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    We Asked A “Game Of Thrones” Writer A Bunch Of Questions And His Answers Will Make You LOL And Say, "Wow!"

    "I want to give our actors and actresses scenes that match their high level of talent."

    by ,

    Now that Game of Thrones Season 7 (and winter) is here, we wanted to get some ~inside~ info on what it's like writing for the most popular show on television.


    So, BuzzFeed caught up with Dave Hill, a writer on Game of Thrones who's been with HBO's landmark show since 2012.

    Helen Sloan / HBO

    And Hill, who got his start as an assistant to co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, told us everything we wanted to know — from how the writers have handled going off book to something VERY important to every writer: what kind of snacks they always have on hand.

    1. How many writers are there total?

    Jamie McCarthy / Charley Gallay / Getty

    "In the show? Four. But in the world... I said softball questions only!"

    (From left: Dave Hill, D. B. Weiss, David Benioff, and Bryan Cogman.)

    2. Do you have any traditions or rituals you go through before sitting down to write?


    "1) The largest iced coffee medically safe to drink. 2) Panic attack about how many people will be watching what I write. 3) Quick internet research on possible fallback professions. 4) Oooh, YouTube science videos! 5) Mental exhaustion. 6) The largest iced coffee medically safe to drink. 7) Rinse and repeat.

    "At some point I have a script done. House elves, I suspect."

    3. Do you do anything in particular to get your creative juices flowing before going to work?


    "I'll often reread old scripts or rewatch scenes from past seasons, to turn up the volume on the voices in my head."

    4. Do you let actors know before they get a script that kills their character off?


    "My bosses get that hard task, because they are tactful, courteous, eloquent — and now that they've stopped reading this, I confess I wonder if there isn't an element of relief. This show is a beast, and we must feed it with the blood of the living. Better them than us."

    5. How has the way you work and write changed now that you’re all off book?

    HBO / Via

    "David and Dan have spent a decade driving toward these upcoming seasons, and also met with George years ago to discuss ending the series. A lot of the big stuff has been figured out for a while. And even from the pilot, the show has been evolving differently than the books due to everything from production concerns to casting wins to the demands of adaptation and the television medium. The seams between the books and the show were minute at first, but have grown larger with every passing season. But if you're thinking it's now easier for me to squeeze a big musical number into GoT since we're off book...the answer is still definitively, 'No, Dave, stop drinking in the room.'"

    6. What is the writers room like? Does the tone and mood differ each episode?


    "We break everything at the same time: character arcs, episodes, our heads. We have to, given the complicated nature of the show and how interrelated events and characters are. At the risk of stating the obvious, we do try to vary the tone and mood within each episode because nothing sinks a fantasy show like unbroken self-seriousness. And if you're going to do nonstop fantasy comedy, you better be Monty Python. If you're not, welcome to the world of us mortals."

    7. How many hours a day and/or days a week are you writing?


    "It varies so much given how spread out our season is — basically the whole year. But for me, writing a first draft of an episode usually takes — with some production exceptions — around three weeks."

    8. Any particular snacks or drinks you always like to have?

    zpinstripes / Via

    "The writers' assistants stock the room with these crackers made of griddled Parmesan cheese that we get from Larchmont Wine and Cheese. Informed of how many boxes I personally ate in one week of the room, David Benioff called me a monster. He didn't even know I'd also brought my own additional boxes in my backpack, to hide my shame."

    9. What is the coolest part about this job for you?

    HBO / Via

    "An impossible question to answer. I work for brilliant and supportive bosses whom I would 'Talented Mr. Ripley' in a hot second. Even now, years in, I'm still thrilled to hear our incredible cast bring my words to life, and to walk onto these gorgeous sets with the veritable army that is our amazing crew. To think that everyone with whom you're working is the best in their field... That's phenomenal and, honestly, downright intimidating. For a kid who grew up in Alabama never thinking how movies and TV were written, it's like being invited to eat Thanksgiving at the grown-ups' table. An unbelievable honor, with better food that you're even allowed to play with!"

    10. Is there any specific part of the job you do that would surprise people?


    "How much time on set is devoted just to figuring out how certain fantasy creatures (the Children of the Forest, the dead) walk and move through space. Also, the really banal stuff like portion sizes on plates at feasts and everyday meals."

    11. Who is in charge of keeping track of all the “lore” so you get it right while writing out an episode?

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / HBO / Voyager Books

    "We've all read the books countless times so we all have a pretty thorough working knowledge of them. That said, we sometimes have to alter book lore a bit to fit the demands of the show. For example, changing Asha Greyjoy's name to Yara and that dragonglass also kills wights, as we saw in 605."

