Unfortunately, we won’t see the sixth book in the ‘Song of Fire and Ice’ series titled ‘The Winds of Winter’ this year, but author George R.R. Martin is really buckling down to put some work into it to get it done as soon as possible. The acclaimed writer is even skipping an appearance at this year’s San Diego Comic Con with the cast and crew of ‘Game of Thrones’ in order to crank out more pages on his new book. But now that the popular HBO drama series is catching up to Martin’s work, it’s inevitable that it will surpass the books and venture into uncharted waters. In fact, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have recently came out and said spoilers are on the way in season six and beyond.

There have been a good amount of character changes, non-book deaths, and plot deviations in ‘Game of Thrones’ and it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon. However, these departures from Martin’s novels don’t mean that the show and the books won’t have the same ending. Vanity Fair tells us that Benioff addressed that exact matter recently while appearing at the Oxford Union with stars Kit Harington and John Bradley:

“Luckily, we’ve been talking about this with George for a long time, ever since we saw this could happen, and we know where things are heading. And so we’ll eventually, basically, meet up at pretty much the same place where George is going; there might be a few deviations along the route, but we’re heading towards the same destination. I kind of wish that there were some things we didn’t have to spoil, but we’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The show must go on … and that’s what we’re going to do.”

‘Game of Thrones’ fans who are primarily readers of the books may be annoyed by this news, but I see this exactly like the situation we found ourselves in a few years ago with Edgar Wright’s ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.’ The film starring Michael Cera based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Oni Press graphic novels went into production before the final book of that series was released. Because of this, there were some changes from source material. Despite that, both versions of the story ended up in the same place and fans were given the opportunity to enjoy it in different ways regardless of knowing the ending already. That’s where I see ‘Game of Thrones’ going right now and Benioff seems to agree:

“I think the thing that’s kind of fun for George is the idea that he can still have surprises for people even once they’ve watched the show through to the conclusion. There are certain things that are going to happen in the books that are different in the show, and I think people who love the show and want more — want to know more about the characters, want to know more about the different characters who might not have made the cut for the show — will be able to turn to the books.”

For the whole presentation at the Oxford Union featuring David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Kit Harington, and John Bradley, check out the video below:

What say you, ‘Game of Thrones’ fans? Will you continue to read the books after the show ends? Are you disappointed that George R.R. Martin couldn’t keep up with the HBO series? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

‘Game of Throne’ returns to HBO on April 12, 2015 at 9:00pm.