EW interviews Benioff and Weiss about S2
By Winter Is Coming on in Press.

D.B. Weiss and David Benioff

Credit: HBO/Helen Sloan

James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly has a candid Q&A with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss that addresses some of the questions and controversies that have arisen from their adaption. Here are a sample of their answers.

On whether there is more or less changes to the source than in season one:

Weiss: Definitely more, only because there are characters who are off screen in the book. A lot of the changes keep people front and center who are very important characters.

Benioff: We’re adapting “A Song of Ice and Fire.” So we’re bringing in elements from [Book 3] A Storm of Swords. We don’t think of this season as being strictly an adaptation of A Clash of Kings, it’s really a continuation of our adaptation of the series as a whole. For our purposes, moving some stuff forward helps a lot and pushing some stuff back helps us a lot.

On the sex in season two:

Weiss: It seems about the same. There’s not a checklist. You just have to do what feels right to you and not worry too much about it. [You don't] start counting how many breasts per episode or how many full‑frontal male nudity shots. There are always going to be people who think there’s too much. There will be some who want to see less. One of the benefits of HBO that we can give a more well‑rounded representation of life. And that sex is a part of it and darkness is a part of it, and so is the humor.

On season two’s ‘big battle’:

Benioff: It was pretty much a month straight of night shoots, which is just tough for anybody unless you’re a vampire. It’s Belfast nights, which means it’s cold and it’s usually wet. There was an incredible amount of mud. It’s tough for the crew, but then when you see it on screen and see how good it looks, you see the way the weather affects people. You see the wind blowing their hair and the rain coming down. None of that’s faked.

On season three:

Benioff: As George and all his fans have said for a long time, there’s no way to do it in a single season, so it’s being broken into two. We’re still kind of figuring out exactly what goes where. We don’t want it to feel like a two-part season. Another rumor is that we’re shooting both seasons simultaneously, which would be a really efficient way to do things, but you can’t write it.

Weiss: Season three, we’re talking about it as if we have a green light. We’re all optimistic about it, but we won’t know until after the second season starts to air.

Be sure to check out the full interview for more interesting answers and anecdotes.

Winter Is Coming: I’m trying to figure out Benioff’s remark about filming back-to-back. He says it would be really efficient but then says “you can’t write it.” I understand you wouldn’t want season three and four to feel like two-parts to one season. As most Ice & Fire fans know, splitting things like that almost never works. But certainly you could script as separate seasons and then film them back-to-back to save time and money?


86 Comments

  1. Ramah
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Guess he means they wouldn’t have time to actually write it.

  2. The Others
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    First!

    A barrage of interviews, this must be the grand finale of the build-up to season 2. Can’t wait for Sunday!!!!!

    EDIT: Damn! Second…

  3. Michael Harper
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I think the Season 3 finale could easily be the Red Wedding. But, for those who haven’t read the books, leave it hanging a bit. I’m not particularly a fan of “cliffhangers” – but, if done well, it could prove to be one hell of a Season finale. If not that, then I think Joffrey’s death could be another great ending. With Sansa escaping and Tyrion being imprisoned. Going on the statement that it’s an adaption of A Song of Ice and Fire, Season Four could include the second half of A Storm of Swords, and the first quarter or so of A Feast for Crows/A Dance With Dragons.

  4. if it please
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    can we ban people that say “first!” ?

  5. Katie
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Another great interview. I’m loving this, it’s such a great build-up to Sunday.

    re WiC’s comment: This is kind of echoing my comment in a previous post, but I think it ultimately makes more sense to just flat out split the book into two seasons and film it in separate years. Otherwise, it’ll throw filming completely off-schedule for the rest of the series. What would you do, film season 5 next year, and wait two years for it to air? Or if you wait 1 1/2 to 2 years to film, what do you do about the kid actors, especially since they’re right at the age where two years makes a lot of difference, growth-wise? Plus, how do you honor the contracts you’ve made with the actors, if you’re going to re-shuffle scheduling like that?

