Westeros.org interviews DB/Dan
. Some good quotes:
Q: With the news that Alan Ball has decided to step back from writing for True Blood, can you see yourselves writing for the show for as long as it goes, or can you see yourself stepping back from the writer’s room at some point?
David: You know, we loved it from the beginning, and when we met HBO and pitched the project we told them that it was a potentially eight or nine season story—it’s all one story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Virtually every show on television, even the great ones in the past, the writing staff comes up with the bible for the season ahead. There may be some exceptions—I think Matt Weiner (Mad Men) and Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) have an end in mind—but we’re telling potentially an 80, 90 hour story that we’d love to see through to the end.
Dan: I can’t imagine that—so long as we’re allowed to go forward with it—that we’re ever going to step back from it.
Q: Do you have one character you like most?
David: It’s like trying to decide your favorite foster kid—I can’t say kids because they’re really George’s children—but if there’s one in the second season that we really loved, I’d say Theon Greyjoy. His arc over the course of the second is just so fascinating, and Alfie Allen brings it to lie wonderfully. I truly do love them all, but Theon is particularly captivating.
Q: How do you decide which characters to keep and which to drop?
Dan: Ultimately, there are so many characters in the books that we’ve told George that if we cast all the characters in the book, we’d use all the budget on casting with no money for cameras or crew or sets.
David: One thing that’s important for us to think about is that we’re making it for an audience that has some viewers who’ve read the books, and many whom have not. We want to appeal to both groups. There’s a huge number of characters. I don’t think there’s a bigger cast on television—
Dan: I believe that is a fact.
David.—and I don’t think anyone else asks viewers to process so many storylines and characters. And also one thing to keep in mind is that there are characters in the second book who don’t appear this season, but are coming in later. It’s just about so many new characters introduced in the second season, so we saved some for the next season. They aren’t being omitted, they’re just being delayed.
Dan: A lot of it is just where does somebody really become central to the story, and we can’t afford to have people waiting around for their story to start.
Q: What about in the first season?
Dan: I think the Greatjon Umber is an example. Robb had a lot of different bannermen, and we can’t follow them all, so we decided to concentrate on one of them to stand in for the bannermen.
David: Or Jory. Ned brought a number of named guards with him from the North, and many of them have dialog in the books. But we wanted to concentrate on one character and so when he dies, hopefully he’ll have some meaning to viewers.
Q: Some say there seems to be more sex in the show than in the books…
David: There’s more sex in the books than there is in the show.
Dan: If we showed all the sex in the books, you’d be talking to us from behind prison bars.
David: I’m thinking of this scene in A Dance with Dragons and… well, I can’t even imagine how we’d shoot that. And there are scenes in the books that we did not do for legal and moral reasons, that feature underage characters. There are certainly scenes in the show that don’t exist in the book, but I think the level of sexual content and graphic content is the same. And it’s one of the things we loved about George’s books—I don’t think Bilbo Baggins ever got a boner, but in these books the characters think about sex, and that seems real for us.