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George R.R. Martin warns that Game of Thrones will deviate from the books

02.16.2015

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A new season of one of the greatest modern TV shows, Game of Thrones, will be here in 2 short months and excitement is only ramping up. You may have seen the IMAX screening of the last two episodes to prepare you for what's to come, but according to author George R.R. Martin, even those fluent with the books will have to stay on their toes. Writers of the TV show, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, will evidently deviate a bit from the books in that more characters will meet a grisly demise this coming season. Check out what Martin had to say below!

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George R.R. on how season 5 will deviate from the books:

People are going to die who don’t die in the books, so even the book readers will be unhappy. So everybody better be on their toes. David (Benioff) and D.B. (WeisS) are even bloodier than I am.

Regarding how many seasons there may be:

Not really certain yet. This is the fifth season, the sixth season HBO picked up last year. We will have a 7th, 8th or 9th, no one knows. They only renew one or two seasons at a time. After we do season 6, maybe we’ll get a renewal for 7th and 8th. That all depends, Television is a very changeable medium.

On being the hottest show on TV and the two books that are left:

Yeah, it’s the hottest show on TV now, but will it be the hottest show on TV two years from now? Hot shows come and go and television changes, and I’ve lived through that before. I certainly hope that we get to tell the entire story. Because whatever happens with the show I’m going to finish the books, it will be seven books. But each of these books are 1500 pages long and they each have enough material in them for several seasons. I have two more books, the one I’m writing right now, ‘The Winds Of Winter,’ and after that the last book, ‘The Dream of Spring,’ so those will be the two final books. But we’re talking 3000 pages of material. How many seasons that translates too? That’s up to D.B. And David.

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I've read the first book in the infamous "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, but I decided early on that HBO has done such a great job with the series, that I'd prefer to experience it that way. I'd even argue that the show has thus far improved upon the books with the inclusion of more profanity and nudity (thank the Gods). As opposed to most TV shows (or stories for that matter), Thrones is one of the few that's actually ballsy enough to really do something with its characters. I've always been on the edge of my seat with this show and I hope that momentum continues through season 5!

Season 5 of Game of Thrones hits HBO on April 12, 2015.

Source: Showbiz 411

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7:41PM on 02/17/2015
I'm not such a purist that I go nuts over deviations. But what gets me is how they STARTED out following the books so closely and THEN started changing drastically. And it all comes back to Martin's slow as hell writing. If he was up to speed they wouldn't need drastic changes & filler.
I'm not such a purist that I go nuts over deviations. But what gets me is how they STARTED out following the books so closely and THEN started changing drastically. And it all comes back to Martin's slow as hell writing. If he was up to speed they wouldn't need drastic changes & filler.
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7:06PM on 02/16/2015

why not....

Why not, once the show has caught up to the books and the new one hasn't come out yet, just film further seasons while following as closely to the source material and sit on it until the new book comes out. This way you can get the young actors filmed before they get much older and it wouldn't spoil the story for those who prefer to read the rest of the story and not have to keep dodging Sunday night Facebook spoiler posts and water cooler chatter
Why not, once the show has caught up to the books and the new one hasn't come out yet, just film further seasons while following as closely to the source material and sit on it until the new book comes out. This way you can get the young actors filmed before they get much older and it wouldn't spoil the story for those who prefer to read the rest of the story and not have to keep dodging Sunday night Facebook spoiler posts and water cooler chatter
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5:39PM on 02/16/2015

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5:37PM on 02/16/2015
"I've read the first book in the infamous "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, but I decided early on that HBO has done such a great job with the series, that I'd prefer to experience it that way. "

You're missing out. The show, while serviceable, is just a cliff notes version of the books. The books are better in every way, and you're choosing to limit yourself to less than half the story.
"I've read the first book in the infamous "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, but I decided early on that HBO has done such a great job with the series, that I'd prefer to experience it that way. "

You're missing out. The show, while serviceable, is just a cliff notes version of the books. The books are better in every way, and you're choosing to limit yourself to less than half the story.
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5:03PM on 02/16/2015

I know we're not supposed to be attacking the writer...