    It’s totally possible to find two complete seasons in the third book. Easier, even, if you take the entire series as a whole and allow as much re-shuffling as is necessary to make a good show (which we know they’re doing.) That will be the biggest challenge here. Once you do that, when you film it doesn’t matter all that much, to be honest. You do whatever is easier, for the budget and for the work load.

  6. Lars
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    BTW… This very positive review of season two seems to offer a hint about the origin of ‘Jeyne’ in season 2:
    http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2012/03/30/455336/game-of-thrones-is-better-in-its-second-seasonparticularly-for-female-characters/

    She is from Volantis? Interesting… I wonder what they are planning if that is the case.

  7. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    “pushing some stuff back helps us a lot”.

    This means Ramsay, I hope.

  8. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Michael Harper: I think the Season 3 finale could easily be the Red Wedding. But, for those who haven’t read the books, leave it hanging a bit. I’m not particularly a fan of “cliffhangers” – but, if done well, it could prove to be one hell of a Season finale. If not that, then I think Joffrey’s death could be another great ending. With Sansa escaping and Tyrion being imprisoned. Going on the statement that it’s an adaption of A Song of Ice and Fire, Season Four could include the second half of A Storm of Swords, and the first quarter or so of A Feast for Crows/A Dance With Dragons.

    Most of the Iron Islands chapters from Feast actually take place during the latter parts of Storm, so they could easily be moved up, and probably should.

  9. PatD
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Whatever you do, don’t read the comments in that Think Progress link.

  10. Michael Harper
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    Why not?

  11. Steven Swanson
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    PatD: Whatever you do, don’t read the comments in that Think Progress link.

    I already did, what was wrong with them?

  12. Anonymous Web User
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    People are so excited about being first because they won’t be first about anything else in life. Sad.

  13. Hi-Fi
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see what Gemma does with Yara Greyjoy.

  14. Anonymous Web User
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    That’s the first thing that I thought of.

  15. Mimsy
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think they could script and shoot back to back seasons. How many tv writers who are actually heavily involved in the every day production of the current season could possibly do that? I’d rather have quality than swift filming. I think they might have to age the characters (cuz those kids are gonna shoot up pretty quick), but that’s okay. I think it will make for exciting and more believable tv.

  16. PatD
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I already did, what was wrong with them?

    There’s posts from some who have viewed the first few episodes and comment about things a lot of people might consider spoilerish. I can’t specify without being spoiler-y!

  17. Flouride
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    If they can’t logistically do 12 episodes a season with the current schedule they have, creating 20 episodes in the time frame rumoured (which was additional 3 months of shooting) sounds insane.

  18. SerCountryFriedSteak
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Some reviews are saying that Jeyne Westerling is posing as a nurse from Voltanis Is this a fake out or is the character changed to become this?!?!

    I hope its a pose and that she’s still Jeyne Westerling

  19. Conor
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    The ending to season 3 should be the red wedding, ending with the final paragraph of Arya’s chapter.

    Viewers reactions to Robb , Catelyn’s and apparently Arya’s deaths would be delicious.

    I knew filming Season 3 and 4 back to back sounded too good to be true :(

  20. PatD
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I’ve decided I’m going to try and just enjoy the ride. I completely trust these guys now, which I never thought I’d say. I think they’ve earned my trust. And after listening to their commentary on the BluRay, it’s more than obvious how much they care about the material. There’s no feasible way they can literally translate the books to the screen, and, frankly, as a reader, I’m kinda’ looking forward to being surprised.

    However they manage Book 3, I’ll just be grateful it got greenlighted and comes to visual fruition. I’m sure they’ll do a great job.

  21. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    The back to back filming could also mean one other thing, that they have indeed some kind of ‘gap’ in mind of 1 or 2 years to accelerate the plot of Feast and Dance and age up the kids. If they do a lot of Iron Islands stuff in season 4 this could make some sense.

  22. Lars
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Conor:
    The ending to season 3 should be the red wedding, ending with the final paragraph of Arya’s chapter.

    Viewers reactions to Robb , Catelyn’s and apparently Arya’s deaths would be delicious.

    I knew filming Season 3 and 4 back to back sounded too good to be true :(

    I think the RW is a very poor cliff-hanger to end on. There has to be be some hope. I’d say make it happen in episode 9, and the immediate repercussion s in episode 10. Season 1 was great in that way. There has to be a hook to bring viewers back from the brink of depression.

