Long Story Short: The creation of Game of Thrones
By Lightbringer on in Humor.

HBO has released a new comedic video detailing how Dan and David adapted the unadaptable to create Game of Thrones. Narrated by Charles Dance and accompanied by animations and fun facts, follow the series from inception, to one massive problem, to over 87000 VFX frames. It’s been one long journey!


68 Comments

  1. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Hodor!|!rodoH

    This video should count as Laughs really.

  2. GeekFurious
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Frodor!

  3. Wolfdog
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Hodor? You know I Hodor, he Hodor, he, she, me Hodor. Hodoring. Hodorology the study of Hodor?! Come on guys it’s first grade!

  4. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    This is fantastic. Wes Anderson vibes abound. It’s a good thing D&D seem to have such a good sense of humor, because otherwise the stress of managing a production with this kind of scale could become (more) overwhelming.

  5. jentario
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic video.
    Just think about it. Somewhere in this world, David and Dan are writing a season 5 episode. And somewhere else in this world, George isn’t writing The Winds of Winter…

  6. Rosie
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    ‘You don’t want a call from Charles Dance in the middle of the night.’

    I beg to differ.

  7. Isabelle
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Well that was delightful!! I love that they incorporated Maisie Williams’ RW reaction!

  8. Silverstormm
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Love it.

  9. Canis Dirus
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    They must have put this together in their half week off…. Very well done D&D

  10. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of which, did anyone see Charles Dance on Room 101 last Friday? He bashed modern day Petyr Baelish (George Osborne), defended the Cornish pasty like a pro and showed off his various vocal talents.

    I pretty much lost it a hot sauce. Also, 3 years to film 93 minutes for the pilot!? We must’ve had about 10 of them in the first episode, so hopefully they’ll feel okay with releasing it as a DVD extra one day.

  11. Kid
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Awesome video! Now I’m hooked.))))))))))))

  12. KG
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame the actual craftsmanship on the Lannisters Bowling art is so … uh … not polished.

    Because I’d buy that crap in a second, otherwise. Hey, I’m of Polish descent.

  13. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic:

    I pretty much lost it a hot sauce. Also, 3 years to film 93 minutes for the pilot!? We must’ve had about 10 of them in the first episode, so hopefully they’ll feel okay with releasing it as a DVD extra one day.

    Are you deaf…? They said they had to shoot 93 extra minutes for S1… they had 467 minutes, needed 93, do the math, now they have 560 for S1. Their scripts only had 467 minutes worth of scenes

  14. anon
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    loosing cd is gonna be harder to watch than the red wedding

  15. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss,

    Okay, okay, I still want to see the pilot (as do most of us probably). I already knew they had several episodes running short, hence the creation of the studio scenes like Robert’s moment with Cersei.

  16. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic:
    Greatness Arrisessss,

    Okay, okay, I still want to see the pilot (as do most of us probably). I already knew they had several episodes running short, hence the creation of the studio scenes like Robert’s moment with Cersei.

    The pilot would be pretty cool to watch. Isn’t Tamsin Merchant in it? As well as a few other actors whom were recast. I don’t think HBO releases stuff like that though

  17. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss,

    Not only that, but Ian McNiece plays Illyrio Mopatis on location in Morocco (and GRRM claims he made a cameo in one of those scenes, wearing a gigantic hat). Ian should be back as Wyman Manderly though. It is… highly likely.

    I could get why HBO wouldn’t be able to release the pilot without filling in a lot of forms to allow for the appearances of actors no longer under contract. The best bet we have of seeing it, is if one of us develops greensight, makes a connection with the weirwoods, wargs into one of the producers as they go inside to watch it and so on.

  18. Skipjack
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think it would be fair to the actors who were in the first pilot but not the series to release it. I imagine they already felt sick not being part of the success of the show. There are a lot of things that they would be judged unfairly for. Seeing the first pilot isn’t going to show us anything about the story we haven’t seen, except maybe that rumored flashback scene to the deaths of Rickard and Brandon Stark.

    I just think that after watching the above and seeing how relatively unprepared David and Dan were at first, we should be really grateful HBO gave them another chance with such a risky proposition. It’s worked out so well that I hope HBO is willing to give another crazy idea like this a shot, though maybe only one at a time.

  19. Dickon Manwoody
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Just saying, Dan looks a whole lot better with more hair. Less of a douche look.

