Now that “Game of Thrones” has officially caught up with the published source material in George R.R. Martin’s epic book series, many fans were left wondering where the show would go from here.
Would it create an entirely new storyline, essentially becoming a high-budget fanfiction of the original story? Did the showrunners have behind the scenes knowledge of what’s to come in future books? Were they planning to spoil important plot points by beating George R.R. Martin to the punch?
As complicated as it is, the answer is none of the above.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss say that their approach with Season 6 — and the following Season 7, which most assume to be the last in the series — will follow a blueprint that the books laid out, while also diverging from the novels.
“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,” says Weiss, “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.”
Still, that doesn’t mean they’ll be leaving the books behind entirely. Benioff and Weiss met with Martin a few years back to discuss plot points in the final books in order to make sure they were faithful to the original story. Benioff promises that “key elements” will be the same.
It’s a diplomatic answer if ever there was one, but at least book fans can rest easy knowing that the TV series will not end up ruining the book saga that’s taken 20 years to write.
Fans can actually look at this divergence as an opportunity. After all, there are a few dozen fan theories about how the power struggles of Westeros will play out when all is said and done, from Jon Snow (Kit Harington) being a secret Targaryen to Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) falling in love with Jorah (Iain Glen) to Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of the day.
If your endgame romance, ruler, or death doesn’t work out in the books, it might in the show and vice versa.
“Game of Thrones” premieres April 24th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO