Halo’s 10-episode, Pablo Schreiber-starring season of AAA TV coming to Showtime from Kyle Killen and Steven Kane has video game and genre TV fans alike feeling wary. Video game adaptations just never seem to work out as well as you’d hope, and Halo’s already waded into the adaptation world with middling success. That said, some of the key players behind the series are working to make it more and more like one of the most successful genre TV shows of all time: Game of Thrones.
How in the world could the swords n’ sorcery battle between families, houses, dragons, wights, and nation-states compare to the war waged between space marines and a few different alien factions? Judging from 343 Industries executive Kiki Wolfkill, who recently spoke on the podcast The AIAS Game Maker’s Notebook, it all comes down to what kind of story they’re trying to tell and how large they want to go with it.
“We talk about Game of Thrones a lot in terms of scope and scale and complexity of relationships,” Wolfkill said when asked about the non-video game influences the team used to translate the world of Master Chief to the small screen. “A lot of the background of Halo is this sort of political drama,” she explained. “It’s something that you touch on really lightly in the games and see more of in some of the other mediums. In something like a Game of Thrones, some of that complexity is interesting.”
However, there are some taboos that George R.R. Martin crossed that still won’t fly for those fans looking to see the worlds of the Flood, Covenant, and humanity collide. “No incest planned,” Wolfkill joked, “If you’re looking for that, you won’t find that here.” But the approach to adaptation is similar. Wolfkill said that she “admired” Game of Thrones’ first few seasons and how closely they compared to the books, and that when there was a shift, you could immediately “understand exactly why.”
Avoiding “change[s] for changes’ sake” is something that Halo fans might be able to expect from the series, then when it begins production later this year.