  23. Mimsy
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    From the EW interview..

    Weiss: We’ll get to see what a bigger direwolf can do to a person.

    I love and approve that statement! =)

    If they do an epic Red Wedding scene.. I think it could rival the Braveheart William Wallace butchering scene. Robb and Grey Wind.. unleash the weeping audience! It’s going to be tragically beautiful. Talk about setting the pace for season 4.. no holds barred!!

  24. andrea
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: they have indeed some kind of ‘gap’ in mind of 1 or 2 years to accelerate the plot of Feast and Dance and age up the kids.

    that´s a fine idea.

  25. Shinyteapot
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Lars,

    SPOILER!!

    I have a horrible feeling a certain event mentioned in that article gives the answer to what happens to Rakharo :’(
    I don’t want it to be true.

  26. Spork
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    andrea,

    Yes, but they’ll have the same problems with that that GRRM did – too much reliance on flashbacks and narration/info dumps.

    I do wonder how they’re going to handle the growth of the kiddos that has already started to happen since S1.

  27. Shinyteapot
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Conor,

    Too much of a downer I think- I’d put that in episode 8 and end on the other W. With a cliffhanger as Sansa reaches the boat and Dontos is killed- not revealing who is behind it. That will keep people talking for a while!

  28. Anonymous Web User
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    PatD:
    There’s no feasible way they can literally translate the books to the screen, and, frankly, as a reader, I’m kinda’ looking forward to being surprised.

    About being surprised, I agree.

    They have added scenes that weren’t in the books, or added to scenes, that were great additions. GRRM has approved of some of the changes. If he can approve, why can’t purists get this? One example is the addition to the final Baelor scene, which made it more heroic, and better than the book version. Martin said that he liked that change.

    Any work of fiction is by its very nature imperfect, and can always be improved upon. This isn’t to say that the show always improved upon the book, and there are definitely things the show should not have done. So I would not go so far to say that I completely trust them, but they have definitely done a great job.

  29. Ed
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Conor:

    Wow!! That would be awesome!!! Talk about BUZZ!!! Not all of it positive, but that’s the chance you take. Heck – any buzz is good buzz, right?

  30. Ed
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy:
    From the EW interview..

    Weiss: We’ll get to see what a bigger direwolf can do to a person.

    I love and approve that statement!=)

    If they do an epic Red Wedding scene.. I think it could rival the Braveheart William Wallace butchering scene.Robb and Grey Wind.. unleash the weeping audience!It’s going to be tragically beautiful. Talk about setting the pace for season 4.. no holds barred!!

    I get chills thinking about that. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

  31. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    You can’t end a season with a cliffhanger (Red Wedding, who survives? Tune in next year!). Remember last year’s buzz around the seasonfinale for GoT and how everyone was saying it was so much better than the horrible Killing finale which ended with a cliffhanger? You need to have some clarity and some kind of resolution.

  32. Conor
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot:
    Conor,

    Too much of a downer I think- I’d put that in episode 8 and end on the other W.With a cliffhanger as Sansa reaches the boat and Dontos is killed- not revealing who is behind it.That will keep people talking for a while!

    Indeed it may be a downer, maybe too much to end on but surely the other wedding is too far in the book to end season three on. Even the RW is about 60 to 70% through ASOS and that’s a stretch.

  33. Anonymous Web User
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Braveheart? Don’t dare compare GOT with that piece of mawkish, melodramatic crap!

  34. andrea
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Spork: how they’re going to handle the growth of the kiddos

    I think that´s what Knurk is trying to say with the gap thing. Maybe the gap will fix the problem of children growth.

  35. lefaisan
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    Didn’t think of that, but you’re probably right. That’s probably why we saw Irri crying in some of the previews.

  36. RonHiler
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Lars,

    Lars: I think the RW is a very poor cliff-hanger to end on. There has to be be some hope. I’d say make it happen in episode 9, and the immediate repercussion s in episode 10. Season 1 was great in that way. There has to be a hook to bring viewers back from the brink of depression.

