Winter is Coming is a popular blog following George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. They’ve become a great resource for those looking for info on George’s novels, but most particularly when it comes to the upcoming TV series being brought to life by HBO.
Lucky for us, they’ve got their hands on an early copy of the script for the pilot episode. Taking the high road, they weren’t about to leak to script, but they didn’t have any problems giving some juicy details and impressions.
The first thing I thought when reading it was, how cool is it going to be to see this on screen! I cannot wait. I also was surprised by how much they crammed into one episode. Prior to reading this, I was a bit concerned about the pacing of the episode, since in the book not a lot happens between the prologue and Bran’s fall. Benioff and Weiss have done a great job of getting all the important info in and keeping things interesting.
The other surprise to me was some of the changes to the story and additional scenes not seen in the book. With GRRM mentioning how faithful an adaptation it is, I expected it to follow the book a little more closely. For example, in the script, we don’t actually see Royce engage in combat with the Others, nor do we see undead Royce. Rather the Others surround Royce and Will and it is implied that they are killed.
Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was the addition of the scenes in King’s Landing. I think it works though. It is good that we are introduced to an important city in the first episode. Also introducing Tyrion in a brothel is, I think, hilarious and fits his character perfectly. Even though these scenes don’t appear in the book, Benioff and Weiss have done a great job with them, especially the dialogue between Jaime and Tyrion in the brothel. They really have captured the essence of the characters.
A few more details I found interesting. Regarding ages, Jon and Robb are listed as 17 in the script, Sansa as 13, Arya 11 and Bran as 8, Dany is listed as 15. All the other children seemed to be the same age as in the books. Was a bit odd when a 13-year old Joffrey was acting like a 17-year old Robb was no match for him. Also, the credit sequence, this very idea was proposed over at the Westeros forums. I wonder if David & Dan took it from there? Or if they had it in the script already? My script doesn’t have a date on it so I don’t know for sure. Also, no flashbacks. I think the history of the world is established well, even without the flashbacks. We get pieces of the story of the Rebellion, Robert and Lyanna, the Mad King, etc. through dialogue between characters and not through flashbacks or exposition. This is the way it should be though and it works well.
As for the script, only time will tell, but I can’t help but feel a little excited about all the news that has been leaking out about the endeavor. Keep up the good work, HBO!