Freezing atop a glacier in Iceland, preparing to film the capture of young hero Jon Snow (Kit Harington) by an army of savage “wildlings” for HBO’s blockbuster fantasy series Game of Thrones, Dan Weiss (known to fans as D. B. Weiss) marveled at his good luck. “It was one of the peak moments in my life, standing in this place that’s so epic,” says the 41-year-old Highland Park native.
Weiss’s journey to Iceland was just as arduous as Jon Snow’s, minus the sword fighting. He grew up reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and wrestling with Dungeons & Dragons, then fell in love with horror films like 1976’s The Omen. Turned out the movie’s screenwriter, David Seltzer, was also from Highland Park. In the late 1980s, Seltzer spoke at Highland Park High School. (Disclosure: Weiss and I were classmates.) “He had been sitting in possibly the same room 20 years before me,” Weiss says. “It crystallized for me: This wasn’t a person that was different from me. This was something I could feasibly do in life.”