  20. Boojam
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I always have to pinch myself when I hear Charles Dance’s voice or see him act.
    “That the guy who was in Jewel in the Crown , 1984″ a little shadow whispers to me.
    He’s been on TV and in Film for 40 years.
    There are and have been so many UK actors and actresses , some likely better than others.
    Of all the great ones Dance is the only one who’s elocution of English reminds me of Laurence Olivier.
    Like Olivier his physical presence is intimidating (tho , off screen, he does not come across as much less daunting as Sir Larry did).
    His whole body language is punctuated with a spoken delivery that send lighting bolts across the aether from screen right into your sensory noodle!
    How come he has not been in a film role that has gotten him an Oscar nomination?

  21. Wolfdog
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic,

    Have you seen that episode of Would I Lie To You last year when he talked about the chimpanzee story?

  22. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Wolfdog,

    Yeah, that was cool, he’s clearly lived a more interesting life than any of us could ever dream of. I’m glad he’s versatile enough to do films, TV dramas and the UK comedy panel show circuit too. Let’s hope he can find decent roles and not be always typecast as villains (even if he does great villains).

  23. Sister Wrister
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    “What could go wrong?”

    Yeeeeeahhhhh don’t ask that question around here

  24. Turncloak
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Pretty remarkable how 2 writers with no television or film experience were given the reigns to an HBO series. They should make a documentary about this

  25. Isabelle
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak: Pretty remarkable how 2 writers with no television or film experience were given the reigns to an HBO series. They should make a documentary about this

    Perhaps they’re floating this little gem to see how fans respond, gauge whether it’s worth making a bigger “making of” feature. I would love to watch something like that!

  26. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Isabelle,

    Game of Thrones: The Appendices would be awesome! They just need to make it “A Clash of Cast” or “A Storm of Sets” and not “A Feast for Crews” or “A Dance of Dolly-grips” in terms of content.

  27. ace
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic:
    Isabelle,

    Game of Thrones: The Appendices would be awesome! They just need to make it “A Clash of Cast” or “A Storm of Sets” and not “A Feast for Crews” or “A Dance of Dolly-grips” in terms of content.

    The Winds of Weather-related Shooting Delays
    A Dream of Spoilers :D

  28. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    ace,

    I approve of the titles, but not the contents they wooden tail (I’ll get me coat, again! :S). The LOTR Appendices may have been good 90% of the time, but sometimes they could’ve done with serious editing. If GoT got some, who would ever want to see footage of John Bradley in Iceland, picking snotsicles from his moustache?

  29. Wolfdog
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Valyrian Plastic,

    I want him to be in a Pixar movie and not as the bad guy. Sometimes I watch movies now and then and go ‘Oh man, Chuck D would have been perfect for that role.’ but he was off somewhere playing the bad guy in a movie. Tsk.

  30. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Wolfdog,

    Absolutely. I watched Monsters University this week and I loved it just for the amount of technical detail that went into it. Pixar is the HBO of CGI movies, everything they’ve done has been Incredible(s), except Cars maybe. They should collaborate some day on something, anything!

    When it comes down to it, Charles is like a much older and experience Jack Gleeson, he’s a really nice guy in person and it would be a crying shame to see him just play baddies for the rest of his career. Maybe he’ll retire after ‘Thrones, that would be worse. I shudder at the very thought of it. I can barely keep my fingdshjjhfjhsf dhjthjehraeg hxhio steady.

    I hope he keeps going until the very end like Christopher Lee, that guy’s amazing! How many other actors still working at 90 decide to celebrate that milestone by releasing a symphonic metal album?

  31. GeekFurious
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    It is a great little video. I love this kind of stuff.

    Though, I keep thinking about the characters we’ll lose this season. Sigh. Some of my favorites… god. This is going to be the best and worst season.

  32. cosca
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    They didn’t have any TV experience, but Benioff wrote the script for 25th Hour ,Close and Troy, all a few years before GoT was pitched to HBO, and Weiss had worked on several film scripts for movies that fell through (Ender’s Game, Halo). They both had quite a bit of film experience from the look of things.

  33. Canis Dirus
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Sister Wrister,

    Hahahaha amen to that

  34. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    They were both also authors prior to working on the show. In fact, Benioff’s City of Thieves is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in the last couple of years. Really great stuff, and highly recommended if you haven’t read it already.

