The creative team behind HBO's wildly successful Game of Thrones can seemingly do no wrong. Sure, it's going to be touch-and-go with the next season as the story — for the most part — has outpaced the books, but no one feels the show is not in the right hands. Unless you saw the original pilot of course, which apparently was a disaster.
During the discussion, the topic of GoT's original pilot came up and according to all three, it was basically a disaster:
[David Benioff] ... watching [Mazin] watch that original pilot was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I mean, it's probably like appendicitis and that. And Craig, as soon as it finished, Craig said - Craig: You guys have a massive problem. D.B.: I had this, because I was taking notes. We were taking notes, I had this yellow like legal pad and I remember just writing in all caps, MASSIVE PROBLEM, underlining. And all I saw from then on that night was just massive problem.
Turns out that 90 per cent of that pilot was reshot (to be super-accurate, it was 92 per cent, Benioff says) — more than enough that "a different director got credit".
The harsh decision paid off, however, with Mazin recalling his viewing of the remade episode:
... I am stunned. Stunned. And I very specifically remember walking out in between and [Weiss was] there, and I said to [him], "That is the biggest rescue in Hollywood history," because it wasn't just that you had saved something bad and turned it really good. You had saved a complete piece of shit, and turned it into something brilliant. That never happens. Here’s the crazy part. You guys, it’s honestly true, you guys are like a die that has all 20s on it, and then there was one 1, and you happen to roll the 1 when you made that pilot. That was it, it was a fluke.
I guess the pair have been rolling 20s every since.