Bryan Cogman Dishes on Upcoming “Unprecedented” Season 8 Battle; Confirms His Game of Thrones Prequel is Kaput

Grey Worm Missandei Season 8 802

Bryan Cogman, the one-time script coordinator turned writing assistant turned screenwriter turned producer of Game of Thrones is the man behind season 8 episode 2’s, ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,’ widely regarded already (4 days after it aired!) as an all-time great episode, and maybe even the best episode ever, according to one prominent critic. One thing’s for sure – Bryan is the man behind so many great episodes, season in and out, from ‘What is Dead May Never Die,’ to ‘The Laws of Gods and Men.’ Even though his final written episode has now aired, his impact will always be remembered in the GOT community. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter’s Josh Wigler, Bryan talks about whatever he can about the upcoming battle that his episode was preparing us for, though tight-lipped as ever, of course!

Revisiting his now heralded episode that takes place on the eve of the greatest battle Westeros has ever or presumably will ever see, Bryan is adamant that it was an important one for the characters’ journeys:

“That was important, going into this final stretch. There’s a lot of story that happens on Game of Thrones, a lot of plot, a lot of “events.” Certainly, there’s a lot of that in this episode, too. But we really wanted it to be an exploration of the characters, and for me, personally, a celebration of the characters. That’s what makes the show tick. It’s the reason we’re here, all these years later.” And I can’t agree more. Spectacle is cool and all, and Hardhome has long-held a place in my heart as the best battle GOT has ever staged. But, without an interest in the characters involved, you just have a Transformers movie and not a meaningful investment like we all did with the Battle of Helm’s Deep of Lord of the Rings fame. He continues: “If somebody who’s watching wants a bit more action early [in the season], then they’re probably disappointed. I think it’s fair to say they’ll get their wish pretty soon.” Yikes, so what’s coming up, Bryan?

“Without getting into spoilers, this is the dread coming to your door. The White Walkers and the Night King are the end personified. Whatever that means to you, that’s what you’re going to see next week.” Well, considering death pools have anywhere from 5 to 10+ of our heroes (and anti-heroes) biting the Valyrian steel sword next week, this gives me the shivers! Look, all I need to know is that Ser Jorah is going to be safe…tell me he’s going to be safe, Bryan! Please!! (edit from Bryan Cogman – [No response]).

As always, questions turned towards how much of the show is his own (and showrunners David Benioff’s and Dan Weiss’) vs. author George R. R. Martin’s. “We’re writing a television show. As such, decisions are made to fit the story we’re telling for the television show. With that in mind, it means that, yes, his text is sacred and his characters are sacred. Where we did invent, we did our best to invent in a way that honors them, but also honors the story we’ve been telling and the experience that our audience has been having.”

Finally, while Bryan was announced as one of the five writers who each developed and pitched a prequel to HBO, they ended up going with Jane Goldman’s project. Still, we didn’t know whether Cogman’s project was could still go into production later, but, unfortunately, he shuts down our excitement of this possibility: “I was developing one of the successor shows with George. George has worked with a bunch of the writers, including Jane [Goldman], whose show is being done [as a pilot]. My prequel show is not happening and will not happen. HBO decided to go a different way.” That really stinks. Bryan had a grasp on these characters that sometimes felt like no one else did. Next, he’s off to Amazon, to create and develop new TV projects.

Still, we’ll always have his many episodes and overall GOT input to cherish. Check out the rest of the interview and let us know your thoughts below!

85 responses

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    1. Just to thank Cogman for his excellent work!

      I look forward to seeing what he does next. It will not be the sequel but that may be a stroke of luck.

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    2. “certainly next week’s episode, is absolutely unparalleled and unprecedented — and I’m going to go so far as to say in the history of filmed entertainment.”

      Excuse me while I google how to make Sunday come after Thursday

      shouldn’t be so hard.

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    3. Shame for Cogman that his pilot isn’t moving forward, but in a way it might be good for him to move onto something completely new, and I’m sure we’re be seeing a lot more of his writing in the future. Delighted he has been rewarded with an Amazon deal. I think that before last week’s episode, you could have made the argument that he had struggled a bit with the show passing the books, with his best episodes undoubtedly being before the change in focus, but his episode last week was definitely right up there with his (and the shows) best.

      I also think the spin-off will be all the better with new voices, such as Goldman, and Clarkson (directing). I’m wary of it, but I do like the people they’ve put behind the scenes a lot

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    4. Episode 8×02 is easily the best table setting episode the show has ever had. Additionally, it out to rest a lot of people’s fears that the final season would be devoid of interpersonal narratives and emotional intrigue that got us invested in the first place. I always say that the intimate drama is what allows us to have such stake in the fantastical elements. I can almost guarantee the rest of the season will be largely action oriented anyways. So these first two episodes were absolutely necessary.

