New details have emerged from Game Of Thrones' infamously bad pilot. Game Of Thrones is based on author George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels A Song Of Ice And Fire, and the show quickly became a worldwide phenomenon. Prior to this, fantasy shows were a hard sell, but Games Of Thrones hooked viewers with its great characters, shocking plot twists and lavish production design.
Fans of the show have probably heard of the original pilot episode, which turned out so bad it was almost entirely reshot. The Game Of Thrones pilot was helmed by Tom McCarthy, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director of Spotlight, but despite the wealth of talent involved the episode was a dud. Common complaints about the pilot label it dull and laden with endless exposition, where even characters' relationships were confusing. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss showed the pilot to screenwriter friend Craig Mazin for feedback, who wrote the words 'BIG PROBLEM' on a notepad and labeled it a disaster.
The dejected creators convinced HBO to rework the pilot from the ground up, refilming a reported 90% of it with director Tim Van Patten, lessening the amount of dry exposition and making the characters more relatable. Those involved with the pilot rarely have a good thing to say about it, and it has never been released. Now, a new report from the Huffington Post breaks down a production draft of the Game Of Thrones pilot episode, detailing the key changes between it and the episode that aired.
This draft confirms a lot of reported scenes that were cut, including an opening scene where the White Walkers appear onscreen – and even speak in their own language – a consensual sex scene between Daenerys and Khal Drago and a sparring scene between Bran and Tommen. The reported flashback scene to the Mad King Aerys murdering Ned Stark’s father and brother doesn’t appear, though Jaime taunts Ned about it during their talk. Jon Arryn’s onscreen death was also shot for the pilot, though the scene isn’t in this script either.
There are other, subtle differences, like the marriage between Ned and Catelyn being much colder and Jon Snow getting drunk during the feast and embarrassing himself. While the script seems fine on the surface, apparently the execution of it left much to be desired. The dreary pace and overload of exposition even left major plot points, like Cersei and Jaime Lannister being siblings, unclear in the original episode.
With Game Of Thrones set to end this year with the 8th season, there’s a chance the pilot might be released as a bonus feature on home video, but given the amount of embarrassment surrounding it, it could stay buried. Regardless of how the creators feel about it, fans would still love to see what was so different about the pilot it had to be almost completely reworked, and how the show could have been very different.
Source: Huffington Post