Game of Thrones Showrunners Say Season 6 Won't Spoil the Books... Or Will It?

Entertainment Weekly posted a story Wednesday morning with the headline "Game of Thrones showrunners: Season 6 won't spoil the books." It's a big collective sigh of relief for the hardcore book readers of the Song of Ice and Fire series from author George R.R. Martin, as one of the main concerns heading into Season 6 was that the television show would render the books moot as it overtakes the source material.

"People are talking about whether the books are going to be spoiled—and it’s really not true,” Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff told EW. “So much of what we’re doing diverges from the books at this point." 

Sweet! All right! Now we can enjoy the series without worrying that our reading experience won't be ruined! Except then we get to the next line: "And while there are certain key elements that will be the same..." 

Wait a sec, I thought you just said Season 6 wouldn't spoil the books? "Certain key elements" sure sounds like it will contain certain key elements, which in my mind screams spoilers, but apparently Benioff and D.B. Weiss think otherwise. 

It's borderline semantics at this point, depending on what your idea of spoilers are. But if these certain key elements are monumental moments of the book series, then yeah, they're spoilers. Obviously Benioff and Weiss are in a crappy position here: they've outpaced the books but still have to honor Martin's vision. And in promoting the upcoming season, they don't want to worry fans of the books and potentially alienate the franchise's most passionate fans. 

"People are going to be very surprised when they read the books after the show," Benioff said. "They’re quite divergent in so many respects for the remainder of the show." But in this culture of obsessive fans, will "divergent in so many respects" be enough? 

What do you think? Do you buy this "Season 6 won't spoil the books" claim? Do you even care?


