George R.R. Martin, the writer of the novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, is acutely aware of fans worries that the HBO show based on the novels could catch up to his unfinished series. Frankly, we are all screaming, “write faster!” The worries are real however. ASOIAF still has two books remaining to be written with no release date in site for the 6th book and considering how long it took him to churn out the first 5 books, fans already know the wait is long and grueling.
Showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, hadn’t addressed the issue until last week when they finally spoke out about the problem in an interview with James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly. They, along with HBO president Michael Lombardo, discuss what is becoming a very real possibility: the show finishing the series before the books.
“I finally understand fans’ fear — which I didn’t a couple years ago: What if the storytelling catches up to the books?,” says Lombardo. “Let’s all hope and pray that’s not going to be a problem”
“Game of Thrones” is currently in production for the second half of the “A Storm of Swords,” the 3rd book in the series. The only answer at the moment seems to be to stretch out the remaining novels into more seasons. As much as some of us would want the show to last for 10 seasons, there is another problem. The actors themselves. They are aging and those who are meant to play children will not be able to pass as children anymore by the time they get to the end of the series at the rate that GRRM is writing.
“We can’t wait too long because of the kids,” Benioff says. “Issac’s [Hempsted Wright] voice is changing. Everyone is getting bigger. We have this wonderful cast, but we don’t have an infinite amount of time … We don’t want to become a show that outstays its welcome and tries to turn each book into three seasons. Part of what we love about these books and the show is this sense of momentum and building toward something. If we tried to turn this into a 10-season show we’d strangle the golden goose.”
Another suggestion was that the series finish up with movies rather than continue with the HBO show. understandably, Lombardo shot down that idea.
It is already known that GRRM has told the showrunners how the series will end just in case he can’t finish the season. But neither him, the showrunners, or the fans would be very happy with finishing the series on television rather than with the books.
“I don’t think I’d be happy with that,”said GRRM.
The showrunners agreed, stating,
“We still have our fingers crossed that George will get there,” Weiss says. “That’s what’s best for us, it’s what’s best for the fans. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” Adds Benioff: “Ideally the books come out first.
In the end, it all comes back to Martin. How fast can he write? And, the more immediate question, when will The Winds of Winter be done?
“I’ve given up answering that question,” says Martin, with only a hint of terseness. “I’m working on it and it will be done when it’s done. Hopefully it won’t be as long of a wait as the last book.”
Our best bet as fans seems to be just sit back and hope and pray to the old gods and the new that the next books is finished soon and that GRRM is suddenly struck with immense inspiration to churn out the last book even quicker.