      It’s a shame that we won’t get to see his prequel show come to fruition. I’m curious to find out more about it. It seems strange that HBO would axe one of the show’s best writer’s project. But, it may have been slightly too ambitious for what they were going for. I’m not even sure that’ll be realistic though after what we’ll see in this week’s episode.

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    5. Really wonder what his show was about and why on Earth HBO wouldn’t give one of the best GoT writers a shot to develop a show with George.

      Maybe the premise of the show just didn’t fit what they think will be marketable ? It’s disappointing, for sure.

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    6. Loved 802. One of my favorites of the series. Unfortunate to hear that his prequel did not get greenlit and he won’t be a part of this world anymore. Wish him the best in his future projects and at least we’ll always have his GoT work to reflect back on.

      I love the storytelling episodes just as much as the battle stuff, but I am looking forward to 803 probably more then any episode ever. I’m ready to finally see the AotD in full battle mode and to see what Sapochnik and company cooked up for the longest battle in cinema history.

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    7. Edward,

      Nick20,

      Cogman is a talented writer, there is no doubt about that. However, it is very different being a staff writer on a TV show, and being a show-runner. Remember that D&D always reviewed all the other writers scripts, (Including GRRM), and made any necessary improvements/changes to fit into the season overall. Maybe his idea wasn’t up-to-scratch, maybe it was too similar to Goldman’s, maybe he had a change of heart, and decided to move on. Who knows. I do agree that it is frustrating to not know the reason. I’d love to see what all five proposals were for spin-offs. My issue with the Goldman one is that sounds too similar to GoT. I’d love to see one set mainly on Sothoryos or Essos.

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    8. Sad to hear that. Last episode was one the best in the entire series. His bathtub scenes and awkward family dinner scenes are some of the shows highlights.

      I have Amazon though, so I will be watching what he does next.

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    9. While I can never truly hate anything game of thrones, I do feel like the first 2 episodes have been wasted. What has really happened in he first 2 hours of this season? Cersai putting the hit out on her brother and lover? This is our last taste of this show. They essentially axed note episodes and deeper story for more splash. And then you go and waste the first 2 episodes on what, catching up on the characters? Disappointed.

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    10. Knight of the Walkers: I’d love to see what all five proposals were for spin-offs. My issue with the Goldman one is that sounds too similar to GoT. I’d love to see one set mainly on Sothoryos or Essos.

      It would be nice to know at least the period each was focused on.

      One might think that HBO is hoping that the one they chose becomes a hit as well so that they can eventually move onto yet another after that. If that was a major consideration then it makes sense to start way, way back at what is basically the beginning of George’s written history. After that they could conceivably do sequels in chronological order up to the original GoT timeline. That is of course thinking of and believing in many years of future successful programming that may never come to be… It’s a plan anyway…

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    11. Im might being a little Crazy, but i dont like the fact he Said hardhome is for him the best battle of the show.

      Why? Because he propably already Saw ALL the Episodes left and he Still thinks hardhome still the best battle for him?? For me that would be a HUGE disappointment If even the 2 Battlestar to come are less than hardhome for him.

      Obs: i know i have to Focus on my opinion, but i want the next Battles to be so good that would be a number 1 list of 99% of the fans and critics. And for me hardhome is SPETACULAR but lies behind Botb , field of fire and Blackwater.

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    12. Knight of the Walkers,

      I recognize that for sure. My main gripe is that we may never know what his project is about and why it got canceled. I think after being a crucial part of the GoT machine he’d go on to make a decent showrunner. Regardless if it’s in the ASOIAF universe or not.

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    13. “Without getting into spoilers, this is the dread coming to your door. The White Walkers and the Night King are the end personified. Whatever that means to you, that’s what you’re going to see next week.”

      So the NK will be making an appearance at Winterfell? Maybe his scenes would be too spoilery so he wasn’t featured in trailers? Also CGI tech has advanced so much since LotR so I am equal parts excited and dreading 8×03. This time, I WILL stay up until 2am!

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    14. Lol:
      Im might being a little Crazy, but i dont like the fact he Said hardhome is for him the best battle of the show.

      Why? Because he propably already Saw ALL the Episodes left and he Still thinks hardhome still the best battle for him??For me that would be a HUGE disappointment If even the 2 Battlestar to come are less than hardhome for him.

      Obs: i know i have to Focus on my opinion, but i want the next Battles to be so good that would be a number 1 list of 99% of the fans and critics. And for me hardhome is SPETACULAR but lies behind Botb , field of fire and Blackwater.

      I don’t think he was including anything from Season 8. I do like Hardome better then all those other battles. It’s the only one that includes the AotD, so it tops the list for me. The Castle Black battle is second for me after HH.

