The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones have a lot in common. They’re arguably the two pillars of the genre TV boom, they’re both about the struggle to survive war and apocalypse and they’re both are based on beloved source material by iconoclastic creators. Naturally, rivalries emerge. Enter Dead creator Robert Kirkman.
In a profile for Rolling Stone magazine to promote his upcoming exorcism drama Outcast, Kirkman offered his thoughts on Game of Thrones adapting George R.R. Martin’s saga beyond the published novels of his A Song of Ice and Fire. In short, he’s “disappointed.”
In regards to the show finishing the story before he gets to, Kirkman thought Martin should have said, “Fuck you. You make it up now, I’ll get to mine when I’m ready.” Apparently, Kirkman seems to argue that Martin should have kept his ending to himself and forced the showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss to craft a new one. Which really defeats the whole idea of “adapting anything.” I’m certainly not arguing against an adaptation making changes, even to endings (Fight Club movie ends better than Fight Club book) but to just craft an alternate conclusion for this tale just because the author overestimated his writing speed would have made it waaaay too much like fan-fiction for my taste.
Martin announced early last January that he would not publish the sixth book The Winds of Winter ahead of the sixth season, currently airing. Both Martin, Benioff andWeiss have repeatedly said the book-show divergence is so great that what few surprises are spoiled won’t detract from Martin’s final two novels. This season, ostensibly the “adaptation” of the unpublished sixth book, goes a long to proving that by featuring heavily revised and reedited editions of storylines from previous novels left out of Season 5 for time constraints (such as the Greyjoy and Riverland plotlines) while the Dorne story was unceremoniously cut short in the Season 6 premiere after poor reception.
I analyzed last year for my own blog whether The Walking Dead was in danger of overtaking the source material like Game of Thrones did. My conclusion was, while the show was gaining ground on Kirkman, it won’t be an issue for several years.