    Exactly, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always had misgivings about the idea of ending at the RW, you would lose viewers if you did that. Better, I think, to end on Joff’s death. Give people something to cheer about!

  37. Anonymous Web User
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    RonHiler:
    Lars,

    Exactly, I couldn’t agree more. I’ve always had misgivings about the idea of ending at the RW, you would lose viewers if you did that. Better, I think, to end on Joff’s death. Give people something to cheer about!

    I completely disagree. There have been plenty of shows that have ended on “depressing notes”. I’ll just mention two of the biggest blockbuster of cinema: Gone With the Wind and The Titanic. Also, there’s a whole genre that’s been a part of western civilization since antiquity: it’s called tragedy.

  38. Skipjack
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous Web User,

    Tragedies don’t just end on down beats; they also have to be cathartic to be successful. I say no more on that.

    This thread is a novel experience for me, I’m a book reader but I can’t unspoil these posts because some of you have seen the previews and I still want to be surprised by the show and I don’t know how much is under the bars.

  39. Shinyteapot
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Conor,

    Possibly, it depends how much gets moved into series 2. I always thought series 3 would be about 2/3 of ASOS, it’s big but not enough for two whole years on its’ own. Add the start of AFFC/ADWD, some of which is concurrent with the end of ASOS, and then you have two series.

  40. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I always feel the RW should not be the end of season 3, cause the builtup would be too short.
    2. or 3.episode of season 4 maybe.

    the other thing if the kingsslayerstory is now and the one scene happens in episode 7. What will he do in season 3 and 4?
    I thought meeeting vargos man when he fights the maid could be a good season 2 ending for him.

  41. Mimsy
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous Web User,

    Like Braveheart or not.. but seeing a man get butchered like that on a slab of stone in front of a public audience and then beheading him?! That scene was very emotional and I think very in tune with GOT. Ned could have gotten that royal treatment, but luckily didn’t!

  42. Who Is Jacopo Belbo?
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I am putting this here because this is the most current thread.

    Thru the first two weeks (week ending 3/18) of Game Of Thrones: Season 1 DVD and Blue-Ray sales these are the numbers:

    DVD = 568,777 units / $19,332,730
    BRAY = 736,179 units / $32,384,532

    So if I am understanding this correctly and these two charts are actually independent of each other (ie one isn’t contained within the other totals) then GoT … in TWO WEEKS … sold 1,304,956 units and $51,717,262 in revenue.

    Holy Frackin’ Sh!t!!!

  43. Ted furthman
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    Season 2 has an 89 on Metacritic..as Men has an 88

  44. Not Today
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I hope they do the RW a bit earlier, around episode 8 or even 7. No one would expect such a huge event to take place so early on (like in the book). The RW was so much more shocking and unexpected because it happened in the middle of the book. Just look at Larry Williams who expects the RW in the season’s finale.
    Then they could stretch the aftermath of it in the next one or two episodes end give the audience an almost satisfying episode 10 with Joffrey’s wedding and Sansa’s escape.

  45. userj
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    S3 speculation:

    Obviously the first scene they’re referring to is The Red Wedding. I’d place it at the end of episode 9
    The other I think is Dracarys. AKA Dany proves she’s the biggest badass in the world. I’m guessing that’s what they’ll end S3 with, so everyone has something awsome to see after crying their eyes out in the previous episode…

  46. garik16
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised everyone thinks the Red Wedding would be in Season 3. To me, it certainly seems like HBO is putting deadly cliffhangers mid-season (particularly in the last episode given to screeners (If you read the episode spoilers, it seems the last ep given to screeners this year is Shadow v Renly)). So I actually would expect the RW to be midseason of S4, with Joffrey’s Death being the E8 of S4.

    Season 3 by contrast may still feature Theon – if the theories about them moving the sacking of winterfell to S3 are correct – in which case the Sacking of Winterfell serves as your early season shocker in S3. S3 then concludes with either Daeny’s sacking of Astapor.

  47. Sam DeGree
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Ted furthman:
    Off topic:
    Season 2 has an 89 on Metacritic..as Men has an 88

    This is a little curious–when I average the scores (currently 17) myself I get 91.29. Does Metacritic have some strange weighting I don’t know about, or is my math off? I didn’t check any other shows.

