“It’s Always Sunny” creator and star Rob McElhenney has felt “tortured” after being lied to by the “Thrones” showrunners.
The worlds of “Game of Thrones” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” have intersected a lot over the eight seasons of the HBO drama series. Not only did “It’s Always Sunny” creator and star Rob McElhenney come to “Thrones,” but “Thrones” creators David Benioff and DB Weiss wrote an episode of “It’s Always Sunny” and also made appearances in the comedy series FXX. As revealed in the new behind-the-scenes book “Thrones” “Fire Can’t Kill a Dragon” (via THAT ONE), it turns out that a “dark practical joke” also connects the two fan-favorite franchises.
When Benioff and Weiss were looking for directors for “Thrones” Season 7, McElhenney pitched them on hiring his frequent “It’s Always Sunny” director Matt Shakman. Benioff and Weiss agreed and Shakman was hired to direct two episodes of Season 7, including the heavy combat installment “The Spoils of War”. The director turned out to be a great addition to the “Thrones” creative team, but Weiss and Benioff decided to play with McElhenney by telling him otherwise.
“We thought it would be funny if we told Rob that it didn’t work with Matt and that he was a total disaster,” Weiss said. “He would feel so guilty because he recommended it. We came and went [on email] slowly, without throwing it all at once, asking questions like, “So when Matt is on set, how does he usually behave?” Rob was all, ‘What the hell is wrong ?!’ We told him we had to step in and pick up the episode because it turned into such a mess.
Shakman said McElhenney was ‘tortured’ by the prank, adding, ‘It was the darkest joke … He was so concerned about me and said,’ What can I do? Who can I talk to? It has gone on too long.
The Season 7 prank would return to haunt Weiss and Benioff in a way in Season 8, where a cup of Starbucks coffee notoriously ended in a finished scene. Benioff and Weiss reveal in the book that they originally thought they were stuffed when it was learned that a cup of coffee was left behind in an episode that aired on HBO.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Benioff said. “When we got the email about it the next day, I honestly thought someone was playing pranks on us, because there had been things before where people were like, ‘Oh look. this plane in the background! ‘ and someone photoshopped it. I thought, “There’s no way there’s a cup of coffee in there. Then, when I saw it on TV, I thought to myself: “How did I not see that?” “
“Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Untold Story of the Epic Series” will be available for purchase starting October 6.
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