  35. The Dragon Demands
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    The family tree they show of the Tyrells shows both Willas and Garlan.

  36. Ozymandias
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Brillantly edited ! Really funny.

  37. Peanut Gallery
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    More than likely true.

    jentario:
    Fantastic video.
    Just think about it. Somewhere in this world, David and Dan are writing a season 5 episode. And somewhere else in this world, George isn’t writing The Winds of Winter…

    More than likely true. I hope GRRM writes a good book and doesn’t feel pressured to finish a bad book early.

  38. WildSeed
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    What a whimsical little vid….. well it was certainly imaginative. We’ve listened
    to much of this in more formal settings, interviews and Comic-Con, yet this one
    was more attention getting. Whether it was the narration of Mr Dance or the
    slick show, this energizes with renewed interest in the scope of the show.
    Nice add on with GRRM’s Report Card, and the art sketches ( :

  39. WildSeed
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink
  40. Patty
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    THAT was frekkin awesome!! I’m such a geek of this show and books..

  41. Patty
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    I hear that .. but really? what are we losing compared to what we’re gaining lol

  42. Arthur
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    D&D are such cool nerds. They are a blessing to all us fantasy genre fans…

    I really hope after they finish this series and put a ribbon on it, they take a vacation and refresh themselves…

    Then, come back with as much zeal and passion, keep their creative partnership going, and bring to life some other adult fantasy type story to HBO for all of us to enjoy…

    Be it a book series, manga, anime, mythology series…

    Some kind of adult fantasy that has interesting themes, character arcs and all the complex adult storylines we have grown to love…

    That’s my wish after GoT is over and done…

    D&D have to stay a team and push hard to bring us another adult fantasy genre series…

    They have proven their intelligence, passion and creativeness, along with their show runner abilities can appeal to a vast audience.

    The books layed down the tracks but D&D built and conduct the train that rides over it.

    This train building is their forty and I just hope they pick out another great fantasy book that could lay down quality tracks for them to build another train so we can all have many more years of epic Sunday nights every Spring…

    Come on D&D, stay in this HBO entertainment buisness beyond GoT, we all would really appreciate it!!!

  43. Enfield
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    By the way, I highly recommend reading the books of David Benioff. They are both great; particularly “City of Thieves”, which is set during the Siege of Leningrad. It will prove to anyone with doubts why GRRM was right to pick writers like that.

  44. Leo
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    The Robert/Cersei scene is frequently brought up, but what are some other scenes created out of the 93 minutes they had to flesh out for S1?

  45. Greenjones
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    Leo,

    I think the Jory/Jaime scene. Apparently none of season one’s sex scenes were amongst the last minute added ones. I guess most character or world-building scenes in s1 that weren’t exactly plot-driven would fit the bill for mayhaps being written hurriedly to fill that 93 minutes.

  46. Chickenduck
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Leo:
    The Robert/Cersei scene is frequently brought up, but what are some other scenes created out of the 93 minutes they had to flesh out for S1?

    Hint – look for S1 scenes where two characters stand in a room and talk for a while (cheap to film, can do some extra exposition). The three that I’ve seen confirmed are “Varys and Littlefinger”, “Jaime and Jory” and “Robert and Cersei”, but there are others.

    Regards the MASSIVE PROBLEM – in another Making Of vid, they explained that the specific Massive Problem was that in the first pilot, it wasn’t mentioned that Jaime and Cersei were even brother and sister, let alone twins :)

    A bit of an oversight!

  47. House Olivegarden
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    The one thing i got from this video was now i fully believe L+R = J

    As if i was not already fully convinced.

  48. Jay
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Why do they say in this video that they’d never done any TV or film before? Benioff had done a few screenplays before that had been made into films.

  49. Altairis
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    As much as I agree with you, I strongly doubt that they would tackle another fantasy series after dealing with GoT for 10/11 years. I’m sure that they want to widen their horizon which means not to only stick with one genre.

    But getting back to daydreaming I would suggest them to do the Demon Cycle from Peter V. Brett which is (after ASoIaF) my favourite fantasy book series. Sadly the as of yet unfinished cycle’s popularity is nowhere near the hype ASoIaF had even prior the announcement of the HBO-series.

  50. Chickenduck
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Jay:
    Why do they say in this video that they’d never done any TV or film before? Benioff had done a few screenplays before that had been made into films.

