Vanity Fair quotes "Game of Thrones" show runner David Benioff discussing how the show and the books by George R.R. Martin will intersect moving forward, what with the upcoming season five expected to cover the two remaining published books in the series. Basically, if you were hoping that "Thrones" would just cough up an entirely different ending than what Martin has planned, well... let's go right ahead and give those hopes the King's justice right here and now:
"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."
Translation: "Game of Thrones" will end the same way as "A Song of Ice and Fire," meaning it's almost certainly going to spoil the ending of the books, meaning this is absolutely a Red Wedding level event and everything we love just got massacred.
Okay, that's a bit dramatic, but still. Benioff's comments are a huge, huge bummer for fans who have lived in the world of Westeros for nearly two decades, since the first book was published in 1996 — but it should hardly be a surprise, given both Martin and the show's respective outputs. Even Martin himself warned us about this inevitability, when we spoke with him last fall.
"A certain amount of that was inevitable," he said. "In an ideal world, the books would be finished by now, and I would’ve wrapped up the last two books, and I’d be in Ireland working with David and Dan on the show and writing one or two scripts per season. … But that’s not the world we live in.”
But he added that the show is "another version of the same story," and it's a sentiment that Benioff shares, according to this new interview.
"There are certain things that are going to happen in the books that are different in the show," the "Thrones" head honcho says, "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."
Is that good enough for you, "Ice and Fire" loyalists? Or is the confirmation that "Thrones" will outpace Martin's novels enough for you to shut off the show for good? It's going to be an interesting and emotional dilemma for the book-reading faithful, that's for sure.