Game of Thrones was the biggest show to air on television in the last decade, both in terms of budget and viewership. Making such a great series is no joke, the showrunners and the HBO executives were sceptical if it would even work (because of the botched pilot episode). Game of Thrones’ bosses David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed they even had to lie to get the show on track.
In the book Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon, written by Entertainment Weekly editor James Hibberd, the showrunners, cast and crew reveal interesting details about the show. David and Dan admitted lying to HBO about the show’s content.
The showrunners revealed, “The show was exactly what we told them it wasn’t.” Benioff said, “The lie we told was that the show was ‘contained’ and it was about the characters.”
“We knew most of the people making the decisions were not going to read four thousand pages [of Martin’s books] and get to the dragons getting bigger and the [major battles],” Weiss said, “We were banking on them not finding out until it was too late.”
The gamble the duo took eventually worked out, and the biggest-show-ever came into existence. The HBO executives were hesitant at first, having suffered a loss of $100 million in a previous endeavour. Rome, a big-budget period drama about life in the ancient city was cancelled before the second season even aired in 2007 to save money on production resources.
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Every big project faces criticism during the course of its completion. Game of Thrones created a lot of controversy with its final season. The epic fantasy is popular among fans and critics alike for the bold concept of the show. The series was voted as the best TV show of the 21st century by Digital Spy readers. Game of Thrones cast members Liam Cunningham and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau shared their views about the controversy on the occasion.
Liam Cunningham (Davos): “They’re challenging the audience with this stuff. Some of the violence in it is jaw-dropping, some of the sex is extraordinary. You couldn’t do it on a network. It reflects the spirit of the books. George is a fantastic writer. And Peter Dinklage is one of the finest actors. But to have a show where basically the lead character is a dwarf, you’ve got incest, you’ve got all sorts of stuff in it. Imagine pitching this to various networks. You’d be on your own in the room pitching it after about two minutes.”
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime): “I think usually as an actor you… build on your own experience. This particular aspect of his character was different. Having a relationship, an intimate relationship, with your own sister… it’s a mouthful. But what is interesting and I think what you can relate to is that you fall in love with someone you shouldn’t fall in love with, or someone it would be really inappropriate but you can’t help yourself.
“Of course, also it is a different world. If you go back a couple of hundred years, the whole idea that royal families would marry cousins – it’s not that far [away].”
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Game of Thrones was a celebration of fantasy, art and medieval culture. The show broke all records of viewership numbers and set the bar for TV shows really high. The fantasy series still holds the record for the most number of Emmy Awards won. Game of Thrones has always been a topic of controversy throughout its run due to its bold scenes. The show’s stars Mark Addy and Sophie Turner explained to Digital Spy why they were important to the storytelling.
Mark Addy (Robert): “I think all of the scenes serve an important function, whether it’s showing you how a character is changing from being a girl to being a woman. Whether it’s showing you how a character is changing from being a submissive person to someone who is more prepared to kind of take control of her own destiny.”
Sophie Turner (Sansa): “I very much remember the first couple of seasons, people really loathed [Sansa]. They really hated her. They found her quite stuck up and a really frustrating character. Then they started feeling sorry for her, because it seemed like the next few seasons were her being beaten and bruised and raped and married – forced marriages – and all of these horrific things happened to her. “
“Slowly, people started to feel sympathy, but it took a while. A lot of people, for a while, were saying that she deserved it. It’s interesting because it really wouldn’t have made Sansa the Sansa she is today had she not gone through those things and had been subjected to so much torture and trauma. It made her the strong, passionate woman that she is. Now, she has a lot of followers, a lot of fans.”
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Game of Thrones ended more than a year ago. The fantasy show turned into a phenomenon in the past decade. Fantasy lovers are still crazy about the series. The show was dubbed as the greatest TV show of the 21st century by Digital Spy readers. Fans are eagerly waiting for the prequel to the series – House of The Dragon. However, the final season of the show was very controversial. It divided the fanbase into two. The cast of the show had their own views, and they talked about them with Digital Spy.
Gemma Whelan (Yara): “I respect and like the fact that it came to an end as and when it did because things can’t go on forever and for me, a very good ending and a place where the showrunners always wanted to end the show.”
Sophie Turner (Sansa): “I was satisfied with how unpredictable the show’s ending really is. It really is so unpredictable the way that it ends up. I’m very satisfied with that.”
Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran): “When we got the scripts. I can remember, I was at university in Birmingham, I was reading the scripts in my student halls, and I had to double-lock the door, I was reading through them and then… I think it was episode six, I had to actually pace around the room a little bit, and go, ‘F**k!’.”
What do you think of the final season of the show? Tell us in the comments below!