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‘Game of Thrones’ Producers Confirm HBO Series Will Spoil Final Books

Once upon a time, Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin would casually dismiss notions that HBO’s fantasy smash could ever catch up to his novels. Now, with Season 5 burning to debut on April 12, and two books remaining in Martin’s series, Game of Thrones producers confirm the show will inevitably overtake, and spoil at least some material for readers.

We’d certainly put together that Martin’s sixth book The Winds of Winter remains without an official publishing date, while the seventh and final installment could arrive however many years beyond that, though for the first time showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have spoken concretely on the matter. Fielding questions from the Oxford Union, Benioff lamented that the series would overtake its author (Martin has long since given them a rough outline of the end), though they’d ultimately arrive through different means.

Luckily, we’ve been talking about this with George for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen, and we know where things are heading. And so we’ll eventually, basically, meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going; there might be a few deviations along the route, but we’re heading towards the same destination. I kind of wish that there were some things we didn’t have to spoil, but we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The show must go on … and that’s what we’re going to do.

I think the thing that’s kind of fun for George is the idea that he can still have surprises for people even once they’ve watched the show through to the conclusion. There are certain things that are going to happen in the books that are different in the show, and I think people who love the show and want more—want to know more about the characters, want to know more about the different characters who might not have made the cut for the show—will be able to turn to the books.

For anyone following Martin’s most recent thoughts, the author has put off most public appearances for the sake of finally finishing the sixth book, though no concrete publishing date has been given. Martin may yet finish in time for the sixth season (Season 5 is expected to cover the breadth of books four and five, A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons), though with producers seemingly set on seven seasons, it seems extraordinarily unlikely the seventh novel A Dream of Spring could arrive by 2017.

We don’t yet know how far Season 5 will reach beyond Martin’s work, if at all (we won’t have any Bran Stark for exactly that reason), but will HBO end up ruining any part of the series for book readers? How might Game of Thrones look to stall the inevitable? You can hear the showrunners comments for yourself above (beginning around 34:00), as well as watch the latest trailers below.

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