Rolling Stone’s Sean T. Collins recently interviewed Game of Thrones writer and executive story editor Bryan Cogman. They talk in depth about the adaptation process and what we can expect from season 3. Here are some choice quotes:
On translating the big moments from A Storm of Swords on screen in season 3:
Well, you always want to honor those key sequences and moments from the books, but at the same time they have to mesh with the world of the show and [Benioff and Weiss’s] interpretation of Westeros. Yeah, SoS is definitely the book we’ve all been working towards, so Season Three, and the upcoming Season Four, are going to be very special. More than once I found myself on set watching a scene play out and realize I’d been envisioning this scene in my head for years. I got lucky in that I was assigned an episode with several such fan-favorite scenes. Hopefully, book fans will like it, but you can’t please everyone.
On the adaptation process:
The key when approaching each season is figuring out the arcs for each major character. So, as you say, just cutting Book Three in half wouldn’t do it. We had to figure out a journey for each character that made sense for the season. It’s a challenge as some characters have significantly less chapters than others. Tyrion, for example, has something like 12 chapters in SoS, whereas Bran Stark has, I think, four? Someone will have to doublecheck those numbers for me.
On the question of just how many storylines and characters to feature each week:
It’s a question we’re always grappling with. Do we visit every single character in, say, the season premiere, or do we leave a few for next week? There are pros and cons to both options. You don’t want to leave characters for too long and screw up that storyline’s momentum, but you also don’t want to be constantly jumping all over the place and overwhelming the viewer.
Winter Is Coming: An interesting interview with Bryan, as always. I liked hearing how they are approaching the adaptation, by mapping out each seasonal character arc. It is definitely a challenge and will become moreso as they get later in the season. I’m sure Bryan and the other writers are up to it though!