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Mordor

HBO president speaks about the final season

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Posted (edited)

You can read the whole interview here: HBO President interview

Quote

The Game of Thrones series finale was divisive, to say the least, but now ranks as HBO's most-watched episode of television ever. How are you feeling about it all?

I think that your TV critic, Tim Goodman, did a pretty good job of summing up the situation, which is there's no way for the guys to have landed this plane in a way that would have made everybody happy and they're not out to make everybody happy. I think they did a beautiful job. You just have to accept that not everybody is going to agree with the choices. I'm paraphrasing Tim, but basically for a show this big and this epic and this sprawling, they [creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] have to make choices. What's great about the show is it made people feel a lot of things — positive and negative. A lot of people had invested in characters and hoped for certain things and wanted to see certain twists. There's probably a little bit of mourning going on that the show is over. I get it, I understand it: It's a big show and people really invested a lot in it — and that says a lot about what the show did. People really cared about it.

Much of the criticism is that the final season moved too quickly and many of the big moments did not feel earned. Can you talk us through the decision to do a grand total of 15 more episodes over the past two seasons? Was there a conversation to do more? What do you think of those criticisms? Why end it with an abbreviated run?

No, I cannot talk you through that decision. The guys have known what they've wanted to do for a long, long time. They've had a plan in their mind. I've been on the record saying I'd take five more seasons. But they've had a plan that they wanted to do and this made sense to them. They made this decision a long time ago and they're doing it exactly how they planned to do it.

Was there a conversation then that this might feel … a little compressed?

They made that decision a long time ago. But no, I'm not aware of any conversations that anybody thought it was crammed or anything like that.

Was there a way that Game of Thrones could have continued on without Benioff and Weiss in its current form?

No. I don't think any of the actors would have done it. Shows have to come to an end. This was eight seasons, it's a great epic and shows have to come to a close. It's part of the TV life cycle.

Not sure if this post is meant for the news section or is it okay that I post it here?

Edited by Mordor

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25 minutes ago, Mordor said:

I'd take five more seasons

So would we Casey Bloys, so would we.

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He's got to back the showrunners and their amazing team, so I wouldn't expect him to say anything else.

I don't see why anyone would blame HBO for the show's decline, they offered the showrunners more seasons and it was turned down. It was purely D+D's decision to seemingly "get it over with".

Usually it's the other way round; creatives try to do the right thing for the story and producers get in the way. But here the producers (HBO) would have given D+D whatever they needed.

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He starts off well, then seems like he gets his back up a bit.

He isn't wrong about the cant please everyone however when asked about it being crammed and rushed, just going by the text i'd need to listen to him to be certain but sounds kinda pissed being asked it.

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He sounded really annoyed and defensive.

Which is good because it's another sign that the interviewer asked really good questions.

It's not his fault but still...the HBO execs even know they screwed up.

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Diplomatic, yeah. And he says... not much at all except:

- HBO would have gone for 5 more series

- David and Dan wanted to end where/how it ended

- it was David and Dan’s “creative” decision, which is another way of saying, “creatively it made sense” yadda yadda yadda.

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3 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Diplomatic, yeah. And he says... not much at all except:

- HBO would have gone for 5 more series

- David and Dan wanted to end where/how it ended

- it was David and Dan’s “creative” decision, which is another way of saying, “creatively it made sense” yadda yadda yadda.

Privately, he's thinking "What WAS that shitshow?"

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

 

- it was David and Dan’s “creative” decision, which is another way of saying, “creatively it made sense” yadda yadda yadda.

No, it is not. It is exactly the oposite. HBO gives the showrunners complete free charge of the ongoing and writing of a series. Therefore, they don't interrupt when it comes to the length of a series. They leave the showrunners tell the story that the showrunners want to tell. That is why the shows on HBO are so much praised, because the creative people aren't interrupted by the network, and they can tell the story without having to listen to what unqualified people from the network have to say. So, them generally not intervening, is a mantra of HBO. 

Now, D&D obvioulsy screwed it up. But that is on them, not HBO. HBO made them an offer, that they can go on with the series. D&D told them, that the story is told in 8 seasons and there was no need for further seasons.

Edited by T and A

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6 minutes ago, T and A said:

No, it is not. It is exactly the oposite. HBO gives the showrunners complete free charge of the ongoing and writing of a series. Therefore, they don't interrupt when it comes to the length of a series. They leave the showrunners tell the story that the showrunners want to tell. That is why the shows on HBO are so much praised, because the creative people aren't interrupted by the network, and they can tell the story without having to listen to what unqualified people from the network have to say. So, them generally not intervening, is a mantra of HBO. 

