I’m actually trying not to give anything away in these links but just in case —
Game of Thrones *SPOILER WARNING*
In “’Game of Thrones’ writers on season finale and why ‘All Men Must Die’” Mary McNamara of the LA Times interviews Dan Weiss and David Benioff. (No spoilers here because they didn’t give her an advance screening of Season 4’s final episode.)
I would think one of the biggest challenges you face, besides losing main characters at an alarming clip, is juggling all those story lines and giving everyone enough screen time. I am imagining an enormous white board, but maybe you guys should be the next spokesmen for iPad — seriously, how do you keep it all going? Do you break the script episode by episode? Or do you treat it more like a 10-hour film?
We’re Luddites, so we use index cards on corkboards. Each story line (Castle Black, say, or Arya/Hound) gets its own color. At our peak in Season 3 we were up to 13 different colors. One upside of losing main characters at an alarming clip is we no longer have to use taupe or mauve. Once we’ve mapped out each story line we start putting cards on the board and argue over which scenes should be in which episode and in what order. We end up reordering quite a bit in post, when we’ve seen the directors’ cuts and realize certain transitions make more sense than others.
This morning recappers are analyzing every detail, meaning pretty much anything beyond the headlines gives away too much about the climactic episode of Game of Thrones’ fourth season. It’s hard to find sample quotes…
USA Today has more from the writers about how they do it, in “’Game of Thrones’ Finale Shocks”:
“To this point, the world of the story has been expanding. More characters, more worlds, more story lines. But we’ve reached the middle of the story, more or less, and Season 4 is where the expansion seems to end, which feels appropriate,” executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say in an e-mail. “We don’t have stasis, which tends not to work so well in storytelling. That leaves contraction. Which means that characters, worlds and story lines will converge in surprising ways that would be much less surprising if we said anything about them.”
Grantland’s Andy Greenwald, in “’Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Finale Recap: A Lannister Repays His Debts”, mixes comedy with poetic commentary:
But as mountains fall, the dead rise from the ground, and even privies are made public, it’s increasingly clear that what we’re actually watching is a television show that’s about more than just people changing: It’s about the wholesale reinvention of a world.