Maybe you should read the books before you decide they're not worth your time.
Maybe you should read the books before you decide they're not worth your time.
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5:00PM on 02/16/2015

The books are much, much, much better

GRRM is one of the best fantasy writers in history. I only loosely watch the show as it could never live up to the intricate plot lines, deep character development of even one-off characters and the details of the book. They lift entire chunks of dialogue for the show but it's still not the same, even for the few episodes he contributed. In the novels, he writes like he is setting that entire world on fire. Everything just jumps off the page. Martin needs to stop blogging sports and finish the
GRRM is one of the best fantasy writers in history. I only loosely watch the show as it could never live up to the intricate plot lines, deep character development of even one-off characters and the details of the book. They lift entire chunks of dialogue for the show but it's still not the same, even for the few episodes he contributed. In the novels, he writes like he is setting that entire world on fire. Everything just jumps off the page. Martin needs to stop blogging sports and finish the series already. At least Winds of Winter.
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4:14PM on 02/16/2015
Yah I knew this was coming, there have already been several changes, merging of characters, one character doing something the other did etc. But just from the teaser of the new season I can tell they are completely veering off script, and changing major plot points. I am actually kind of glad that the new books aren't out yet so my rage won't overwhelm me when I see how they butcher his intricate plot lines.

The perfect example was True Blood, taking the source material and just destroying
Yah I knew this was coming, there have already been several changes, merging of characters, one character doing something the other did etc. But just from the teaser of the new season I can tell they are completely veering off script, and changing major plot points. I am actually kind of glad that the new books aren't out yet so my rage won't overwhelm me when I see how they butcher his intricate plot lines.

The perfect example was True Blood, taking the source material and just destroying it. I know GOT is no where near as atrocious as True Blood but I can see the same type of disaster happening when the writers look for easy ways out of the twists that George has dreamed up.
Here is hoping for the best.
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3:30PM on 02/16/2015
Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't start deviating after the Red Wedding. That was the primary thing Benioff and Weiss wanted to accomplish, so I figured after that we'd start seeing their own takes on the material. I've been pretty surprised at how faithful it has been since then.

That said, they technically started deviating all the way back in season 2, when they killed off a few characters who are still alive in the books. Not to mention completely changing the visions that happened
Honestly, I'm surprised they didn't start deviating after the Red Wedding. That was the primary thing Benioff and Weiss wanted to accomplish, so I figured after that we'd start seeing their own takes on the material. I've been pretty surprised at how faithful it has been since then.

That said, they technically started deviating all the way back in season 2, when they killed off a few characters who are still alive in the books. Not to mention completely changing the visions that happened in the House of the Undying and cutting out a bunch of prophecies that factor into the novel pretty majorly. Oh and some hugely important flashbacks too. But most of that can be lampshaded, I think
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1:30PM on 02/16/2015

I say change everything

Let the show be an alternative to the books. I like the books and like the show, but at this point I think it would be the best thing to happen to the show to just dictate from the books and forge its own path. If they did receive the outline for the rest of the series, than I would say do their own thing.
Let the show be an alternative to the books. I like the books and like the show, but at this point I think it would be the best thing to happen to the show to just dictate from the books and forge its own path. If they did receive the outline for the rest of the series, than I would say do their own thing.
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1:00PM on 02/16/2015
I'm sorry a book didn't have enough nudity for you
I'm sorry a book didn't have enough nudity for you
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12:36PM on 02/16/2015