  48. Langkard
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Lars: I think the RW is a very poor cliff-hanger to end on. There has to be be some hope. I’d say make it happen in episode 9, and the immediate repercussion s in episode 10. Season 1 was great in that way. There has to be a hook to bring viewers back from the brink of depression.

    Well said. The Red Wedding in episode #9 and then a dénouement of sorts in episode #10 just as we had the happenings with Ned in episode #9 for the first season. For the first episode of the following season they could even move things around a bit and introduce a certain revenant/zombie from the Red Wedding to really start the season off with a bang.

  49. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    garik16:
    I’m surprised everyone thinks the Red Wedding would be in Season 3.To me, it certainly seems like HBO is putting deadly cliffhangers mid-season (particularly in the last episode given to screeners (If you read the episode spoilers, it seems the last ep given to screeners this year is Shadow v Renly)).So I actually would expect the RW to be midseason of S4, with Joffrey’s Death being the E8 of S4.


    Season 3 by contrast may still feature Theon – if the theories about them moving the sacking of winterfell to S3 are correct – in which case the Sacking of Winterfell serves as your early season shocker in S3.S3 then concludes with either Daeny’s sacking of Astapor.

    i like that

  50. Superdeluxe
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Or The Reed Twins!

    Varamyr Fourskins:
    “pushing some stuff back helps us a lot”.

    This means Ramsay, I hope.

  51. Conor
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure the sacking of Winterfell is the thing pushed back, so in season 3 they can do that and then have the torture and failed escape attempt scenes that lead to Reek 2.0 over the course of seasons 3 & 4. :)

    Instead of having Alfie Allen doing nothing for two years.

  52. Superdeluxe
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Yes, in regards to how to end Season 3

    Either have RW in Episode 9, or push it to 2-3rd episode of Season 4. Having RW end season 3 would be so depressing, it would really hammer the fanbase. You have to end with some hope.

  53. Sam DeGree
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Superdeluxe: Either have RW in Episode 9, or push it to 2-3rd episode of Season 4. Having RW end season 3 would be so depressing, it would really hammer the fanbase. You have to end with some hope.

    Who among us readers didn’t throw their book across the room and stomp away after the red wedding only to be overcome by curiosity a few minutes/hours/days later and be rewarded with Joffrey’s demise? I cannot imagine having to wait a year between those two events.

  54. Mike Johnson
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi-Fi,

    Finally, an official comment that mentions her – and it’s a ringing endorsement. Can’t. Wait. Sounds like all those Gemma Whelan/Yara haters over at Westeros will have to crawl cringing back into their parents’ basements.

  55. Cheese Steak Lord
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    “As most Ice & Fire fans know, splitting things like that almost never works”

    Burn.

    About pushing the Sack of Winterfell back. Have you seen the Greyjoy Allegiance videos? There are Ironborn in Winterfell and two very small bodies… I wonder if the show is trying to downplay the importance of Reek. He’s there and awful but you’re not supposed to think too much about him. At least I hope so. That last Theon POV is so great/terrible.

  56. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Mike Johnson,

    yeah, I can vouch for her, she fucking rocked.

    Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    long time no see Jacopo. I think those numbers are slightly exaggerated, HBO self issued a pressrelease which stated they sold 350k dvd’s and blurays together in the first week.

  57. garik16
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Cheese Steak Lord,

    Part of the reason why people think the Sacking of Winterfell will be pushed back is this: REEK IS NOT CAST YET.

    He HAS to exist in the TV Show (Too Important), and there is the problem otherwise of having Theon’s Actor with nothing to do for a few seasons. Pushing the sacking back fixes both problems to an extent

  58. LordDavos12
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    garik16: I’m surprised everyone thinks the Red Wedding would be in Season 3. To me, it certainly seems like HBO is putting deadly cliffhangers mid-season (particularly in the last episode given to screeners (If you read the episode spoilers, it seems the last ep given to screeners this year is Shadow v Renly)). So I actually would expect the RW to be midseason of S4, with Joffrey’s Death being the E8 of S4. Season 3 by contrast may still feature Theon – if the theories about them moving the sacking of winterfell to S3 are correct – in which case the Sacking of Winterfell serves as your early season shocker in S3. S3 then concludes with either Daeny’s sacking of Astapor.