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    15. Jack Bauer 24,

      For me too. I loved Hardhome, Watchers on The Wall and Blackwater. The last two were good because I wanted both sides to win.
      I’m one of the few who didn’t like Battle of the Bastards. I was just waiting for it to be finished, never watched it again. But I liked the Battle for Mereen. And I loved this episode ‘A Knight of the 7 Kingdoms’.

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    16. I try to avoid hyperbole. Yet, ever since this past Sunday I’ve been thinking that Cogman’s S8e2 should be an Emmy nominee shoe-in, and that it’s going to stand the test of time as one of the top 5 GoT episodes when all is said and done.

      I say this partly because so much of that episode has remained percolating in my head. Even a technically superb episode like “Battle of the Bastards”. though enjoyable to watch. kind of evaporated from my mind soon afterwards. I don’t think I’ve ever felt compelled to rewatch it. except for the first portion, Dany + Dragons vs. Masters Armads.

      I do reserve the right to whinge about one or two aspects of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, e.g., the Bran Bait Plan, and the incomprehensible explanation of the NK’s motive for targeting Bran – something about erasing memory? I have no idea what he was getting at. Sam’s followup comments confused me even further. No big deal though.

      I thought Cogman not only constructed some classic interpersonal “”high thread count”™️ moments. but presented a thoughtful meditation on what people would do. and what would be important to them if the world were going to end the next day.
      (If it were me, I’d probably be preoccupied with mundane stupid worries like “s*it. I forgot to get my stuff from the dry cleaners, and won’t have time to mop the kitchen floor.)

      I also thought the two Jaime-Brienne “bookend” scenes were brilliant. Brienne vouching for Jaime finally revealed the “noble” side of Ser Jaime that had been obscured by his Kingslayer persona – which he himself had embraced. Without Brienne vouching for his honor, his later anointing her as a knight of the Seven Kingdoms would’ve been worthless.

      (to be cont. in a few minutes)

      ™️ Thronetender

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    17. Lol:
      Im might being a little Crazy, but i dont like the fact he Said hardhome is for him the best battle of the show.

      Why? Because he propably already Saw ALL the Episodes left and he Still thinks hardhome still the best battle for him??For me that would be a HUGE disappointment If even the 2 Battlestar to come are less than hardhome for him.

      Obs: i know i have to Focus on my opinion, but i want the next Battles to be so good that would be a number 1 list of 99% of the fans and critics. And for me hardhome is SPETACULAR but lies behind Botb , field of fire and Blackwater.

      Hi – that was me who said that. Not Bryan Cogman. That’s my personal (correct) opinion. I have no idea what his is.

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    18. Lol,

      Cogmans actual words:
      I can say the effort put in by our crew and our cast in the making of the whole season, but certainly next week’s episode, is absolutely unparalleled and unprecedented — and I’m going to go so far as to say in the history of filmed entertainment.

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    19. He deserves an Emmy for this.

      And Im thinking why his show wasn’t picked. Maybe it was too expensive. Or maybe to similar to got itself.

      I think it’s good we won’t get him for the first prequel. The show needs some new air. And if after that we want something more like got itself they could ask cogman again.

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    20. HelloThere:
      “certainly next week’s episode, is absolutely unparalleled and unprecedented — and I’m going to go so far as to say in the history of filmed entertainment.”

      Excuse me while I google how to make Sunday come after Thursday

      shouldn’t be so hard.

      Time heist, anyone?

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    21. Shame his prequel isn’t happening, but there can only be so many. Really love his love for the characters, and S8E2 is definitely top 3 for me.

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    22. Ten Bears,

      (Continued from 2:01 pm)

      After Brienne’s revelation of Jaime’s previously unpublicized good deeds and vouching for his honor, and possible heroic actions still to come, I’m becoming more convinced that one of the final scenes of the show will be Brienne filling in entries in the pages for Ser Jaime Lannister in the Kingsguard White Book.

      Excerpts from two scenes in S4e1 and S4e4 [below*] suggest to me that his stories worthy of recording for posterity are yet to be told. I’m also pretty sure he’s going to bite the dust in the next episode – and he’ll go out in heroic fashion in the defense of the Starks and their ancestral home.

      In doing so, he’ll exemplify the qualities of an anointed Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, charged “to be brave”, “to be just”, and “.to defend the innocent.”

      ———————
      (S4e1, “Two Swords” – Joffrey & Jaime;
      Joffrey leafing through pages of Kingsguard White Book)

      Joffrey: “So this is the famous ‘Book of Brothers.’ All the great deeds of all the great Kingsguard.
      Ser Arthur Dayne. The Sword of the Morning. Led the attack on the Kingswood Brotherhood. Defeated the Smiling Knight in single combat.
      Ser Duncan the Tall. Four pages for Ser Duncan. He must have been quite a man.”

