Recently, “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss sat down at the Oxford Union with actors Kit Harrington and John Bradley to talk about the upcoming season.
During the Q&A portion of the event, David Benioff confirmed that “Game of Thrones” will eventually spoil the ending for “A Dream of Spring,” George R.R. Martin”s final novel in the “Song of Ice and Fire” series.
The question about the show overtaking the novels came around 34 minutes into the interview. A participant asked how the show planned to handle the fact they are quickly running out of known source material for several prominent characters. Benioff explained:
We”ve been talking to [George R.R. Martin] for a while about this because we didn”t want to catch up. But at the same time, George has his process. And if takes him 20 years to finish the series, that”s what it should take. To my mind, he”s writing the great fantasy epic of our time. So we can”t rush him and I wouldn”t want to rush him.
But we can”t put the show on hiatus. […] So we have to keep pushing forward. Luckily, we”ve been talking with George about this for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen. We know where things are heading. We”ll eventually meet up 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 headed to 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. The show must go on.
So there you have it. “Game of Thrones” is going to head towards the same conclusion as Martin”s “A Dream of Spring” with spoilers for “The Winds of Winter” along the way. Fans of HitFix Harpy already suspected as much, but now we have Word of God. So should book readers keep watching the HBO show?
To me, this sounds very similar to what happened with another hot series that was converted into a television show before the author had written the ending, “Fullmetal Alchemist.” In 2003, the popular manga was still in the process of being written when the anime was greenlit. By episode 25, the series had caught up to the source material. But the show must go on, and “Fullmetal Alchemist” did just that, going on to have a 51-episode run that won numerous awards.
It was also not even remotely close to where the manga author was taking the story. Years later, after the manga was completed, a second anime series entitled “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood” was released, adhering more closely to the source material.
All of this is to say that even if David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss know the skeletal structure of where GRRM is going with “A Song of Ice and Fire,” the devil is in the details. Writing is a nebulous thing; plot threads and character arcs are picked up and discarded as drafts churn through the process to a finished book. There will be plenty of surprises in both TWOW and ADOS not touched by HBO. Some due to time constraints of a 10-episode season and some because they don”t even exist yet, even in George R.R. Martin”s mind.
Benioff confirmed as much, saying:
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 in the show, and I think people who love the show and want more – who 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.
”Game of Thrones” returns to HBO on April 12, 2015.