- HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has become a game-changing series for the network and the TV industry, but before it aired, the show’s creators had to get HBO to take a shot on a fantasy series that wasn’t “typical HBO” material.
- In an interview on Variety’s “Strictly Business” podcast, HBO CEO and chairman Richard Plepler discussed how “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were able to convince him to back a series that had “dragons in it.”
Before HBO’s “Game of Thrones” could go on to become the most Emmy-winning drama series in TV history, the show’s creators first had to convince HBO to take a chance on a fantasy series that was unlike anything the network had previously attempted.
In a recent interview on Variety’s podcast “Strictly Business,” HBO CEO and chairman Richard Plepler discussed the origin stories behind several of the network’s recent hit series, including “Westworld” and “Game of Thrones.”
Plepler recounted how David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of “Game of Thrones,” were able to frame their pitch for the series to him, in order to make a show that had “dragons in it” sound like it was worthy of HBO’s backing.
“When Benioff and Wise came in to pitch ‘Thrones,’ that was a fantasy show,” Plepler said, with a pseudo-dismissive emphasis on “fantasy.” “David’s comment to me was, ‘You’re nervous about this. There’s dragons in it. It’s fantasy. This isn’t typical HBO.'”
“And the way he pitched it was he said, ‘Look, this is about power, and it’s about archetypes of power. And it’s Shakespearean, it’s Biblical. If you just forget where you are, you could be in 10th century France, it doesn’t really matter.’ And we believed their vision,” Plepler continued.
“Game of Thrones” became an immediate hit after its debut in 2011, and its continued success through seven seasons has precipitated a wave of rival networks and streaming services seeking out the next big fantasy or sci-fi series in its wake.
While Netflix found a hit with its sci-fi series “Stranger Things,” Amazon, in an expressed pursuit of its own “Game of Thrones,” will be spending a reported $US1 billion on series adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings,” as part of a strategy overhaul.
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