      Jaime: “So they say.”

      Joffrey (snarking, with feigned surprise): “Ser Jaime Lannister….Someone forgot to write down all your great deeds!”

      Jaime: “There’s still time.”

      Joffrey: “Is there? For a 40-year-old knight with one hand?…”

      ________________

      (S4e4, “Oathkeeper” – Brienne reading aloud Jaime’s autobiographical self-description in Kingsguard White Book)

      Brienne (reading): “Ser Jaime Lannister. Knighted and named to the Kingsguard in his 16th year. At the sack of King’s Landing, murdered his king Aerys II. Pardoned by Robert Baratheon. Thereafter known as the Kingslayer.”

      Jaime: “It’s the duty of the Lord Commander to fill those pages. And there’s still room left on mine.”
      ________
      * I’d bet Cogman and the showrunners had these prior S4 scenes in mind when crafting S8e2 & e3.

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    23. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say his prequel is as dead as Jon Snow at the end of Season 5.

      Meaning, yes, it’s dead, because Jane’s pilot got the nod. And he has to say it’s dead, because what else is he going to say? “Jane’s got picked, but HBO pulled me aside and whispered that if it doesn’t work out, they might give me a call?”

      But at the same time…what is dead may never die. It could be resurrected someday in the future.

      Also, as to why HBO didn’t pick him…most of the times networks scramble to land even semi-decent content. Here, my guess is they had an embarrassment of riches. Meaning all of the ideas and pitches were probably insanely amazing, but one had to be picked. It would be odd to have two GoT prequels running at once, not to mention budget issues.

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    24. Ten Bears: final scenes of the show will be Brienne filling in entries in the pages for Ser Jaime Lannister in the Kingsguard White Book

      Yeah, I’ve been convinced for a long time that that will be Brienne’s final scene. It already was too fitting for her and how the book has been addressed before, and now it’s even more fitting after he’s left behind his entire life to fight for the people AND knighted her. I suppose he doesn’t need to be dead for her to do that, but realistically we have to think that way. Man would it kick in the emotions to see!

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    25. We were given a whole lot of information to think about in this episode, which I love. Two questions come to mind:

      1. Where was Varys? He deserved to be at the fireside chat!

      2. If Bran knows the NK has tried to “erase” previous 3ERs, why not share how his predecessors managed to survive/defeat the NK’s purpose? People just don’t ask Bran the questions that they should!!

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    26. Ten Bears: After Brienne’s revelation of Jaime’s previously unpublicized good deeds and vouching for his honor, and possible heroic actions still to come, I’m becoming more convinced that one of the final scenes of the show will be Brienne filling in entries in the pages for Ser Jaime Lannister in the Kingsguard White Book.

      That would make me cry and bawl like I’ve never cried before. That would be so utterly perfect. God damn.

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    27. SaveTheWolves:

      2. If Bran knows the NK has tried to “erase” previous 3ERs, why not share how his predecessors managed to survive/defeat the NK’s purpose? People just don’t ask Bran the questions that they should!!

      Probably involves magic and Children of the forest

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    28. Kevin1989,

      Who knows who made the prequel selection and programming decisions? It could very well be some clueless corporate suits who’ve never created anything in their lives. It could’ve been for the most ridiculous reasons. (“The hero’s gotta have a puppy! And the female lead has to have a cute baby dragon! No baby dragon, no green light.”

      PS I’m not being (too) facetious. I read a fascinating essay by the screenwriter of “My Cousin Vinny”, who described the frustrations of dealing with obtuse “production executives,” and their absurd demands. I think the writer’s name is Dale Launer.
      He recounted that one of the corporate idiots nixed Robert DeNiro for the role of Vinny because he wasn’t “funny enough.”
      Another dumbass “production executive” insisted that the character of Vinny’s fiancée, Mona Lisa Vitto. be minimized or eliminated entirely. Launer was gobsmacked, but somehow figured out a way to appease the moron.
      As we know, Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vitto was the heart of the film, kicked ass in the pivotal scenes, and walked away with the Academy Award.
      So I’d bet the decision to decline Cogman’s prequel had nothing to do with the quality of his proposed script. I like Jane Goldman, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the corporate dweeb in charge thought to himself: “Hey! This’ll be like medieval Kick-Ass! Hit-Girl Goes to Old Valyria! Alrighty then, I’ll tell the bean counters to crunch the numbers, then vacuum up some lines and congratulate myself for my artistic brilliance!”

      (Yes, I confess my cynicism.)

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    29. Ten Bears: “Hey! This’ll be like medieval Kick-Ass! Hit-Girl Goes to Old Valyria!

      Oh, so his idea would have been an ASNAWP sequel!? I would have loved it!! Seriously though, I have little faith in any of them in movies and tv these days. There is so much shit being pushed out – especially anything called a reboot.

