Everyone’s favorite adaptation is five episodes in and running out of source material. This season, as everyone is well aware of, the show is going to go off in its own direction and go off-book.
While the series is very loosely based on the War of the Roses which started in England around 1455 with the House of Plantagenet and the houses of Lancaster and York claiming rights to the throne of England, it’s hard to say that the books are supposed to have the same ending as the history they are based off of. So how can the show creators go off script if they aren’t sure how the book series is supposed to end?
Well, G.R.R. Martin told the show’s creators the ending he has in mind. This is where the problem arises—at least in my mind. If the creators know the ending and G.R.R. Martin hasn’t yet written the character’s paths to that point, the show gets to do the path-forging. This in itself isn’t bad, but what happens if G.R.R. Martin and the show create two different paths for the same ending?
Let’s say, for example, (and this is no spoiler because I—obviously—am not a show creator so I have no idea if this is what’s going to happen or not) Daenerys Targaryen is destined to end up as queen of everything and both G.R.R. Martin and the show creators know this.
The show creators are getting ahead of the book series, so to set her up as queen, they start eliminating other contenders for the throne. Let’s say the show creators kill off the Lannisters, like, all of them, and then they kill off Jon Snow, and, for the heck of it, they kill of Margaery Tyrell all in this season.
But, when the books come out, G.R.R. Martin takes a different path. The Lannisters, Jon Snow, and Margaery Tyrell all live in his version of events, but Gendry—Robert Baratheon’s legitimate son, Stannis Baratheon—Robert Baratheon’s brother, and let’s say Little Finger all die off.
That means, between the show and the books, the audience for Game of Thrones will have a pretty good idea of who will live to claim the throne. Now, my example is extreme. I’m sure there’s some communication between G.R.R. Martin and the creators that wouldn’t make major spoilers like this happen, but there could be minor spoilers happening that people can pick up on that can ruin the ending of the show.
Does that mean I’ll stop watching or stop reading? No. I’m a journey kind of person—the destination is interesting, sure, but it’s how you get there that matters. And for me, going off-book is like taking two journeys to one destination. That means I’m all in.