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“I can’t speak to why the other series haven’t worked. ” Benioff stated, “One incredible luxury that Dan and I have had working on this is that we’re not making it up as we go along. We’re going into it knowing that we have an incredibly well mapped out, well plotted storyline that’s going to continue for, if we’re lucky, season after season, and George has already done so much of the work for us. We have characters and storylines that continue for years, and to be able to build into the first scene things that are going to happen in the third season gives us an incredible amount of freedom and also just a major, huge canvas on which to paint. ”

“I’ve read the first one, and I loved it, and that was one of the reasons I signed on for the show, ” Dinklage said. “That combined with the fact that I knew David beforehand, and I knew his skills as a writer, and that, combined with the novels, combined with HBO, is a pretty perfect package for me, so it was a pretty easy yes. ”

Next question was one we’ve heard many times before, did Martin ever envision this series becoming a film or TV series? Martin gave his usual answer, he wrote these books because he was fed up with having to write to a TV or film budget and wanted to write something that had no limits. Of course, now that it is being adapted to television there are a lot of challenges. “But now David and Dan have to solve those problems that I created, and I’m glad it’s them and not me. ”

Next question for the panel was how surprising and gratifying was it to have this project end up at HBO as opposed to say, the SyFy channel?

“For my mind, HBO is associated with quality, and I wanted this to be a quality production, ” Martin answered. “HBO was always my dream for this. ”

“Not just saying it because there is ‘HBO’ on all the screens in front of us. It really was, ” Weiss added. “It was sort of a one‑shot opportunity. It was the only place we ever envisioned this being done and done properly was HBO. They’re the only people who have the experience in doing epic television that really feels epic in scope with shows like The Sopranos and The Wire and Rome and Deadwood. ”

Martin was then asked how much control he has as an executive producer. “I don’t really have any, ” Martin answered. “I have a very good relationship with David and Dan, and we consult and we talk, but ultimately, they’re the showrunners, and the ball is in their court, and sometimes they listen to me, and sometimes they don’t. ”

Then David was asked to explain his quote describing the series as “The Sopranos in Middle Earth. ” “Did I say that? Yes. I think that’s from four years ago, and I kind of wish I hadn’t ever said that, ” Benioff joked.

Benioff went on to explain himself, “One of the things that always intrigued us about doing this at HBO, and as Dan said, the only place we could really imagine doing it was on HBO was that you could actually lavish the time on these characters and that you could do it as with the darkness that the story requires, because George’s fantasy is not a for‑children fantasy. It’s sexy and it’s violent and it’s brutal, and none of the characters are safe. ”

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