What if Game of Thrones overtakes the books?
By Winter Is Coming on in Books, Speculation.

A question asked by many fans since Game of Thrones first started: could the show catch up to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series? And if it does, what would happen?

Adam Whitehead of The Wertzone has just published a great post attempting to answer these very questions. It includes a speculative timeline for how the show and the books could be produced with both the last book and last season releasing concurrently.

2013: Season 3 – A Storm of Swords Part 1
2014: Season 4 – A Storm of Swords Part 2/A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons Part 1
2015: Season 5 – A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons Part 2
Late 2015: Possible Winds of Winter release date.
2016: Season 6 – A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons Part 3/The Winds of Winter Part 1
2017: Season 7 – The Winds of Winter Part 2
2018: Season 8 – The Winds of Winter Part 3/A Dream of Spring Part 1
2019: Season 9 – A Dream of Spring Part 2/longest realistic lifespan of the TV series

As you can see, this means that Martin would be required to publish A Dream of Spring by spring 2019 at the latest, and to give the showrunners material from it in the summer of 2018.

So it is possible that the Martin could stay just ahead of the show. But it would require him to get the last two books out in a timely manner. What happens if Martin is not able to deliver the books on time?

Whitehead again:

If HBO does overtake GRRM, then clearly they are going still be asking his advice, getting him to write (at least) one TV episode per season and following outlines and information he has given them for the later books. The ending we will get on screen will be, at least in some form, similar to the ending Martin envisages for the books. I can also see the showrunners asking Martin to write the last episode of the series (they may do this regardless of if the books are out or not). Some readers, particularly those most frustrated with the long gaps between novels, may even prefer the idea that they will get to find out how the story ends on screen within the next six years or so, rather than waiting potentially longer than that if the series extends to eight volumes, or if the sixth and seventh books take a lot longer than it is hoped to appear.

Obviously the TV series is not covering all of the subplots and character arcs that the novels are, so the books will still be worth reading to find out how those issues are resolved. Of course, purists who want to read the books first and see the TV show later will be left with the quandary of putting the show on hold and somehow avoiding lots of spoilers for years on end until the books come out, which I imagine will be quite difficult to achieve.

Whitehead goes into quite a bit more detail in the full post, including a good rebuttal of the proposal that Thrones take a few years off to let Martin catch up. Be sure to check it out.

Winter Is Coming: A great post by Adam. I agree with most of his conclusions. The timeline he produced looks plausible, but I’m highly skeptical that Martin could get the last two books out that quickly. I’m also wondering if the series might not need three books to wrap up, which would really throw a wrench into things. If I were a betting man, I would wager that the show will pass Martin and we will see the end of this series on our TV screens before reading it on the page.


286 Comments

  1. John-Michael
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I agree the show will finish FIRST (See what I did there).

  2. danNYtrack
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I shudder at the thought…

  3. axia777
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I will stop watching the show so as to not spoil the books. Book > HBO show everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. That is all I have to say on this subject.

  4. ACVG
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    omg i was just thinking about this now too,
    it would be a shame (as much as i love the show) to find out the fates of characters in the show first before the books
    a medium like a television show cant give the complexity of the books

  5. Lord Greenseer
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    As good as the TV show is the books are million times better. So for as long as it takes GRRM to finish the last 2 , just be patient. Its his world and i think he’s done a pretty damn good job with the first 5 books in 18 years to have all the time to finish without HBO breathing down his neck.

  6. Fienix
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyone close to GRRM that can comment on how his writing on the books is coming? I got really worried when they announced he was going to be doing more projects with HBO, which means less time spent writing ASoIaF. And I really, really hope he gets finished before anything bad happens (a la Robert Jordan). I honestly don’t think there’s anyone else on the planet that could finish the series even halfway as well as Mr. Martin himself.

  7. Ivan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I hope there is a clause somewhere in George’s contract that the series cannot be finished if the books are not out, because, as much as I love the show I consider it to be just an extra content of the ASOIAF franchise, which is first and foremost a book series.

    I also have doubts that he will be able to finish the series in just two more books, but even if it were three, there is still time to keep ahead of the series if he keeps publishing books every two years of so, as he did with the first three novels. Even if the series caches up with him, I think that there would be a pause in the shooting, so the publishing of the last book would coincide with the last season premiere.

  8. Stephen_neill
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I worry that without the books the show will decline rapidly. Even with mr martins input. What happens if George dies before completing the series?

  9. The Bull
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Lord Greenseer,

    Well, he signed up for this so surely he realized this would be a concern down the line and there would be plenty of breathing down his neck. Anyway it’s not like he’s not used to it from fans.

