A new behind-the-scenes featurette gives some insight into what Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were thinking when they crafted the Season 8 premiere episode. Benioff and Weiss have done very little press since Game of Thrones became a worldwide phenomenon—they pretty much only speak to Entertainment Weekly at this point, and even then only sparingly. So whenever they go on record it’s somewhat noteworthy, and it looks as though they’ll continue to be speaking about each episode of Season 8 with some degree of specificity in “Inside the Episode” featurettes posted on the show’s YouTube channel after the episode airs.
While these featurettes aren’t as deep of a dive as a full audio commentary, they do sometimes offer some fascinating insight into major revelations or story beats, and if nothing else it’s interesting to hear the showrunners discuss how they crafted certain scenes.
In the Season 8 Episode 1 breakdown, Benioff and Weiss discuss the many reunions that occur at Winterfell and reveal why those reunions aren’t nearly as special to them as writers. They also talk about the importance of those dragon-riding scenes, and how the fact that a dragon let Jon Snow (Kit Harington) ride it should have been a clue to the King in the North that he just might be a Targaryen.
Benioff and Weiss also talk about the revelation (to Jon anyway) that he is a Targaryen, and discuss what Jon Snow is thinking in the moment and why they decided to play the scene mainly on Harington’s face.
I’m hopeful that these little featurettes will continue throughout the season, though the true test will be the series finale. Will Benioff and Weiss opt in for some post-mortem interviews, or will they go radio silent like Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse did after Lost? We’ll find out in one month.
For now, check out the Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1 breakdown video below.