HBO’s Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss recently confessed in an interview with the Sundance Channel that much of what we enjoy about the program – its emphasis on character-driven plot lines, for one – actually came about because they came up a little short of content while filming the first season.
One problem the duo said they had was providing at least 50 minutes for each episode. Weiss said they had one episode that originally clocked in at 39 minutes.
“We were 93 minutes short for the entire season so we had this two week crunch,” said Benioff.
In order to fill the time gap, the creators focused on exploring character-driven storylines, while ensuring they connected with audiences.
Filming the pilot was particularly rough for Benioff and Weiss. The two said that after screening the pilot for a group of friends, they realized that there were aspects of the storyline – the nature of Jaime and Cersei’s relationship, particularly – they had not made obvious enough to viewers who had not read Martin’s books, and were forced to go back and add additional footage.