The wait is ALMOST over for the return of HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones.” It returns tonight with the highly anticipated season 2.
In a recent interview, the showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, for the series revealed some information fans can expect in the new season such as which characters will get more screen time, the truth behind shooting the scenes with dragons, and some of the changes they made from the George R.R. Martin book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire”. He also revealed the preliminary plans for the third season.
Weiss and Benioff talked about some of the difficulties they encountered when creating season 2. They talked about keeping veteran characters vibrant for fans but also introducing new characters into the season.
It’s a bigger fish to fry. It needs to be real battles and dragons and direwolves. And we’ve got all these characters that you’ve hopefully have fallen in love with that we need to keep vibrant. We’ve got all these new people who hopefully will be equally compelling. The way George has dealt with that challenge is to start making the books longer. We will have that luxury if we’re lucky enough to be allowed to continue making the series. But in terms of each season, we got 10 episodes, and that’s literally all that’s conceivable to [produce] of this particular show.”
You know, what was scary during the first season is you’re doing all this work and you have no idea if it’s just gonna sink into the ocean without a trace. At least knowing that there’s a fan base out there that’s waiting for these shows … that helped a lot.”
The showrunners also talked about problems they had while filming in Iceland. While filming there was a major blizzard that they had to work through, the actors remained professional.
There was a blizzard. There was a shot where Samwell’s talking to Jon and he looks normal. You cut to Jon, then you cut back to Samwell and he looks like Father Time — like with the snow and the ice just frozen onto his face in just a matter of seconds. It’s really hard to do continuity. [But the actors] never complained once.”
Weiss reminiced on a conversation he had with actor, Kit Harington regarding the blizzard.
I knew it was gonna be pretty rough [on Kit Harington] and there’s no shelter out there for six, eight hours in very cold conditions. And I went up to talk to Kit on his first day of shooting and asked, “How you doing?” He said, “I’ve never ever had a day of shooting that I loved as much as this.”
Oh, and in case you were wondering, they did confirm that fans will see a character from season 1 do their first nude scene, but they aren’t saying who.
Not to ruin anything for people who haven’t read the novel, but there is a major battle scene coming up in season 2. Benioff described how tough it is for actors to film those scenes.
It was pretty much a month straight of night shoots, which is just tough for anybody unless you’re a vampire. It’s Belfast nights, which means it’s cold and it’s usually wet. There was an incredible amount of mud. It’s tough for the crew, but then when you see it on screen and see how good it looks, you see the way the weather affects people. You see the wind blowing their hair and the rain coming down. None of that’s faked.”
Wiess also talked about incorporating dragons into the realistic world they have created within the show.
Ideally you have enough of them and not too much of them. If you’re in a scene where you and I are talking and there’s a dragon sitting next to my water bottle, then you may as well be talking gibberish because no one’s going to see anything except the dragon. You have to be careful with that stuff and not use it when it’s going to be detrimental to what you’re trying to put across.”
It was also confirmed that season 2 will have more deviations from the book, but that the changes are neccessary.
Definitely more, only because there are characters who are off screen in the book. A lot of the changes keep people front and center who are very important characters.”
We’re adapting “A Song of Ice and Fire.” So we’re bringing in elements from [Book 3]AStorm of Swords. We don’t think of this season as being strictly an adaptation of A Clash of Kings, it’s really a continuation of our adaptation of the series as a whole. For our purposes, moving some stuff forward helps a lot and pushing some stuff back helps us a lot.”
Season 2 premieres tonight on HBO.
In March 2012, HBO ordered the production of a third and fourth season, which are to cover the third novel in the series, A Storm of Swords, and which are to be filmed concurrently in Northern Ireland from June 2012 to about February 2013.