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It’s not easy being a Game of Thrones fan. Between the constant risk of favorite characters dying, the gazillion names to keep track of, and the shortage of book spoilers currently available, fans require a certain fortitude to keep going. Perhaps toughest of all is the annual hiatus. With only ten episodes per year, there’s a lot of waiting. Luckily, Season 6 is only about a month away now, and showrunner David Benioff thinks that it may be the best one yet.
This season there is not a weak episode. We had great directors who knew what they were doing, paired with excellent [directors of photography]. We thought at the script stage it might be our strongest season. Then the episodes came in better than we hoped. We’re always reluctant to say it’s ‘the best season yet’ because so much of that is in the eyes of the beholder. And Dan and I are so close to it that it’s impossible to be unbiased. But that’s my sense – watching them all together now, this is the best one we’ve done. It’s also the one I’m proudest of, because it was the hardest.
David Benioff spilled to EW that he and fellow showrunner Dan Weiss may have crafted the best season yet. This doesn’t exactly mean that the last weeks of waiting will pass any quicker, but it’s always nice to be filled with excitement rather than dread with Game of Thrones. Of course, Benioff wasn’t going to say that Season 6 is shaping up to be an average season with adequate directors and okay directors of photography, but he seems too enthusiastic to just be trying to sell the show. In fact, he went even further when explaining why he’s so optimistic.
This is not us trying to hype it. Usually there’s an episode or two we’re kind of nervous about, that didn’t turn out as well as we hoped.
Given the changes to the show that we already know will be in place for Season 6, Benioff’s promise of ten exceptional episodes makes it hard not to wonder what pushed him over the edge into considering this season his personal best. This will be the first year that George R.R. Martin won’t be writing an episode, and it comes during a year in which Martin writing an episode could have been particularly revealing. Still, David Benioff and Dan Weiss could have found freedom in Martin’s absence to continue diverging the show from the books.
The show outpacing the books could certainly explain why Season 6 was the hardest for David Benioff. Even George R.R. Martin doesn’t know exactly where the characters will be going on the page, so the showrunners will be truly forging their own paths with the show from now on. Season 6 will really be the one to show us what Benioff and Weiss can do on their own, and Benioff clearly isn’t shying away from speaking very highly of it.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO at 9 p.m. ET on April 24. If it’s even half as good as Benioff believes, we’re in for a wild ride during Season 6. For a look ahead, check out our breakdown of what we know so far.