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How can you tell when an entertainment exec is lying? When his or her lips were moving a few years ago. Despite an initial stance that HBO’s Game of Thrones would never resort to taking viewers on flashbacks, it has now been revealed that Season 5 of the hit epic drama will indeed be heading to the past to flesh out its storytelling. And it’s probably a good thing.
Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are currently in Spain, where the fifth season of Game of Thrones is currently filming. They offered up an informative Q&A to Spanish film students recently, where the issue of flashbacks came up. Here’s a rough translation of the narrative-shaking announcement.
By making the first season, we set a rule: do not use prophecies, dreams or flashbacks. We failed the first two, and the third this season. So yes, this season will finally have flashbacks.”
It’s unclear at this point whether “flashbacks” is intentionally plural or just a gap in translation. Either way, EW reports the one confirmed flashback is currently set to open the entire season, though they acknowledge that future edits could change this. Expected to feature in this look back is a young Cersei, since there were rumors about her and fortune teller Maggy the Frog being cast over the summer. This would also shed some light on Charles Dance recently claiming that his character Tywin Lannister isn’t yet done in the Game of Thrones universe. Will we see any other now-deceased characters return?
What the showrunners don’t share in the panel is whether this flashback will be included for purely artistic reasons, or if they’re having to stretch things out. Author George R.R. Martin is famously taking eons to get the next book in the Fire and Ice series out to readers, which means the TV series’ lack of story-treading is coming back to bite it. They’re already excising certain characters whose plots were fast-forwarded for TV purposes. Does this mean Game of Thrones will soon feature a bottle episode where a handful of characters are waiting around to get a table at a Chinese restaurant? Of course, Boardwalk Empire has made flashbacks a way of life in its final season, and The Leftovers used them to finally give audiences answers to its many mysteries, so maybe this is just a story note from HBO.
You can read the whole Q&A here, and there are quite a few more interesting tidbits to be found. Be on the lookout for more Game of Thrones news as we make the long trek to Season 5, which is set to premiere at some point in early 2015.