Interview with David Benioff and Dan Weiss about Season 2, and looking forward to Season 3.
Biggest challenge of Season 2:
Weiss: 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.
On shooting the Blackwater battle scene:
Benioff: 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.
On their favorite scene in the entire saga, to be shown in Season 3:
Benioff: The scene that we cannot mention. I just remember reading the book before we’d even written the pilot and thinking, “Oh, my God, we’ve got to get this. We’ve got to get this show to happen because if we can make this scene work, it’s gonna be one of the greatest things ever on television or film.”
On why the dragons don’t get that much screentime (he’s denying it’s because of the CG budget, heh):
Weiss: 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.
On certain characters appearing more on the show than they do in the books:
Like Robb and Jaime, who didn’t have much to do in the second book.
Weiss: Richard Madden is just so great … we need to keep [fans] watching the most stylish man in Scotland… And Nicolai [Coster-Waldau] doing such an amazing job of bringing this character to life and so many people have gotten invested in him.
Benioff: Some of it is falling in love with the actors and what they’re doing. You know, Charles Dance [Tywin Lannister] is so perfect. He didn’t have a lot to do in book two. And we just wanted more of him.
On the relationship between Melisandre and Stannis:
Plus you also add several major new characters, particularly Melisandre and Stannis.
Weiss: Talk about complicated relationships. She’s a priestess of this religion who is ruthless. By her own admission she’s willing to do anything to advance her agenda, to get her religion moved to Westeros. And Stannis wants the throne — not out of greed or power-lust, but because he’s a man who’s always done everything by the book and the book now says, “I should be king” because he’s the rightful heir. So you have a man who’s completely righteous and we have a woman who’s completely willing to do anything.
On whether they had complains about each other’s work:
You guys often work separately overseeing different units. When you see each others’ footage, was there ever a time when one of you said, “No! Not like that!”
Benioff: Once, in season one, you see Maester Aemon chopping meat.
Weiss: Why can’t a blind guy chop meat?
Benioff: He can definitely. I just think: Wouldn’t you probably have your steward do it? I look at the dailies and I called him, ‘Why is this blind 100-year-old man chopping meat?’”
Weiss: The actor doing the chopping, Peter Vaughan, he’s actually legally blind. So whatever he was doing, he’s a blind person doing it. I stand behind that.
I’m with Weiss, what’s wrong with a blind guy chopping meat? Tywin Lannister butchered his own stag, he didn’t have a steward do it!
Full interview here: http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/03/30/game-of-thrones-showrunners-season-2/3/