HBO Series Will Spoil Final Books. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have confirmed the longstanding rumors that the HBO series will spoil the upcoming books in the series. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels (adapted into Game of Thrones) made its debut in 1996, and so far has only seen the release of five of the seven books in the series. There is currently no set release date for the final two installments in the book series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
Given Martin’s track record for long waits between releases in the series, the Game of Thrones showrunners made a point of sitting down with him in order to sketch out an arc for the series in the event that the novels did not keep pace with the television show.
David Benioff had this to say,
We’ve been talking to [Martin] for a while about this. The fact is, we didn’t want to catch up. Obviously, we would hope that the books would come out ahead of the show. But at the same time, George has his process. And if it takes him 20 years to finish the series, that’s what it should take him. He’s writing, to my mind, the great fantasy epic of our time. So we can’t rush him and I wouldn’t want to rush him. [But] at the same time, we can’t put the show on hiatus. …
So we have to kind of keep pushing forward. Luckily, we’ve been talking about this with George for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen, and we know where things are heading. So we’ll eventually basically meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going [in “A Dream of Spring”]. There might be a few deviations along the route, but we’re heading towards the same destination. I kind of wish there were some things we didn’t have to spoil in terms of the books, but we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. So the show must go on. …
I think the thing that’s kind of fun for George is the idea that he can still have surprises for people even once they’ve watched the show through to the conclusion. There are certain things that are going to happen in the books that are different from the show, and I think people who love the show and want more — want to know more about the characters, want to know more about the different characters who might not have made the cut for the show — will be able to turn to the books.
Given the typically annual television production cycle and the multi-year droughts between Martin’s book releases there were only a few ways that this could have all played out.
1-Best case for HBO, they stretch the series out for a 10-year run and keep the stories timeline extremely close to the release of the books. This is the most unrealistic option as it requires locking certain actors into their contracts for another five years.
2-The series showrunners use the fifth book as a launching pad and take the series in a direction that makes the most sense in relation to creating a compelling television show. This isn’t such a terrible idea as the writers have been fiddling with key elements of the novels in order to make them translate to television since the first season of the series.
3-Assuming George R. R. Martin has a plan for where the series is heading, he shares it with the show’s writers and they keep the show on a trajectory very similar to where the books will ultimately end up.
Option 3 is the ideal scenario and fortunately, it appears to be the direction in which the show is heading. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any examples of source material not keeping pace with the features that they are adapted into. For once, the television audience will be able to threaten booker readers with spoilers.
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Source: Oxford Union via Moviefone