Game of Thrones showrunners confirm that the series will reach crucial points before George R.R. Martin.
Fans of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series on which the show is based have long been concerned about the possibility of spoilers in Game of Thrones. Speaking at the Oxford Union, showrunner David Benioff confirmed recently that these fears were not in vain.
“I kind of wish that there were some things we didn’t have to spoil,” Benioff admitted, “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.”
The likelihood that the HBO series would surpass the printed material increased yearly, as Martin continued work on the sixth book in his saga, The Winds of Winter. Benioff and fellow showrunner Dan Weiss have been prepared for this eventuality.
“Luckily, we’ve been talking about this with George for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen,” he said. “We know where things are heading.”
Still, Benioff noted that not every plot point in Game of Thrones will correspond exactly to the events of the books.
“We’ll eventually, basically, meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going,” Benioff promised. “There might be a few deviations along the route, but we’re heading towards the same destination.”
Several of those deviations have already become evident to fans of the books through the fourth season of Game of Thrones. The fifth season, which kicks off in less than a month, promises even more changes from the source material, including the deaths of characters who survive (so far) in the book series.
But evidently, some of what seems to have changed may simply not have come to pass yet.
For his part, Benioff thinks that all will be well with the world — and George R.R. Martin — in the end.
“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,” the showrunner said.
“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 — 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.”
From Benioff’s perspective, it seems like Game of Thrones will become the primary vehicle by which fans will learn the story of A Song of Ice and Fire. Still, some hope may remain for fervent book fans; Martin recently made a few uncharacteristically optimistic comments regarding his progress on The Winds of Winter, and it’s always possible that the series’ literary wrap-up will be in the pipeline sooner than fans think.
Though with history as our teacher here, we wouldn’t hold our breath on that.
Game of Thrones season 5 will premiere on Sunday, April 12 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.