A year after the disappointing season finale of Game of Thrones
“Themes are for eighth-grade book reports.” — David Benioff.
After one whole orbit around the sun, I still can’t shake the disappointing season finale of Game of Thrones. As a fan of the show since the third season (yes, I was two years late but whatever) I had high hopes that the series would have a well crafted ending. For a show that had the potential (and the budget) to go on for another two years, the showrunners decided to end the show with seven seasons.
Game of Thrones is adapted from George R.R. Martin’s The Song of Ice and Fire series. Martin has previously worked on the show as a consultant and wrote a few episodes. He stepped back from writing for the show to give his full attention to the two remaining books of the series. The writers didn’t have any source materials to base the season on, so they had to create storylines of their own. This is when it all went crashing down.
The showrunners, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were fans of the book series. They were not sure whether Martin would trust them with the book series. When Martin asked if they had any prior experience in writing for television, David and Dan admitted that they had none. The showrunners didn’t fully understand how to adapt a fantasy book series into television and why they were given permission to do so is beyond me. They didn’t have any appreciation for the series themes, characters’ backstories were not resolved and they took out a core theme of the book series: fantasy. Their defence was that they wanted the show to be targeted towards ‘mothers, NFL Players’. Basically, non-fantasy fans.
The Game of Thrones writer’s room was non-existent and that’s evident in the last three seasons when the showrunners ran out of source material. HBO had offered to hire writers but David and Dan were happy to work on the scripts themselves. According to them, they had one woman who wrote a few scenes and their assistant Brian Cogman wrote four episodes. This goes to show that when you don’t have a team of writers to discuss character arcs and themes, you will end up…