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Angel Eyes

Why was the show rushed?

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So I think it can be agreed on that one of the problems with the last few seasons of Game of Thrones was that it was rushed. Character development seemed disjointed, whole armies moved as fast as they needed to (and even teleported), plot twists were dropped in with no buildup, etc. But why? Why couldn't D&D make all of their plot twists match up? Could they have wrapped everything up with two full seasons of regular capacity instead of two truncated seasons that allotted to 13 episodes total?

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Lack of early planning. When they were working on GoT very early on, it seems they wanted to do around 90 episodes, but with the budget and the time constraints they were talking about with HBO, doing 12 episodes per season was impossible and it seemed unlikely (from the POV of 2011) that they'd get to nine seasons. So it looks like they originally hedged their bets and looked at a run of maybe six seasons and drew up a plan with that in mind, which omitted a lot of the book characters and storylines in order to get things done that quickly.

When it became clear the show was a huge hit and they were could go longer than that, they convened with GRRM and worked out a new plan which hit on the idea of maybe seven seasons. But as they went on, they realised they were burning out from the workload, so split the difference and made the seventh and eighth seasons shorter than normal (but with massively more production requirements, so the value of that may not have worked out). They also became in very high demand from other channels who were willing to pay them a lot more money for their services. So the increased half-assedness of the latter part of the series seems to have stemmed from a mixture of burn-out and having other, less time-intensive options on the table.

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On 4/29/2020 at 2:33 PM, Werthead said:

Lack of early planning. When they were working on GoT very early on, it seems they wanted to do around 90 episodes, but with the budget and the time constraints they were talking about with HBO, doing 12 episodes per season was impossible and it seemed unlikely (from the POV of 2011) that they'd get to nine seasons. So it looks like they originally hedged their bets and looked at a run of maybe six seasons and drew up a plan with that in mind, which omitted a lot of the book characters and storylines in order to get things done that quickly.

When it became clear the show was a huge hit and they were could go longer than that, they convened with GRRM and worked out a new plan which hit on the idea of maybe seven seasons. But as they went on, they realised they were burning out from the workload, so split the difference and made the seventh and eighth seasons shorter than normal (but with massively more production requirements, so the value of that may not have worked out). They also became in very high demand from other channels who were willing to pay them a lot more money for their services. So the increased half-assedness of the latter part of the series seems to have stemmed from a mixture of burn-out and having other, less time-intensive options on the table.

Funny. Because GRRM told them that they should revert back to their original 9 season/90 episode plan and HBO agreed. By the end of it, HBO was almost throwing money at them. A lot of writing staff and directors left because of D&D's unwillingness to adjust. Two more episodes in season 5 would not have hurt in the slightest.

D&D could've asked for one (maybe two) more seasons in the middle of filming season 8 and HBO would have obliged.

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To be clear, the shortened season lengths had virtually nothing to do with the problems you mentioned; they merely exacerbated the same. Seasons 5 and 6 had the normal ten episodes. However, they offered no character development whatsoever, with the sole exception of -- unironically -- Olly; there were only random 180-degree turns. The timeline was utterly nonsensical, inconsistent, and indeed confusing to a distracting extent. Plot twists were completely unearned and done to "shock" with no buildup or justification. Telepathy and teleportation featured heavily, again to a distracting extent. It is not even as if they did not have the screentime in these seasons; particularly from Season 6 onward, a lot of screentime was burned unnecessarily on people moving and engaging in mundane actions, while anything that could betray their oh-so-clever "shocks" (i.e., everything that matters for enabling such) was not shown. All of these concerns were less prominent but still present in the earlier seasons as well; they were simply obfuscated by the use of GRRM's work, as they did bother to adapt parts of the books then, particularly in the first season.

Granted, Seasons 7 and 8 were on a level of their own with respect to how atrocious they were, even relative to the previous two seasons; but the show being rushed was merely one of many factors, particularly if we consider that Season 5 was already rushed in the sense of "adapting" both A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons (but in reality being almost completely original).

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