In an interview with Fast Company, His Majesty King George spoke of the ‘conflict’ that befell his relationship with the show writers towards the end, claiming that his reaction to their fast-paced interpretations of key plot twists and character development was not an easy thing to digest and describing the experience as ‘traumatic’.
You’re not the only one there, Your Grace.
Elaborating on the choice of words, George said: ‘Sometimes their creative vision and your creative vision don’t match, and you get the famous creative differences thing – that leads to a lot of conflict.
‘The series has been … not completely faithful. Otherwise, it would have to run another five seasons.
‘You get totally extraneous things like the studio or the network weighing in, and they have some particular thing that has nothing to do with story, but relates to “Well this character has a very high Q Rating so let’s give him a lot more stuff to do”.’
Though he doesn’t specifically name anyone, we can assume that he is referring to the controversial choices made by Benioff and Weiss like Arya Stark should be the one to end the Night King’s reign of terror (not the more likely candidates of her half-brother-turned-cousin, Jon Snow) or that Cersei’s destined killer ‘The Valonqar’, which is High Valyrian for ‘little sibling’, ultimately translated into ‘a f*** tonne of bricks in the bowels of the Red Keep’.
Reactions to season 8 were so bad that some of the Most Devout even began a petition to remake the show with a more refined script that closer resembled the direction that the books had been going in before the show overlapped, gathering almost two million signatures since the last episode aired with more signing as we speak.
‘David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have proven themselves to be woefully incompetent writers when they have no source material (i.e. the books) to fall back on,’ the petition description says.
‘This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!’
But considering how it cost $90 million to film season 8, it’s doubtful that HBO would be willing to give it another go. Especially since the cast, whom the show would not be the same without, aren’t willing to go there again after such a painful separation from the characters they played and loved as much as we did for almost a decade.
Despite mourning Jon Snow’s fate in the last episode, actor Kit Harington has defended the road that the show followed, telling Esquire that the effort the cast and crew put into making that last season was worth it in the end.
‘How I feel about the show right now is quite defiant,’ he said.
‘I think no matter what anyone thinks about this season – and I don’t mean to sound mean about critics here – but whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgement on it, in my head they can go f*** themselves.
‘I know how much work was put into this. I know how much people cared about this. I know how much pressure people put on themselves and I know how many sleepless nights working or otherwise people had on this show.
‘Because they cared about it so much. Because they cared about the characters. Because they cared about the story. Because they cared about not letting people down.’
He has a point. As does George, when he says the show could have run on another five seasons. JK Rowling said a similar thing when discussing fans’ reactions to the time limits that the Harry Potter films had when adapting the books, claiming that Warner Bros. could have made every film eight hours long and there would still be an audience for it, but not to be.
What we as fans have to remember is that yes, ideally the show could and probably should have run on for another five seasons or so, but realistically it would be difficult. For all we know, HBO could have agreed to extend the show and the writing would still be disappointing, so better to end it with people wanting more than wishing it ended their suffering years ago.
George’s benefit is that, as a novelist, he has no constraints to his imagination. The events of the books occur in succession with very little ageing of characters and enough time to expand on their personal struggles, whereas the show needs at least a year to produce one season with as many episodes as they can afford.
In the meantime, we have the books still to look forward to. And a prequel series.
And who knows, by the time His Majesty gets round to publishing the last one, we won’t feel the need to linger on the mistakes of the show anymore.
“As for finishing my book… I fear that New Zealand would distract me entirely too much. Best leave me here in Westeros for the nonce. But I tell you this — if I don’t have THE WINDS OF WINTER in hand when I arrive in New Zealand for worldcon, you have here my formal written permission to imprison me in a small cabin on White Island, overlooking that lake of sulfuric acid, until I’m done,” Martin wrote in his online journal. The said post, reportedly, sparked hope among fans who have been waiting for “The Winds of Winter” novel.
Max is an awkward Medievalist struggling with ever evolving technology. When not writing for The Hook, he can be found attending self-help classes for his decade-long addiction to KFC. His greatest achievements include getting blocked by Owen Jones on Twitter and completing the Metro quick crossword in just under twenty-seven hours.Follow