The sixth season of Game of Thrones, as even the most casual of fans surely know by now, will be the first season in which the show gets out ahead of its source material. With George R.R. Martin’s next book in the series, The Winds of Winter set for release… at some point… eventually, it’s basically set in stone that the entire 10-episode season will come and go before he gets to chime in on the fates of all the characters he created. It’s kind of weird.
So far we know — or rather, we’ve been told — that the new season is the best one yet and that Jaime and Cersei’s relationship will get even weirder, to whatever degree you can out-weird “mostly non-consensual incest three feet away from your child’s corpse.” But what about the books? Will the new season just spoil them to all hell for the diehard readers? “No!,” says probably fibbing Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
“People are talking about whether the books are going to be spoiled – and it’s really not true,” Benioff told EW. “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.”
Yeah, I don’t know. On one hand, sure, there will probably be enough differences that “the books won’t be spoiled” will at least be a defendable position when the next book comes out and readers start covering their walls with plots and events from both connected by strands of red yarn. But on the other hand, Martin and the TV team have said a number of times that he gave them the bullet points of where he’s headed, so it’s hard to imagine that after five years of wild success loosely following his blueprint, they’re just going to be like, “Hmm. Nah. Pass.” Benioff said it himself, “certain key elements will be the same.” You know, key elements. Like all the important stuff people remember and care about. So, he’s probably not so much saying the books won’t be spoiled as he’s saying, “But you should still buy George’s book, tho.”
That said, it would be fun if this is 100 percent true and they just get super weird this season. Give Arya wings. Have Zombie Ned Stark show up as a pool hustler. They can do whatever they want and then when the book is different, they can just say, “Whoa whoa whoa. That was what George told us was gonna happen. We’re as shocked as you.”