Write Your Screenplay Podcast
Game of Thrones Episode 1: Save the Best For First
Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 1: Save The Best For First If you listened to the first episode of the Game of Thrones podcast series, you know what we’re doing over the course of Game of Thrones Season 8 is a brief podcast about each episode to discuss what you can learn from that episode as screenwriters. In our first podcast, we looked at the engine of Season 1 of Game of Thrones. We talked about all those elements that created the engine and would end up driving eight seasons of the show. We also talked a little bit about the things that went wrong along the way as pieces of that engine, particularly at the end of the first season, were destroyed and then had to be recreated. As we start Season 8, there is one engine we didn’t talk about that started way back in Season 1: the Jaime and Cersei Lannister relationship and everything that happens to Bran out of that. If you remember back in Episode 1, there is a horrifying moment when brother and sister are making love and little baby Bran climbs up and sees them, and Jaime Lannister gives him a quick shove to what looks like is going to be his death. This is the moment we all get hooked on Game of Thrones. This is the moment we know we’re going to keep watching Game of Thrones, because the baddies are so bad and so complicated. That’s what Game of Thrones is really about: There’s this theme of incest, perversity, and twisted sexuality and power bumping up against the desire to be an ethical person in the universe. And this is another engine that has changed. By now Jaime and Cersei are not only no longer making love; Jaime has become a good guy. The engine of this very complicated love story, which has driven us through many episodes, seems like it has run its course. What’s interesting about the pilot episode of Season 8 is that this engine gets restarted. The loose end between Jaime and Bran at the very end of Season 1 is completed and restarted at the beginning of Season 8 when Jaime shows up at Winterfell and he and Bran lock eyes, both of them knowing exactly what happened. So, even though the relationship between Cersei and Jaime has changed in a way that no longer powers the engine the same way, we have a new engine starting here with Jaime’s relationship with Bran, an engine that I expect is probably going to play out over each episode to come. There’s another very interesting engine getting restarted here and that’s Daenerys, who has been wandering around as the perfect leader and, quite frankly, has become somewhat boring. Sure, we love watching dragons, but how long can you keep freeing slaves, doing good, and being the perfect person for the throne before things start to get a little boring? So we bring Daenerys to Winterfell, where Jon Snow is supposed to be ruling, and they come back as a happy couple. Remember, at the end of Season 7, he has “bent the knee” to her and has given up his claim in order to support hers and their battle against the White Walkers. A beautiful little love story is blooming between her and Jon and, of course, that love story is amplified through a beautiful CGI sequence when they fly on their dragons together. But none of the people of the North actually trust her; no one who agreed to be ruled by Jon is very happy about being ruled by some blonde lady with a bunch of dragons. And although we are watching Daenerys and Jon process this, all of it is pretty boring.