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    30. Isn’t ATT&T in charge of HBO now? Going to be interesting to see how they handle the prequel and the GoT property moving forward. They said they want to shift towards the Netflix model of quantity of content.

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    31. King in the North East: Any particular reason? Just being curious.

      Is it just the battle itself or the episode too?

      I love the episode, I just like the Battle for Meereen more then the BotB. If I was ranking all of the battles, BotB would be at the bottom.

      1) Hardhome
      2) Watchers on the Wall
      3) The Spoils of War
      4) Blackwater
      5) Battle for Meereen
      6) BotB
      7) Beyond the Wall

      I’m hoping the Battle of Winterfell takes the top spot, but it has a lot to live up to. There’s just been so much talk/hype about it and so much time waiting for it, we shall see. It also depends on whether the NK is there or not as well for me.

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    32. First…I LOVE the “WinterHell Begins” at the top of the page now for the countdown. Could not be more true. Frickin’ frick frack, I’m nervous.

      Cogman is the man. He literally gave his all into this show and is basically a super fan with mad good screenwriter skills. He knows his shizzle with book details and has the best grasp on how us fans feel, IMO. I’m so glad he was able to write this episode. It’s like a slow burn…the more I watch it, the more I appreciate the subtle details and interactions.

      The end is nigh!!

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    33. King in the North East,

      I have nothing against battles. I liked the Battle for Meereen and The Battle for Castle Black. Blackwater and Spoils of War were also very good and of course Hardhome.

      But for some reason Battle of the Bastards just doesn’t work for me. What I liked about Castle Black, Blackwater and Spoils of War, is that I wanted both sides to win, that made it very emotional. Hardhome was also very emotional with Jon and Karsi and Tormund, just loved it. Battle for Meereen was very impressive with Dany and the Dragons. But I just didn’t feel anything during Battle of the Bastards.

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    34. Ten Bears,

      I think your right. The problem with hbo is that it’s now part of AT&T. And I think that’s the reason that everything on hbo needs to be more mainstream now. And that’s something cogman won’t do. He wants to tell a great story. If it’s mainstream or not.

      I think if AT&T was there 20 years ago shows like sopranos, six feet under, Deadwood would probably never have been made. And those are all master pieces.

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    35. Jack Bauer 24,

      Quality above quantity in my opinion. Netflix became shit when it moved from quality shows (the first couple they produced) to quantity.

      Jack Bauer 24,

      Personally I didn’t like the battle of mereen. Felt to much of a blockbuster kind of action. And I loved the battle of the bastards. The emotion behind it. Jon wanted to live again. The emotion with Rickon etc.

      For me it would be.
      1. Hardhome
      2. Watchers on the wall
      3. Beyond the wall
      4. Blackwater
      5. Battle of the bastards
      6. Spoils of war
      7. Battle of mereen

      Personally I don’t like all the dragon action. That’s my least favorite part of the whole saga. I think because before beyond the wall they felt invincible and I don’t like that when the hero can use something like that to win a battle easy. That’s why beyond the wall is for me better on re-watch then spoils because we learn they aren’t invincible. And making the dragon action better in season 8.

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    36. Kevin1989,

      Sort of an analogous question that’s perplexed me:

      I can understand why Benioff and Weiss declined to be involved in the prequel in any capacity, after spending around 9 or 10 years (?) virtually full time on GoT, including being away from home in N. Ireland and other filming locations for months on end. (I don’t know exactly when they first started casting the roles and writing the scripts before production of the pilot commenced.) I can also imagine that they didn’t foresee psssing the source material when they first got involved. The bigger the budgets and more popular the show became, the more demands were placed on them. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure they’re happy they’ve achieved such success. I can understand why they’d want to take some time off, and leave behind the established GoT Universe and any sequels or prequels. I digress…

      Here’s what I don’t understand: Why are they getting involved in the Star Wars franchise???
      That franchise had gone stale a long time ago. (Others msy disagree. I thought “The Force Awakens” was one of the worst movies of all time. It was beat for best a retread of the original Star Wars.)

      Why get involved in a played out, derivative. unoriginal fictional world? If originality isn’t important, why not just stick with the GoT universe?

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    37. Chilli,

      Fair enough

      I think it has several great moments though and it does a great job portraying a battle as the chaotic, unpredictable mess it likely is in reality

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    38. Kevin1989,

      I reached my DSP (Dragon Saturation Point) a long time ago. While I think the CGI is impressive, the novelty has worn off.
      The real problem (for me) is really a positive attribute of the show itself: it’s that I really enjoy the character moments so much more.

      Please let me be clear. I am not bashing the show or the dragon scenes. It’s just the price of success of the show that I’ve become more emotionally invested in the characters themselves.

