“Game of Thrones” has the look of a conquering king right now — HBO renewed the series for a third season just two weeks after the Season 2 opener earned glowing reviews and posted a 77 percent increase over last April’s series premiere. But one of the stars, Peter Dinklage, says any success is a double-edged sword.
When asked what challenges lie ahead for the “Game of Thrones” team, the 42-year-old actor said he sees them coming from several directions, including the most passionate fans of the show.
Specifically, the Emmy and Golden Globe winner said he frets a bit about the relentless Internet drumbeat of fantasy fans who want the medieval epic to be more, well, epic.
“There’s so much pressure to, in terms of this genre, make it bigger,” Dinklage said. “There’s all this talk about, ‘We want more battles!’ and there’s so many fan sites. And the show is based on a very successful series of novels (by George R.R. Martin) and so there was so much anticipation for it — and so much pressure put on it. You can’t really listen to all of that if you’re going to be successful. It’s just too much to take in, too much to take on. You have to block all of that out and tell the really smart story that was told by George and not try to take on too much that takes the (priorities) in other directions.”
It’s hard to find many die-hard fantasy fans who don’t love scale and sprawl — one of the defining hallmarks of epic fantasy is the immersive experience of visiting a place like Middle-earth, Narnia, Hogwarts or the Dark Tower, where things are not just strange and magical but also ancient and immense.
“Thrones” certainly nods to that too, with plenty of time spent at the colossal landmark called the Wall, an 8,000-year-old barrier of ice at the grim northern border of the Seven Kingdoms. But Dinklage also knows that characters and the fascinating physics of family and power have made “Thrones” the must-see show that it is, which is why he’s leery of anything that would shift emphasis from words to wars. For that reason, Dinklage sounds conflicted even about HBO’s decision to add 15 percent to the “Thrones” production budget.
“I think more money can be very detrimental to movies and TV because things get solved economically rather than creatively and that’s never a good solution,” he said. “I think with a lot of filmmakers, their first film is their best film because they had to think on their feet and solve problems with ingenuity. The more money there is too, the more cooks you have in the kitchen and suddenly you have 20 producers showing up on the set and you don’t know who they are or what they even do.”