Follow up to Game of Thrones & Transmedia

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post which examined the future for Game of Thrones – specifically how Martin now seems unlikely to finish his books in time for his final volume to be released ahead of the shows. I examined the idea that the story could be continued in the shows, with the books catching up later.

And now, it seems, I was right!

Martin hints on his Not-A-Blog that he’s nearly done with his next book, Winds of Winter, but we’re unlikely to see it on shelves before 2016 – i.e., before filming starts for Season 6. And now the Internet is abuzz with articles like this one from IGN, “Game of Thrones Showrunner Confirms Show Will Begin Spoiling Books.”

Now, I wish folks would stop using the word ‘spoil’ when talking about the TV show progressing the story ahead of the books. Spoiling is when someone walks into a room three days after the release of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and yells ‘Snape kills Dumbledore!’ (yes, this actually happened to me, and yes, I’m still bitter about it). It’s not spoiling for the storytellers themselves (in this case, Benioff, Weiss and Martin) to choose how to tell the final chapters of the story. As I said before, Martin strikes me as someone suffering from a huge case of creative burnout right now, and relieving some of the pressure on him by letting Benioff and Weiss take point might help him finish the books in the long run.

Because frankly, I find this an exciting use of transmedia. This isn’t a Firefly-Serenity style continuation, when the movie finished the TV show. Rather, this has become a conversation between the books and the show, with each one being developed alongside each other. They’re certainly going to end at the same place, but I’ll enjoy seeing how they each get there.