Loyal readers of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series can breathe a sigh of relief, because Game of Thrones creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, have revealed that the new series won't be spoiling secrets in the next book.
For those that weren't aware, Season 6 will mark the first year that the HBO hit will diverge from the book series entirely, having outpaced old George and his DOS word processor. Bookworms everywhere were pretty devastated to learn that the next installment, The Winds of Winter, won't be completed before GoT is back on our small screens next month, but it looks like they have a lot less to worry about than first thought.
Although the show's creators did meet with Martin a couple of years ago to find out what he had planned for the final arc in his story, they are by no means obligated to stick to it. Benioff told Entertainment Weekly:
“People are talking about whether the books are going to be spoiled – and it’s really not true. So much of what we’re doing diverges from the books at this point. And while there are certain key elements that will be the same, we’re not going to talk so much about that – and I don’t think George is either. People are going to be very surprised when they read the books after the show. They’re quite divergent in so many respects for the remainder of the show.”
Alright, I know what you're thinking: the show will still expose 'key elements' from the new novel, but with so many alterations, fans reading the books aren't going to know what's the same and what's different. Sure, the producers probably hoped that Martin would keep up with the show but at least now it can go down its own path free from any particular expectations. Weiss added:
“What makes the books so great is that George doesn’t make meticulous blueprints for every beat of this story and then fill in the blanks dutifully going from A to B to C, fleshing out an outline. At a certain point, we realized we were going to outpace the books and we kind of chose to see it as a great thing on both sides – there’s this amazing world George has created and now there are two different versions, and there’s no reason we can see why you can’t be thrilled and surprised and dismayed by both of these different versions of this world.”
Maybe it's time to face up to the fact that the books and the TV show are unique entities and even if they do end in the same way, it's likely that they'll be taking very different directions in the meantime — and that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's perfectly possible that Benioff and Weiss can create characters, arcs and underlying storylines of their own, while still honoring Martin's original vision, as they've proved in seasons gone by.
But only time will tell how different the two expressions will really be, and we'll find out the first half of the story on April 24. As for the second half, we're not entirely sure; all we know is that The Winds of Winter WILL be released... eventually. If you wish, like me, to watch the trailer for the upcoming series for the fourteenth time, here it is: