When HBO decided to make a TV series of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff sat down with Martin and he told them how the story ends, in broad strokes. But now that the show is catching up to Martin's books, he's told them in much greater detail, character by character.
In the new Game of Thrones feature in Vanity Fair, Martin confesses that the show is catching up to his writing speed, something he had sworn wouldn't happen. Says Martin, "They are. Yes. It's alarming." (Already, our panel of experts has speculated that season five, airing next year, could end with events from The Winds of Winter, the book Martin hasn't finished yet. Warning: link contains spoilers.)
But now that the danger of the show catching up to Martin's books seems more extreme, the producers have gotten Martin to spill way more detail about how he intends to end the story for every single major character. From the Vanity Fair article:
Not to worry though, in the event that they do catch up, the show's creators are prepared. Benioff reveals, "Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don't know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be. If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character."
But this doesn't mean that Martin is giving up quite yet, and is hopeful that he will be the first one to tell his story. "I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren't there yet. I'm hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me."
And once again, the show's creators insist they want the show to end in seven or eight years. Said Weiss, "It doesn't just keep on going because it can. I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that." Which seems like a smart move. [Winter is Coming]