Game Of Thrones has become one of those shows that everyone is watching and talking about; like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad, it has grown to be an event every week that leaves fans jumping online as soon as it’s over to talk about what bloody storyline they just saw unfold. With a new season comes new shocks, and for those who haven’t read the books, the show is not pulling any punches when it comes to surprising deaths, and Sunday night’s episode was no exception. Another wedding has come, and with it, a horrific death and a whodunit mystery. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down for an interview with Entertainment Weekly recently to discuss why the episode worked, and why it was done the way it was done…in just the second episode of the season.
*This article contains no spoilers about Sunday night’s episode, so if you’re not caught up, by all means, read ahead.*
“By the time you get to the ninth episode, the end of the season, it’s expected that something momentous is going to happen. Doing something this world-changing in the second episode seemed fun to us,” said Weiss.
The wedding was full of lavish food and decor, powerful guests, and entertainment, and on an occasion so big the scene had to be a major focus. The trick, said Weiss, was to engage the viewer so that there would be no clues as to what was about to befall a major character.
“The trick with any long, lavish, production-heavy sequence like this one is that at a certain point, people start to think something: “It’s been 15 minutes in one setting, something momentous is going to happen in this sequence.” And the only way they don’t think that is if you constantly keep them engaged in the things that are happening. So one of the major tricks to pull off in a scene like this is to keep people in the moments with all the characters interacting with one another and not let them think about the bigger picture, about why we’ve been at this wedding for 15 minutes,” he said.
The last big shocking episode happened last season, and it was also during a wedding; that storyline left fans devastated, and resonated around the web as viewers took to social media to discuss what they’d just seen. That episode may have left many with a feeling of unease as soon as more nuptials were announced, but the people in charge didn’t necessarily want only shock value. The opportunity to bring so many characters together in one place was too good to pass up.
“One of the great opportunities about this scene is it’s probably the last time we’ll have this many characters for an extended period…what was also important to us is have these characters get together. Cersei and Brienne, they meet at the wedding, like they likely would, what is that conversation like? Jaime and Loras, that’s interesting because Loras is engaged to Cersei and Jamie has just returned from being a prisoner of war — so what’s the encounter going to be like? In the pilot we had something similar with a lot of people gathered together at the feast. But at that point the audience didn’t know those characters as well — and we didn’t know those characters as well,” said Benioff.
Game Of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO.
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