The makers behind Game of Thrones will continue to honor George R.R. Martin’s source material all the way though the conclusion of the series even if his books haven’t been released yet…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
When David Benioff and Dan Weiss first envisioned bringing George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ alive on the small screen, they had one major goal in mind for a landmark moment on the show — get to ‘The Red Wedding’.
The greatest massacre in TV history went down as part of season 3 of their adaptation for television, ‘Game of Thrones’, but Benioff and Weiss probably knew long before they landed there that this show was already a massive success.
Now as ‘Game of Thrones’ embarks on season 5, the series has become the biggest and most watched show in HBO history, but Benioff and Weiss aren’t concerned about keeping the wheel turning so they can keep cashing checks. Instead, the pair responsible for finding the right formula to bring Martin’s vision to life on TV are looking towards the finish line, which they both believe will be at the close of season 7 just two short years away.
“Now it’s just can we bring it home. Can we end the series in a matter that befits all hard work people have put in and the audiences have put into the show over the years and we’re getting there,” Benioff said during the ‘Game of Thrones’ season premiere party on Monday from San Francisco.
“We’re making our way towards what we hope to be a pretty astounding finale. Here’s hoping we don’t screw it up.”
Part of the question surrounding the path ‘Game of Thrones’ will follow has to do with the lack of source material available after season 5 comes to a close. The series has followed the main storylines from Martin’s books up to this point and while there have been a few deviations here and there, the main plot has always remained the same.
The problem becomes if ‘Game of Thrones’ really is aiming at seven total seasons, they are going to have to go beyond Martin’s fifth book ‘A Dance with Dragons’, which serves as the main source for season 5 debuting on April 12. At the end of this season, ‘Game of Thrones’ will likely be caught up with most of the major characters in Martin’s books and they will be heading into uncharted territory for season 6.
The good news is Benioff and Weiss have already spoken to Martin about what comes next on the page and on the screen and they are all headed in the same direction. The ending of ‘Game of Thrones’ will happen just as Martin intended when he first started writing this series more than 20 years ago and the two creators behind the series believe doing anything less just wouldn’t be right considering the time and effort they put into honoring the books in the first place.
“Ultimately, the show is going to have to diverge from the books in some way just because the nature of the medium. TV is TV it’s not a book, but obviously if we didn’t love George’s books we would not have devoted our entire lives to them and my son wouldn’t have been born in Belfast, Northern Ireland if we didn’t love George’s books,” Weiss said about the conclusion of the series.
A big part of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 5 will be more and more sects from around Westeros and beyond finally coming together. If the first few seasons of ‘Game of Thrones’ was meant as an exploration as characters continue to branch out into new worlds, the final few years will focus on collapsing it all back together again.
Start paying attention now because Benioff teases that they are moving in the direction of where this series will end starting with this season and things are going to get crazy in a hurry during season 5. The downside for book readers are they will have the ending of the series spoiled for them if they watch the show because the two will go hand in hand for the conclusion. How they get there may be slightly different, but the result for show and novel will ultimately be the same.
“We know the end game,” Benoff said. “George has been kind enough to invite us into his sanctum in Santa Fe and whisper in our ears and swear us to secrecy and it’s good stuff to come — or bad stuff to come.”
‘Game of Thrones’ season 5 will debut on HBO on April 12 at 9pm ET.