'Game Of Thrones' Writers Defend Last Season's Controversial Pacing Choices

For the first several seasons of Game of Thrones, the show made a point to take things slowly in terms of travel, establishing huge distances between its major cities and building the reality of its fantasy world by having characters traverse those distances across long stretches of episodes. But in season 7, it was as if the show mounted an ACME rocket, lit the fuse, and hung on for dear life as it rocketed forward at a breakneck pace.

Now some of the folks involved with creating the show have addressed that increase in speed and defended their choice to pick up the pace. Read their comments below, and learn about if we can expect a similar speediness in the upcoming final season.

The Game of Thrones season 7 pacing was such a big shift that /Film managing editor Jacob Hall and I had an entire conversation dedicated to it early in the season, and perhaps its most egregious offense was seen in the episode "Beyond the Wall." (Director Alan Taylor later admitted "the timing was getting a little hazy" in that episode and that they were "straining plausibility".)

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly in a newly-published interview, showrunner Dan Weiss explained that he doesn't read any criticism of the show, but writer/co-executive producer Bryan Cogman defended their decision:

"We made a choice to 'just get on with it' last season. You can sit at home and do the math on how long it took to get the boats from Point A to Point B and whatever that was, yeah, that's what it was. There's always something everybody has got to graft on to and I guess that outrage was better than others, so I'll take it."

That goes back to the central question of this entire debate: is it more important to hew close to previously-established rules, or to deliver emotionally satisfying story beats?

But there's good news: writer Dave Hill teased that these problems won't be as prominent in the final six episodes of the upcoming eighth season.

"...with all the things we were balancing to set things up for season 8, sometimes we had to speed things up within episodes. We had a lot of time cuts the vast majority of viewers didn't catch. We could have a [title card] on there saying 'Three Weeks Later,' but we did not. Sometimes when moving pieces around you're going to cheat a little bit. [For season 8], we tried to keep more of the time logic rather than jet packs."

Game of Thrones makes its triumphant return to HBO on April 14, 2019.