When the klaxon sounded to signal that George R.R. Martin’s long-gestating Winds of Winter wouldn’t hit store shelves before Game of Thrones season 6, a general feeling of apprehension began to spread through the series’ passionate fanbase faster than lime-green wildfire polluting Blackwater Bay.
That’s because, given that A Dance with Dragons was published back in 2011, readers feared that the show would blaze past Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and subsequently spoil the timeline. But according to series showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff, that’s simply not the case.
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When quizzed about the overlay by Entertainment Weekly, Benioff began by noting that, five seasons in, HBO’s Game of Thrones has already branched off on its own path.
“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.”
Adding to this, Weiss highlighted the core differences between Game of Thrones and its sprawling source material, and how it was inevitable the the show would eventually outpace Martin’s novel series.
“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.”
Game of Thrones season 6 premieres on April 24.
Source: Entertainment Weekly