Game Of Thrones showrunners talk season 3

News Louisa Mellor
7 Mar 2013 - 07:48

GoT creators DB Weiss and David Benioff have said a few words on fidelity to the books, their favourite new season 3 character, and more...

We’re now just twenty-four days from the US season three Game Of Thrones premiere. It would make sense as the new series approaches for withdrawal symptoms to begin to abate, to level out into a steady hum of excited anticipation, but no. The hunger worsens with each passing day.

To sate today’s craving for GoT action then, with thanks to Mother Jones, here are showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff talking season three…

On the obligation they feel towards the source material

We're under no contractual restrictions with regards to the storytelling. It's just that we pursued these books - and pushed for the show's green-light - for almost four years before we got to shoot the pilot. We gave up other opportunities because we love these books and want to do them justice. So for us, it's about adapting the books according to our notions of justice - which won't mesh with the fundamentalist book fans' notions. Which is fine with us because if the fundamentalists were running the show, there wouldn't be a show.

On how season three compares with the first two

It's definitely the scopiest. We're shooting in five countries, with three units and a larger cast than we've ever had before. It's not DeMille - but then, DeMille didn't have VFX crowd replication, did he?

On having to abandon story elements that might be too pricey or technically daunting

We've developed a pretty good sense of how big the box is, so scenes or elements that are completely outside our range usually don't make it past the outlining stage. There are always scenes that have to go, but it's generally not about them being too elaborate.

On the season three scene they told an interviewer they were dying to get to book three to film

We think we pulled it off, but the jury is still out on life.

On which new season three character they’re most eager for fans to meet

Tough call, but if we had to pick one we'd say Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell. We expected her to be great, but she was better than that.

On why Game of Thrones appeals to audiences beyond the fantasy crowd

The classic HBO shows (The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire) all took established, tired genres and found a way to reinvigorate them. There has never been a gangster as complex or fascinating as Tony Soprano, or a Western villain as compulsively watchable as Al Swearengen, or a television season as beautifully shaped as The Wire, season four. With GoT, we hoped we'd appeal to people who had never heard of wights and wargs, who didn't know a bastard sword from a halberd. At the end of the day it's all about the characters. Tyrion Lannister, Arya Stark and the many other compelling characters in George's books and our show are not beloved because they live in a world where dragons are real. They're beloved because they experience the things we all experience: they feel like outsiders even when they're on the inside. They love people who don't love them back. They're afraid of power, they yearn for power, they end up with power in spite of themselves and find themselves liking it.

On Game of Thrones’ potential longevity

Yes, if we live that long and HBO keeps wanting to make the show. We have the opportunity here to tell a coherent story that lasts for 80 hours. And while a canvas of that size presents all sorts of storytelling problems, it also allows us to spend more time with these characters we love than we'll ever get again. 

Read the interview in full at Mother Jones (via Winter Is Coming)

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