It's needed

These are different mediums of story telling. The showrunners have sat down with Martin and got the broadstrokes of how the story will end. They have to streamline the story to fit it into the remaining 30 hours or so that they have left to tell. Cutting out plots and character is necessary, and probably telling that the character in question probably doesn't have a grand effect on the overall story. In the books, they may be more important, but overall they're telling the same story
These are different mediums of story telling. The showrunners have sat down with Martin and got the broadstrokes of how the story will end. They have to streamline the story to fit it into the remaining 30 hours or so that they have left to tell. Cutting out plots and character is necessary, and probably telling that the character in question probably doesn't have a grand effect on the overall story. In the books, they may be more important, but overall they're telling the same story streamlined for television. If they didn't cut stuff out, or blend characters together, we'd still be on Book 3 in season 5. The changes they make are necessary and smart. These guys know what they're doing. I've read the books and so far, the changes are great.
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12:09PM on 02/16/2015
I'm sure I'll take heat for this but I'm a purist. I hate when shows/movies adapt books/comics and do things completely different than the written words dictate. What was the point of doing the series if you're going to change the fucking story and characters. I can understand toning things down to meet standards and practices if a show is on network tv or whatever, fine thats just the world we live in, but when there is no reason to its inexcusable. The writers on this show are not better than
I'm sure I'll take heat for this but I'm a purist. I hate when shows/movies adapt books/comics and do things completely different than the written words dictate. What was the point of doing the series if you're going to change the fucking story and characters. I can understand toning things down to meet standards and practices if a show is on network tv or whatever, fine thats just the world we live in, but when there is no reason to its inexcusable. The writers on this show are not better than the creator, no matter how much they think they are by changing it up killing off a few that don't die in the books or not even including characters that are int he books (Lady Stoneheart).
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12:19PM on 02/16/2015
I get your argument, but George RR Martin has been extremely involved with this series and has even written a few episodes. Any changes were invariably approved by him long before they went before the camera.
I get your argument, but George RR Martin has been extremely involved with this series and has even written a few episodes. Any changes were invariably approved by him long before they went before the camera.
12:23PM on 02/16/2015
and further to that, he has already given them the outline for the rest of the series. They know how it ends. When they talk about killing off characters including fan favorites, they probably mean people like Bronn who is a fan favorite in the show but doesnt really do anything in the books.
and further to that, he has already given them the outline for the rest of the series. They know how it ends. When they talk about killing off characters including fan favorites, they probably mean people like Bronn who is a fan favorite in the show but doesnt really do anything in the books.
12:44PM on 02/16/2015
This is a difficult situation as reveries will over take the books so they need to be fair on the original fans of the books.

I totally agree with what you say about changing from the source, the best example is days of future past, awful adaptation. Would have been fine with a different name but taking the name if that story ark and bothering it us a joke. No idea why people like that movie.
This is a difficult situation as reveries will over take the books so they need to be fair on the original fans of the books.

I totally agree with what you say about changing from the source, the best example is days of future past, awful adaptation. Would have been fine with a different name but taking the name if that story ark and bothering it us a joke. No idea why people like that movie.
12:47PM on 02/16/2015
I also get what you're saying. However, the book and the television series are separate mediums. Things will always stray somewhat from source material when adapting any type of literature. It's why they're called "adaptions". Reading the first 3 books, I must say it would be nearly impossible to adapt the series word for word or sequences for sequence. Things like tension, character dynamic, setups and payoffs don't work on television or film like they do in literature.
I also get what you're saying. However, the book and the television series are separate mediums. Things will always stray somewhat from source material when adapting any type of literature. It's why they're called "adaptions". Reading the first 3 books, I must say it would be nearly impossible to adapt the series word for word or sequences for sequence. Things like tension, character dynamic, setups and payoffs don't work on television or film like they do in literature.
4:01PM on 02/16/2015
But what's the point of doing things the same? You've ready the books. You have those stories. Why the hell would you want the show to just regurgitate what you've already read? It's pointless. Just go read the books again if you want that story. The show is a different medium and should be taken for what it is. We see this in movies and TV all the time, adapted material that gets changed. Now, if it's not for the better, then that's fine. But if the movie or show is still great, and in some
But what's the point of doing things the same? You've ready the books. You have those stories. Why the hell would you want the show to just regurgitate what you've already read? It's pointless. Just go read the books again if you want that story. The show is a different medium and should be taken for what it is. We see this in movies and TV all the time, adapted material that gets changed. Now, if it's not for the better, then that's fine. But if the movie or show is still great, and in some cases even improves upon the source material, then thank goodness for the changes. In the case of GoT, I haven't read the books, but the show has been fantastic, clearly. Whatever changes they've made from the novels are apparently a big deal only to those hardcore fans such as yourself. But to those of us that have no clue about the novels, it's an excellent show that continues to be excellent, which means what they're doing is clearly working.
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