George R.R. Martin wants 13-episode Game Of Thrones seasons

News Louisa Mellor
13 Jun 2014 - 07:22

If George R.R. Martin had his way, Game Of Thrones seasons would run to 13 episodes...

It's hardly uncommon for a writer to want a bigger slice of budget and airtime for their show, but when one with the influence of George R.R. Martin says as much, people take notice.

In an interview with The New York Times this week, Martin bemoaned having had to cut texture-adding scenes from early episodes of Game Of Thrones due to lack of time, and admitted, "I wish we had more episodes. I’d love to have thirteen episodes. With thirteen episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer."

We're usually fans of brevity when it comes to TV series on this site. The US trend for bloated twenty-four episode seasons pretty much guarantees diminishing returns in quality across a season, which fans now accept will start strong, meander unpredictably, then - with any luck - end on a high note. A neat eight or twelve-episode season, in contrast, can maintain pace and quality in a more compact frame. See True Detective and the like for proof of that.

Given the enormous cost of making Game Of Thrones (The New York Times reports an estimated sixty to seventy million dollars per season) the question is likely to be academic, but would longer seasons benefit the show, adding texture and character development as Martin suggests, or would it lead to TV bloat?

New York Times

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