    They hadn’t been showrunners or produced anything.

  51. Mariya Martell
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The Dragon Demands:
    The family tree they show of the Tyrells shows both Willas and Garlan.

    It does! No pictures though.

  52. Lord Davos
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Altairis,

    I hope they get into Halo. Maybe the only show comparable to GoT.

  53. gisizzlah
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed this… love that they can poke fun at themselves and the fans a lil….

  54. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    Halo is probably coming in 2014/2015 so I doubt D&D would be able to barge in in the middle of that. Either way, here’s a fun fact: Dan Weiss was going to be the lead writer on the canceled Halo movie.

  55. House Mormont
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    We just heard Charles Dance say sexy today is a good day

  56. Beastling
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh my God! Someone at HBO must have watched “A Brief History of John Baldessari.”

    Honestly surprised I’m the first person to get the reference.

  57. Lea
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I could listen to Charles Dance say “Joj Ah Ah Maw-tin” all day.

  58. Shannon
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    This was fantastic why doesn’t more of this exist

  59. Shannon
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    House Olivegarden:
    The one thing i got from this video was now i fully believe L+R = J

    As if i was not already fully convinced.

    Lol yes!! I had heard before that that was why George okayed D&D but now it’s more definite. At this point its not even a theory. I won’t tell it to people because it’s a definite spoiler (and probably intended to be the biggest plot twist in the series)

  60. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    That was wonderful. Please give Charles Dance a knighthood already!

  61. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Shannon,

    You’re right. At this point there’s no way it isn’t true. It’s officially a spoiler, and needs to be tagged. But I don’t think it’s supposed to be the biggest twist. Just the fact that George asked D&D who they thought the mother is as a test of their understanding of the story means that he expects at least the perceptive fans to figure it out before it’s official. It COULD be a big twist to non-readers, though, since they don’t have nearly as many clues as readers do.

  62. KG
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Forte, not forty

  63. Valaquen
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    It’s funny but I had reservations about Benioff at first. I’m really into the Illiad and the Epic Cycle and though I enjoyed Troy (which he wrote) as an action/adventure/ensemble movie, it really is an awful adaptation of the source material, and most of the changes were merely done to conform the story to modern expectations (hence the Paris/Helen ‘true love’ angle, Menelaus and Agamemnon being completely tyrannical, the Briseis love plot, on and on). After seeing and falling in love with GoT, I’m certain most of those changes resulted from demands from up-high, rather than Benioff thinking he could do better than Homer.

    I’d watch a documentary on the series in this style. Throw in some unseen footage (from the pilot would be nice), interviews, some new stories, and incorporate the same style (and get Dance!) and you’d have a great little documentary at hand. Bringing ASOIAF to the screen is an incredible task, I think the story deserves to be told (but maybe they’ll wait until the series is finished…)

  64. Arthur
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Altairis,

    I see what you’re saying about the whole “widening their horizon” type thing but also there is the option of D&D becoming “specialists” so to speak, in the adult medieval type fantasy book to HBO series adaptations.

    And why not? D&D are a proven commodity now in that genre and we all know how loyal HBO is to their people.

    D&D have put themselves in a unique position, they represent all of us late 30s-50s year old fantasy fans that have grown up reading LotR and other classics as kids and now have the thirst for more complex and adult themed fantasy.

    I think D&D should become specialists in this, overlooked until now, genre and feed us all more of what we hunger for.

    I honestly can’t wait until we see the first HBO trailer of D&D’s next epic several years from now on my screen with the opening caption…

    “FROM THE CREATORS, PRODUCERS AND WRITTERS OF THE MEGA HIT GAME OF THRONES”

    Also, D&D could bring along the currant entire crew to work on their next epic… Keeping that whole work family together and united once again to deliver us hours upon hours of a Spring Sunday epic fantasy escape.

    I know I’m just dreaming but if D&D wanted to, they could very well make it reality.

  65. Arthur
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Good catch!

    1). I suck at spelling.
    2). Auto spell sometimes screws up what I meant to say.

  66. Lord Davos
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Us teenagers too.

  67. dragonreborn
    Posted March 16, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    I think Jon Snows mother is Ned Stark! what a twist huh?

  68. roxy
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Vote for Game of Thrones Season 3 in the final round of Esquire’s “TV Seasons Championship.”

    VOTE: http://itsh.bo/1gm1SrC


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