A year ago, the writing staff for HBO’s Game of Thrones were just starting their new gig at Netflix, and as a result, they were working with new showrunners, and not with the usual writers they had been working with before.
“We just had a completely different kind of approach,” said producer David Benioff.
“Our approach was to do things differently and to create something completely different from what we had done before.”
And that meant that writers and producers needed to have the experience and the expertise to pull off the job.
But while the showrunners were in their early 20s, it was their writing and directing skills that had catapulted them to the top of their fields.
“Game of Thrones” writer Alan Sepinwall was one of the first to take the leap into TV and his career had begun as a television writer for “Gotham” before taking on the writing duties on the hit HBO show.
He had previously been a TV writer for ABC’s “Lost,” which ended its run on Dec. 31, 2012.
“I was very lucky to be able to work with such a talented group of writers and directors,” said Sepinwals, who is currently working on a novel.
“They are amazing.
I can’t say enough about the writers and the director.”
Sepinwal had the same experience working with “House of Card,” which premiered in 2013 and is now on its second season.
“When I came on board, I had done three books, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just can’t believe I’m actually writing the show.
I thought this was going to be just a TV show, a TV series,'” said the actor, who will be starring opposite his character, Frank Underwood, on the upcoming season of the hit Netflix series.
“But it was a different story altogether.
And I loved it.”
The first few episodes of “House” were a big hit at Netflix and earned a ratings hit.
And it was in that second season that Sepinwas named one of Variety’s top 20 TV writers of the year, and he said that was a huge boost to his career.
“For me, being a showrunner is so much more than just doing the show,” he said.
“You have to be a part of that whole fabric.
You have to understand the stories, you have to know the characters, you also have to write the script.
And so, it is such a privilege to work on the show and be a writer on that show.”
The writing staff had to be smart about it, too.
“The best thing about being on the series was that we got to see the show, and then we had to write it,” Sepinwa said.
While they weren’t working with the same writing team on the new series, the writers had to take some risks.
“That’s what being on a TV shows like ‘House’ is all about.
You are on a team,” said Benioef.
“And it was such a huge challenge, because you are on the outside looking in, and you can’t really talk to the other writers.”
But as the writers worked with new cast members, they also had to think about what the series would be about, and they found it to be more about the relationship between House and its residents than the plot itself.
“As far as the storylines go, you can really tell who is who, but it’s not a show about who wins,” said the writer.
“It’s about who loses.”
“House is about a family,” said co-writer Dan Cerone, who plays Frank Underton.
“House has a very, very complicated relationship with the House of Cards.
It’s very much about a house divided against itself.
It has this very strong sense of family.
And what you see is what you get.”
The new season is set to debut in March, with a fourth season set to follow in 2018.
For more on the world of Game of Thorns, check out the full Newsweek cover story here.