David Benioff and D.B. Weiss already know how Game of Thrones will end. Now they might also know WHEN it will end. The screenwriting duo already conferred with George R.R. Martin on the ending of the series, but they both have some strong feelings about how much is left in the tank for the fantasy epic.
In a recent interview with Variety, Benioff and Weiss revealed the difficulty in bringing the show to HBO and what they did to win over Martin for permission to adapt the series. The big revelation came when the topic of “the end” was brought up and they revealed how many seasons they see the show running:
We’ve got a very definitive idea of how much longer it is, and we’re getting there. We’ve just started writing episodes for season six. I think we’re heading into the home stretch. Hopefully, we’ll have a clear answer soon.
We could go another four years — and we could come up with good stories — but the one thing that really got us excited when we pitched this to HBO was that this isn’t just a regular series. It’s a real story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
We know what the end is, and we’re barreling toward it. So the idea that we’re going to try and stretch it out by an extra couple years just because we’re all having a good time doing it and people are making money off it just feels like it would be a betrayal.
Reading this and taking in that these guys think four years is too much, you can’t help but perk up a little bit. Much like The Walking Dead, you just sorta figure that Game of Thrones will be there, chugging along with different characters, bloody murders, and nudity until the audiences are uninterested. It’s not surprising, but it is just slightly jarring.
Their reasons are honorable, though, and I think they can’t really go back on the trust they earned with HBO and George R.R. Martin (even if HBO is probably praying that the show can stretch into Gunsmoke territory).
Benioff: Season five is still very much within the books for the most part. The very first scene of the season and the very last scene of the season are book scenes. It’s more season six that’s going to be diverging a bit.
We’ve had a lot of conversations with George, and he makes a lot of stuff up as he’s writing it. Even while we talk to him about the ending, it doesn’t mean that that ending that he has currently conceived is going to be the ending when he eventually writes it.
Weiss: It’s like looking at a landscape and saying, “OK, there’s a mountain over there, and I know that I’m getting to that mountain.” There’s an event that’s going to happen, and I know that I’m moving in the general direction of that event, but what’s between where I’m standing now and that thing off on the horizon, I’m not totally sure. I’ll know when I get there, and then I’ll see what the terrain looks like around me and I’ll choose my path once I get closer to it. He figures a lot of this stuff as he goes. He always says he’s a gardener, not an architect. (via)
Pretty soon, book readers won’t have anything to lord over people who only watch the television series. At least not until the series is completely finished across all media and we can sit back to compare both in the think piece to end all think pieces. Until then, enjoy what you’ve got. Nothing lasts forever.