Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff And D.B. Weiss were in Austin, Texas over the weekend to discuss the recently-ended show on a panel during the Austin Film Festival. While the session was not recorded, the details of their discussion were live-tweeted by one attendee, who captured the pair ruminating on how or why they were trusted with such an enormous production.
The Twitter thread, by user ForArya, details many of the discussion points brought up by Benioff and Weiss. In the wake of the much maligned final season of Game of Thrones, the revelations in this thread have been received with interest by the show’s viewers.
— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
Weiss explained how, in their first meetings with series creator George R.R. Martin, they realized that they didn’t actually have any experience working in television. He admitted that the two of them “don’t know why he trusted us with his life’s work” (Martin, for his part, has said that he feels free since the series ended). Similarly, Weiss says that the pilot they made for HBO was full of “basic writing mistakes”, but that the show likely went forward into production because of foreign pre-sales.
Weiss described Game of Thrones as “expensive film school” for himself and Benioff, both of whom reckoned with their inexperience when it became clear that they had “no idea how to work with costume designers”. He also admits that, while filming an extra 100 minutes of scenes to bolster first season episodes that were running short, they realized that they’d made several episodes without Robert and Cersei Lannister ever sharing a scene, despite the characters being married.
The thread continues on with several similar revelations, including the fact that the pair tried to write every episode because “(they) didn’t know better” and that they intentionally removed fantasy elements to appeal to a wider audience. Benioff and Weiss also acknowledged avoiding fan reactions and feedback.
Not everything revealed in the thread is negative, though – the pair talked about how working with the same crew over a long period led to everyone improving, and discussed a few successfully subversive moments from the show’s run.
In the wake of Game of Thrones ending (and breaking records for Emmy nominations), Benioff and Weiss signed an enormous deal with Netflix, effectively killing off their next show with HBO. Today, the news broke that the pair was stepping away from their proposed Star Wars trilogy, citing scheduling issues.
The final season of Game of Thrones will release on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K on December 2, 2019.