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?