Comments (64)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Mar 25, 2016
Certain key elements are like Bran warging the Dragons to kill the white walkers and winter is coming, everything else id diverging.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
We better hope the new season is faithful to the direction of the upcoming book otherwise it could prove to be a let down.
I'm not a reader of the books but get the distinct impression that as the influence of the source material has lessened the quality of the television show has suffered as the writers try in vain to match the depth of character and plot Martin can create inside the book cover.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
The show and books are great - whichever you see first is gonna spoil the other medium...I wish I saw the Red Wedding before reading it, however, Season 1 had much more significance after the book...I mean I guess, this time, I will watch the show and then read the book. Obviously I hope its not another season 5, but books 4 and 5 were organized in a strange way which may have made it difficult for the show runners (Instead of being chronological; they are geographical). What actually concerns me is the fact that everyone is pretending this is fine - it was never anybody's plan for the show to catch up with the books. They basically have to just pull something out of their a## to keep the viewers, right?
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Seems to me that the only ones calling s5 of GoT "absolute crap" are the book readers. I'll admit that it wasn't as good as the first 4 seasons but really, the only part of the season to truly disappoint me was the Sand Snakes. Apparently, that was part of the books and the show just failed to make them intimidating or three-dimensional. Everything else was pretty damn entertaining to me. Hard not to be when you have a cast as talented as GoT has. Critic consensus agrees with me that s5 was far from the unmitigated disaster the diehard book fans claim it was (91% fresh on RT). I'd like to hear what non book readers like myself thought of s5. I think it did struggle a bit as it tried to balance source material with original material but that sounds more like a fault in trying to please the book readers than anything. I have high hopes for s6. Now that they don't have to pander to book readers while trying to do their own thing, I think Benioff and Weiss are going to let loose all sorts of craziness on us that will make "Hardhome" look like a joke. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure if I had read all the books (I've only read "A Game Of Thrones" and maybe a 3rd of "A Clash Of Kings") I would be disappointed in the show as well. To me, they're 2 separate entities because I started watching the show first and have no desire to continue reading the books till the 7th one has been released to the masses. As such, I can enjoy them for what they truly are: 2 very distinct stories that happen to share characters and plot threads. When I learned how long it has taken GRRM to put out a new book in the series, I put down "Kings" and decided to enjoy GoT on its own merits. I'm much happier for it and I'm also super excited to read the complete "A Song Of Ice And Fire" series so I can also enjoy it for its own merits and be pleasantly surprised whenever it deviates from the show.
Like someone else mentioned in the comments, LotR films had to make some deviations from the source material and, for the most part, came out stronger because of it (but The Hobbit films are almost pure garbage, and it has very little to do with deviating from the source material and more to do with excessive amounts of terrible CGI when they could have easily used practical effects instead). I've seen the LotR movies more times than I can count and have read the trilogy a fair number of times as well. I read the books first, and can still enjoy both for what they are. The movies are a more streamlined look at the adventures of Frodo and The Fellowship, while the books are like an unabridged version of the exact same events. Depending on my mood, I can enjoy either one. The same seems like it will hold true for me when comparing GoT to ASoIaF.
If you want to talk Book to Screen adaptations that completely screwed the pooch, look no further than Harry Potter. Those movies are crap because they kidify the ever loving hell out of some incredibly dark material. I began reading HP at 8 years old and the first movie came out when I was 10, so I know it has nothing to do with my understanding of the tone of the books shifting as I got older and cynical. Those movies are nothing but box office pandering for the most simple minded audiences. The last 2 movies started righting the ship but it was too little, too late. Yes, there's plenty of moments of levity in the HP books but it was always balanced with an ominous undertone hiding in the background. The movies almost completely ignored this so they could make more of that family friendly money instead of genuinely entertaining and heartfelt cinema.
There may be differences in the book to screen versions of LotR and GoT but they nailed the tone in those adaptations and that makes all the difference to me.
Also, lots of Stephen King adaptations are crap for the exact opposite reason. They focus way too much on the horror and not enough on the little moments from his books that bring characters to life and makes readers care what happens to them once the horror gets turned up to 11.
Tone makes all the difference. Regardless of what plot deviations they've made and will continue to make, GoT has nailed the tone of the source material, which will make both it and GRRM's books a pleasure for me to devour and compare.
More+
1
Reply
Flag
Apr 02, 2016
I am not a reader and I agree with you. I actually thought that s5 was more fast paced, as it didn't have to strictly follow the original story, and I found it to be refreshing!
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
People who've read the books before the show came out had no problem watching GoT (leaving aside the "they've changed XXX!" complaints), so I don't see how the reverse would ruin anything.
Besides, at this point, I seriously doubt Martin will finish the books.
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
There is a certain theory about how it's all going to end. I think the boks will follow that path, but the television show has the ability to stray from that path. We'll see in april.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Yeah, pretty much @kevbuffylost108 ‘s comment. Also, what do we care so much which spoils which? Spoiling sucks as a thing but in this case it was doomed to happen, so let’s not play scaredy cat. YET, tv watchers have gone on for years watching the show avoiding book spoilers, can’t book readers do the same? Mostly, I don’t get why bothering so much about that egg/chicken of a question about books and show when the only thing that seems worthy of worry is: will season 6 bring back the awesomeness that show was or will it perpetuate the hot pile of crap s5 was?The rants about how books are so superior to tv around this show are so elitist and tired... If the show is so inferior or spoils you, simple solution: don’t watch it.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Or just watch it after book 6 is released and read. Its not exactly hard to find GoT episodes off season.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
The same thing happens all the time with anime. It results in a lot of bad filler. But it's hard to say at this point whether the show will even go back to the books.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
So it's alright for book readers to spoil the show (red wedding anyone???) but when the show takes over the books and could potentially spoil what's to come people start getting butthurt? DOUBLE FUCKING STANDARDS
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Well its not alright, but where were these spoilers? I'm on this site nearly everyday (I'm a loser, I know...) and I had no idea about the Red Wedding. Honestly, even now, nobody says what happened, they just say Red Wedding.
Reply
Flag
Apr 02, 2016
I read about the Red Wedding on a TVD review and did not understand what it was about until I saw it on GoT!
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
It probably wont ruin the books because lets face it they Killed of Barristan Selmy in the 5th season and he's a POV book character in the winds of winter, Literally making those chapters pointless, They have gone so far off topic with most characters already, that they could only really ruin it at this point, if they decided to do a direct interpretation of the 6th book like they did with season 1, (which couldn't happen as it would make no sense) I would imagine that there would also be a considerable amount of filler in this season, from books 4 and 5 that weren't covered last season link the Iron Born etc.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I'm still on the fence. On one hand, I really really want to be strong enough to wait for the continuation of the saga as its creator intends it. On the other hand, I'm not sure I can wait for several months ( hopefully ) until book 6, much less several years until the final book.
Oh well, I'll probably watch, hoping that there will be some surprises left in the books - some paths are indeed very different - even if the show will inevitably spoil the bigger ones.
The game of "will this be in the books, or is it Bénioff and Weiss's doing ?" , which started with Shireen and Stannis's deaths, should keep us guessing, anyway.
2
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
“So much of what we’re doing diverges from the books at this point."

