Well, that’s another seaon of Game of Thrones over. Is everyone suitably traumatised yet curiously thrilled? Good. Now, what’s ahead in season five?
Entertainment Weekly caught up with series producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss and asked what lies ahead for fans of the biggest series on TV: “After finishing season three, we were nervous about season four—we’d been looking forward to the Red Wedding for so long that once we shot it, we feared everything beyond that would seem like an anti-climax. We grew less nervous when we outlined season four, less nervous still when we wrote the episodes, and all nervousness evaporated when we saw the directors’ cuts and knew we had a great season in hand. For season five, again, the fear started to dissipate when we outlined it and realized how much story we had to tell. Now that we’re nearly finished with the first drafts of each episode, we see no reason why the coming season shouldn’t be the strongest yet.
“There will be Dorne, and we’re excited about it. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in Dorne? They have admirable values and priorities. And have you seen Oberyn’s coat?”
Talking a little about where some of the characters are headed, the two said: “Littlefinger has been open with a few people about what he wants: Varys, Sansa, a few prostitutes, us. He wants everything. He wants to sit on that throne. By necessity, his path there will be twisted and indirect. But everything he does in some way points to that goal. As for Varys: Early in the season, when speaking with Tyrion, Varys claims to be concerned primarily with self preservation. At the end of the season, though, his actions prove otherwise. He throws away the entire life he’s built for himself in King’s Landing to save Tyrion’s life. Now what? … “Now what?” will become eminently clear in season 5.
Will the up the supernatural ante next year?: “The White Walkers aren’t going away. The dragons aren’t getting any smaller. Melisandre’s still sorceressing, the giants are more pissed than ever, and Jaime’s almost done building his jetpack. So… yeah, the fantasy’s not going away. It is a fantasy show.”
Regarding the size of the show, they reckon they’ve past halway (they confirm seven seasons is the gaol): “It’s the mid-game point of working on the show; after having spent all this time developing all these divergent and separate interests, being able to bring people from disparate worlds together is intrinsically interesting. It’s almost like the engine that drives the middle ground of the show… Season 4 is right town the middle. It’s the pivot point, as you say. It’s been an expanding universe and will now start to contract. Which doesn’t mean we won’t meet any new characters in season 5, because we will. But it’s going to start to shrink for sure.
There was some confusion over the finale of season four, leaving many to wonder if they were now straying from the books and their linear path: “We’re not going in strict order because we can’t. We can’t adapt Feast and leave out half our characters. We’ll be drawing heavily from Feast and Dance in season five.”
They have talked to George RR Martin and know where the saga will ultimately end and reassure everyone that the ending is creatively satisfying: “I feel we have so many conversations about later seasons. And this year we’ve started talking about the very end. One of the lessons of Breaking Bad, which had a phenomenal final season, phenomenal entire series—you really get the sense [creator Vince Gilligan] went into it with a story in mind and achieved that. We want this to work.”
So it looks like the series will stick to the books but, much like The Walking Dead, it will leave the path when it feels it is necessary. And they know how it all ends…grrrrrrrrr