Game Of Thrones showrunners know how the books end

News Louisa Mellor 12 Mar 2014 - 08:22

DB Weiss and David Benioff plan to finish Game Of Thrones after 7 or 8 seasons, and already know how it will all end...

The definitive end of Game Of Thrones isn't a concept many of us want to contemplate now, after waiting almost a year for its season four return. That ending though, is coming, and according to a recent interview with the show's cast and creators, we can expect it in either 2017 or 2018 after Game Of Thrones season seven or eight. That puts us currently very close to the series' overall halfway point.

"It doesn’t just keep on going because it can", DB Weiss told Vanity Fair, "I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that."

How are showrunners Benioff and Weiss preparing for the eventual finale? How much do they know of George R.R. Martin's plans for the saga?

“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with [Martin]" Benioff told Vanity Fair, "and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be. If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”

At present, Martin has two further books planned in the series, The Winds Of Winter and A Dream Of Spring.

Game Of Thrones season 4 begins on HBO on Sunday the 6th and on Sky Atlantic on Monday the 7th of April.

Vanity Fair

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I guess we've known this was a strong possibility for a while, but I think this all but confirms that there's pretty much zero chance of GRRM getting the last book out before the series ends. Which is going to leave us all in a very odd position.

Quick, someone get those men drunk

Don't worry. They're coming. They're gonna be amazing. Now, Jon Snow finally faces Jaime Lannister, and this guy's wiener is.......

We're fine. We get to find out how the story ends, and in glorious technicolour to boot.
But I wouldn't want to be GRRM's publisher.

You mean us GoT TV Version only followers might not have to put up with, for example, a spouse who's read all the books so far dropping cryptic hints that just p**ses us off and that they sit there with a gleeful look on their face when things like the Red Wedding occur.
That would be a nice change of pace then.

Haha! That's always been my girlfriend's situation so far, with me sitting in cryptic glee. I'm sure she'll be just as pleased.
I wonder what it will feel like approaching a season with no preparation?...

Yeah well you Bookers will know what us TVers feel like for once ...... Haaaaafrumpf!!!

Yeah, they're probably not gonna be too happy.

I guess you're right, it just seems odd, after having stuck with the books for fifteen years, to end up seeing how the story ends first on screen. But I don't think either medium is inherently superior, so I guess it shouldn't matter. And if the last two books are as much of a slog to get through as ADWD then maybe this will be a blessing.

What makes you guys think that the last book won't come out first now? There's nothing in the article which suggests that.... Or do you just think it will be the case due to Martin's typical release schedules?

Cue a sudden rise in kidnap/blackmail attempts to make these b*stards talk.


Assuming the show goes for 7 season, Martin would have to release Winds of Winter either this year or 2015 if the audience (and the showrunners) are too read it before Season 6 premiers.
This remains possible (and if it is released this year, the showrunners will have the opportunity to use the book as the primary source for the per-production of Season 6, rather than just the notes and outlines Martin has told them.)

However this will leave Martin with 3 years, at best, to write A Dream of Spring and even then it will (at best) be released in 2017 around the same time as the final season (not before.)
When he has, at best, 3 years to write the final book (and he is still busy writing the pen-ultimate book) that is when you know the show is almost certain to overtake the novels.

What he said.

Looking at some of the snippets of the Season 4 trailer it seems to me the show has already caught up to events in Books 4 and 5a for certain characters. Meaning the show could potentially be ahead of the books by season 5.

This is what happens when you decide to split the books geographically instead of chronologically!

This isn't actually new news, is it? I've seen them talking about Martin telling them how he intends to end the series during the promo's of season 2 or 3. Just in case something might happen to Martin.

Also, season 3 and 4 where the third book A Storm of Swords, which was logic because that book was also released in two parts. Season 5 would be the fourth book A Feast for Crows and season 6 and 7 could be the fifth book A Dance of Dragons, which was also released in two parts. So to do all the books justice season 8 would be The Winds of Winter and season 9 A Dream of Spring, depending on how big the books are going to be. So lets hope for nine seasons!

I think this is new - the story I remember hearing is the one where Martin asked them to tell *him* how things worked out for certain characters, and then gave them his blessing when they got it right. Certainly I've never heard the 2013 week in Santa Fe/7 or 8 seasons bits before.

I reckon they can probably get through most of books 4 and 5 in a single season, especially if they cut one or two of the new POV characters in those books. For all their girth, not an awful lot actually happens in those books.

It's quite some time ago that I've read it, but I'm certain they at least knew how Martin wanted it to end. Maybe they got more details now.

Reading it carefully, there's no suggestion that TV writers know definitively how the series is going to finish in terms of plot. "Laying the groundwork" is, to me, a euphemism for "whose contract do we need to negotiate and for how many seasons?" I'm guessing Martin just told them who snuffs it when and who needs to be brought in for "flashbacks".

Having looked at Martin's normal release schedules, it seems you're correct. Fair enough then. That is going to be very strange, but eh. Unless the show decides to take a year or two (or perhaps even more) off at some point, then it looks like you're right.

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