Don't worry, there are no spoilers to be found here!
Although HBO offered to give show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as much time as they needed to finish the story, the two men turned down the offer.
They were understandably exhausted.
For one thing, writer George R. R. Martin had failed to meet his deadlines for the publication of The Winds of Winter, the long awaited sequel to A Dance with Dragons. There's no telling when––if ever––we'll get A Dream of Spring.
This problem left Benioff and Weiss with no material to adapt after Season 5, so Martin provided them with rough outlines.
As the critical and public reaction to this season has shown us, they've proven much more successful at adapting existing material than writing fresh material from bullet points.
But it's a bit more complicated than that.
Enter Silvermint, who explained why this final season has been so unpalatable to so many fans of the series.
Want to know why Game of Thrones *feels* so different now? I think I can explain. Without spoilers. /1… https://t.co/G1MdVOCM0J— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259984.0
He explains the differences between plotters and pantsers...
It has to do with the behind-the-scenes process of plotters vs. pantsers. If you’re not familiar with the distincti… https://t.co/fLfCgj7TIM— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259985.0
Pantsers discover the story as they write it, often treating the first draft like one big elaborate outline. Neithe… https://t.co/YO1ovtrkTO— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259985.0
Because they have the whole story in mind, it’s usually easier for plotters to deliver tighter stories and stick th… https://t.co/6DPjSIWDLg— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259986.0
Pantsers have an easier time writing realistic characters, because they generate the plot by asking themselves what… https://t.co/Ht2tPhKe8E— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259986.0
That’s why a lot of writers plot their stories but pants their characters, and use the second draft to reconcile co… https://t.co/mctsXOkysm— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259987.0
...and explained what this has to do with Game of Thrones...
Well, GRRM is one of the most epic pantsers around. He talks about writing like cultivating a garden. He plants cha… https://t.co/w7uTCb7jud— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259987.0
That’s why every plot point and fair-in-hindsight surprise landed with such devastating weight: everything that hap… https://t.co/2wyk8xzbIq— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259988.0
After the first big plot arc, book four was originally going to skip ahead five years. But GRRM didn’t know how to… https://t.co/uyKzJ91pBM— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259988.0
Which meant planting more seeds, and watching those grow. And suddenly his garden was overgrown, and hard to prune… https://t.co/EysMJFq9Lz— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259989.0
And now that the plants were fully in control, he struggled to get some of the characters that had grown one way to… https://t.co/OBgjGQTYVZ— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259989.0
And because he had all this story to cover and pay off, some of which was growing in the wrong directions and neede… https://t.co/Dq3dnWyW8m— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259989.0
...and how that hurt Benioff and Weiss when they ran out of books to adapt. It gave us the Game of Thrones "bucket list"...
So the books the showrunners were adapting ran out. What now? People assume the show suffered because they didn’t h… https://t.co/f13tNBt2UI— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259990.0
For a season or two, the showrunners actually tried to take over management of GRRM’s sprawling garden, with unders… https://t.co/GXI9115qPJ— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259990.0
They gave themselves a fixed endpoint - 13 episodes to the finale, and no more - and set about reverse-engineering… https://t.co/0uJ6xeePIR— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259991.0
They want to deliver an ultimately satisfying experience. So with only two seasons to work with, they started askin… https://t.co/f31c6IeTPn— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259991.0
What big moments did they want to deliver? Where should the characters end up? What did they think we, the audience… https://t.co/fe8V7eM7UG— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259991.0
...and that changed the course of the show as we once knew it.
And once they had that list, it was time to connect the dots to make it all happen. So they started maneuvering the… https://t.co/eXlRkHtrc3— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259992.0
That’s why Game of Thrones feels different now. A show that had been about the weight of the past became about the… https://t.co/UcWBtjoig7— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259992.0
Where once the characters authored their own, terrible destinies, now they were forced to take uncharacteristic act… https://t.co/INPfnfWbMd— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259993.0
Organic developments gave way to contrivance. Naturally-paced character arcs were rushed. Living plants became pupp… https://t.co/ELcoct1ywT— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259993.0
No one’s to blame. Keeping a million plates spinning the way GRRM did is hard. And setting those plates down withou… https://t.co/LQuN5TLlaq— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259994.0
There’s a reason writers have haunted eyes and always seem like they need a hug. Give everyone a break. But: the sh… https://t.co/siDEZ2WJSd— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259994.0
Is pantsing better than plotting? No. And this has nothing to do with which approach is ‘right’, anyway. It’s about… https://t.co/3qCeUp9DXb— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557259994.0
But what does this mean for the finale?
The audience fell in love with one kind of show, but the ending is being imported from a different kind of show. No… https://t.co/eqP58ez9Vf— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557260012.0
But to be satisfying, it matters how we get there, too. Treating the journey as equally important is how you get en… https://t.co/Vufo3uyyqi— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557260039.0
By placing so much emphasis on the ending, the showrunners changed the nature of the story they were telling, meani… https://t.co/kHDYkIv0yj— Daniel Silvermint (@Daniel Silvermint) 1557260067.0
And it all makes sense.
@DSilvermint Thank you SO MUCH for this. I was SO FRUSTRATED simply because I could not understand what was happeni… https://t.co/O5351LwTZA— Saramantis (@Saramantis) 1557765245.0
@DSilvermint @OwensDamien This is good. Personally, I was always (am still, from the books) expecting an ending tha… https://t.co/URwJmhFwmQ— Social Mardia (@Social Mardia) 1557563700.0
@DSilvermint This is an excellent thread about writing but I truly believe the main problem is that they are terrib… https://t.co/FqQ9sm2kf7— Possum in a Trashcan (@Possum in a Trashcan) 1557591230.0
There's one more episode to go before it all ends, and we'll be armchair-critiquing its merits for a long time to come.