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Anyone who has been watching HBO’s Game of Thrones should know the show is in a bit of a conundrum. The fantasy series is based on a set of novels written by George R. R. Martin, and the next entry in the Song of Ice and Fire series isn’t due to hit shelves until at least 2016. With that in mind, Game of Thrones is rapidly catching up to the books that spawned it, and recently Game of Thrones executive producer David Benioff admitted the show will eventually spoil the ending of the books.
Speaking at the Oxford Union, Benioff admitted that his team was stuck “between a rock and a hard place.” While no one actively wants to spoil the A Song of Ice and Fire ending for readers, the show is rapidly moving forward whereas the novels are not. Here’s what Benioff had to say.
Luckily, we’ve been talking about this with George [R.R. Martin] for a long time... and we know where things are heading. So, we’ll eventually meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going. There might be a few deviations along the route, but we’re heading towards the same destination.
This is actually big news. While we’ve already encountered plenty of deviations from the books in the HBO drama thus far, the quote from the address at the Oxford Union is important for two reasons. First, it explains that some additional changes will be made between the TV series and the books coming up. However, Benioff is also saying that eventually the TV drama and the books will head to the very same place, which means we will learn how the novels will end before the novels actually end. Since the series could theoretically have a different ending than the TV show, this is a bit disappointing.
It’s not as if Benioff is gleeful about stealing George R.R. Martin’s thunder. In fact, he says at one point that the team had hoped the books would be published before the show caught up. That didn’t happen, but Game of Thrones has to continue to produce new episodes.
We can’t put the show on hiatus… We can’t take a two-year break 'cause you know these guys are in demand and they are going to go off and do other stuff. So, we kind of have to keep pushing forward.
Anyone who is even moderately good at math should have seen this coming. While Game of Thrones split up the third book in the series to encompass Seasons 3 and 4, unfortunately, thet now have the opposite problem. Martin’s fourth and fifth books, A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons are split between point of view characters but are written on the same timeline—meaning events in both books take place simultaneously. It’s probable that stories will be stretched for some characters, but other characters are already catching up to where Martin last left them in the books.
Luckily, it seems as if Benioff and other producer Dan Weiss have a good grasp on where the series is headed. They’ve previously stated they have a goal of seven or eight seasons in mind for the HBO drama, although the subscription cable network has expressed interest in more seasons of the cash cow drama, if possible. What we do know for fact is that George R.R. Martin’s next novel isn’t coming anytime soon. If Game of Thrones catches up, so be it.
You can catch the full interview on the next page.