      With very few exceptions. my all-time favorite scenes throughout 69 episodes consist of two or three people talking.- swordfights, dragons, horses and explosions aren’t what keep me tuned in or compel me to rewatch.

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    39. man still can’t forget his voice cracking as he mentioned in one of the bts videos how much he loved the characters. ep2 was such a fantastic emotional episode.

      hahaha loved the somewhat pleading on Ser Jorah’s life!

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    40. Ten Bears: I do reserve the right to whinge about one or two aspects of “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, e.g., the Bran Bait Plan, and the incomprehensible explanation of the NK’s motive for targeting Bran – something about erasing memory? I have no idea what he was getting at. Sam’s followup comments confused me even further. No big deal though.

      What is dead and gone lives on in memory, whatever shape it takes—the memory of the living for who and what used to be, collective memories recorded in history books, individual memories recorded in journals and diaries, visual materials that shape later generations’ perception of what the world once was (art, maps, etc.). It’s not enough to simply destroy something; true death occurs when all memory of it is gone. Elizabethan England may be in the past, but it lives on in literature, art, and our understanding of numerous subjects from politics to geography to science.

      The NK does not wish only to destroy Westeros as it is known. He wants to destroy all memory of Westeros, and leave absolutely nothing in its place. Only death.

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    41. Jack Bauer 24,

      I think “The Door” would count as a “battle”. and the direction and pacing of the last twenty minutes or so was amazing: Alternating back and forth between Avatar Bran and Wyllis in the serene setting of past WF, and unconsciois Bran and fear-frozen Hodor in the escalating pandemonium in the present day 3ER cave; then Meera’s pleading voice echoing from the future; then the crazy fight between Meera & CotF vs WW and wights, the frantic chase through the tunnel, and then finally present day Meera and warged psst Wyllis shouting “Hold the Door!”; and then finally present day Hodor clawed by wights as Wyllis’s brain fries.

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    42. Wolfish: What is dead and gone lives on in memory, whatever shape it takes—the memory of the living for who and what used to be, collective memories recorded in history books, individual memories recorded in journals and diaries, visual materials that shape later generations’ perception of what the world once was (art, maps, etc.). It’s not enough to simply destroy something; true death occurs when all memory of it is gone. Elizabethan England may be in the past, but it lives on in literature, art, and our understanding of numerous subjects from politics to geography to science.

      The NK does not wish only to destroy Westeros as it is known. He wants to destroy all memory of Westeros, and leave absolutely nothing in its place. Only death.

      Nice description of what they are trying to convey. I am not sure I liked the story Bran presented. But this note certainly helps to move me in that direction.

      I had some questions when I heard it at first.

      For example, I wondered if the people in Essos and Bravos (like Jaquen Hagar) would just forget Westeros ever existed. Or is the AOTD headed that way as well?

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    43. “Plus the Iron Bank must have extensive records of their business conducted in Westeros.”

      “Our books are filled with numbers. We prefer the story they tell; far less open to interpretation.” — Tycho Nestoris, Iron Banker Supreme, to two guys from Westeros.

      If the NK wins, the Iron Bank will completely “write off” Westeros from its books, thus helping him to erase all memory of the Age of Men on Westeros. 🙂

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    44. Wolfish,

      I had to post that before editing it and adding a sentence or two crediting Jack Bender by name for doing a phenomenal job directing that sequence of “The Door.”

      Of course that episode will always be remembered for the shocking death of Hodor.
      (People were stunned … some were crying when the last overhead shot of Wyllis on his back with apparent spasms, as “Hold the Door” contracted to “Hodor” – with the audience realizing that his future self was holding the cave tunnel door and getting shredded by wights.

      That double sadness over the traumas of past and present Hodor kind of obscured what I thought was one of the best directing jobs we’ve seen. The alternating, “simultaneous” events in the past snd the present, with Meera’s voice echoing back in time; and then that horrific race through the tunnel; were really timed so perfectly to coincide with the rapidly escalsting terror unfolding in the present..

      I’m rambling again. I guess I’ve felt Bender has been unfairly overlooked. .l can easily can imagine how in the hsndx of a different director that scene would have come off as a rote chase scene. (I won’t name names.)

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    45. All hail Cogs! He and Nutter served up epic poetry in ep2, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for future projects with their names attached. Thank you, Sers.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Mango: Nice description of what they are trying to convey. I am not sure I liked the story Bran presented. But this note certainly helps to move me in that direction.

      I had some questions when I heard it at first.
      For example, I wondered if the people in Essos and Bravos (like Jaquen Hagar) would just forget Westeros ever existed. Or is the AOTD headed that way as well?

