HBO's Game of Thrones, while based on the Song of Ice and Fire saga by George R.R. Martin, has slowly but surely differentiated itself. That fact is more apparent than ever before in the upcoming season five of the show, as Martin says there will be a number of characters who die this season who are still alive and well in the books.
Martin revealed the news while talking at the Writers Guild of America Awards on Saturday.
"People are going to die who don't die in the books, so even the book readers will be unhappy," Martin told Showbiz411. "Everybody better be on their toes. David and D.B. (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, co-creators of Game Of Thrones) are even bloodier than I am."
There have been a few minor characters in earlier seasons to have died "prematurely." Daenarys' handmaiden Irri is still alive in the books, as is the merchant prince Xaro Xhoan Daxos, just to name a few.
But it isn't only in deaths where the show has begun to dramatically diverge from Martin's established story. Last season's brutal fight between the Hound and Brienne never happened in the books, and season five so far looks to promise even more big changes. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of one mysterious character, Lady Stoneheart, but it remains to be seen if she will actually appear on the show at all.
Sophie Turner has hinted that Sansa's storyline will be taking a traumatic turn this season as well, which she claims is more shocking than the Red Wedding. Considering Sansa has done little in Martin's latest book, it seems showrunners Benioff and Weiss may be pushing Sansa's story ahead without Martin's source material to guide them. Season five will be drawing material from both Martin's A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, which happen concurrently.
Whatever is in store for this season, it seems like readers of Martin's books will finally have the pleasure of being completely blindsided by the show's twists and turns.