Game of Thrones creators on why they swapped dragons for aliens

March 18, 2024 4:20 pm

[Source: BBC]

David Benioff and DB Weiss are in high spirits. With Game of Thrones a distant memory, its creators are fired up about their latest TV show, 3 Body Problem, and there isn’t a dragon in sight.

Game of Thrones ended after 59 Emmys and eight series in 2019. Having shelved a Star Wars trilogy that year, Benioff and Weiss chose to adapt a best-selling Chinese sci-fi novel.

Liu Cixi’s The Three-Body Problem, published in 2008, has sold up to nine million copies worldwide, and won a Hugo award.

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Without spoiling the plot, it’s about advanced aliens invading the Earth. They’re fleeing an unstable solar system with three suns orbiting each other – hence the name, Three-Body Problem.

The book has two key characters trying to outsmart the aliens, a scientist and a detective, but the TV show’s creators felt that this wasn’t enough.

So with Liu’s blessing, there are five young, diverse Oxford scientists trying to beat the aliens. Well, technically four, as the fifth, played by Game of Thrones’ John Bradley, is a millionaire who used his scientific knowledge to create a multi-million pound snacks empire.

Snacks are always useful in a crisis.

They try desperately to solve problems in a deadly virtual reality game, which coincidentally has three suns, while also trying to save the Earth from alien onslaught.

They’re watched by a world-weary Mancunian detective, played by Dr Strange star Benedict Wong, and a senior official, played by Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham.

Thrones creator Weiss explains they were blown away by the book’s complexity, calling it “unlike anything we’d ever read, certainly unlike anything we’d ever contemplated bringing to the screen”.

Other fans of Liu’s novel include ex-US president President Barack Obama, who called it “wildly imaginative” – although he ultimately declined a small role in the show.

“He did sign a very funny note, when we tried to get him for a cameo,” Benioff told USA Today.

“It was to the effect of, ‘In case there ever is a real alien invasion, I think I should probably save myself for that crisis’.”