[The following contains spoilers for season 3, episode 2 of HBO’s Westworld]
Given the fan reception of the final season of Game Of Thrones, one would think showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would be doing their best to stay out of the public eye for as long as possible. Fans of HBO’s Westworld know, however, that the two made a surprise appearance in Sunday night’s episode, delivering several winks and nods to the audience that were much more explicit than any previous Game Of Thrones Easter eggs hidden in the show.
In the episode, it’s revealed that another park owned and operated by the Delos Corporation is none other than Medieval World, which made its first appearance in the original 1973 film. In a scene that takes place in the underbelly of that recently shuttered park, Benioff and Weiss appear as two technicians “just waiting to see if they get laid off.” In the meantime, they discuss potential job opportunities in Costa Rica and proceed to take a saw-like implement to a large robotic dragon, which appears to be a faithful recreation of Drogon from Game Of Thrones.
In a recent interview with Variety, Westworld showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan discuss the crossover, which they said originated with author George R.R. Martin. “People forget that George was originally a TV writer and he came up in the TV world in which you’d occasionally have these crossover shows, which the fans would fucking freak out over. So, George had always been pitching the crossover show,” says Nolan. While a full-on crossover seemed a bit too disruptive, a one-off scene was easy enough to put together. For their part, Benioff and Weiss were more than happy to don the technician suits and play make believe. With the controversial Confederate and their Star Wars movie officially axed, the pair have some spare time right now.
When it came to coordinating Drogon’s cameo, the only question was which version of the monstrous fire-breather they were going to upload from the Game Of Thrones digital effects vendor Pixamundo. “There was some back and forth about whether Season 4 or Season 5 Drogon, and some debate about how big the room was and what position the dragon could be in,” says Nolan. “But yeah, it’s just irresistible.”
However, the showrunners assure viewers that this was all just a bit of fun. They’re not implying that Game Of Thrones exists as a park inside the Westworld universe, nor that Westeros is a land that rich people can pay to visit on their vacation. Still, we look forward to seeing the rest of the HBO Sunday night lineup get their own crossovers, starting with a robotic John Oliver or a park in which you can watch the Roys implode live and in person.
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