    I’d like this…but correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t there a shot of Theon riding through gates with a burned body on either side (“Bran” and “Rickon”) in the Pledge Your Allegiance Greyjoy vid?

  59. Empedocles
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I trust these guys. They are clearly smarter than a lot of the people working on TV or movies right now and they know what they’re doing.

    I’m entering into what I call “Peter Jackson territory”, in which you don’t question stuff, you accept it because you know the guy in charge is doing his best with the time and budget that he is given, and then later when everything is said and done and you’re watching Season 2 in Blu-Ray and see them explaining why they did this or that, you usually realize that when they have to deviate from the book, there’s usually a good reason behind it.

    On another note, what do you guys think about the Catelyn zombie plot. Should it be cut? I remember reading an interview in which George says that he basically regrets going down that road and I find that storyline extremely boring.

  60. DavosFTW!
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Hahahaha that bit at the end was hilarious. I loved it. They’re still fighting over it. Such a real thing to do. I’ve had fights like that with my mates. They can go for years. Good times. Good times.

    In Australia they printed the paperback version of ASOS in two volumes. These really felt like their own novels anyway. I actually read the first half of ASOS before I read any other volume in the series (strange I know but it worked out fine). Seasons 3 and 4 can closely follow the narrative structures of those two editions. It would work pretty well.

  61. Jaime Lannister
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    They’re not pushing back the sack of Winterfell.

    Remember when WiC leaked info of the “final shot” of S2, being Bran/Rickon/Osha and the direwolves overlooking a trashed Winterfell?

  62. Patrick Carlisle
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Lars,

    Jenye Westerling is the daughter of the Lord of the Crag. A Lannister banner man, that the Young Wolf falls in love with after he takes their castle while being wounded.

  63. OhDanyBoy
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Jaime Lannister,

    You are misremembering. The only info leaked was on the last scene shot, not necessarily the last scene to be shown, and the only info was that Bran et al were in the scene, not what the scene was.

  64. Hi-Fi
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Wow. You’ve seen the first few episodes? So happy about Gemma/Yara. She’s one of my favorite characters. I knew I could trust the casting department.

    A question: do Shireen and Selyse appear in Dragonstone? Mentioned, at least?

  65. Hi-Fi
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Mike Johnson,

    Yeah, it was surreal how some of them jumped on her after seeing a micro second of footage.

  66. Ed
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Bravo! Good post! (Where’s the “LIKE” button?)

    Empedocles:
    I trust these guys. They are clearly smarter than a lot of the people working on TV or movies right now and they know what they’re doing.

    I’m entering into what I call “Peter Jackson territory”, in which you don’t question stuff, you accept it because you know the guy in charge is doing his best with thetime and budget that he is given…

  67. Ninepenny
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: I’m trying to figure out Benioff’s remark about filming back-to-back. He says it would be really efficient but then says “you can’t write it.” I understand you wouldn’t want season three and four to feel like two-parts to one season. As most Ice & Fire fans know, splitting things like that almost never works. But certainly you could script as separate seasons and then film them back-to-back to save time and money?

    Don’t forget the comments of HBO programming president Michael Lombardo: “If we could do 12 episodes of a show like ‘Game of Thrones,’ we would,” Lombardo says. He says that “there is no way they could physically do more than 10,” without sacrificing quality.

    http://winteriscoming.net/2011/07/hbo-execs-talk-thrones-at-summer-tca/

  68. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    In respnse to garik16 (phone won’t allow me to reply):

    I agree that it should be in the fourth season, however I’d say it could even be the premiere. I mean, everyone expects a finale to blow their minds, but the opener? Also, given that the remainder of ASoS with relevant inclusions from AFfC & ADwD could pretty easily cover the remaining nine episodes, it would create a nice sense of circularity with the re-appearance of a certain character.

