The un-aired original pilot for Game of Thrones is rumoured to have been a total disaster; so bad in fact that the show might not have gone ahead if it hadn’t been redone.
In a recent discussion on the Scriptnotes podcast, hosted by John August and Craig Mazin, showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff revealed some of the reasons why it all went wrong.
“… watching them watch that original pilot was one of the most painful experiences of my life … As soon as it finished, Craig said ‘You guys have a massive problem’.” said Weiss.
So massive was this problem, that they “ended up reshooting the pilot” and hiring a new director, as well as recasting the roles of Daenerys Targayen and Catelyn Stark and cutting out and rewriting scenes.
One of the main problems they stated was that no one watching the pilot “realized that Jaime and Cersei were brother and sister, which is a major, major plot point that we had somehow failed to establish” said Benioff.
Luckily they were able to turn things around, resulting the the shows massive success, with Mazin expressing his surprise at the turnaround:
“… that is the biggest rescue in Hollywood history. Because it wasn’t just that you had saved something bad and turned it really good, you had saved a complete piece of s**t and turned it into something brilliant! That never happens!”
Game of Thrones returns for season 6 on April 24, 2016.