Monday 16th of June marked the end of the latest season of Game of Thrones, to a hugely positive response from their massive fan base. With season 5 now in production, Thrones fans can’t help but address the show’s slow but noticeable divergence with the plot of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series as events are stretched and altered for the pacing of a 10 episode television series. Whereas the first season covered events from the first book, even stretching into the events of the second, future seasons are trying to adapt less material from the novel whilst also creating some of their own that is unique to the show, such as Ygritte’s journey south of the wall and Yara’s mission at the Dreadfort.
Whilst this extra chunk of satisfying character building content is interesting, it’s clear that the writers of the show are keen not to get carried away, intent to focus on following snappy pacing, covering the tension and shock that the book is so adept at. However this is not to say slowing the show down wouldn’t have been possible as the recent season seemed to severely limit or entirely avoid including characters such as the Tyrells, especially Loras who had no speaking role all season, Edric Storm, Robert’s last surviving bastard son, Mya Stone, a tomboyish woman from the mountains of the moon in service to Lysa Arryn. All of which, whilst inconsequential at this stage in the story, are pleasant distractions from the action and passion present in their respective locations, offering alternative perspectives and opinions from the main characters.
Another good reason the show is being adapted slowly is the inconvenient truth that George R. R. Martin, the author of the Song of Ice and Fire series, is still in the process of finishing writing the series, and seems to be taking his time. This has led some fans to the fear that the series may not see its close before the bestselling author passes on, although seeing as Martin is a healthy man of 65, this is unlikely at best. Masterpieces are rarely rushed, and the haste that so many Game of Thrones fans are urging Mr. Martin is misspent as nothing kills inspiration quite like angry fans demanding more.
A fifth and sixth season have were ordered for HBO earlier in April, and if previous seasons are anything to go by, season 5 should begin filming later in 2014 for an April 2015 premiere. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators, producers and writers of the show have publically explained that they want 8 seasons of the show in total, as they explained in an interview with Mother Jones “We have the opportunity here to tell a coherent story that lasts for 80 hours.” It’s completely possible and some would say likely that the show will overshoot this target, by a potentially significant margin. With Game of Thrones dominating television drama, it’s unlikely that network heads at HBO are going to be particularly supportive of a concise conclusion to this landmark series that has already achieved runaway success.