‘Game of Thrones’: Do Big Dragons Need the Big Screen?

Game of Thrones Season 3 Finale

Source: HBO

Big dragons deserve the big screen. This was the suggestion offered by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday when asked if the landmark television series could make the jump to feature film.

“It all depends on how long the main series runs,” Martin said to The Hollywood Reporter. ”Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger (in scope). It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know.”

For fans, the idea is enticing, to say the least. Putting big money behind big dragons is the kind of idea that gets people out of the house and talking around the water cooler. Concluding the series with a feature-length film with a feature-sized budget may facilitate the translation from book to screen by affording the adapters the freedom they need to do the story justice, which everyone wants to see be done.

But there’s the risk of just the opposite: A feature film is time restricted in a way that a television series is not. The idea of packing an entire book’s worth of content into a single film is almost ludicrous, especially given how patiently the show’s producers have been working through the content. There are some obvious but awkward fixes to this — split the book into multiple movies, for example — but Martin has another idea.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin said that a series called Tales of Dunk and Egg, a three-book prequel to Game of Thrones, could be good film fodder. The prequel covers a period of time that is up to 90 years before the current series begins.

Game of Thrones viewership averaged 14.2 million per episode during the third season, a 20 percent increase over the second season and the second-highest viewership for HBO following The Sopranos. Viewership for the coming season, which premieres on April 6, is anticipated to increase even further as the franchise extends its roots deeper into the massive media market.

Game of Thrones viewership averaged 14.2 million per episode during the third season, a 20 percent increase over the second season and the second-highest viewership for HBO following The Sopranos. 

As far as those eight to 10 seasons that Martin referred to earlier, co-showrunner David Benioff seems to have something close to seven or eight in mind. Speaking with Vanity Fair, he said: “We know there’s an end somewhere in the seven- or eight-season zone. It’s not something that goes 10, 11 — it doesn’t just keep on going because it can. I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that.”

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