While he's now best known as DC's live-action version of Aquaman, Jason Momoa first made fans’ radars when he starred on Game of Thrones as the powerful Khal Drogo. He only played the character for the first season of the series, but Momoa’s Drogo made a serious impact with those watching the show and remains one of favorite casting decisions throughout the show. With a character as pivotal as Khal Drogo early on, you’d think that the minds behind Game of Thrones put a lot of time and effort into casting him, especially considering how great Momoa turned out to be in the role. However, this casting can actually be attributed to the readers of the books.
If you follow Game of Thrones at all, you’ve probably seen the viral thread about creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss that has had everyone talking on social media. The thread of tweets is essentially just a recap of a panel with the two creators, which offers some pretty revealing insight into how little they actually knew about writing television when they first landed the job with HBO. At one point, Benioff and Weiss explained that they turned to online casting forums to find ideas for certain characters, including Khal Drogo.
Yes, according to Benioff, Momoa was cast in Game of Thrones because the creators weren’t sure what to look for and they saw a fan online mention that he could be good for the role. There’s something to be said for giving the fans what they want, but this seems to be more about having no idea where to look and following the advice of book readers.
David is also saying that he went to fan casting pages and that is how they found Jason Mamoa.— Needle & Pen (@ForArya) October 26, 2019
Casting wasn’t the only part of the job Benioff and Weiss researched on fan forums. Weiss mentioned at one point that they were “geographically challenged,” and turned to the folks online for their maps and breakdowns of Westeros.
This is certainly a strange way to go about putting together one of the biggest shows in history, but it also helps make sense of the downfall the show experienced in the final two seasons. Once there was no more source material to lean on, and no more fans online with knowledge of what’s to come, the story of the show found itself struggling.
Do you think Game of Thrones could have been better in the last two seasons? What would you have changed? Let us know in the comments!