HBO’s Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon. Now in its sixth season, the series brings the world created by author George R.R. Martin to the small screen, offering its legion of fans an ever-expanding universe of characters, creatures and plot twists. David Benioff, the show’s co-producer and co-creator, sat down with his father, former Goldman Sachs chairman Stephen Friedman, to discuss Benioff’s childhood penchant for make-believe, lessons learned from his early days as a writer and the origins of the show.
On his creative roots: "I always wanted to be a writer. I was a complete nerd as a kid… always making up stories in my head, and I was writing them down from a pretty early age. Once I realized I wasn’t going to be a good [enough] baseball player to play for the Yankees, writing was the real ambition."
On the orchestration behind the "Game of Thrones" world: "It’s massive…it’s by far the biggest television show in the world at this point. We’ve got 700 crew members, 583 named characters, and then Dothraki number one through 3,000. It is a cast of thousands. We’ve shot in six different countries. It gets very hectic. But we have an incredible team…it’s [about] finding those people who are not only the right person for the job, but obsessed with creating a world."
If you could be any "Game of Thrones" character, who would you be?
"Tyrion gets the best lines. He seems like he has the most fun when he’s not, you know, being imprisoned by his family members or killing his girlfriend. But it’s hard not to love Arya. One of those two."