  10. Lord of Fangs
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I would be very disappointed if the show finishes before the books. I don’t think I’d be able to avoid spoilers for that long even if I tried as hard as I could…someone or something would spoil it for me accidentally.

  11. MedievalFantasy
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    TWoW will most likely be out by late 2014/early 2015 at the latest, I think, with ADoS releasing in mid-late 2016/early 2017. This is enough time for GRRM to catch up to the books.

  12. Katie
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh man, this is going to cause some quandaries. As much as I love the TV show, I don’t think I’d be able to bring myself to watch the ending of the story before I’ve read it in the books. But I’d agree unless things drastically change, that’s where it’s heading: it’s hard for me to imagine the books finishing up before 2020.

    It surprises me a little bit that (as far as I know) it’s not something that’s been officially addressed.

  13. D'Arcy
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    The only thing I would predict differently is that AFFC/ADWD will be not be 3 parts as he’s said, and neither will TWOW.

    AFFC/ADWD will be one and a half, filling out Season 4 backend and Season 5.
    TWOW will be two, filling out Season 6 and 7.
    ADOS will be two, filling out Season 8 and 9.

    I don’t see why they would keep trying to end a season in the middle of a book.

    On to the topic of what will happen: My guess is that they finish relatively close to each other, with the BOOK being finished first. You would think ADOS needs to be completed before season 8 if they want to have the scripts ready, etc., but I think that GRRM will be giving them enough material to make a season.

    I think it’s going to be close. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that the book is released midway between the final two seasons. (Thus we see some material in show form before the book is released.) That would be very interesting.

    My hope remains that he finishes before the show.

  14. Kyle Dawe
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    A big omission here is the possibility that hbo will take long production breaks in order for the final book to be written as the show progresses ala the sopranos.

    I believe it was a year and a half between seasons 4 and 5, and then season 6 was spread over 2 years

    HBO knows that the success of the show is due to its astounding cinematic quality as well as its generally extremely faithful approach to adapting the source material and keeping the book-reading core of the fanbase happy with. The show.

    They will not risk alienating the fans if the books by putting an ending on screen first. I honestly believe HBO might spin the later events of the books (winds if winter, dream of spring) into feature films.

    The Hype would only build for the show if they went I’m extended brak after getting through the winds of winter, which will certainly be done by the time the show gets through a Dance with dragons

  15. Wolfheart
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    George better finish before the show gets beyond him. If the show gets beyond him I will stop watching the show till he puts forth the next book. I personally don’t want the show to ruin the real cannon spoilers.

    Although didn’t they split book 3 into two seasons? I recall they did…as a certain Wedding is near the end of Season 3 and thats just in the middle of book 3. So they would still have AFFC and ADWD to do. And ADWD is as big as ASOS. So George does have some time. He best not delay though. As each season is 10 episodes long…it could catch up.

  16. Steve
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m a huge, huge fan – but nine seasons? I not sure what’s more optimistic – GRRM getting the last book out by 2018, or a HBO show that lasts 9 seasons. The Sopranos lasted 6, The Wire 5, and True Blood is currently heading into 6. So nine seasons of GoT would be very unprecedented.

    I would actually argue a more likely scenario would be – 5 or 6 seasons taking us up to the end of DWD, then perhaps a hiatus of a few years, followed by one or two movies on the big screen to wrap it up, a la The X Files.

  17. Kyle
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I thought I’d be in the minority on this one, but it seems I was wrong. If Game of Thrones passes the books I will stop watching the show. The books have been such a large part of my life that I have no desire to see them end in a medium different than the one I started in. My preference would be that if GoT catches up that George keep his secrets and let HBO make up it’s own ending. This way I wouldn’t mind watching the show to the end because it would not spoil the books. Then we’d have the faux show ending and the real book ending eventually and it would be entertaining to see how they differed. I don’t think that would ever happen. I’m just day dreaming, I know.

    I don’t think the show will reach a proper conclusion. Wildly popular? Of course, but also wildly expensive, complicated, and difficult. There are so many moving parts I can’t see it lasting that long. It’s being kept afloat by the ratings, but as soon as those ratings dip, even a little, HBO will come up with an exit strategy.

  18. Tolgeros
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if HBO would consider doing what Starz did for Spartacus and do a prequel season (So that Andy Whitfield, the original actor who played Spartacus, could recover from his cancer. Sadly, he didn’t. RIP Andy), which would give GRRM a little more time to write. They could make it about D&E or Robert’s Rebellion, etc. The only major downside I see to this is the young actors’ aging problem (how dare they grow up!!!).

  19. Govnor
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I would put the chances of the books finishing before the show at about at 10% right now, and that could be being generous. GRRM has simply overloaded his plate as it stands. IF he was to lock himself away for the next 3-4 years, maybe. But that is not going to happen.

