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The stars of Game of Thrones grace the cover of Vanity Fair this week, but the real news comes from the interview inside, where show creator David Benioff basically says, “we know how the books are gonna end, nyah-nyah.”

According to an online snippet posted by VF, Benioff recently sat down with “A Song of Ice and Fire” novelist George R. R. Martin, who so far has produced five books for Game of Thrones to draw information from and supposedly has another two coming down the pike. Thing is, those last two books have been in the works since Game of Thrones debuted on HBO in 2011, and outside of a couple excerpts, there’s no sign that their publication is immediately forthcoming.

“It’s alarming,” Benioff admits. This fourth season is expected to mostly draw from the latter half of book three, meaning there’s probably at least another couple of years before this becomes a huge concern. Luckily, apparently Martin was happy to tell him what happens next.

“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be,” Benioff told Vanity Fair. “If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”

Martin claims he is “hopeful” that they won’t catch up with him, but here’s a brief rundown on how long it takes him to write these things. Book one, A Game of Thrones, came out in 1996, and the second and third, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, followed relatively quickly in 1999 and 2000. The fourth book was supposedly to be titled A Dance with Dragons, but got so big that he split it into two books—book four, eventually titled A Feast for Crows, came out in 2005. Dragons became book five, which came out in…2011. He promises us there’s only two  more books to come, a firm decision he’s made “until I decide not to be firm.” George!!!!!

But Benioff and co-creator D.B. Weiss insists they’re on the ball and will wrap the show up within seven or eight years, only partly because the child actors playing the kids of the show are hardly kids anymore.

The Annie Liebovitz-shot cover features sultry-looking stars Kit Harrington, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Heady and Emilia Clarke. Keen-eyed fans will see that Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, is sporting a metal hand, rather useful after the original was cut off in the third season. 

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