When it comes to HBO’s Game Of Thrones, readers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series have long had the advantage of knowing what’s coming next, and the pleasure of constantly holding it over the heads of those who don’t. But according to Martin himself, season five is going to prove a rough ride for those readers. Speaking at the Writers Guild West Awards, Martin warned, “People are going to die who don’t die in the books, so even the book readers will be unhappy. So everybody better be on their toes. David [Benioff] and D.B. [Weiss] are even bloodier than I am.” And without knowing exactly who’s going to get poisoned, bludgeoned, stabbed, shot, or catapulted over the Wall in the North, readers are now primed to be dealt the biggest blow since non-readers finally discovered what all their smug references to the “Red Wedding” were about.

It wasn’t all grim tidings for fans, however, as Martin established that he hasn’t totally abandoned his day job. “Whatever happens with the show, I’m going to finish the books,” Martin said. “But each of these books are 1,500 pages long and they each have enough material in them for several seasons.”

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Of course, seeing as it’s increasingly free from the constraints of Martin’s narrative, HBO could actually do whatever it wants for a dozen more seasons, killing freely until Ser Pounce finally ascends the Iron Throne as the last creature left alive.