Welcome to Awesome Definition and today we are going to discuss The Great Downfall of GOT Makers David and Dan. How they become from being the makers of world’s most popular show to most hated and backlashed duo in history of Hollywood. This is a detailed path of the downfall of David and Dan’s career and some of the red flags leading up to Game of Thrones worst seasons 7 and 8. We will also discuss a general update as to what happened to them after the show, like with Star Wars and their Netflix deal.
Let’s start at the beginning and look at some of the Red Flags so for DB Weiss he didn’t have a lot of experience and the only notable project he worked on was a potential film adaption for Halo. He was brought in to write the script but ultimately the project never got off the ground. Looking at David Benioff, he is the one with more writing experience and has written quite a few blockbuster movies before Game of Thrones. We have Troy and X-Men Origins — Wolverine.
Troy is a pretty mixed movie according to fans and critics the main complaint seems to be that the writing was not good and faithful to the source material. So, David Benioff would be to blame for that and looking at the other movie X-Men Origins — Wolverine, we have one of the worst Marvel movies in existence. The writing in this movie was so terrible that it made Marvel fans mauled from the sheer dog. Quality of the script even the rotten tomato census wrote “David Benioff’s writing stating that X-Men Origin struggles to overcome a cliché-written script and a familiar narrative”. David Benioff was probably the guy who came up with the idea to sew Deadpool’s mouth shut, which is regarded as being one of the most idiotic writing decisions in film history.
So for some reason this is the prime candidate to be one of the straw runners for the biggest tv show in history. By this point it’s 2008 and HBO has already acquired the rights to A Song of Ice and Fire and has hired Benioff and his friend B.B Weiss to short run the series. They probably hired him because of his success with troy. However, since writing original content seems to be their weakness they won’t have to do that for many years until they run out of source material, which was Season 7 and 8.
We fast forward to Season 7 and 8 and this is where things obviously start to get worse, even with a road map for the story provided by George RR Martin. They seemed to struggle to pull off the writing aspect of the show which seem to have vanished like Theon Greyjoy’s manhood. Practically all the characters deteriorated especially in dialogue and growth. Overall main plot points were not properly built up to and executed so it became very clear that David and Dan were not competent writers without source material. And since they probably realized this they decided to cut the show down and just do a couple shortened seasons even though George RR Martin and HBO wanted to do like 13 seasons.
Instead of giving the show its proper life cycle by passing the story gradually David and Dan acted selfishly and ended the show as fast as possible to move on to bigger projects. They might have done this because this elevates their status in Hollywood as being the sole creators of the most popular TV Series and they would end up getting crazy offers from big studious. On top of that they took the liberty of writing almost every episode in Season 7 and 8 to try and validate themselves as being the best and taking more credit. Although it was very clear that they needed help writing the scripts and HBO even offered to bring in more writers but DD just wanted it for themselves and of course this inevitably backfired hell.
It was so bad that 1.8 million fans signed a petition to remake season 8 with competent writers. The backlash got even worse to the point that DD canceled their scheduled appearance at Comic Con in 2019. After a couple months the show runners went to the Austin film festival and there they talked more about their time at Game of Thrones and the main revelation was that DD heavily downplayed the fantasy element of the show because they didn’t just want it to appeal to a fantasy fan base only and wanted larger audience to love the show. This is one of the most annoying revelations. DD actively cut down and oversimplified the show to make things easier for larger audience. A prime example of this is Bran in Season 6, we find out that he can interact with the past and can control anything but what do they do with him in season 8 — Nothing he just wargs into some crows so by decreasing the scope and fantasy elements of the show. David and Dan tried to simplify the writing to make their jobs easier and by doing so they ruined the final seasons of Game of Thrones.
Towards the end of the run in 2017 DD were pitching their original series HBO called Confederate. The premise is that the Civil War has ended in a stalemate and slavery is still around. DD thought it would make for a good TV drama if we lived in an alternate universe where slaves were still around. HBO did not want to produce the show and DD received a lot of backlash on twitter for it. People said that it was basically slave fan fiction and that it just sounded like a terrible idea.
After this whole series pitch they were approached to do a trilogy for Star Wars in February 2018. This is also where things kind of get depressing for GOT because Disney was probably in talks with DD before 2018 and this whole development probably led them to the decision to rush Game of Thrones to its end especially since they’ve been expressing that they’ve been worn out by the show. So, for the Star Wars deal they were supposed to come up with an original trilogy but it didn’t end up coming to fruition. Overall there is not much detail as to what happened besides DD backing out of the Star Wars deal and taking a 200-million-dollar contract with Netflix.
In Game of Thrones they complained about the scope of the series being too big but Star Wars also has a massive scope with tons of lore and rules to follow within its universe. Given that David Benioff had the main writing credit in Gemini Man and the main complaint about the movie was the writing. So, while DD were struggling to come up with a trilogy for Star Wars they took the easy way out and ditched their contract with Disney and took a multi-year film and TV deal with Netflix.
So going into the Netflix deal this is where things get even more interesting about their downfall. It’s been a whole year now that DD have been working at Netflix and what have they done they directed one comedy special with Leslie Jones in January 2020. Which is kind of irony, the top shore runners in Hollywood go from Game of Thrones to a Leslie Jones comedy special. It seems like Netflix at the time had no idea what to do with DD probably because they were pitching terrible ideas for shows and movies, although this is mostly speculation. It’s just crazy how these two guys go from being the top creators in Hollywood to then getting the opportunity to do a Star Wars trilogy and then ending up doing nothing for Netflix for a whole year.