The showrunners for Game of Thrones have revealed how worried they were about Kit Harington’s reaction to the final season’s script.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss did not hear from Harington, who portrays Jon Snow in the HBO fantasy epic, after the script was sent to him, which caused some anxiety between the pair.
Entertainment Weekly asked the showrunners about the cast members’ individual responses to their character scripts – in particular Harington, whom the publication had heard had stayed silent.
“That was funny,” Weiss said. “‘Fuck. Does he hate it? If he hates it, does that mean we got it wrong?’ We spent a lot of time thinking about his character. We saw him on the day of the table read and said: ‘So?’ And he’s like [in a husky Kit Harington impression], ‘Oh, I haven’t read it. I want to experience it the first time in this room.'”
Benioff said that Harington’s approach “ended up being really fun”, with Weiss adding that it was a “huge relief.”
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The showrunners shed more light on the reactions to the scripts, saying that Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, gave prompt feedback.
“We knew exactly when our script coordinator sent [the scripts] out, Benioff said. “We knew exactly what minute they sent them. And then you’re just waiting for them to email.”
Weiss said: “Why aren’t they writing? Does that mean they like it? Does that mean they hate it?”
“[Sophie Turner] was the first one to write, so she gets credit for racing through all six scripts in like an hour or something. But some hadn’t read it until the table read,” Benioff added.
Elsewhere in the interview, Weiss and Benioff said that they will deliberately ignore viewers’ reactions to the finale in the immediate aftermath.
“We’ll be in an undisclosed location, turning off our phones and opening various bottles,” Weiss said. Benioff added that he plans “to be very drunk and very far from the internet.”
The pair intimated that the pressure to deliver the best possible ending to the hit series is almost too much to bear.
Weiss said: “We want people to love it. It matters a lot to us. We’ve spent 11 years doing this. We also know no matter what we do, even if it’s the optimal version, that a certain number of people will hate the best of all possible versions.
“There is no version where everybody says, ‘I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this’ — that’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist. You hope you’re doing the best job you can, that this version works better than any other version, but you know somebody is not going to like it.”
The final season of Game of Thrones premieres in the UK on Sky Atlantic this Monday, April 15 at 2am before a repeat showing at 9pm the same day.