When Game of Thrones meets HBO

When Game of Thrones meets HBO  

Article by Jan


HBO has already successfully tackled vampires in True Blood, the wildly popular adaptation of Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. Now, the channel is about to tap into the obsessive fanbase of another cult author, plunging into George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels with its latest project, Game of Thrones, launching April 17.Game of Thrones’ breakneck plot revolves around the power plays of various high lords and ladies plotting for control of the feudal society in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where magic has (supposedly) died out and winter can last for decades. In the world of Game of Thrones, you are either a player or a piece in a struggle for power.For Martin, who began working on the first novel back in 1991, HBO was the only logical choice for an adaptation this ambitious and vast: The show has its own specially-created language, massive sets in Northern Ireland and Malta, and a dizzying number of characters. His trepidation about going ahead with the adaptation was allayed by executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (known as Dan), who were fans in their own right of the novels. (They came from “a place of true fandom,” said Naegle. “They know it backwards and forwards.”)The complexity and length of each of Martin’s novels ( A Storm of Swords, the longest to date, clocks in at an astonishing 924 pages in its latest paperback edition) makes it extremely difficult to shoehorn in the whiplash-inducing plot twists and relentless pacing. The first book will be adapted as Season 1 of Game of Thrones and the idea?for now?is that each subsequent book will provide the narrative spine for its own season.Talk to Weiss and Benioff and what’s immediately noticeable is not only the reverence they have for Martin’s underlying work but also the passion they brought to the table and a fan’s need to get it right as much as they could. “It’s a massive world that George has created and we’re trying to be very faithful to that world, and we’re trying to recreate it on-screen,” said Benioff. “It’s difficult to do with a feature budget; it’s really difficult to do, even with a generous TV budget.”"Our mantra throughout was always, this is a real world,” Weiss said. “It’s not our world, but it’s a real world. People live in this world. It’s not a fantasy world. It’s not a science-fiction world. This is their planet and it’s just as real to them as our world is to us.”That correlates with some of the real-life crossover between the novels’ themes of war and peace, love and hate, winter and summer. Martin’s novels, however, do not have a simplistic worldview, according to the producers.”Good people suffer, bad people suffer, and ultimately everyone suffers,” Benioff said. “Shit happens. I love at times the almost random brutality of the way things play out. You never know if characters are ever safe.”But putting aside the philosophical perspective, Game of Thrones also offers an adrenaline rush of plots, double-crosses, and jaw-dropping revelations. With a sprawling cast that features no fewer than 18 series regulars and hundreds of minor characters, are Weiss and Benioff concerned at all about information overload?”There is just a lot of trust you have to place into your audience that they’re going to be able to keep up at a certain point,” said Weiss. “We believe in the intelligence of George’s audience and the intelligence of the audience from the series.”"The show delivers in performance and in production,” said Naegle. “There is nothing formulaic about it. It is a completely unexpected political fantasy. Those kinds of shows do well with an audience. We’re hopeful that this is going to be a show that men can watch, that women can watch. You always want that? Our expectations are high.”

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game of thrones season 1 dvdbreakneck plot revolves around the power plays of various high lords and ladies plotting for control of the feudal society in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, where magic has (supposedly) died out and winter can last for decades. In the world of Game of Thrones, you are either a player or a piece in a struggle for power.



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