The last night, the last show. After eight epic seasons, HBO’s GAME OF THRONES series has come to an end.
It is hard to believe it is over, if truth be told. The years have gone past in the blink of an eye. Can it really have been more than a decade since my manager Vince Gerardis set up a meeting at the Palm in LA, and I sat down for the first time with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for a lunch that lasted well past dinner? I asked them if they knew who Jon Snow’s mother was. Fortunately, they did.
That was how it started. It ended last night.
I had no clue, that afternoon at the Palm, that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life. I had optioned books and stories for television and film before. Some had even been made There was no way to know that this one was going to be different, that this pilot would not only be shot, but would go on to become the most successful show in the history of HBO, win a record number of Emmy Awards, become the most popular (and most pirated) show in the world, and transform a group of talented but largely unknown actors into major celebrities and stars. Even less did I imagine that I would somehow become a celebrity as well… and if truth be told, I’m still not sure how that happened.
It has been a wild ride, to say the least.
I want to thank people, but there are so many. There were forty-two cast members at the season eight premiere in New York City, and that wasn’t even all of them. And the crew, though less visible than the cast, were no less important. We had some amazing people working on this show, as all those Emmys bear witness. David & Dan assembled a championship team. The directors were incredible as well. I should start naming names, but then I’d miss someone, there were so many. But I do need to mention David Benioff, Dan Weiss, Bryan Cogman (the third head of the dragon, as I said in the recent VANITY FAIR piece about him), and of course the great team at HBO, headed by Richard Plepler. Any other network, and GAME OF THRONES would not have been what it became. Most other networks, this series never gets made at all.
I could go on and on… and have, as I’ve been writing this post in my head… but there’s really too much to say. Parting is such sweet sorrow, the Bard wrote. In the weeks and months to come, I may post about some of my favorite moments from the making of this show… now and again, when I am feeling nostalgic… but just now, there are so many memories, and no time to do them all justice.
Let me say this much — last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning. Nobody is retiring any time soon. David and Dan are going on to STAR WARS and other projects beyond that. Amazon scooped up Bryan Cogman, and put him to work on developing shows of his own, as well as helping out on their big Tolkien project. Our brilliant cast has scattered to the four winds, but you’ll be seeing a lot of them in the years to come, in all manner of television shows and movies. Our directors are keeping busy as well. I suspect that you have not seen the last of Westeros on your television sets either, but I guess that all depends on how some of these successor shows turn out.
And me? I’m still here, and I’m still busy. As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel. I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others. There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced. I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan. And then there’s Meow Wolf…
And I’m writing. Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is. THE WINDS OF WINTER is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done. I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A DREAM OF SPRING.
How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different?
Well… yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes.
I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one. There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books… so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…
Book or show, which will be the “real” ending? It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?
How about this? I’ll write it. You read it. Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.
Current Mood: melancholy