Why Game of Thrones dumped all those flashbacks from the books

Contributed by
Jan 11, 2016, 4:28 PM EST (Updated)

Everyone who's read George R.R. Martin's magnificent A Song of Ice and Fire series and watched HBO's Game of Thrones know that there's something actually missing in the TV series—namely, those glorious flashbacks! But why?

Game of Thrones Story Editor and author of the book Inside HBO's Game of Thrones Bryan Cogman has revealed the reasons why the show hasn't shown any important flashbacks. You know, those important flashbacks from the books that have a whole history to them? (For example the history of Lyanna Stark and Rhaeghar Targaryen which is essential to the plot.)

This is what Cogman said in an interview with MTV Geek:

"The decision to not include flashbacks was made right off the bat," said Cogman. "The principle reason for that is a logistical and budgetary one... We already the biggest cast in, maybe, TV history. Casting an entire generation of players from twenty years prior would... We probably wouldn't have had a season one if we did that."

Then Cogman added:

"The other reason is, that's a perfect example of what works in a book that doesn't work on TV. The book does brilliantly flash back through memory, and through people telling stories of the past. If you were just take those passages from the book and do them on screen, you would be doing a flashback every five minutes! It would be very jarring, and very difficult to sustain the momentum that you want to sustain.

"Having said that, certainly the relationship to the past is very important seam in the saga, and it's definitely one that we're mindful of. We have been very judicious as to when we allude to the past... We have done it, Lyanna and Rhaegar have come up several times, but we're playing the long game here. The relationship to the past, and the circumstances around the rebellion will all be visited somehow on the show. How we're going to do that, and the devices we're going to use, I don't even know yet."

Asked if they would consider doing a prequel series that could depict those events, Cogman answered (apparently laughing nicely):

"We have to finish this one first!" said Cogman. "Certainly that's what's wonderful about this property, we could probably do it for the next thirty years, between prequel series, and the Dunk and Egg stories, and any number of spin-offs. I know George has many thousands of years of Westerosian stuff he hasn't even put into the books yet. That would be fun, but right now, we're staying firmly in the present day adventures of the Starks, and the Lannisters. Once we tell that story, we'll see about the rest... If we're not all in insane asylums by then."

What do you think of the reasons why there are no flashbacks on Game of Thrones? Do you think Bryan Cogman is making a valid point here?

(via MTV Geek)