      Both excellent questions!!! I’ve wondered the latter myself. As for the former—I was recently thrilled to discover that Firannion is a fellow fan of Guy Gavriel Kay, a favorite writer of mine; like GRRM, he writes superb historical fiction. The first book of his I read, Tigana, is about the importance of memory and the incredible pain inflicted on a population when outsiders cease to be aware of their existence. (I don’t want to spoil any more, in case you read it some day).

        Quote  Reply

    47. I wonder if Cogman’s prequel treatment was nixed due to financial considerations. A lot of fans wished for a series set in Old Valyria, and maybe he got the assignment to work out a way of making that feasible. But it seems well-nigh impossible to depict onscreen a society in which every bourgeois family had a dragon in the garage, without running up an insanely high budget.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Wolfish: I was recently thrilled to discover that Firannion is a fellow fan of Guy Gavriel Kay, a favorite writer of mine; like GRRM, he writes superb historical fiction. The first book of his I read, Tigana, is about the importance of memory and the incredible pain inflicted on a population when outsiders cease to be aware of their existence. (I don’t want to spoil any more, in case you read it some day).

      I too was strongly reminded of the premise of Tigana after hearing Bran’s explanation and Sam’s response! I also thought about the ancient Egyptian belief that the soul of a dead person persists only so long as others speak their name, or some record of it exists as an inscription or painting. Someone else upthread referenced the burning of the Library of Alexandria and how profoundly that impoverished the progress of Western civilization. The need to keep memory alive really is a classic concept.

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    49. Wolfish,

      “…. The NK does not wish only to destroy Westeros as it is known. He wants to destroy all memory of Westeros, and leave absolutely nothing in its place. Only death.”

      _______
      Thank you for that clarification of what Bran and Sam were talking about.

      If you don’t mind following me down the rabbit hole a bit, here are some of the reasons for my confusion:

      • In one of the “Inside the Episode” segments a while back, or in an interview, I thought the showrunners said that the NK and WWs aren’t acting out of malice or because of some evil motive. They just represent death. (“Night King’s my name, and homicide’s my game.”)

      • However, Bran’s explanation sounds like a departure from that professed “canon.” Bran is describing someone with a serious grudge.

      • Then, after reading your synopsis of Bran’s explanation, I thought something about it sounded awfully familiar. Someone had used a variation of it before, to describe complete obliteration as a means of retribution:

      “Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.

      (Sansa’s final words to Ramsay Bolton before feeding him to the dogs, S6e9)

      • ⚠️ [Tinfoil Analogy] Burmese Pythons, an invasive non-native species, have all but exterminated wading birds, small mammals and all other natural wildlife in the Florida Everglades. (Some idiot exotic pet owners set them “free.”) They’re f*cking ugly and f*cking huge. One of ’em could eat Drogon for lunch and still have room left over for dessert.
      Like the Burmese Pyyhons. the showrunners’ initial description of the WWs were that they were monsters, but with no agenda other than to multiply and prey on humans. Or so I understood.

      • I had thought NK was a sentient being, from the way he behaved at Hardhome. But I’d abandoned tinfoil theories about his objectives and motivations. Now the time to
      Msybe it’s time to revisit them?

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    50. Wolfish,

      I just tried to reply to you at 2:21 am. It went into “Awaiting Moderation” Purgatory. Msybe the term “Burmese Python” triggered the algorithm.

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    51. To be honest, I would have wanted Cogman for the prequel because of continuity. I’m sure Jan Goldman is good too, but it will be something completely different, while I prefer something similar. Cogman knows so much about the books, I think for him it’s easier to make something similar because he has lived in that world for so long. And he already know how it works practically, he probably knows all the important crew members etc. It’s going to be different actors, but the rest of the crew will probably be the same.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Wolfish,

      NK does not wish only to destroy Westeros as it is known. He wants to destroy all memory of Westeros, and leave absolutely nothing in its place. Only death.”

      _______
      Thank you for that clarification of what Bran and Sam were talking about.

      If you don’t mind following me down the rabbit hole a bit, here are some of the reasons for my confusion:

      • In one of the “Inside the Episode” segments a while back, or in an interview, I thought the showrunners said that the NK and WWs aren’t acting out of malice or because of some evil motive. They just represent death. (“Night King’s my name, and homicide’s my game.”)

      • However, Bran’s explanation sounds like a departure from that professed “canon.” Bran is describing someone with a serious grudge.

      • Then, after reading your synopsis of Bran’s explanation, I thought something about it sounded awfully familiar. Someone had used a variation of it before, to describe complete obliteration as a means of retribution:

      Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.

