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The Game of Thrones showrunners Benioff and Weiss preview season 3, and also address how the show will change moving forward.

Promoting the upcoming third season of Game of Thrones, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss participated in a conference call with various news outlets earlier this week.

Hitfix reports that in the call, Benioff reaffirmed what has been stated many times before, that season 3 is the one they’ve been looking forward to since starting the show. And they aren’t expecting any future season to top it.

“The third season of Game of Thrones is probably as big as we’re going to get,” he says. “Season 3 is probably the biggest in terms of the number of new characters, number of new stories overall. The universe has expanded as much as it’s going to, and now it’s going to contract,” as some characters are removed from the story.

However, where season 3 won’t have a big battle, we do have one to look forward to in season 4 which Benioff deems “even bigger than Blackwater.”

And there might be more surprises coming – like characters being killed off in the show that weren’t in the books (like Dany’s handmaidens), or characters that don’t die at all! “We would not rule out the idea that a character who gets whacked in the book series makes it through the TV series,” Benioff teases.

They also discuss what might happen if George R.R. Martin doesn’t finish the series before the TV show catches up to him. Benioff says that while they’d prefer the books to come out first, “we’re not going to take a two-year hiatus (to wait for a book). The little kids are growing older, the show’s got momentum now, and the show must go on. We’re just hopeful that it will all time out.”

Could we see Martin’s story wrapped up in the TV show before the final book is released? How would the fanbase even respond to that?!

Game of Thrones season 3 premieres Sunday at 9/8c on HBO!

  • Jeff Dodge

    With book 3 being split up into two seasons, I have a feeling they’ll continue that format for the remaining books. That’ll obviously help with not having it catch up with the final books as fast, but it still very well could. And that’s even more pressure on GRRM to finish the series, not that he needs any more, of course.

    And even though the show is deviating more from the books now, if the TV show were to catch up with the books and go beyond it, it seems strange and I don’t know if fans would want to see if play out that way.

    • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

      Book 3 is perfect for splitting into 2 seasons but I think get book 4 and 5 into 2 seasons is a bit of a stretch in my opinion. There’s just not enough action in either of those books to get any further than 2 seasons with them.
      I can see book 6 being season 6-7 at the latest

      • Jeff Dodge

        I’m sure you would know more than I would; I haven’t read books 4 and 5 yet, so I guess I just assumed because they were big books as well there was a lot in them. But since they are splitting up book 3, do you think they’ll do it anyways with the rest of the books because they know they can get away with it now?

        • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

          Well a lot more happens in 3 alone that 4 and 5 put together, as the latter two are mainly building up for the epic book 6

      • Cody Scrivner

        From what I’ve seen, they are thinking about mixing books 4 and 5 to tell the story chronologically instead of geographically. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see them combining the 2 books and turning all that into 3 different seasons. I agree that there is not enough meat for 2 seasons each, but the 2 books sharing 3 seasons? It could be done.

        That would make book 6 into season 8 in 2018 and 7 (assuming it’s done by then) as season 9 in 2019, giving GRRM a few more years to work his magic. Though with the kids being all grown up. Isaac Hempstead-Wright will be almost 20 by then, less believable as a juvenile Bran.

        • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

          I’m convinced that 4/5 can really take up to 2-2.5 seasons max.
          If they mixed some of the start of book 6 into season 7 that could work because 2 major battles will occur.

          • Cody Scrivner

            You’re probably right on how much meat there is to 4/5. I honestly don’t see book six as being the problem. I sincerely doubt they catch up before it is published. Book 7 though, that is another story entirely.

  • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

    Really hope they are messing with us about changing deaths from the books. If they keep around any main characters that should have died it would too much of a deviation for me.

  • Cleft

    This director is being very disrespectful towards Martin and his books

    • Jeff Dodge

      Are you referring to the showrunners? If so, Martin is an executive producer on the show, so he’d be giving his consent to these things.

  • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

    I forget, what’s the massive battle in the second half on ASoS that he mentions?

    • Mackenzie

      I’m wondering that too. xD So much happens in the series that things tend to blend together…..I really need to read them a second time

      • Mackenzie

        SPOILERS: (you’ve been warned non-readers)

        Actually what about the fight at the wall between the wildlings and the night’s watch, doesn’t that happen at the end of SOS? Isn’t that when Ygritte dies?

        • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

          That’s what I was thinking, but he says the battle is bigger than Blackwater ?

          • http://www.facebook.com/macdor Rob Macdonald

            isn’t there a battle with the White Walkers at some point with Stannis and the Nights Watch?

          • bandoogiemanz

            As far as I remember, the only big battle is at the wall. It’s kind of split in two, the first where the wildlings attack the wall, and later on when Staniss attacks the wildlings. I assume he’s referring to the Stannis attack, but this statement also makes me believe that its possible, they could post both battles in the same season creating one, huge epic battle. Time will tell.

          • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

            It could be the battle for Meereen? In the book it was only told as a flashback, but if they used it in the show it would be f–king epic!

          • bandoogiemanz

            You could be right, Sorry, but I don’t remember that battle or the circumstances surrounding it.

