By James Hibberd
Updated March 19, 2014 at 04:03 PM EDT

Game of Thrones

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It’s a question George R.R. Martin’s fans have wondered for many years: Will the bestselling author’s five-books-and-counting Song of Ice and Fire saga have a satisfying ending? Will the destination, not just the journey, pay off?

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss know Martin’s planned final arcs of his as-yet-unwritten story. So we asked them.

First, some context: HBO’s Thrones is about to launch the fourth of a planned seven seasons (possibly eight) on April 6. Martin has two books left to come in his series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. When it comes to fan expectations, the Thrones producers are generally quite cautious about getting fans’ hopes up, especially since expectations tend on this saga to be so high already (asked if they’re “confident” season 4 of Thrones is their best yet, Weiss replied, “I wouldn’t say we’re too confident. I would say we’re terrified that it won’t be.”)So last September at a seaside park grove in Croatia, inside a dim tent full of camera monitors, we asked the duo: “You know George’s ending for the saga. A lot of fans have wondered whether it’s going to pay off in a satisfying way. Non-specifically, do you feel the saga’s ending is creatively satisfying? Is it an ending you’re excited to work towards?”

Their replies were immediate and emphatic.

Benioff: “Absolutely yes.”

Weiss: “100 percent.”

So there you go. No details, naturally. But however Martin’s story may conclude, at least two huge fans of his work have high praise for its mysterious, long-planned conclusion (once again: no pressure, George!). Of course, an absolutely satisfying ending by Thrones standards could also mean everybody dies in some spectacular fashion, but we kinda doubt that. Martin himself has used one word to describe it: “Bittersweet.”

This subject will also invariably raise the show-catching-up-to-the-books issue. Recently there’s been a lot of coverage about this after another outlet addressed the topic. In case you missed it, see our exclusive last year which was the first to detail the various positions (all still current) of the producers, Martin and HBO on this tricky situation.

EW’s Game of Thrones Pre-Season 4 Coverage. Catch up on what you’ve missed:

‘Game of Thrones’ handy snarky season 4 map explains where everybody is

‘Game of Thrones’: This showrunners Q&A will get you really excited for season 4

‘Game of Thrones’: Jack Gleeson reveals the meanest thing he’s ever done

‘Game of Thrones’: Lena Headey on Cersei’s twisted love life

‘Game of Thrones’: Sophie Turner takes six Sansa questions

‘Game of Thrones’: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on Jaime’s season 4 women trouble

‘Game of Thrones’ season 4 is Jon Snow’s biggest, talkiest yet

‘Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams teases Arya’s dark season 4

‘Game of Thrones’: Ygritte is super pissed in season 4

Peter Dinklage talks ‘Game of Thrones’ season 4: Tyrion’s journey, ignoring Twitter, nude scenes

‘Game of Thrones’ two more ‘final’ trailers

‘Game of Thrones’ showrunners sign on for two more seasons — EXCLUSIVE

‘Game of Thrones’: How Pedro Pascal landed season 4’s coolest, sexiest new role

Game of Thrones’: See Jaime Lannister’s new golden hand — EXCLUSIVE

Game of Thrones’ producers: George R.R. Martin’s secret ending is ‘absolutely’ satisfying — EXCLUSIVE

Game of Thrones’ team: 7 seasons is the plan

Still to come: Once the season starts we’ll have our popular recaps (find them here) and post-episode interviews with cast or producers each week.

For ongoing Game of Thrones intel, follow James on Twitter:

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'

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