Game of Thrones writers break silence on season 7 pacing criticisms
And why season 8 won't likely get the same complaint...
When Game of Thrones season 7 aired in 2017, it was the HBO drama's highest rated and most lavishly produced season. It was also the shortest, with only seven episodes instead of the usual 10. Yet the season covered plenty of narrative ground — Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen met and fell in love, Cersei Lannister and Euron Greyjoy formed an alliance, Sansa and Arya reunited and dispatched a traitor in their midst, The Night King gained a dragon and blasted a hole in the wall. A lot went down. But for some fans, the pace was too fast at times, particularly when the show moved its key players around the map of Westeros. In previous seasons, characters would sometimes take multiple episodes to gradually trek to a new location. But season 7's quickening pace as the show neared its climax had some making quips about the characters having jet packs and teleportation, a relatively rare (and some would say quibbling) complaint about the beloved fantasy hit.
EW asked the show's writers about those criticisms during our set visit last year.
"We made a choice to ‘just get on with it' last season," coexecutive producer Bryan Cogman said. "You can sit at home and do the math on how long it took to get the boats from Point A to Point B and whatever that was, yeah, that's what it was. 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."
"We don't read a lot of that stuff," showrunner Dan Weiss said. "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 1 percent of people that becomes an internet thing for 10 minutes and then it just seems like it's more than 1 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."
Having said that, writer Dave Hill noted that the upcoming season 8 is not likely to garner the same criticism, despite only having six more episodes to wrap up the story.
"You obviously don't want any criticism of any kind," Hill said. "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 [title card] on there saying ‘Three Weeks Later,' but we did not. Sometimes when moving pieces around you're going to cheat a little bit. [For season 8], we tried to keep more of the time logic rather than jet packs."
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Game of Thrones
HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'