As "Game of Thrones" speeds toward its April 6 season four premiere date, the HBO series is apparently grappling with pacing, and how quickly it's catching up to George R.R. Martin's books. In a new Vanity Fair cover story, Martin and show co-creator David Benioff spell out the "alarming" concerns.
Benioff tells VF that show creators met with Martin to "talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be." He said filmmakers want to know how everything ends in the books and what happens with each character so they can better set things up on TV.
"I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren't there yet," Martin told the magazine. He has written five books in his "Song of Ice and Fire" series and plans two more. "I'm hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me."
Martin also shed light on the "serious concern" of having so many child actors in the cast who are obviously not getting any younger. "Maisie (Williams) was the same age as Arya when it started, but now Maisie is a young woman and Arya is still 11. Time is passing very slowly in the books and very fast in real life."
"Game of Thrones" co-creator D. B. Weiss tells the magazine that the show has a lifespan, and may only last seven or eight seasons. "It doesn’t just keep on going because it can," Weiss said. "I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that."
Vanity Fair enlisted photographer Annie Leibovitz to capture a unique mixing of the show's iconic characters for the April cover and inside spread — "the making of the biggest, baddest, bloodiest show in TV history." The cover stars sprawled on a seaside bluff include Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Check out VF's behind the scenes video of Leibovitz capturing other subjects from the show including Joffrey, Brienne, Tywin, Jorah, The Hound, and Ygritte. And keep an eye out for Jaime Lannister's fancy golden hand.