The adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books into the television series Game of Thrones raised a lot of hopes in its earliest days, and not just hopes of a cool TV adaptation of a beloved fantasy series. Fans also wondered if Martin might speed up his writing a bit in order to get the final books in the series published before the schedule of a yearly television show crept up on him.
When it became clear that that wasn't how things were going to happen, fans instead wondered if the television show would slow down in order to meet Martin's pace, perhaps by taking a year off, or, in a less crazy alternative, doing a season of flashback and prequel stories. But as Game of Thrones inches up on A Song of Ice and Fire, it doesn't seem like any of that is intended either. Trailers for season five have indicated that it will contain events not yet published in a Song of Ice and Fire book, and fans are now looking at a situation in which both book readers and show watchers will be on the same page, so to speak, at the beginning of season six.
At an appearance at Oxford this weekend, show runners Dan Weiss and David Benioff confirmed this when they revealed their big plan: just barreling ahead anyway. Weiss and Benioff will be using their inside information on the series, as George R.R. Martin's creative confidants, to forge the future seasons of Game of Thrones, including the imminent season five.
Benioff addressed those at Oxford Union this weekend:
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.
It turns out that in the Game of Thrones you actually find out who wins and dies earlier than you thought you would. Still, if Martin's hints at his own productivity bear out, fans might only see a few spoilers in season five (premiering on April 12) before the publication of Winds of Winter ahead of 2016's sixth season of the show. What might those spoilers include? Well, for one example, the first season five trailer hinted that we may see Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister and Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen meet, something established as likely in the books but not yet accomplished. And Martin promised a few deaths that haven't been seen (or that are different entirely) in the books as well.
Here's the whole talk, featuring Dan Weiss, David Benioff, John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), and Kit Harington (Jon Snow).