Game of Thrones feels like a franchise that is both never-ending and completely paralysed within its own epic scope. After the finale in 2019, HBO quickly announced a slate of new shows and proposals that it was working on. This came as a surprise to absolutely nobody who was paying attention to the state of entertainment at the time, considering that Game of Thrones was a massive success for HBO, despite its disappointing final season.
But apparently co-creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff aren’t interested in leading another story in Westeros, at least according to this Entertainment Weekly interview: “All in, we were 11 years, probably, doing that show,” Weiss told EW. “It was the best decade of our lives … but we got to a place where it was pretty clear to us that we had reached the end of what made sense for us to be involved with in that world that we lived. It just felt like, for us, it was time to move on and get excited and terrified about building something else … We never saw more Game of Thrones shows [as] something that made sense for us to be involved with, given where we were just as people at the time we were done with the original.”
Eleven years is a long time to dedicate to a single project, and I personally saw a lot of the incredible acting and technical brilliance of the show fall short of saving the mediocre storytelling rooted in imperialism and sexism. What can you expect? The first book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series was published in 1996, and the story didn’t receive many updates when it did follow the saga’s original plot for four-and-a-half seasons of the eight-season adaption. We can’t really expect it to be progressive on any level. Was it beautiful? At times. Was it fun to watch? Occasionally.
Perhaps Weiss and Benioff are looking for more challenging fare; they’re currently working on an adaption of author Cixin Liu’s Three-Body Problem. (While the books are unrivalled science fiction masterpieces, Liu’s politics have been the target of backlash.)
I suppose it’s too much to ask for Benioff and Weiss to more carefully consider the work they take on when there’s millions of dollars to be made from their massive Netflix deal. The streaming service seems to rely on churn to operate, which is certainly a way to produce titles at the expense of artistry and consideration. At least Weiss and Benihoff aren’t doing anything with Star Wars (anymore). And, for what it’s worth, Westeros seems to be doing just fine without them: House of the Dragon is scheduled to premiere later this year.
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