In a new article in Entertainment Weekly, David Benioff, co-creator of Game of Thrones, the television series that launched George R.R. Martin and his A Song of Ice and Fire novels into super-stardom, confirmed that he and D.B. Weiss, the show’s other co-creator, were able to successfully convince HBO to increase the budget of season two by 15%, or, roughly, $9,000,000, enough to fun and extra one-and-a-half shows.
So, where’d the money go? Sorry to say, but you’re not going to get 11.5 episodes this season. Instead, you’ll be left with one heck of a rendition of ‘The Battle of Blackwater,’ the raucous conflict that provides the climax for A Clash of Kings. Most of the new money was funnelled into raising the production value and length of that scenario.
“This is season is about a country at war,” says Benioff, who along with Weiss, successfully lobbied HBO for a 15 percent budget increase to stage the second season. “And we felt like if we didn’t see the most important battle of this entire war onscreen, we’re going to shortchange viewers.”
But, really, are we surprised? HBO has been known to cut ties with series that begin to see inflating budgets *coughRomecough*, but with the roaring success of Game of Thrones, which has taken over not only geekdom but mainstream entertainment as well, you have to think that that nine million bucks will be quickly earned back, and will help to further cement the show as one of pop culture’s most successful literary/Fantasy adaptations. What remains to be seen is how the mainstream audience that bouys Game of Thrones‘ success will respond to A Clash of Kings, which takes the tighter, less action-packed narrative of A Game of Thrones and throws open the doors to more characters, more plot twists and a hell of a lot more violence and slaughter. Luckily, we only have to wait until April 1st to find out.
Now, back to my Game of Thrones Blu-rays. They ain’t going to watch themselves.