Ever since Game of Thrones Season 1 premiered, audiences have fallen in love with the dark and twisted story which was written by George R.R. Martin. However there’s a piece of information that most of us don’t know. The original pilot was so bad that the cast had to be changed and almost 90% of the pilot was re-shot. The pilot was first shot in 2009 and then it was entirely re-shot and released in 2011.
Recently during a podcast called Scriptnotes which is hosted by screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff revealed how disastrous the original pilot was. Coincidentally, Craig Mazin had watched the original pilot and he had given a piece of advice that might have saved this series. This is what Weiss had to say about it:
“Watching them watch that original pilot was one of the most painful experiences of my life. As soon as it finished, Craig said, ‘You guys have a massive problem.’”
Mazin also suggested that it was a massive problem and the only thing that could be done was to “change everything”.
His advice was thankfully taken and D.B. Weiss and David Benioff re-shot almost 90% of the pilot and the actress who was playing Catelyn Stark was replaced. In the original pilot, it wasn’t clear that Cersei and Jaime were siblings and it was a big issue that was rectified. Mazin was invited for the premiere of the 1st season and he was surprised to see the final product.
“I will never forget being invited to the premiere of the first season. I went in just thinking (skeptically), ‘Well, I guess we’ll just see how this goes.’ I sat there and this show unfolds and I am stunned. Stunned. And I very specifically remember walking out and I said to [Weiss and Benioff], ‘That is the biggest rescue in Hollywood history.’ Because it wasn’t just that they had saved something bad and turned it really good. You had saved a complete piece of s**t and turned it into something brilliant. That never happens!”