season premieres this Sunday, and fans are excited to see who lives and dies and how the story wraps up. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss spoke with Entertainment Weekly about ending the show and the pressure of delivering a good ending.
Weiss said he and Benioff want people to enjoy the ending, but he’s sure it won’t please everyone. “There is no version where everybody says, ‘I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this’– that’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist,” he said. “You hope you’re doing the best job you can, the version that works better than any other version, but you know somebody is not going to like it. I’ve been that person with other things, where people are loving something and I’m going, ‘Yeah, that’s okay. I was hoping for more.'”
As for Benioff, he said he and Weiss have discussed from the very beginning how they wanted Game of Thrones to end. It’s been more than a decade in the making, and Benioff said he and Weiss worry about how it’ll be received.
“A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending. Of course we worry,” he said.
At the same time, “part of the fun” with any show, and this would presumably include Game of Thrones, is seeing people debate and discuss the ending, Benioff said.
He said he personally enjoyed the ending to HBO’s The Sopranos–which surprised everyone and cut to black. That doesn’t mean Game of Thrones will end in a similarly dramatic way, but Benioff said he enjoyed the fervour that the ending created among fans.
“I was one of those people who thought my TV had gone out. I got up and was checking the wires, unable to believe my cable had gone out in the most important moment of my favorite TV series,” he said. “I think that was the best of all possible endings for that show. But a lot of people hated it.”
Benioff and Weiss are directing the Game of Thrones series finale. Weiss said he and Benioff trust the season’s other directors, but they wanted to direct the finale because they didn’t want to create a scenario where they micro-managed the director to make sure it was fitting their vision.
“When something has been sitting with you for so long, you have such a specific sense of the way each moment should play and feel,” he said. “Not just in terms of ‘this shot or that shot,’ though sometimes it’s that as well. So it’s not really fair to ask somebody else to get that right. We’d be lurking over their shoulder every take driving them crazy, making it hard for them to do their job. If we’re going to drive anybody crazy, it might as well be ourselves. At least if something goes wrong, he can yell at me and I can yell at him.”
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres April 14 on HBO. There are six episodes in the final season, and one of them will showcase a massive battle that is reportedly the longest battle sequence ever committed to film.