by Josh Wigler
The “Game” is afoot. Or, in today’s case, a script.
Melisandre actress Carice Van Houten posted a photo of the title page for the first “Game of Thrones” season four script. Not all that revelatory, no, but still exciting to see the cast and crew of the HBO series are hard at work on bringing Westeros to life for its fourth season.
What’s considerably more revealing is a brand-new interview with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, talking about the challenges of season four — and taking creative license through murder.
Asked by Deadline.com if actors ever plead to have their characters’ fates changed from the books, Weiss responded, “There are definitely some deaths coming up where the actors are like, ’Are you sure you gotta…?’ There are also some characters we have to kill who don’t die in the books, or who are going to die earlier in the series than the books. So we don’t want people to be too confident that they know exactly what’s going to happen.”
That’s a bit of a bombshell for longtime readers of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Yes, “Game of Thrones” has deviated from the source material on occasion, but usually nothing more egregious than changing a character’s name, or including a storyline earlier than it’s introduced in the books. (See: Theon and the flaying heard ’round the world.) And sure, some characters have died on the show when they haven’t died in the books — George R.R. Martin’s famous example is Mago, the Dothraki warrior who dies at Khal Drogo’s hands on the TV series, but is still alive in the books and has a role to play in the novels’ future. (Indeed, there’s a decent amount of this kind of “Butterfly Effect,” as Martin calls it, throughout Dany’s TV storyline.)
But even though there’s precedent for killing characters off on the show who aren’t killed in the books, or killing characters earlier on the show than their book counterparts, the comments from Weiss and Benioff are ominous. Death, like winter, is always coming to Westeros. And so far, Benioff/Weiss have taken great lengths to stay true to the source material. But their remarks indicate that just like death and winter, changes are coming — the question is, at who’s cost?