Now, D&D obvioulsy screwed it up. But that is on them, not HBO. HBO made them an offer, that they can go on with the series. D&D told them, that the story is told in 8 seasons and there was no need for further seasons.

I could say a thing or two about “unqualified people”, but I won’t. I’ll just leave a question here for you: did you read what I wrote? Because from your reply seems you didn’t. 

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Mordor said:

No, I cannot talk you through that decision.

Is perhaps as much candor as the President of HBO is ever gonna give you. I believe it roughly translates to "I didn't like the decision and their justifications didn't make sense to me so, no, I cannot make up logic to justify a decision that was made without employing logic

 

18 hours ago, Mordor said:

They made that decision a long time ago. But no, I'm not aware of any conversations that anybody thought it was crammed or anything like that.

Hold on, is that even true? I guess it depends on how long ago "a long time ago" is. But didn't the number of episodes anticipated for Season 7 change  (maybe even as being reported differently on more than one occasion)? You can't really say that they had the path plotted out ages ago and were simply executing their vision if they didn't even know what shape season 7 would take, episode wise. Someone please tell me I'm wrong and D&D and HBO aren't ALREADY trying to create a revisionist history.

I will say that I don't place a single ounce of the fault on the President of HBO. The nature of that job is to generally oversee operations (leading to a lot of misplaced blame) but the real job of someone in such a high position in such an industry is to plug in the right projects and then to plug the right people into the right projects. Weirdly, I think that that position does allow for some praise for things the Pres. probably doesn't deserve but also fully warrants a consideration of what part that person played in the bad things.

Was it foreseeable at the end of Season 1 that D&D would turn GOT into this? No. What's he going to do, fire them? Tell them that their claimed vision is dumb and to figure something else out? I don't blame him for answering diplomatically because those responses are pretty representative of his actual job at HBO

Edited by Demetri

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6 minutes ago, Demetri said:

 

Hold on, is that even true? I guess it depends on how long ago "a long time ago" is. But didn't the number of episodes anticipated for Season 7 change  (maybe even as being reported differently on more than one occasion)? You can't really say that they had the path plotted out ages ago and were simply executing their vision if they didn't even know what shape season 7 would take, episode wise. Someone please tell me I'm wrong and D&D and HBO aren't ALREADY trying to create a revisionist history.

Back in 2015 (I think) David and Dan said they were going for 7 series. They said it made sense, 7 kingdoms, 7 gods yadda yadda. And at some point later on I supoose they compromised... instead of 7 series w/ 10 episodes each, they would do 8 but w/ the final two having fewer episodes.

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7 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

Back in 2015 (I think) David and Dan said they were going for 7 series. They said it made sense, 7 kingdoms, 7 gods yadda yadda. And at some point later on I supoose they compromised... instead of 7 series w/ 10 episodes each, they would do 8 but w/ the final two having fewer episodes.

Thanks for the info, yea that is how I generally remember it. It definitely didn't seem like something they decided "long ago". And even if they did make a decision about the format of the show "long ago" what kind of creatively inflexible people think that their projected/desired trajectory outweighs the creative demands of the project?

Kinda funny that GRRM is on the other end of the spectrum. One thing I'll give GRRM, he wouldn't ever let a previous thought about how his art would be published act in detriment to the art itself. 

I think that the "long ago" justification is perhaps the most damning indictment of D&D's storytelling abilities that I've heard. And that is truly saying something when we live in a world where the story choice can be justified by "creatively, it made sense to us...." but we must no deviate from what we set as a long-term publishing format for the story. Creatively, it makes no sense to me to approach story telling like that

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

I could say a thing or two about “unqualified people”, but I won’t. I’ll just leave a question here for you: did you read what I wrote? Because from your reply seems you didn’t. 

I could have too. But I didn't. Because I am polite  And yes, I read what you wrote. Yada, yada...

Edited by T and A

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Completely OT: But is anyone else psyched about His Dark Materials? It has such exceptional potential and then...that movie...

The funny thing is that I LOVED the casting choices for the movie but I'm very much not feeling the casting decisions for the show so far. Granted, because it is movie v. show that isn't a super fair comparison. But it had a lot less to do with the impressiveness of IMDB pages and a lot more to do with my personal impressions from what I've seen.

But while the casting for the movie was a slam dunk and I've been left scratching my head a bit for the TV casting, I am 100% certain that the show is going to be REALLY good and absolutely crush the movie. Hopefully enough that it erases the legacy of a movie with so much going for it besides quality of the final product.

 

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