After Game of Thrones’ contentious finale, series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss may be able to redeem themselves with their new Netflix show.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones, may have already avoided one major issue when it comes to their new series, which is adapted from the novel The Three-Body Problem. Under their new deal at Netflix, Benioff and Weiss are set to executive produce and run the new sci-fi series, which like Game of Thrones, comprises a long-running saga. However, unlike the pitfalls Weiss and Benioff encountered altering the A Song of Ice and Fire book series from George R.R. Martin’s original finale, they may be able to avoid making the same mistakes with The Three-Body Problem due to one critical detail.
The Three-Body Problem, which is adapted from writer Liu Cixin’s sci-fi trilogy, tells the story of Earth in the future after humanity has discovered that they are no longer alone in the universe. The first book follows the story of Ye Wenjie, who helps aliens invade Earth after the death of her father during the Cultural Revolution. The first book was then followed up by the sequel The Dark Forest and the final installment of the trilogy Death’s End in 2010.
With Death’s End being the final installment of the trilogy, Game of Thrones creators Weiss and Benioff will avoid a critical issue they ran into towards the series’ end: they won’t run out of source material to adapt. By the time the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s beloved plots and characters had reached its sixth season, Benioff and Weiss were essentially working without a roadmap, and were changing storylines from the source material a few seasons prior. Many Game of Thrones viewers felt as though these diversions from the source material portended the show’s slow decline in quality. However, given that The Three-Body Problem already has an existing complete narrative arc, this pitfall should be avoided.
By Game of Thrones’ sixth season, several important characters in Martin’s novels had already been killed off, despite the fact that all of them were alive still in the ongoing book series. Stannis Baratheon and Mance Rayder are two examples of this, and Benioff and Weiss’ inclusion of the Dornish storyline in the show’s fifth season also served as an important diversion from the books. As Baratheon (one of many leaders of Game of Thrones’ great houses) and Rayder were in pivotal moments in their arcs in the book series, their hasty removal from the TV series signaled to some that the show had gone off the rails and become less nuanced since diverting from the source material.
Additionally, after the cliffhanger death of Jon Snow in the show’s fifth season and the fifth book A Dance With Dragons, and his rapid resurrection in the show’s sixth season (an anticipated event that has not yet officially occurred in the book series), the series continued its descent into rushed storylines and lazy resolutions that carried on into the series finale. With the Three-Body Problem trilogy, so long as Benioff and Weiss stick to the source material faithfully, and avoid rushing plotlines with fan favorites like Jon Snow, they shouldn’t have the same problem.
A Song of Ice and Fire, being a massively popular and incredibly dense book series, was always going to be a difficult series to adapt for television. Benioff and Weiss, who found early acclaim by staying true to the essence of the books in their first two seasons, no doubt later found themselves in trouble with the novels’ dedicated fanbase. However, with any luck, as The Three-Body Problem’s trilogy is already complete, Benioff and Weiss may have learned a lesson from their fall from grace during Game of Thrones’ final season.
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