David Benioff (born David Friedman, September 25, 1970) is an American screenwriter and television producer, writer, and director.
Along with his collaborator D.B. Weiss, he is best known as co-creator, showrunner and writer of Game of Thrones (2011–2019), the HBO adaptation of George R. R. Martin's series of books A Song of Ice and Fire.
Along with Weiss, Benioff will also direct, produce and write films and TV shows to Netflix.
- The 25th Hour (2001, novel)
- When the Nines Roll Over (2004, short story collection)
- City of Thieves (2008, novel)
- 25th Hour (2002, writer)
- Troy (2004, writer)
- Stay (2005, writer)
- When the Nines Roll Over (2004, short film)
- The Kite Runner (2007, writer)
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009, co-writer)
- Brothers (2009, writer)
- Gemini Man (2019, co-writer)
- Leslie Jones: Time Machine (2020, co-director)
- Metal Lords (2022, co-producer)
- Lovecraft (TBA, co-producer)
- Game of Thrones (2011-2019): Co-creator, executive producer, writer (51 episodes) and director (episodes Game of Thrones S3E3: "Walk of Punishment" and Game of Thrones S8 E6: "The Iron Throne"). Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series (2015-2016, 2018-2019). Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (2015-2016).
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2013): wrote episode "Flowers for Charlie".
- Westworld (2020): cameo in episode Westworld S 03 E 02 The Winter Line
- The Chair (2021): Executive producer.
- 3 Body Problem (2024): Executive producer, writer.
- The Overstory (TBA): Executive producer.
David Benioff and his works frequently contain examples of:
- Author Appeal: All three of Benioff's books (two novels and one collection of short stories) frequently repeat the same set of tropes, particularly what seems to be author-insert versions of himself:
- The protagonists tend to be tall, but with crooked teeth, Russian-sounding names, and worried about living in their distant rich father's shadow - though their own aspirations are in Literature.
- Benioff himself has admitted that his stories often feature a pair of characters who are "me as I see myself" and an idealized version of "me as I want to be". The protagonist is usually the weak nerdy one, though sometimes they're both separate from the protagonist (i.e. the protagonist's two best friends in 25th Hour). Frank in 25th Hour, Kolya in City of Thieves, Tabachnik in When the Nines Roll Over, Butchko in Zoanthropy, etc. are just this same character repeated over and over.
- Coupled with distant and powerful fathers, the male character who is "me as I want to be" is usually the protagonist's older brother, or rather, a best friend who acts like an older brother, essentially a surrogate father. They're also overconfident, swaggering to the point of being crass, and skilled at sex.
- Author Usurpation: Game of Thrones has overshadowed all the other projects he's worked on.
- Has a Type: There's an interest in exotic women. The love interest in 25th Hour and multiple short stories are "exotic" Latinas, but the woman the lead character hooks up with in When the Nines Roll Over is actually a Southeast Asian woman, with the text going out of its way to say that she's exotic and alluring because he can't tell if she's Thai or Burmese.
- Pen Name: His legal name is actually still "David Benioff Friedman", according to copyright filings as late as 2020. He says that he changed it to "Benioff" (which is also his mother's surname) when he published his first book because "Friedman" is a relatively common name.