‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 marks the final season of the favorite fantasy series on HBO. For those unaware, the show is based on ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ by George R.R. Martin. Since some of the book readers might think that they will get spoilers from the show since it is releasing before Martin completes the last two entries, the author has assured fans that he has made changes to ensure that the narrative maintains a degree of suspense for readers who have watched the show.
This move from Martin is rather evident since the new season will be sailing into uncharted territory that has not been covered in Martin’s classic novels yet, and while he is on board with the idea of the show venturing ahead of his books, the author needs to retain his immense popularity among his reader base, who are at a high risk of getting spoilers since ‘Game of Thrones’ has become a pop cultural phenomenon. On that note, Martin told spoke to Rolling Stone, saying, “I’ve been so slow with these books. 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.”
While some fans have made the argument that Martin has had a lot of time to finish his series, the author himself has said that the pressure of ensuring the novels lived up to the hype and satiated fan expectations, was putting an immense burden on Martin and slowing him down. That being said, Martin’s fifth novel came out in 2011, one month after Season 1 of the show had ended. He has not yet released another installment despite revealing chapters from his upcoming book, ‘The Winds of Winter’, over the years. This naturally created a whole another set of problems for the showrunners of ‘Game of Thrones’, namely D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. They had to come up with a satisfactory conclusion to the story without any source material to fall back on or refer to.
They addressed the problems in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, where they said, “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. 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”. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister on the show, supported the decision to end the show, saying, “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”.
‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 will air on HBO from April 14, 2019.