  69. darrylzero
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Lars: I think the RW is a very poor cliff-hanger to end on. There has to be be some hope. I’d say make it happen in episode 9, and the immediate repercussion s in episode 10. Season 1 was great in that way. There has to be a hook to bring viewers back from the brink of depression.

    I’ve been wondering about this a lot, and I see why this perspective resonates with people, but I’m not sure. The RW is so much worse than Ned’s death… I’m a little scared to see it onscreen, and I’m not sure how much a single episode of semi-hopeful stuff will really make people feel better. I think it might be better if it’s the very last thing but done in a way that whether or not R or C die is left a little ambiguous. During the offseason, people are speculating whether they’re really dead, which blunts the impact of the blow a bit, and by the time it’s confirmed they will have processed it some.

    I feel like American Horror Story managed to pull this off in an interesting way. Not with something quite so terrible, but…

    American Horror Story spoilers:

    When Violet killed herself, that was very, very bleak, and I think it would have been too tough to acknowledge it straight away. So, instead, they let you get used to her as a ghost for what… 3 episodes before they reveal what really happened? Then, when you find out, it’s still hard, but also kind of awesome. I thought it was brilliant, and emblematic of a lot of really creative storytelling on that show, even though some episodes (especially the pilot and episode 3 or 4) were pretty bad.

    /AHS Spoilers

    So, the RW is worse than that and there’s no real comparison to be made, but I still think a year of speculation, while excruciating, might work to keep people engaged — tense and full of foreboding but not filled with despair. I don’t know, though. It’s a pretty tough call either way, and there are going to be some really upset people regardless. Glad I don’t have to make the call.

  70. darrylzero
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Empedocles:

    On another note, what do you guys think about the Catelyn zombie plot. Should it be cut? I remember reading an interview in which George says that he basically regrets going down that road and I find that storyline extremely boring.

    I’m surprised GRRM would say that. If anyone knows a link to that interview, I’d enjoy checking that out.

    As for whether or not the show should do it, I think it really depends on how important to the overall plot it turns out to be. I’m guessing it will actually be pretty significant (I’m one of the people who sees commonality between the wights and Beric/Cat that I think will help us understand why the Faceless Men are not so bad), but maybe not.

  71. Thiago Slash
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Ramah:
    Guess he means they wouldn’t have time to actually write it.

    nailed it on the first comment. nice
    cool interview, btw!

  72. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I actually didn’t know that Peter Vaughan is legally blind. I guess that sets a new light on the people that questioned how he played the blind part last season.

  73. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi-Fi,
    (episode 1 and 2 spoilers)
    No Shireen alas, Stannis mentions he has a wife, but she does not speak. We see him hold hands with her when he walks away from the fire. I had to chuckle at that scene because it was pure Stannis, walking away and then reminding he almost forgot his wife.

  74. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    You can’t end a season with a cliffhanger (Red Wedding, who survives? Tune in next year!). Remember last year’s buzz around the seasonfinale for GoT and how everyone was saying it was so much better than the horrible Killing finale which ended with a cliffhanger? You need to have some clarity and some kind of resolution.

    It’s things like this that lead me to believe that Jon isnt dead at the end of A Dance with Dragons. It’s just way out of character for GRRM to not resolve it.

  75. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Ye Olde Wolfe,
    lol, don’t get me started about the cliffhangers in Dance (they are ridiculous).

  76. Tim
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: Remember last year’s buzz around the seasonfinale for GoT and how everyone was saying it was so much better than the horrible Killing finale which ended with a cliffhanger? You need to have some clarity and some kind of resolution.

    The Killing had more problems than the season finale ending with a cliffhanger. After a promising few episodes, you can start to see the problems of the show. The constant use of red herrings, dumb mistakes the cops make (sure cops can make errors now and then, but the stuff the show made them do is laughable), plot holes and frankly, the show isn’t written all that well, imo. Plus, the ego displayed by the showrunner in interviews didn’t help.

  77. Knurk
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Tim,

    you are definitely right. But the show could have redeemed itself somewhat with giving the audience a resolution in the end I think. In my eyes, they just should have left the original series alone. Even the original Danish version had way too many red herrings, gaping plotholes and laughably bad policework to be the ‘masterpiece’ as it was advertised everywhere.

