The showrunners for Game of Thrones made an announcement this weekend, and readers of the books are outraged.
Fans of author George R.R. Martin’s series “A Song of Ice and Fire” are some of the most dedicated fans to any current literature, and an announcement from Game of Thrones show runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff this weekend confirmed that the show will catch up to the books in season 5, pass the books in seasons 6 and 7, and spoil the ending in season 7. George R.R. Martin has been working on “A Song of Ice And Fire” since 1991, with the first book in the series being published in 1996. To date, the first 5 books in the series have been released, and the sixth book is soon to come. Fans of the books hoped that Martin would be able to release the sixth book before the television series caught up and began spoiling elements of the plot, but that is looking less and less likely as Martin’s writing continues to move at a glacial pace. Season 5 of Game of Thrones begins to air on HBO starting on April 12, and will cover the ending of books 4 and 5. Unless Martin can seriously expedite the rest of the sixth book, the show will begin its sixth season next year and begin spoiling the plot.
There has already been some deviation between the books and the television series. There have been characters added and removed, deaths changed, and plot elements added and skipped. This deviation from the book series is likely to increase drastically in season 6, as Martin has shared with the show’s creators relatively few details about what is to come. In a quote from showrunner David Benioff this weekend, fans now know that “[the television series will] meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going; there might be a few deviations along the route, but [the show is] heading towards the same destination”. Even if Martin does manage to finish the sixth book in the series before the sixth season of the show airs, there really is no hope left for the ending of the story. Martin is taking, on average, about 4 years per book, and the makers of the show are not going to wait that long to produce their final season. Therefore the show and books will have (basically) the same ending, but the show will spoil it for the dedicated readers of the books.