Game Of Thrones: showrunner addresses pacing changes in season 7

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The Game Of Thrones team has been talking about the pacing changes in Game Of Thrones season 7, which cut out the travel time and made it seem like certain characters – especially Varys – could travel incredibly quickly. Here’s the explanation…

The biggest example of this change came in the final episode of Game Of Thrones season 7, where Conleth Hill’s Varys character – aka the Spider – somehow managed to get from Meereen to Dorne in a matter of on-screen minutes. This led to jokes on the web that Varys had discovered teleportation, or unlocked Quick Travel like Westeros was one big video game.

Of course, the logical explanation for this shortened travel time is simply the magic of editing: whereas previous seasons of the show would’ve spent weeks showing Varys’ journey in painstaking detail, the newer seasons skip over those on-the-road bits and jump ahead to a time when the journey is complete.

Executive producer Bryan Cogman has now offered this statement on the matter, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly:

“We made a choice to ‘just get on with it’ last season. You can sit at home and do the math on how long it took to get the boats from Point A to Point B and whatever that was, yeah, that’s what it was. There’s always something everybody has got to graft on to and I guess that outrage was better than others, so I’ll take it.”

Littlefinger is another character that seems to move around the map very quickly.

Co-showrunner Dan Weiss added this, revealing that he doesn’t read a lot of online criticism about the show and its logic:

“We don’t read a lot of that stuf. If somebody says, ‘I don’t like the way you do this,’ I have no idea what percentage of the people watching that opinion actually represents. If that opinion happens to surface louder on the internet, I still have no idea — it could be 1 percent of people that becomes an internet thing for 10 minutes and then it just seems like it’s more than 1 percent. But there’s no way of telling — nor am I interested in finding a way of finding out — how accurate those thoughts represent the broad spectrum of people watching. If you start thinking about that you’ll drive yourself crazy.”

Writer Dave Hill then chimed in, saying this:

“You obviously don’t want any criticism of any kind. But with all the things we were balancing to set things up for season 8, sometimes we had to speed things up within episodes. We had a lot of time cuts the vast majority of viewers didn’t catch. We could have a [title card] on there saying ‘Three Weeks Later,’ but we did not. Sometimes when moving pieces around you’re going to cheat a little bit. [For season 8], we tried to keep more of the time logic rather than jet packs.”

Game Of Thrones season 8 will premiere on HBO, Sky Atlantic and Now TV on April 14th.