Same bullshit excuse every time.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
As Madelynn said, us book readers stopped caring about this series several seasons aback, even though we are the ones who started burning all the coal to get this massive hype train going in the first place.


I've gone a step further and stopped caring about the books as well. Sanderson might not be as much of a wordsmith and stormlight archives might never see HBO, But I'm absolutely sure he's going to finish all 10 of his novels before Martin finishes his next 2. Discipline and consistency gets my money and day.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
There won't be any books. He'll drop dead in no time, and they'll probably just take the notes he's given HBO and hire some HBO writers to finish the series. Then, after that they'll find "hidden notes" or "never intended for public" backstories that will be used for new Game of Thrones seasons.
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
i think so too. i love game of thrones the show but am extremely annoyed that nothing happens in the book sector. he`ll drop dead and some random writer will continue the books.
he always took his time, which is okay it the outcome is as great as his books are, but please, hurry up!
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I wanted to read the books but am afraid that GRRM will not be able to finish the book series at the rate he is going. It's like reading a story halfway without an ending. So I'll just have to be satisfied with the TV series instead. If GRRM does manage to finish writing his story, then I'll buy the whole set.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I wonder how people are going to feel now when they are told to shut up every time they start talking about the new episodes because it's going to spoil it for people reading books and not watching the show. I am guessing they aren't going to like it.
On topic, this makes me less excited about the show. Veering far from books has not led to good places if history is any indication.
Still, can't help but be excited about the show. Just a month away now.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
So, I'm pretty sure the majority who are super faithful to the books have given up on the show by now. At least for me, it's just too hard to watch, being so inferior to the books. I don't think they should worry too much about spoiling us. In fact, since I don't plan to watch the rest of the show until the books have finished, I wish they would remain as close as possible to his vision. Spoil away, so that if I ever decide to watch it, the changes won't be too painful.

This conundrum is pretty funny, though. What did they think would happen when they started the show before he had finished the series, and with his track record of taking like 5 years to get a book done? And then they raced through the books at a break-neck pace. I was really surprised how fast they decided to go. Especially since I knew they would soon run out of source material.
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Then I guess I am in the minority, because I intend to watch the series and then enjoy the books, whenever they are published. Just one thing, though - it is always amazing to see people who claim they don't care about the series being so active commenting about it. A strange way to show lack of interest, in my opinion.

I've always believed that book adaptions should not necessarily follow the original, as long as they fapture the essence of the original material. This applies not only to televesion, but to film as well. I've seen absolutely the same conversations about the adaption of Lord of the Rings. With such a vast source material like A Song of Ice and Fire, there will be always things that are going to be omitted and things that are going to change, because these are different media and something that is good for one is not necessarily good for the other.

What I am trying to argue is that the best way to go, in my opinion, is to consider the book and TV series separately. There is no reason why you can't enjoy both, even if they diverge. The opposite is also valid, of course, so if you don't like the TV series on its own merit, it's perfectly fine. Personally, I also consider the previous season as weaker than the first four, but I still enjoy it. However, I don't believe that the main argument not to like the TV series should be that it's not like the book series, because it was never intended to be.
More +
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I don't know if you're implying that I am one of those people?

