Game of Thrones’ Creators Really Did Want to Finish With 3 Movies

Game of Thrones’ Creators Really Did Want to Finish With 3 Movies

Fans will never stop discussing, or maybe lamenting, the ending of Game of Thrones. Whether you loved it, hated it, or were somewhere in between, the choices made by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to bring their epic series to a close were famously divisive. However, it seems there was even more uncertainty surrounding the conclusion and much of it happened off-screen.

In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Benioff and Weiss confirm a rumor Thrones creator George R.R. Martin floated several years back. They did indeed pitch HBO on the idea of ending Game of Thrones not with a season of television, but with three movies. The idea was quickly shot down though when the executives reminded them they worked for “Home Box Office” not “Away Box Office.”

The same interview, which is mostly about the pair’s latest show, 3 Body Problem on Netflix, also reveals that they were asked if it would be possible to shoot the show vertically, so it could be watched on phones, or if they could make episodes significantly shorter, to be enjoyed on the go. Thankfully, those ideas didn’t come to pass but they all speak to the environment Benioff and Weiss were in trying to finish the show after AT&T purchased HBO. “Dysfunction kills more projects than anything else, whether it’s interpersonal dysfunction or institutional dysfunction,” Weiss said.

Putting aside the hellscape of a Quibi version of Game of Thrones, which is just too awful to think about, the idea for the movies both made sense and didn’t. Could it have been cool and exciting and potentially special? Of course. But historically, TV shows being adapted into movies has, for the most part, been a mixed bag financially. Even after seven seasons of TV, there’s no guarantee audiences would have shown up. Nor is there any indication that movies would’ve changed the storytelling at all. The final six episodes (and seven seasons before that, frankly) were all epic and cinematic in scope and look. And three movies, at two hours apiece, still works out to six hours. So maybe what we got was basically the same thing, just edited slightly differently.

Really, the big takeaway here is that the fates of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Brandon Stark, and others were seemingly as up for grabs as how audiences got to view them. And that there was that much talk and uncertainty on both sides feels like a fairly good excuse for what we ended up getting in the first place.

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