  78. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think cliffhangers are a problem. If shows like Lost and Prison Break, which used an extreme amount of cliffhangers, got such big followings I don’t see how the phenomenon can be bad in itself (save for personal taste but that’s not a subject suitable for discussion).

  79. Blueberry2
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Ending a ssn with the RW would disgust viewers. There needs to be an episode or two after which provides some hope. The comparison to Titanic and Gone With the Wind does not apply here at all. Between ssn 1 Ned’s death and the ssn finale of Boardwalk this past year, audiences might get annoyed with HBO killing off characters they are rooting for.

  80. the waif
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    tywin’s bastard,

    talking about the prison break, game of thrones surpassed the prison break in number of voters to stand next only to mind blowing f.r.i.e.n.d.s on http://www.imdb.com

  81. Giselle Glasgow
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    While i do agree that A Storm of Swords may not be able to fit in one Season, I don’t think that the book would be split down the middle. Seeing that they’ve already expanded certain arcs, I guess that could continue in Season 3. I just hope that they won’t expand too much and go down a rabbit hole that strays to far from the books. Also it gives GRRM more time to finish the last 2 books… XD
    … on a side note… Lemon cake mix was sold out at my local grocery store… o_O

  82. twincast
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to post on this way earlier but kind of forgot for over a day.

    Regarding the big shockers of seasons 3 & 4:

    I believe episode 29/309/S03E09 (whatever you wanna call it) will be the Red Wedding, right in the middle of season 4 (most likely the sixth episode, but maybe as soon as the fourth) will be “the other wedding” and the penultimate episode of the fourth season will feature the infamous toilet scene. I suppose they could each be moved ahead exactly half a season to fit early stuff from the fourth and/or fifth book into the later half of the fourth season, but I rather doubt it.

    The stuff at and beyond the Wall and on Essos is harder, however, as they could be moved around between ASoS and AFfC/ADwD rather easily, but I suppose Dany purchasing the Unsullied may be the highlight of the middle of season 3 (more likely the fourth episode than the sixth though in this case) and perhaps the ends of S3&4 and the middle of S4 will each feature a slaver city falling? Jon’s election should be a given for the very last episode of the fourth season, though.

  83. twincast
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    twincast,

    I totally forgot that the sacking of Winterfell would be a perfect mid-season shocker for season three, how could I?! (The same possible but IMHO unlikely tactic of moving events ahead applies.)

  84. twincast
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Ramah:
    Guess he means they wouldn’t have time to actually write it.

    That plus filming them back to back would pretty much negate the whole HBO appeal to actors of short seasons leaving enough time for other projects. And as far as financial security goes I know I would prefer having work for half a year two years in a row to having work for a full year and then having to bridge a year without any assured work whatsoever (and then be expected to come back the year after — possibly to have the very same repeat itself no less). And the children’s growth spurts between seasons 4 and 5 would be even bigger that way, so I actually very much prefer them not filming back to back for this and other TV series (the opposite applies for film series).

    (Argh, I failed to hit the edit window by a matter of mere seconds! Damn my slow writing! (>_<;;))

  85. Ye Olde Wolfe
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Empedocles:

    On another note, what do you guys think about the Catelyn zombie plot. Should it be cut? I remember reading an interview in which George says that he basically regrets going down that road and I find that storyline extremely boring.

    I was thinking the same thing that someone else said, it depends on how significant a role it plays in the last two books. It hasn’t been real significant as of yet, so based on what we’ve seen so far I would expect it to get cut. If GRRM really does regret going down that road, I could see its significance remaining fairly low. Time will tell I guess.

  86. HumMis1349
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Empedocles:
    On another note, what do you guys think about the Catelyn zombie plot. Should it be cut? I remember reading an interview in which George says that he basically regrets going down that road and I find that storyline extremely boring.

    Killing Freys is never boring. Granted, Lady Stoneheart’s vengeance doesn’t approach the awesomeness of Manderly’s Frey pies, but I am generally against cutting out the disturbing stuff, such as Ramsay While you might say that zombies are a well-worn concept, this is no ordinary zombie, but one that’s been underwater for a while.

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