Movies & TV / News

Westworld Showrunners Say George R.R. Martin Pitched A Game of Thrones Crossover (SPOILER)

March 23, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Westworld Game of Thrones

Fair Warning: This article contains spoilers for this week’s episode of Westworld.

One of the big surprises from this week’s Westworld actually came from a suggestion by Game of Thrones maestro George R.R. Martin. During the episode, “The Winter Line,” Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Stubbs (Liam Hemsworth) are making their way through one of the non-Westworld parts, Medieval World, when we see a couple of techs who are talking about selling off a giant dragon to Costa Rica. Those two techs were played by Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and the dragon was in fact Drogon from Thrones.

Speaking with Variety, Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy revealed how that little pseudo-crossover came about and how Martin, who wrote the books Thrones were based on, actually suggested a full-on crossover between the shows. Highlights are below:

Nolan on how Benioff and Weiss got involved “Those guys are the f**king nicest guys in the world. Usually when you come into a network where there’s a big dog show — and we’ve been in that position before — without naming names, there’s been [a vibe of], ‘We’re not inclined to be friendly to you if you’re the new kid on the block.’ We came to HBO with a big ambitious show at a point in which their show was and is the biggest f**king thing that’s ever been on TV. And they were so welcoming and so kind to us at a moment in which we were struggling through a first season and trying to figure out how it will work. We’ve remained friends.”

Nolan on George R.R. Martin wanting to do a crossover with the show: “We’re also friendly with George R.R. Martin, and George had consistently since the first season said, ‘We’ve got to do a tie-in with Game of Thrones.’ People forget that George was originally a TV writer and he came up in the TV world in which you’d occasionally have these crossover shows, which the fans would f**king freak out over. So George had always been pitching the crossover show … And if he lived in Los Angeles, we would surely have insisted that he come and hang out on our set as well. But the crossover with the existing Medieval World in the original [1973 Westworld] movie was just irresistible. And the amount of people, starting with George, who over the years had pitched some version of a crossover. We just — we couldn’t resist. And [David and Dan] were incredibly good sports about coming down.”

On who came up with the bit where they try to steal Drogon
Joy: [Looks at Nolan] “I think that was you. That’s the kind of weird s**t that gets you going.”
Nolan: “I pitched it to them, as sort of, ‘How would you guys feel about this?’ And they thought it was great fun.”

On the CGI of putting Drogon in the show
Nolan: “Very kindly, we were working with their vendor, Pixamundo, who built the dragons for them. So it’s the real dragon.”
Joy: “We had to choose. I remember there was a whole big debate about which season dragon for its size because the dragon grew.”
Nolan: “There was some back and forth about whether Season 4 or Season 5 Drogon, and some debate about how big the room was and what position the dragon could be in. But yeah, it’s just irresistible.”

Nolan on if there are plans to create a Game of Thrones world in the show: [Laughs] “I guess that’s definitely open to speculation.” [Smiles] “No, we couldn’t.”