'Game Of Thrones' Producer/Showrunner David Benioff Suggests Books Four & Five May Merge For Later Seasons

Television
by Charlie Schmidlin
June 11, 2013 9:21 AM
6 Comments
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With Sunday's episode of “Game of Thrones” bringing the series' third soul-wrenching season (and our recaps) to a close, a hiatus of emotional recovery and anticipation for the fourth remains next. But even with the recent mass extermination of series regulars, the franchise still holds a wealth of characters to explore, and alongside some narrative concerns, the question of which will make it into upcoming episodes recently inspired the series showrunners and writers to respond.

Because of season three's stopping point - roughly ¾ of the way into George R.R. Martin's third Ice and Fire novel, “A Storm of Swords” -- season four seems likely to continue on a consistent path in terms of core characters and events. The future grows muddier when it comes to the next two books though: “A Feast for Crows,” and “A Dance With Dragons,” the former of which omits such characters as Tyrion, Jon and Daenerys, as well as introducing new protagonists and plot-lines. But as writer/exec-producer David Benioff and his team realized, Book Five overlaps with Book Four's timeline, and so the season afterwards will blend the two for its material.

He also put forward the likely notion of cutting down on excess. “The series has already reached a point where there are so many characters -- particularly in season three… we run the risk of bursting at the seams as we try to cram every single subplot and all the various characters and it becomes impossible on a budgetary level and it becomes impossible on an episode-basis to jump around every few minutes to 30 different characters and locations. We don't want to do that, and recognize that as a real risk and we will take steps not to fall into that trap.”

There's the point too that Book Four remains one of Martin's most tepidly received efforts -- a swell of negative criticism that could disappear with the TV adaptation's narrative swirl of the next two books. Also, with actions like this, combined with Martin's notoriously-delayed releases (his sixth, “The Winds of Winter,” is currently being written), the possibility of the HBO show catching up with the author's has been raised, but he isn't worried.

“I think the odds against that happening are very long,” Martin said. “I still have a lead of several gigantic books. If they include everything in the books, I don't think they're going to catch up with me. If they do, we'll have some interesting discussions.” [via EW]

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6 Comments

  • Tyrion | August 20, 2013 9:23 AMReply

    You should put up a spoiler warning, saying which characters are not in book 4 but come back in 5 is a big spoiler with this series, everyone now knows that they'll be safe for the next 2-3 seasons.

  • Mia | June 11, 2013 8:21 PMReply

    I am kinda worried of what they are going to do because Daenerys Targaryen isn't even in A feast for Crows... and she's one of my fav's of the show.. she's not really back in the book until A Dance With Dragons

  • TheoC | June 11, 2013 11:19 AMReply

    They pretty much have to, nobody will tune in next season to not see Tyrion, or to be bored by the Dornish rules of succession. I'm guessing they could spread it the rest of book 3, 4 and 5 over 3 seasons, but there's plenty of stuff they could dump/combine along the way to make it in 2 seasons.

    So maybe by the time they get to book 6 and it's either season 6 or 7, catching up, without the final book, so that by the time the final book is finished & published, we'll have to wait and see it adapted as a trilogy in theatres.

    I do have an urge to see this stuff on the big screen.

  • patchthehavoc | June 11, 2013 10:15 AMReply

    This... is not surprising at all, given the way that AFOC/ADWD are structured. And I don't know that I'd take GRRM at face value. He's saying that the series won't catch up to him if they include everything... and Benioff is saying that they most likely won't include everything and some subplots will be adapted out.

    I think it would actually be really interesting if GRRM was forced to lay out his game plan for books 6 and 7 to HBO when his writing speed for the books can't keep up with the production speed for the show. We'd be able to see more notable divergences between book and TV canon, the question of spoilers becomes both a moot point and a weird inversion ("I haven't finished the book yet, don't spoil me on whether it sticks to the show!"), who knows what else...

  • cattt | June 11, 2013 11:38 AM

    Maybe the show will be on hiatus until the next book is finished. The Sopranos had a 16 month break between season 3 and 4 just because David Chase wanted more time to write the scripts.

  • Denise | June 11, 2013 10:36 AM

    If I'm not mistaken, George R.R. Martin has shared his game plan for the ending the stories with the producers, which probably helps them when it comes to deciding what can be left out of the tv.

    It's still a valid concern. They're probably set for 3 more seasons at the moment anyway.

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