“The biggest challenge has been just not having the books” said D.B. Weiss.
In a recent interview with Deadline, Game of Thrones show creators and writers David Benioff and D.B Weiss discussed the impact of season 6 on the fans and series, the work that went behind “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter”, the shows highest rated episodes in series history, and the difficulties that come with the inevitable end game for the series that is only two seasons away.
Season 6 marked the first time the series would surpass the source material by George R.R. Martin and venture into plot still untouched in the yet to be finished final novel of Martin’s book series, The Winds of Winter. Weiss mentions that “with the exception of a couple beats” from Martin on the more significant aspects of the stories plot, such as the origin of Hodor, he and Benioff had largely had to “walk on [their] own feet” in terms of writing the events of this season. “In the past even in Season Five where we were different from the books in many great respects,” Weiss says, but “always had these big set piece scenes we could use as anchor points for the season. Whether it was Cersei’s walk of shame or the attempted assassination of Dany where she’s rescued from the gladiator pit by the dragon, we knew we had these great moments to count on.” Weiss also gave huge credit to Martin’s writing of the characters and story stating that Martin had written some of the most “fantastically drawn characters than [Weiss had] seen in pretty much any book ever.” The fact that he and Benioff could continue writing these characters without the help of Martin is a “testament to George’s characters and the world he created.”
As for what is to come for the rest of Game of Thrones, Benioff stated that it’s “two more seasons” they and fans were looking at. “We talked about doing this in 70-75 hours” Benioff said, “and that’s what we’ll end up with. Call it 73 for now.” In April it was reported that shorter seasons are to be expected for the series, with a total of 13 episodes between the two remaining seasons. Benioff and Weiss seem happy with the time remaining for the series as they wanted to end the series “without padding it out to add an extra 10 hours, or because people were still watching.” The team wants to “get it out at a high point” and not have fan reactions be “well thank god that’s over.” The duo seem prepared to tackle the challenge of completing one of the biggest shows in television history, as Benioff knows that they are “definitely heading into the end game now.”
With season 6 just wrapping up this past Sunday, fans are still trying to fully comprehend the impact of the events that occurred in Westeros and what the recent revelation of Jon Snow’s origin means for him and the inevitable war to come.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones is set to premiere in April of 2017.