    12. Do the writers get to visit set/travel for the show? If so, where is the coolest place you've traveled?

    Charles Mcquillan / Getty Images

    "Of course, we're all on set from preproduction through wrap. I usually stay in Northern Ireland (Dragon Unit represent!), and it's surreal how beautiful and varied the Irish countryside is. And also how much it tries to kill you. I don't think I've ever met an Irish wind that wasn't at least 20 mph and blowing towards a cliff. Thankfully, the mud holds you in place."

    13. Since, in TV, writers usually get to visit set when THEIR episode is being filmed, how does it work with Game of Thrones? I’ve heard you guys “block shoot.”

    HBO / Via

    "GoT production is all hands on deck, whether or not it's your episode. We writers are there the whole shoot because we usually have multiple units shooting at the same time. Divide and conquer."

    14. Does it drive you crazy writing plot in the internet era, where online detectives are constantly theorizing your next move?


    "We don't really think much about that, because that way madness lies. Also because, as I said, we've had our plot in motion for a long time now."

    15. What's your most awkward "someone cornered me at a party and asked me about spoilers" story?


    "It involves a very cute girl and, in my defense, the only thing spoiled that night was her opinion of writerly wit."

    16. Why doesn’t Daenerys have violet-colored eyes on the show?

    Crystal Ro / BuzzFeed / HBO

    "Believe we tried that in the original pilot, but asking anyone to act 10 hours a day in thick, dry plastic lenses that don't even read on camera... Well, that ended fast. An early experience with the different demands of the TV medium versus books."

    17. Is there something from the books that didn’t make it into the show that you wish HAD made it into the show?


    "A real direwolf."

    18. Who is your favorite character to write for?


    "My bosses always say this is like being asked to name their favorite child. But I don't have children! So my answer is: the one that says words."

    19. Who is the hardest character to write for?


    "They're all hard, because I want to give our actors and actresses scenes that match their high level of talent."

    20. Is there any actor who stays in character the entire time on set?


    "Maisie is always going around killing people between takes. Coincidentally, we usually finish shooting her scenes really fast."

    21. Have you witnessed any good pranks or heard any good prank stories from set?

    John Bradley / TBS / Via

    "When Samwell Tarly was taking Gilly to his family home in Season 6, my bosses told him that since he was a really a fancy rich boy, his new costume would reflect that. And they showed him an abomination that would've made Henry VIII cringe. John Bradley suffered the costume fitting and official department photographs with dignity — well, as much as one can have with a codpiece."

    22. What's your fondest memory from set?


    "My second day ever as a writer on set, when I was the only one there because my bosses were at San Diego Comic-Con. They left one, and only one, strict instruction: "Don't screw it up." It was also one of my favorite scenes in the first episode I'd written: when Shireen visits her father, Stannis. I didn't want to screw it up even more than I generally don't want to screw up. I haven't been so nervous since elementary school dances. You know, when your parents still make you go. But then Stephen Dillane got on set and just killed it with his first take, and Mark Mylod shot it gorgeously though it was also his first day directing our show. And I realized: I can just coast on our cast and directors' coattails!"

    23. Which characters would you like to see have a spinoff show?

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed / HBO

    "Hot Pie. Think about it! The Great Westerosi Bake Off = $$$$$!!"

    24. I know George R.R. Martin told Benioff and Weiss how it “all ends,” but do any of the other writers (or you) know?

    Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

    "Well, we all broke the final season together, so..."

    25. Which character was the saddest to kill off?


    "Stark Soldier 173."

    26. Are there any dead characters who almost DIDN’T get killed off?


    "Stark Soldier 173. RIP."

    27. What's the CRAZIEST fan theory you’ve heard?


    "It's all Bran’s dream as he lays dying from his fall in the pilot, like the little matchstick girl."

    28. What fan theory out there about the upcoming season is 100% wrong?

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed / HBO

    "See above."

    29. Which storyline do you enjoy writing the most?


    "The ones that make it to the screen."

    30. If you could write for any other show that isn't Game of Thrones, what would it be?


    "Fargo. What Noah Hawley and his team are doing over there is incredible. Or Black Mirror, because I think Charlie Brooker is some kind of demented genius."

    31. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Jaime Lannister.

    Farrah Penn / BuzzFeed / HBO

    "As all the sages have pondered since men first fell from the trees."

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