"A Song of Ice and Fire" is set to wrap up after eight years on HBO with the final season of Game of Thrones set to premiere in just a few weeks. The series started by adapting George R.R. Martin's classic novels, but with the last two entries in the series yet to be released, the show is now forging into unknown territory.
Some fans may worry that the books' endings will be spoiled by these episodes. But Martin recently revealed that he's made some changes to keep the readers in suspense, even if they've seen the show.
"I've been so slow with these books," Martin said to Rolling Stone. "The major points of the ending will be things I told them five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there'll be a lot added."
Martin certainly has had a lot of time to finish the series, as the fifth book A Dance of Dragons was released in 2011 — just a month after the first season of Game of Thrones ended. He has yet to release another installment, though has revealed chapters of his next book The Winds of Winter throughout the years.
But the showrunners have their own challenge in crafting a satisfying conclusion to the series. D.B. Weiss spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the opportunity they've had in being able to tell this story.
"If you're going to spend 10 years working on one show, you better really love the people you work with, because you're spending a sh—load of time away from your family and friends," said Benioff. "You always put everything into it. So to spend time on a show that people respond to all over the world, it's incredibly gratifying. You have these characters you love and you can come up with ideas for them, and a few months later these incredible actors will be saying those things. That's such a rare gift."
Jaime Lannister actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau supported showrunners Weiss and David Benioff for their decision to end the series.
"...That D. B. Weiss and David Benioff stuck to their guns and said, 'This is the story we wanna tell; we're not gonna extend this'—because I'm sure HBO would have loved another couple years of this show. There's an audience for it, for sure," Coster-Waldau explained. "But I think everyone who watches the show will appreciate that it's finished—that it was one story from episode 1 to episode 83, and we told it."
The final season of Game of Thrones premieres on HBO on April 14th.