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Game Of Thrones Season 6 is quickly approaching, much to the joy of its rabid fan base. Season 6 will kick off in a little over a month, and the new season is about to hit unprecedented territory. For the first time in the show’s history, there will no longer be one of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels to reference and adapt for the small screen. Since Martin has yet to finish his next book, fans of the source material are nervous that watching the new season of Game of Thrones will spoil their future reading experiences. It turns out, those fears aren’t so warranted after all.

In an interview with EW, Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff addressed that concern saying: 
People are talking about whether the books are going to be spoiled – and it’s really not true. So much of what we’re doing diverges from the books at this point. And while there are certain key elements that will be the same, we’re not going to talk so much about that – and I don’t think George is either. People are going to be very surprised when they read the books after the show. They’re quite divergent in so many respects for the remainder of the show.

This is pretty exciting for fans of both the books and TV series. While the showrunners had a conversation with George R.R. Martin a few years ago regarding the overall arc of the upcoming books, it seems HBO will now be taking matters into their own hands and making decisions unique to Martin’s intentions.

As a fan of the George R.R. Martin’s novels, I was similarly weary that I would be spoiled when reading the forthcoming The Winds of Winter. Since Martin’s books are so lengthy and detail-oriented, they take a certain amount of time and dedication to complete. Having the big twists and endings spoiled would presumably discourage readers from taking the time to explore the first person POV style of the novelization. 

Then again, there is a certain amount of nervousness that comes with HBO writing so much original material for the characters of Westeros. The moments where Game of Thrones has deviated from the novels haven’t exactly been adored by viewers. Sansa’s controversial sexual abuse by the hands of Ramsay Bolton infuriated people around the world, and fans of the novels are still waiting for Lady Stoneheart to make an appearance. So there is always the possibility that wholly original HBO material won’t be the same Game of Thrones we’ve come to know and love. 

Of course, all will be revealed once Season 6 begins, and furthermore when The Winds of Winter is published (whenever that may be). Luckily for us, one of those waits is about to be over.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24th, 2016. 

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