The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Showrunners Have A Theory Why The Show Survived An Infamously Bad Pilot

Over the weekend, Game of Thrones co-showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were the featured guests at the Austin Film Festival, where they both received the 2019 Outstanding Television Writer Award. The pair also took part in “A Conversation,” fielding numerous questions about their time before, during, and after the HBO series. Simply put, even they have no idea where they were tasked with guiding what turned out to be one of the biggest shows in television history (and the one with the most Emmys).

Twitter user @ForArya was on-site for the discussion, and helpfully recapped the session. Benioff described his and Weiss’ initial meeting with A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, who questioned their bona fides. “We had never done TV and we didn’t have any,” he said. “We don’t know why he trusted us with his life’s work.” But he did, although his trust was nearly misguided when Thrones barely made it past a “piece of shit” and still-unseen pilot, as we’ve documented before. “They acknowledge that they have no idea why after such a dismal pilot why they went forward. ‘Everything we could make a mistake in, we did.’ Script, casting, costume,” @ForArya tweeted. “They think HBO went forward bc they had a lot of foreign pre-sales on the series.”

Benioff and Weiss, who described working on Thrones as a “ten-year drunk party,” turned down the fantasy elements to appeal to “mothers” and “NFL players,” which is probably why the show became a success. It wasn’t for genre enthusiasts only; it was for everyone. They were also asked about listening (or not listening) to online chatter.

They did, however, listen to fans for one thing: finding Khal Drogo.

Benioff and Weiss recently signed a gigantic five-year, $250 million overall deal with Netflix and they’re “writing a treatment” for a new Stars Wars trilogy. I’m sure they won’t hear any feedback from fans on that one.

(Via Twitter)

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