  20. Govnor
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Tolgeros:
    I wonder if HBO would consider doing what Starz did for Spartacus and do a prequel season (So that Andy Whitfield, the original actor who played Spartacus, could recover from his cancer.Sadly, he didn’t. RIP Andy), which would give GRRM a little more time to write.They could make it about D&E or Robert’s Rebellion, etc.The only major downside I see to this is the young actors’ aging problem (how dare they grow up!!!).

    I just don’t see that happening. Too many factors against it.

  21. Kalamies
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    A TRUE FAN will wait as long as he has to.

  22. Paul
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    A prequel series could buy time and is sort of pre written.

  23. Razha
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to the number of seasons I think HBO might still consider changing the number of epps during the last season.
    So if we follow the plan proposed above, instead of 9 seasons proposed above we can get 8 or even 7 – with last season having 14-16 episodes instead of 10 – possibly split in two – as they did with Breaking Bad.

    As to catching -up with GRRM – even if his last book is not published by the time filming of post-TWOW Season starts – he still might have a general outline of the last book in his hands, they just need to agree on the main plot points, “on the major stop-overs on the road” as he calls it. The details can be filled-in differently on the show and in the books.

    So I can imagine show ending properly before the ADOS is published.

  24. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I hope there is a clause somewhere in George’s contract that the series cannot be finished if the books are not out, because, as much as I love the show I consider it to be just an extra content of the ASOIAF franchise, which is first and foremost a book series.

    There will be no such clause. If HBO did include such a clause, they’d be idiots because it would effectively be killing the show. What they probably have is an agreement that if they overtake, they’ll be using GRRM’s outlines and information.

    I also have doubts that he will be able to finish the series in just two more books, but even if it were three, there is still time to keep ahead of the series if he keeps publishing books every two years of so, as he did with the first three novels. Even if the series caches up with him, I think that there would be a pause in the shooting, so the publishing of the last book would coincide with the last season premiere.

    Pausing the shooting would cost millions. Delaying one season by a few months – say if TRUE BLOOD ends and GoT takes over its timeslot – is possible, but that’s something that they can do once only. Also, GRRM was able to write the first three books in nine years because they were supposed to be one book, and he had a very clear idea of what was going on. If he regains that clarity (because he’s back on his rough outline, whereas AFFC and ADWD were all-new material he had to create off the cuff), we can hope for an acceleration in his writing time, but I don’t think it will ever get to a new book every 2 years.

    The only thing I would predict differently is that AFFC/ADWD will be not be 3 parts as he’s said, and neither will TWOW.

    I don’t think they’ll be in three parts as such, I think they will extend across 2 seasons worth of episodes (so 20 episodes or so) but spread across three seasons, with other material from the books before and after. As for the ‘ending in the middle of seasons’ thing that is also a problem, but they are going to run out of badass cliffhanger/penultimate episode climaxes at some point and the mode of storytelling they are using is either going to have to change or they will deviate from the books hugely to bring in their own climaxes.

    A big omission here is the possibility that hbo will take long production breaks in order for the final book to be written as the show progresses ala the sopranos.

    I had a whole section dedicated to that. Bluntly speaking, that will not happen. It will kill the show stone dead. The actors will scatter to other projects and regrouping them will not be possible, and keeping them all on retainer will be too expensive. That’s why the DEADWOOD TV moves never happened and appears to be at least a factor in why the ROME movie has not happened.

    THE SOPRANOS required a relatively small number of actors (none of whom were busy doing tons of other projects) to be kept on retainer. THE WIRE actually did lose Dominic West for most of Season 4 because of the same problem, though they were able to get him back full-time for S5 (and THE WIRE employed a lot of local artists in Baltimore who weren’t working on tons of other projects in the interim). OTOH, GAME OF THRONES’s cast is made up of a lot of British and Irish stage, movie and TV actors who will definitely get other projects if the show goes on hiatus for any length of time.

    That said, it might just work because only those surviving characters from Season 1 and maybe 2 would be affected (characters debuting in later seasons will still be under contract), which might be a small enough number to put on retainer.

  25. Maxwell James
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Kyle Dawe,

    Not going to happen. The Sopranos was able to take such breaks – despite immense criticism from fans – because it had a core cast of about 10 people, some of whom were making HUGE salaries – Gandolfini was making $1m per episode IIRC. And even then, there was considerable tension between the network and the actors.

    GoT has a cast ten times as large, and none of the actors are making anything near what the lead actors earned on the Sopranos. As soon as the show hit a sustained break, at least half would be gone, ESPECIALLY the leads, who will have tons of good offers thrown their ways.

