Today David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, showrunners of Game of Thrones, made their first appearance since their shows series finale at Austin Film Festival. Telling the audience that they, “Didn’t pay attention to fan reaction,” and that Dave once, “googled the show, and it upset him.”
They were scheduled to appear at San Diego Comic-Con but later back out. HBO released a statement reporting that they had “production and schedule conflicts,” not giving any further exploration.
At the film festival, Benioff and Weiss dived into the story of how Game of Thrones made it to TV screens around the world. They talked about the basic writing mistakes they made, and their writing process when adapting the book to the show.
Dan is saying that #GameofThrones was basically an expensive film school for he and Dave. For example, they had no idea how to work with costume designers, and it was a huge learning experience.
— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
If anything, it seemed that even Benioff and Weiss were surprised the show was successful.
The series finale of Game of Thrones was not well received by fans. A petition to reshoot the entire season was created after the finale; currently, it has over a million signatures. Game of Thrones was adapted from George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song Of Ice And Fire. The show followed the plot of the books up until season six. By season six the show had caught up to books, Benioff and Weiss had to create their own path for the series. Fans of the books have waited for the sixth installation, The Winds of Winter, since 2011. The book was initially thought to be released in 2016, and then 2017. Now, three years after the supposed release, Martin has taken on more projects, leaving fans to wonder when the book will come out. Martin has become a sought-out executive producer and writer since Game of Thrones premiered. He’s currently working with HBO to make a prequel to the show.
Benioff and Weiss also wanted to move on from Game of Thrones. Season 8 was only six episodes, and each one was the length of a film. The episode length has decreased from its original ten episodes per season. Since the beginning, Benioff and Weiss wanted the series to run for seven seasons. HBO and the creators were able to reach a compromise: two more seasons at a shortened length. When it came to season eight, HBO pushed for more episodes, even offering a bigger budget. Weiss told EW, “To their credit, they put their money where their mouths are — literally stuffed their mouth full of million-dollar bills which don’t exist anymore. They said, ‘We’ll give you the resources to make this what it needs to be, and if what it needs to be is a summer tentpole-size spectacle in places, then that’s what it will be.’”
“HBO would have been happy for the show to keep going, to have more episodes in the final season. We always believed it was about 73 hours, and it will be roughly that. As much as they wanted more, they understood that this is where the story ends.” Benioff went on to say to Entertainment Weekly. Benioff and Weiss recently signed an overall deal with Netflix for $200 million. They will also be writing the new Star Wars trilogy.
For readers interested, user @ForArya live-tweeted the entire panel.