      (Sansa’s final words to Ramsay Bolton before feeding him to the dogs, S6e9)

      • ⚠️ [Tinfoil Analogy] Burmese Pythons, an invasive non-native species, have all but exterminated wading birds, small mammals and all other natural wildlife in the Florida Everglades. (Some idiot exotic pet owners set them “free.”) They’re f*cking ugly and f*cking huge. One of ’em could eat Drogon for lunch and still have room left over for dessert.
      Like the Burmese Pythons. the showrunners’ initial description of the WWs were that they were monsters, but with no agenda other than to multiply and prey on humans. Or so I understood.

      • I had thought NK was a sentient being, from the way he behaved at Hardhome. But I’d abandoned tinfoil theories about his objectives and motivations. Maybe now it’s time to revisit them?

        Quote  Reply

    53. Firannion:
      I wonder if Cogman’s prequel treatment was nixed due to financial considerations. A lot of fans wished for a series set in Old Valyria, and maybe he got the assignment to work out a way of making that feasible. But it seems well-nigh impossible to depict onscreen a society in which every bourgeois family had a dragon in the garage, without running up an insanely high budget.

      The idea has crossed my mind as well. I’m so disappointed, I think it would have been a great show. It’s a shame when budget kills great projects or forcefully diminishes them. I have American Gods, season 2 in mind…

        Quote  Reply

    54. Ten Bears,

      Jack bender is one of the best in my opinion.

      Firannion,

      They should do that prequel far in the future. About 10 years. It’s possible then I think.

      And who do we think is the real azor ahai? Jon? Dany? Both? Jaime? Sandor?

      I read a theorie that the night king that we have now is in fact the old azor ahai. I found that a pretty interesting theory.

      And why is the night king having a sigil on his armor? A dead crow or Raven.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Firannion: I wonder if Cogman’s prequel treatment was nixed due to financial considerations. A lot of fans wished for a series set in Old Valyria, and maybe he got the assignment to work out a way of making that feasible. But it seems well-nigh impossible to depict onscreen a society in which every bourgeois family had a dragon in the garage, without running up an insanely high budget.

      Yeah it gets to be a cost-benefit thing, I mean I watch GoT for the story, but the vista and density of production values pulls me in too, nothing else like it on TV. (Well The Expanse also has a good story and good design and will maybe even get bigger now.)
      Old Valyria, that’s my number one wantasee! In these times with 100 to 200 million dollar comic book movies (other movies like The Martian), a successful film could net a series of movies, tho it would have to be PG13. I thought GoT’s experiment with the Big Screen showing was extremely entertaining , sorry we have not seen more.
      A one-step-beyond Lord of the Rings story would be right down my alley!

        Quote  Reply

    56. People have some wild theories about why Cogman’s GOT spin-off was not greenlit. I have a much simpler one: It represented a timeframe that HBO felt was part of their long-term gameplan and they didn’t want to follow up the success of GOT with something that could be hit with “GOT fatigue” social overreaction thereby expending their best idea too early after GOT ended.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Luka Nieto: You can’t do a PREquel in the future 😛

      Haha I mean our future. After 10+ years when our technologies in filmmaking are even better then they are know.

        Quote  Reply

    58. Kevin1989: Haha I mean our future. After 10+ years when our technologies in filmmaking are even better then they are know.

      Tech right now is easy to implement, cheap, and fast compared to even 3 years ago. I don’t think cost of VFX is the big obstacle. It’s just general production cost that affects all shows, including ones with low VFX.

        Quote  Reply

    59. GeekFurious: Tech right now is easy to implement, cheap, and fast compared to even 3 years ago. I don’t think cost of VFX is the big obstacle. It’s just general production cost that affects all shows, including ones with low VFX.

      Still they need 1.5 years to implement the effects for season 8. I mean maybe what Bryan wants is that quality every season. Meaning that that 1.5 years of vfx needs to be done in 6 months max. Meaning that the technology needs to be better than it is now.

      They are still busy with the vfx for the last couple of episodes. And they started right after they start filming last year. Do you want that every year and a season per year they need to upgrade their technology.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Maybe the best way to tell the Old Valyria story with current technology is via animation – by which I don’t mean anime, but really lush-textured stop-motion, such as the Laika studio did with the exquisite ‘Kubo and the Two Strings.’ Whether that would reach the audience base already built up for GoT is not a sure thing; maybe a better idea for the third or fourth spinoff rather than the second.

        Quote  Reply

    61. I’m just catching up on articles after a hectic week and I’m gutted Cogman’s spin off wont make the cut. He understands the characters and has written some of the best episodes of GOT which I believe would have transcended into the prequels too.

      I only wish he was writing episode 4 rather than D&D as I am sure there will be another character driven episode where we deal with the “Mad Dany ” theory and build for attack on kings landing.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Miguel:
      The three dragons: Cogman, Sapochnik and Djawadi.

      Those three along with D&D have done a superb job I think of my three favourite episodes (Winds of Winter, Long Night, Hardholme) they are integral to all.

        Quote  Reply

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