George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire became hugely popular following the success of HBO’s TV adaptation Game of Thrones, which first aired back in 2011. Eight years later and the show has become one of the most watched and talked about shows of all time and, with its final season beginning this Sunday, both book readers and show watchers are eager to see how the story ends.
You may be aware that the show has since passed where the latest book left off, and the most recent entry in the series was 2011’s A Dance with Dragons. Some fans have expressed concern that it will be the show, rather than Martin’s original books, that will give us a conclusion to the epic fantasy story, but the show’s lead writers, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, have stated that they don’t believe the show’s ending will spoil too much of the books.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the two writers both admitted that they have no idea how Martin plans to end his story, or how close that ending will be to the show’s finale.
“[The concern] used to be that the books would spoil the show for people — and luckily it did not, for the most part,” Benioff said. “Now that the show is ahead of the books, it seems the show could ruin the books for people.
“So one thing we’ve talked to George about is that we’re not going to tell people what the differences are, so when those books come out people can experience them fresh.”
Benioff added: “And George discovers a lot of stuff while he’s writing. I don’t think that final book is written in stone yet — it’s not written on paper yet. As George says, he’s a gardener and he’s waiting to see how those seeds blossom.”
Weiss explained: “It’s kind of nice for him [George RR Martin] because — obviously through necessity we’ve pulled out ahead — the show has become so different that people will have no way knowing from watching what will or won’t appear in the books.”
George R.R. Martin has stated that he’s in no hurry to see the show end, though he’ll still be involved with the fantasy land of Westeros for years to come.
“I don’t think it should be the final season. But here we are,” he said during last week’s New York premiere. “It seems to me we just started last week. Has it been longer than that? The time has passed by in a blur. But it’s exciting.”
Just press play and drag your screen around to look around the entire bookshop, and make sure you have the volume up, as Neil is telling us all about the features inside. Listen out for the Pratchett tribute too!
Lisey’s Story came about when, in June 1999, Stephen King was hit by a van and seriously injured. His wife Tabitha decided to redesign his studio while King was in hospital and after seeing his books and belongings in boxes the writer got a glimpse of what it would be like if the accident had been fatal.
Speaking in 2017, Stephen King told Variety:
“Lisey’s Story is my favourite of the books and I would love to see that done, especially now that there’s a kind of openness on the streaming services on TV and even the cable networks. There’s more freedom to do stuff now and when you do a movie from a book, there’s this thing that I call the sitting on a suitcase syndrome. That is where you try to pack in all the clothes at once and the suitcase won’t close. So it’s tough to take a book that is fully textured, and do it in two hours and 10 minutes. But as a TV show you have 10 hours.”
Streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have become increasingly interested in showcasing already-existing stories, which King attributes in part to the success of IT.