Game of Thrones creators tried to remove fantasy from HBO show: 'We didn’t want to just appeal to that type of fan'

Benioff and Weiss described making the show as a '10-year drunk party'

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 28 October 2019 13:37
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Game of Thrones wins Best Drama

The creators of Game of Thrones revealed they tried to erase many of the fantasy elements featured in George RR Martin’s source material because they “didn’t want to just appeal to that type of fan”.

David Benioff and DB Weiss made a rare appearance on a panel at the Austin Film Festival to discuss the series where they said they admitted they “didn’t know” what they were doing when they decided to make the show, and are surprised HBO let them proceed after their “dismal” pilot episode.

The duo, who described making the show as a “10-year drunk party”, said they decided to write the majority of the first season’s episodes “because [they] didn’t know any better”.

Addressing the show’s many violent scenes, including the infamous Red Wedding sequence, Benioff said: “To be honest, we went too far with some of those.”

Game of Thrones ended with a divisive finale in May. Many fans criticised the rushed nature of the final season, which went on to win Best Drama at the 2019 Emmy Awards.

During the panel, they were asked whether they ever listened to fan feedback, with Benioff admitting that he was regularly upset by search results after “googling the show”.


The backlash to the final season saw the launch of a Reddit campaign to get Benioff and Weiss's picture top of the search engine if you type in “bad writers”.

Several Game of Thrones actors, including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Conleth Hill (Lord Varys), have jumped to the defence of the final season in the past few months.

Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister, said she was left feeling “gutted” by her character’s final scene.

Benioff and Weiss recently signed an exclusive deal with Netflix worth a reported £200m.

Find a ranking of every character – from worst to best – here.

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