Now that the internet is such an integral part of most people’s everyday life, avoiding spoilers for TV shows is becoming ever more difficult. When official social media accounts for shows are spoiling major plot events before episodes have even aired in all timezones, a strict policy of eschewing Facebook and Twitter entirely until caught up on all the latest TV episodes may be the only way to remain truly safe.
Fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series may soon face an even more difficult choice as the TV adaptation, Game of Thrones, rapidly catches up to the books. Martin has already informed the show’s producers of what’s going to happen in the rest of the series and season five is expected to cover the events of the concurrent novels ‘A Feast for Crows’ and ‘A Dance with Dragons’. However, there’s a possibility that this season will reach as far as the events of the book Martin is currently writing, ‘The Winds of Winter’.
The sticky topic of spoiling the Song of Ice and Fire books came up during a recent talk that producers Daniel Brent Weiss and David Benioff took part in alongside actors Kit Harington and John Bradley at the Oxford Union. Benioff made it clear that, despite it not being the ideal situation, HBO isn’t going to put the series on hold and the writers aren’t going to deliberately diverge from the books (well, no more than usual) so as not to spoil them.
“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.”
Whether spoiling the books by watching the show is any worse than spoiling the show by reading the books is a question with answers that will vary from fan to fan. Still, it’s hard to imagine that many A Song of Ice and Fire readers who also enjoy Game of Thrones will be able to hold off from watching new episodes without any clear idea of when the sixth and seven books will be published.
Don’t start panicking just yet, though. By the time Game of Thrones season six comes along, which will probably be about a year from now, Martin’s next novel may well have been published and the show will be able to cover the events of ‘The Winds of Winter’ without forcing fans to make a difficult decision. By the time season seven airs, however, it’s a pretty safe bet that the show will become a scrying bowl for the future of the books.
Game of Thrones fans, weigh in: if the show overtakes the books, will you wait to watch it? Or just deal with the spoilers and hope that the forthcoming A Song of Ice and Fire novels still manage to find ways to surprise you?
Game of Thrones season five begins airing on HBO next month starting Sunday, April 12th.
Source: Oxford Union (via The Verge)