In the final season’s first edition of HBO’s “Inside the Episode” series, which airs after each installment of Thrones, creators and executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss reveal how they decided to deliver the news of Jon Snow’s true story to Jon himself, considering it was no longer a secret to the audience. (Watch the interview, above.)
“The fact that Jon’s parents are who Jon’s parents were is not news to us at this point,” says Weiss. “What we don’t know is how Jon’s going to take this news.
“The fact that Jon’s parents are who Jon’s parents were is not news to us at this point,” says Weiss. “What we don’t know is how Jon’s going to take this news. How’s this explosion going to look?”
According to Benioff, it was important for the scene to take place between Jon and Samwell Tarly (John Bradley), rather than between Jon and Brandon Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), the other keeper of the big Targaryen secret. As he explains it, Sam and Jon almost have more of a brotherly bond than Jon and his Stark half-sibling (or is it cousin?), due to their time together at the Night’s Watch.
“He knows this is going to hurt Jon,” Benioff says about Sam’s choice, “and that it’s going to shatter his whole worldview. For all they know, the Army of the Dead could attack the next day. Someone has to tell Jon before that.”
“We’ve been with these characters on a fairly regular basis for the past however many years,” says Weiss, speaking broadly about the episode’s highly anticipated character encounters. “The fact that they’re coming back together again for the first time means more to them than it may mean to us.”