  • ncnapper92

    Sorry, but I’d prefer they would make up an ending and finish the show then cancel it because the books don’t come out.

    • Cody Scrivner

      That’s not what anyone’s talking about doing. They are talking about making the show with the book’s endings. Benioff and Weiss already know the general outline. It was done that way so that if GRRM kicks the bucket, there wouldn’t be a Robert Jordan-esque situation.

  • Mason

    Why would you change character deaths at all. The deaths are one of the main reasons i think Georges books are diffrent from the others. It shows that no one is safe and a simple mistake could kill you.Im worried that they might draw away even more this season then season two.I really dont like changes from book to screen.Even when they killed the tickler off at the wrong time really fustrated me. He doesnt get killed off until storm of swords.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607519910 Catherine Lai

    Wait, what? If the show catches up to the books, you’d depict the ending in the show first? That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard! Just take a season off, we can wait.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=607519910 Catherine Lai

    Ha, Selina’s fears about season 3 being the biggest are confirmed :P I’m not surprised, though.

    • http://hypable.com Selina

      I’m scared.

  • http://twitter.com/GCode260 Joe Zalesny

    If the show should catch up with the books why don’t they just do a season showing King Roberts rebellion? Could be considered a prequel to season 1. Showing the audience how Robert came to sit on the Iron Throne.

    • bandoogiemanz

      I think that’s a very good idea. Kind of like what happened with Spartacus. The writing there showed you can have a good, engaging show even though its a prequel and people already know some of the things that has happened.

    • Jen

      the only problem with that is there are a few features of that time such as AShara Dayne and the events of the Tower of Joy that are still a mystery in the books, and could answer some massive still-unanswered questions in the series.

      • Cody Scrivner

        I’d like to see a prequel season eventually, but not Robert’s Rebellion. Either of the Targaryen civil wars (the Dance of Dragons or the Blackfyre Rebellion) would be nice. Blackfyre would probably be cheaper but the Dance would have (in my dreams at least) awe-inspiring aerial dragon vs dragon combat.

    • Helly Zanuff

      i was going to say this!! it is totally a great idea!

  • Sam

    I get things are going to be cut and altered for adaptations, but why oh why do people insist on adding their own fan-ficish type stories to the adaptation, changing character deaths or adding a character and giving it its own development in favour of a real character? That doesn’t make sense at all. Why not start with the Ros character then? I’m getting sick of her.

  • Jen

    gaaahhh, this is a serious problem! i wish they could pause it 10 ten years and wait for the rest of the books but that’s of course not possible with the actors. where’s a tardis when you need one??

  • Kristen12

    Martin has been trying to get his book made into a tv series or movies for a while now so it is only his own fault if he doesn’t finish the books in time for the show and if you take a look at how long it’s taken him on the other books it’s not going to happen and they can’t just take a year off, it would have to be more like 5. I don’t know why he thought starting the show in 2011 was a good idea anyways. He should’ve waited like 5 more years at least…his fault though!!

  • humanbeing

    In terms of an adaptation of a work being completed before the original work it’s based on – it’s happened a few times already, but mostly in the realm of comic books. There was a comic book series revolving around a character named Scott Pilgrim that was adapted into a movie directed by Edgar Wright, but the comic series hadn’t been completed when Wright started the film. Wright ended up loosely adapting what did exist, and then created his own ending to the story. It was only after production was completed that the comic book series finally came to an end, with a somewhat similar but also somewhat divergent ending, and Wright did go back and film some additional scenes to more closely match the “official” ending, but still it was an example of the two stories taking fairly different paths in regards to the ending, but still retaining the same tone. Also, the movie Kick-Ass was based on a comic series by Mark Millar that hadn’t been completed when production on the movie began, and once again, the director and writer of the adaptation created their own finish to the story, and the comic was completed afterwards with its own ending. If the show catches up with Martin’s books (as I now think is extremely likely, with Storm of Swords equaling about two seasons, with a little bit of Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons thrown in, then maybe at most another two seasons dealing with the main storylines of Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons put in a more chronological order…that will mean that George basically has to have Winds of Winter ready within three years, and in truth, probably needs to have the next book after that ready within another year or two after that). Anyway, if the show catches up, I know the showrunners have met with George and asked him to give them the general skeleton of the plot of the rest of the series, so they can even start setting up certain plotlines as soon as this season and the next that won’t unfold in the books until a number of years from now, and so that when the show catches up with the books, from that point on we will basically have two divergent storylines, two divergent endings, but hopefully the same basic overall plotline.

  • http://twitter.com/burforde Elliot Burford

    Okay so possibly:
    Season 1 – 2011 – Book 1
    Season 2 – 2012 – Book 2
    Season 3 – 2013 – Book 3 (part 1)
    Season 4 – 2014 – Book 3 (part 2)
    Season 5 – 2015 – Book 4/5 (part 1)
    Season 6 – 2016 – Book 4/5 (part2)
    Season 7 – 2017 – Book 6 (part 1)
    Season 8 – 2018 – Book 6 (part 2) / Book 7 (part 1)
    Season 9 – 2019 – Book 7 (part 2)

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