"it is always amazing to see people who claim they don't care about the series being so active commenting about it. A strange way to show lack of interest, in my opinion."

Because I started reading the books when the very first one was published, so whether or not I'm caught up with the tv show, I certainly don't fall into the category of "people who don't care about the series". Actually, I feel some ownership of the series, since I was a fan of the story long before most of you heard of it. I thought the first season was a great adaptation, and then as time went on I was less and less impressed. In the case of the Lord of the Rings, I really love the movies and the books, and am fine with the choices they made. I also love the Harry Potter movies and books, despite their differences.

But some of the decisions they made to change things on Game of Thrones don't make much sense, and what really doesn't make sense is packing so much into each season, when the books are so long and have so much great stuff. It's a tv show, and an extremely popular one, so having an extra season or two to get through the material wouldn't have been a problem for them. I read a comment by someone that said it was blatantly obvious that the showrunners intentionally pushed through the material too fast so they could pass George R.R. Martin and scoop the books. I have to say, there is really no other explanation for the pacing.
More +
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
He does not like being told he will die before he finishes the books( see the italian interview where he says fuck off) but looking back at the people who left unfinished saga ( Frank Herbert, Tolkien) ( dune and unfinished tales of numenor) and many others i don't think they where intending to let them half written. With that in mind, i also am skeptical to see if he lives to write the last one, because let's face it George looks like he is a Big Mac away from his 3rd heart attack. And for fucks sake stop writing on those crazy card novels, yeah we get it, you can write something besides GOT, but could you finish them first before you die?
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Has he had 2 previous heart attacks? Or was the "3rd heart attack" thing just to imply that he LOOKS like he should have already had a couple?
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
"He does not like being told he will die before he finishes the books"

Duh! Would you?
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Let me put it this way: I would've never known The White Walkers were actually Craster's babies until the show showed me how the male babies were turned.

That's just one of the things the books can't differ from.
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
I doubt GRRM himself really cares that the show is diverging from the series. He is getting paid a LOT of money by HBO, and his books are being reprinted continuously.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
i don't care. i won't be reading the rest of the books. the TV show is much better anyway. i stopped at book 3 cause there wasn't enough of Dany and the dragons, which was by far the best part of the story for me. the show has remedied that.
2
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
Well considering that the only thing they did well that diverged from the book was Hardhome, and yes, that, is, the, only, thing that they did well. I am not too concerned about what this batch of sea of mediocrity swimmers have in store for us. It will follow their sad, predictable, method. Good opening, nothing nothing nothing, mid season good show, nothing nothing, Tyrion speech, nothing, and then decent finale. That's it. That is all you are capable of. I don't think anyone is expecting you to ruin the books. Martin's lack of drive to finish them does that just fine.
2
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Haha, the last line, so true. I'm still hoping he lives to finish it, though hope dwindles with each year.
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
"they don't want to worry fans of the books and potentially alienate the franchise's most passionate fans."

Trust me, with all the changes they've made to the show, specially with last season, they've already alienated many book readers.
2
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I disagreed with that line, too. We book readers don't make up a large or important portion of the viewership at this point, I'm sure. We were definitely the most excited and passionate before it came out, but at this point we've already bailed.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Are you aware that there are people who read the books and still watch the show, and that stating your opinion as a general fact using "we" doesn't make it so? It's true!
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
In every spot where I said "we", please replace it in your head with "we, in general" or "the majority of us". Obviously I can't speak for every single book reader. And by book readers, I meant people who read the books before ever seeing the show, not the people brought to the books by the show. People who started the show first, and then read the books, are a different animal, since they were faithful to the tv format, first. I'm sorry if you felt I was too presumptuous there. I'm glad you're able to enjoy both formats.

Pretty much, whenever an adaptation is made, the more it strays from the source material, the more the faithful of the source material become frustrated. Not saying the show isn't good, but I've had the books in my list of favorite books of all time since like 1997.


Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
I'm a book reader and they've made lots of changes I think they shouldn't have because the book verison is better like Wesley soup and Tyrion's storyline in season 5 in the books is way better than the show. I think in general the book is a lot better than the show but I keep watching the show because I don't want to wait 20 years to learn the end. The only real difference that bothers me is Sansa's storyline is completely different than the books.
2
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Sansa, Sansa, Sansa ... I'm still hoping she's playing everyone, Ramsay, Theon, and even Littlefinger, and only PRETENDS to still be a defenseless victim. She seemed to have hardened, you've got that "It's Winterfell, you can't scare me here" line ( one of the rare times I cheered for her ), and then she falls back in scared victim mode ? Either it's inconsistent character development ( which is sadly more likeky ), or she's learned from Littlefinger well enough to fool us.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Ya that's one of my issues. In the books she becomes a strong character in dance with dragons and it seems like she's really grown up. In the shows they never really gave her the growth into a strong enjoyable character. Like I said her storyline in the books is so much better.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I'm going to try to wait the 20 years, rather than watching the show. (Though, hoping that 20 is a bit of an exaggeration. At this point I'm thinking 10. How old is George R.R. Martin?)
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
I can't reply to your lower one so i'm typing here. Original there was supposed to be 6 books but during the dance with dragons he said he needed to do 7 books.
THe 6th one will be called winds of winter.
The 7th one is supposed (rumored) to be called a spring for wolves or a spring of wolves.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Its been 5 almost 6 years for the 6th book and there's still no release date. I doubt he'll finish the last one in 4 years. He's only 67.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Oh, I meant to say "7" books in the first sentence of the comment below.
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
But there are only 6 books planned, right? So assuming he finishes the one he's on in a couple years (from now), my ten year deadline gives him 8 years to write book 7. :) I really hate this side of me, the side that's obsessed with the man living long enough to finish the books. But as someone who started reading them way back when they first came out, long before the show, I feel a little justified. I guess it's a learning experience for him, but maybe he shouldn't have started such an ambitious series if he didn't feel motivated to finish it or know exactly where it was going. I feel bad about the number of people bugging him about it now, but what did he expect when he decided to do this HBO thing? Just added MORE people who want him to get writing!
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
At this rate, by the time he finishes the books no one will even remember how the TV show ended anyway.
7
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Hahaha, that's so true.
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
You are assuming the books will actually be finished. I have doubts about that.
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
You make a really good point ;)
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
"as one of the main concerns heading into Season 6 was that the television show would render the books moot as it overtakes the source material"

Really? Is that really a concern for anybody? I started reading the books after I watched the second season. I didn't skip the first two books.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
I thought this was the biggest concern


Well, second biggest, the first being Martin dies before he finishes book 7.
2
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
If he does ... Liv can eat his brain and finish them.
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
Would that that were a possible solution!
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
I like the last option... Books? What books? What are books even?
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
"as one of the main concerns heading into Season 6 was that the television show would render the books moot as it overtakes the source material."

So people should no longer read anything that's been adapted? How about The lord of the rings?
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
I really hope I'll manage to stay strong and keep away from season 6 until the next book is released.

P.s. The EW story is obviously marketing BS, of course there will be spoilers.
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
just spotted G.RR. Martin enjoying Brunch, he looked very healthy to me.

and the show is just eye candy for actual fans who know how to read ; )
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
Fine with me if they spoil the books -- the way things are going, George could very well croak before he finishes the series and then the show will be the only ending we have, Might as well make it what he wanted.
3
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
just spotted G.RR. Martin enjoying Brunch, he looked very healthy to me.

and the show is just eye candy for actual fans who know how to read ; )
Reply
Flag
Mar 24, 2016
He looked healthy now. What about in 10 years?
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
There's no doubt that the books will reveal plots that are in book 6.

Whether that matters is for the reader to decide for themselves. I think HBO are getting a bit nervous about many people saying they won't watch season 6 until they've read the book.
The thing is, the divergent plots in the show haven't usually been that great.
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
I seriously hope that the books will reveal plots in the books... :)
1
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
Ooops!
Reply
Flag
Mar 23, 2016
At this point I really don't care if the show spoils the books.
5
Reply
Flag