Game of Thrones writers dismiss last season’s pacing problems
One of the major complaints about Game of Thrones season seven was how quickly things seemed to move. Granted, it had seven episodes instead of 10, but in past seasons, it would take several episodes for characters to move around to various points in the world; whereas last season people were able to trek back and forth across Westeros in a single episode. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s creative team acknowledged the complaint but seemed quick to shrug it off.
Co-executive producer Bryan Cogman said simply that, “We made a choice to ‘just get on with it’ last season. You can sit at home and do the math on how long it took to get the boats from point A to point B. There’s always something everybody has got to graft on to and I guess that outrage was better than others, so I’ll take it.”
While Cogman seems to have shrugged it off, co-showrunner David Weiss says he simply doesn’t pay attention. “If somebody says, ‘I don’t like the way you do this,’ I have no idea what percentage of the people watching that opinion actually represents. If that opinion happens to surface louder on the internet, I still have no idea — it could be one percent of people that becomes an internet thing for 10 minutes and then it just seems like it’s more than one percent. But there’s no way of telling — nor am I interested in finding a way of finding out — how accurate those thoughts represent the broad spectrum of people watching. If you start thinking about that, you’ll drive yourself crazy.”
Writer Dave Hill added that, if you were bothered by that in season seven, it’s not going to get any better for the (even shorter) final season. “You obviously don’t want any criticism of any kind, but with all the things we were balancing to set things up for season 8, sometimes we had to speed things up within episodes. We had a lot of time cuts the vast majority of viewers didn’t catch. We could have a [card] on there saying ‘Three Weeks Later,’ but we did not. Sometimes when moving pieces around you’re going to cheat a little bit. We tried to keep more of the time logic rather than jet packs.”
So, there you have it. While the show’s creative team seemed at least tangentially aware of the criticism season seven endured, they’ve mostly shrugged it off while preparing fans for more of the same in the final season, which will pick up after Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) dragons and her immense army were finally on the way to Westeros, where Cersei (Lena Headey) has now become Queen after the death of her children. Also, the Night King’s army is heading south, which will lead to one of the most epic battles ever filmed.
The executive producers of Game of Thrones final season are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger, and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers are Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; and producers are Chris Newman, Greg Spence, and Lisa McAtackney.
The final season of Game of Thrones likely won’t be our last trip to Westeros, however, as HBO has greenlit a pilot set 1,000 years before the events of the wildly popular sword and sorcery epic. Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse have been cast in the prequel series. S.J. Clarkson (The Defenders, Jessica Jones) will direct the pilot.
Game of Thrones season 8 will premiere on April 14 on HBO.