SPOILER ALERT: Game of Thrones Will Officially Spoil the Books
If you enjoy reading Electric Literature, join our mailing list! We’ll send you the best of EL each week, and you’ll be the first to know about upcoming submissions periods and virtual events.
For years fans have worried that HBO’s adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones, would overtake the books. Some TV show characters, like Bran, have already more or less reached the point they were left at in the last book. The TV show also showed us elements of the White Walkers that we haven’t seen in the books. So fans have been rightly concerned that the show would surpass the books. Yesterday, show runners Dan Weiss and David Benioff confirmed this will happen:
Luckily, we’ve been talking about this with George for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen, and we know where things are heading. And so we’ll eventually, basically, 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. I kind of wish that there were some things we didn’t have to spoil, but we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The show must go on…and that’s what we’re going to do.
Truth be told, we all knew this was coming for years. Weiss and Benioff have said they only want to film seven seasons. George R. R. Martin has said he will write two more books. The last two books took an average of 5.5 years to finish. So even if Martin somehow rushed out book 6 this year, the TV show would still easily overtake the books before book 7 could realistically come out. Fans, and even George R. R. Martin himself, have proposed solutions such as taking a long hiatus or including a movie to wrap up the show… but that was never going to happen. HBO makes TV shows, and they can’t lock actors into contracts if the show goes on hiatus for the five years or so it would likely take for Martin to finish.
On the other hand, the TV show has already altered many plots and rumors are the show will kill of characters who do not die in the books. So book readers will still have some surprises in store whenever The Winds of Winter (book 6) and A Dream of Spring (book 7) are finally finished.
You can watch the video of the interview with the show runners and cast at Oxford Union here: