James Hibberd’s book Fire cannot kill a dragonabout the making of the HBO hit series game of Thrones, draws on more than 50 new interviews with the cast and crew – many more revealing than anything that came out when the show aired.
“I knew there was an opportunity to come back to some of the controversy and see if people would open up more after the show ended, and they did,” says Hibberd in episode 436 of the Geeks Guide to the Galaxy Podcast.
game of Thrones was a lightning rod for controversy during its eight year run, and many fans have questioned the decisions of showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss. Hibberd hopes his book will give readers a clearer understanding of why these decisions were made.
“One thing I̵
The book makes that clear game of Thrones was a gamble from start to finish, and Benioff and Weiss counted on the show to become a cultural phenomenon just to get to the finish line. “It was an amazing achievement for them to do that and a really loud thing,” says Hibberd. “You’re really just on a tightrope trying to do that.”
Hibberd dedicates six chapters to the show’s divisive final season. He hopes the book will appeal to both those who enjoyed the ending and those who hated it. “I tried to write it so it could either play out like you’re watching the movie Titanic or how to see the movie Rudy, depending on your point of view, ”he says. “I tried not to put a thumb on the scales and let the reader decide how they felt about anything over time.”
Listen to the full interview with James Hibberd in episode 436 of Geeks Guide to the Galaxy (about). Check out some highlights from the discussion below.
James Hibberd on journalism:
“I don’t tend to get cheap recordings, I don’t think so, and I don’t make assumptions about why someone did something unless I know why they did something. In other words, I’m not going from “that was a bad decision” to “that was a bad decision that they clearly made because they wanted this or that” when I don’t know. And I think it just comes from being a reporter all my life. The fewer assumptions you can make, the better off you are and the more precise what you are doing will become. “
James Hibberd in Season 8:
“I think the average fan has a much clearer sense of how it played than I do because they saw it right – they relaxed and enjoyed it, not knowing what was going to happen. I came up with it after knowing everything, and I also opened my laptop in front of me – I didn’t see the episodes in advance – I desperately take notes for my summary and prepare to publish my postmortems. The way I saw this was all screwed up because I was working on it. I find it really difficult to put on a hat for television critics. “
James Hibberd on George RR Martin:
“We talked for hours in his favorite restaurant in Santa Fe. He was really open. Reading his quotes you are never quite sure which direction he is going because there are things he really praises about the show and there are things that he is really critical of the show. The journey for him is very emotionally complex, and he’s quite open to it – you can feel the emotional complexity as he continues. Of all the things in the book, I was very pleased with the interview I had with George. “
James Hibberd on HBO:
“[The showrunners] viewed this as, ‘How do we do this? [George’s ending] on our budget? There is nothing we can do around it. We can only do it as films. Maybe the final season can be three films instead. ‘… I asked HBO for a comment. They had a big reaction, and then there was an entire summit between HBO and the show runners about it. HBO didn’t want that because they’re not in the business of making films. You’re not saying, “OK, now that you’ve seen a show on our network for seven years, go to a movie theater to see how it ends.”
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