Game of Thrones has at all times been cinematic, and at one level its creators apparently tried to take all the remaining season to the large display. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who tailored the hit HBO collection from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, have recognized what they’re constructing to within the present’s six-episode eighth season for fairly a while.
Martin’s novels aren’t but full so the present will end its story earlier than the books do, however the writer did give the showrunners an concept of what he was headed for, together with a battle sequence that may now take up a complete episode of the final season. Benioff and Weiss have been geared up with this data for years, and even again in 2012 they knew what they needed to goal for, and so they had been apprehensive.
Game of Thrones was already an enormous hit again then, drawing thousands and thousands of viewers to HBO and just about guaranteeing that Benioff and Weiss would get to maintain making the collection for years to come back, however HBO was solely spending $5 million on every episode. That’s an enormous price range for lots of reveals, however Benioff and Weiss had been it and questioning how they might probably pull of the finale they’d of their heads. In a brand new function protecting the ultimate season at Entertainment Weekly, it is revealed that they had been expressing this concern even again throughout manufacturing on Season 3.
“We have a very generous budget from HBO, but we know what’s coming down the line and, ultimately, it’s not generous enough,” Weiss stated on the time.
To make issues worse, the 2 creators had pitched the collection to HBO as a personality drama in an epic fantasy world, a present that may very well be contained in each scope and price range as a result of it was extra concerning the individuals than it was concerning the dragons and magic and armies. That might have been true of the primary season, however it definitely would not be by the point the ultimate yr rolled round. Benioff and Weiss struggled with this dilemma, and in the end got here up with what they thought may very well be an attention-grabbing resolution: Shoot the six-episode remaining season as three function movies; a film trilogy, identical to The Lord of the Rings.
“It’s what we’re working towards in a perfect world,” Weiss stated again in 2012. “We end up with an epic fantasy story but with the level of familiarity and investment in the characters that are normally impossible in a two-hour movie.”
This grandiose concept did not fly with HBO executives who’re extra attention-grabbing in retaining and rising their subscriber base than making an attempt their hand at theatrical distribution. They weren’t into the film trilogy setup, however with Game of Thrones‘ star on the rise, they did inform Benioff and Weiss to not fear. The showrunners would have every little thing they wanted to make the ultimate season on the grandest scale doable.
And certainly, Benioff and Weiss received what they had been promised. The community and the showrunners in the end got here to an settlement that will unfold manufacturing on the ultimate season out over two years, at a price range of round $15 million per episode.
“They put their money where their mouths are — literally stuffed their mouth full of million-dollar bills, which don’t exist anymore,” Weiss joked.
So that is the story of how and why Game of Thrones‘ remaining episodes took so lengthy to make, and why we can’t be seeing them on the large display.
Game of Thrones returns in 2019 on HBO.