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Game of Thrones‘ season three premiere packed quite a bit into 50-some minutes, but that runtime did not include anything of Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) or Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie).
Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss feel the pressure to include the vast ensemble in one episode — while they still can’t oblige all of their characters all of the time, they’re getting there.
“The universe has expanded to a certain extent, and now its going to begin to contract,” Weiss told reporters last week of the casualties to come.
As for major players not seen in the opener, Weiss adds that they were especially torn about leaving out Arya. The Stark on the lam was originally included in the episode until they opted to push her into the follow-up.
“When you try to hit every one of them in the 50-minute run down the hill, it doesn’t give you any time to sink into any of the storylines,” Weiss says. “At this stage in the game, we feel like people who watch the show understand. Just because Arya doesn’t show up in the episode, doesn’t mean she has disappeared in the storyline — and won’t be as big a part of the story, if not bigger, than in years past.”
Game of Thrones picks up with Arya and the other M.I.A characters in the next episode, “Dark Wings, Dark Words.”
And on the flip-side of trying to juggle everybody and once Benioff and Weiss say that fans can expect a break from the typical narrative later in the season, much like “Blackwater.”
“We did love the chance to focus on one location with King’s Landing and the attack on Black Water,” says Weiss. “It’s something we can’t really do will all episodes, but we try to emulate it to degree in the ninth episode when things focus on one relatively small group of characters.”
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