Way back in 2018, before the world was disappointed by David Benioff and DB Weiss’ final season of “Game of Thrones,” the series’ creators talked about the idea that they originally wanted to end the show with three theatrically-released films. The idea being that HBO could pay for six hours’ worth of films and gain some cash back in box office earnings. But then the idea was scrapped and the premium network basically wrote a blank check for Benioff and Weiss to finish the series on TV.
But in a new interview with Welt (via io9), that idea was discussed more by “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin. It appears that the idea for three ‘Thrones’ films wasn’t scrapped because HBO ended up giving the series’ creators a big-screen budget on TV, but instead had more to do with the network’s lack of interest in any sort of theatrical release.
“Those responsible said: ‘we produce TV series, we are not in the cinema business,” the author said. “And when HBO does make movies, like now with the film that is based on the ‘Deadwood’ series, they only produce it to show it on TV—not in the cinema. Everything is changing right now. What is cinema today? What is television? What is streaming? Is Netflix making cinema or television now? Everything mixes up.”
At this point, there’s really no reason to discuss the idea of whether or not the final season of ‘Thrones’ would have worked better as three “Lord of the Rings”-esque films or if the final six episodes were the better option. However, it would be interesting to know what HBO might have changed given the reaction to the final season of ‘Thrones’ being so vitriolic.
As for that ending, Martin does say that no matter what ending his books have, there won’t be one true ending to the story, as both the series and novels exist as two separate things. This sort of sounds like the author is bracing fans for a completely different finale in the books, but whether or not that ending ever comes to be (the man isn’t the fastest writer around) is a whole other question.