    I think Adam’s right, and the show will almost certainly blow past the books. Which I’m fine with. I’ll be happy enough to read the last 2-3 books, whenever they come out.

  26. TheAnchoress
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    axia777,
    Kyle,

    Yeah, I think there’s a lot of us here who are in that category. I certainly consider the books my “primary source” for the series and want to experience the ending of the story there first, even though I love Dave and Dan’s visual interpretation of it. Perhaps it’s a karmic turning of the tables for all of us who know what’s about to go down this season that there will be GoT follower in a position to spoil or savor the books’ ending in the same way we’ve been experiencing the show.

    I do think the hiatus/straight-through debate will depend entirely on if the later seasons of the show keep performing up to the bar that’s been set and if the cast remains interested in sticking around for that long. HBO hasn’t had such a long running drama, ever. The Sopranos got the closest, I believe. But with their subscriber base as strong as its ever been, and its programming decisions much more generous towards the creative controllers, GoT might just be the one to break through.

  27. Nezzer
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think there will be a problem. Even if the last book is not out by the time of the last seasons, I believe GRRM will give D&D some unfinished material they could work with. I doubt they’d be left without any kind of material if the show does surpass the books.

  28. Ceegh
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I really want to believe that Mr. Martin will get these books done before the show, but in reality he’s overloaded himself with projects and his writing style does not allow for him to release the books fast enough. Maybe if he kills off a few more characters he’ll be able to write faster, who knows…

  29. KatieJo
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    LOL if? When. :p I think it’s time we started analyzing choices that the show is making just as much as we do the books, because at this point all indications are that it’s going to become canon.

  30. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    One rumour I heard was that THE SOPRANOS was actually supposed to be seven seasons long, but they would have had to have renegotiated after Season 6. So to get around that they made Season 6 double the length and produced it back to back (more or less) and called it Season 6 Part 1 and Season 6 Part 2. If so, I can imagine the actors being peeved about that. IIRC, something similar happened on OZ as well.

    GoT could always do something similar if it came to it, but the production logistics of the show apparently make it impossible to write, film and post more than ten episodes a year, so it seems much more difficult.

  31. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one amused at the thought of TV viewers spoiling the series for book readers? As for me, I’d still watch the show even if it surpasses the books. I watched most of season 1 before reading the books so I don’t have as much time invested into it as some. Then again, I don’t believe George will ever finish the books. So that is part of the reason I’d watch the show. My opinion could change if TWOW is actually released in 2014/early 2015.

  32. AA
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    FYI, if this adds any insight, I found this article (from June 2012), cited in the wikipedia article for TWoW, that quotes GRRM: http://www.airlockalpha.com/node/9199
    “I am aware of the TV series moving along behind me like a giant locomotive, and I know I need to lay the track more quickly, perhaps, because the locomotive is soon going to be bearing down on me,” he said. “The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I’ve got a considerable head start, but production is moving faster than I can write. I’m hoping that we’ll finish the story at about the same time … we’ll see.”

  33. Bard
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    He needs to finish and publish TWOW in 2014 and ADOS in 2017. In that case, it could work. Otherwise though…maybe they could pause the show for a year. Or stretch it (though it hardly will surpass 8 or 9 seasons). I fear the show could end in 2016 anyway, simply because parts of the audience are going to loose interest in it when material from AFFC and ADWD will be used.

  34. Wyvernwood
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Wolfheart,

    I agree – I think it is more likely that HBO will take a break in production than try and rush through the TV show.

    There is also a variation – where the TV show and the books diverge – and follow a different path. This is more likely if HBO want to tie up the series within a certain time frame. Every show has a natural shelf life, and it may be that GoT the TV show has a shorter life span than the books. If this is the case, they may take a point in the books that has already been written (or is coming in TWoW) and flag it as a possible completion for the TV show, at the very least to have it up their sleeve to bring the curtain down.

    As much as I hope to see the TV show see it out, somehow continuing it through another 6 series after the next one doesn’t feel realistic, that would mean it running for a total of 9 seasons.

    It would be interesting to see how long various critical actors have been contracted for – that could well play into the equation too. If they become unavailable, or keen to move onto other projects that could be a huge factor.

  35. The Lightning Lord
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    As a big fan of the books I have to say AFFC and ADWD getting stretched out to 2 and a half seasons sounds dreadful. AFFC has like 4 episodes of plot advancement if you ask me

  36. Mean25
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    If HBO passes the books I will stop watching and try to avoid spoilers.

  37. Nezzer
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Am I the only one amused at the thought of TV viewers spoiling the series for book readers? As for me, I’d still watch the show even if it surpasses the books. I watched most of season 1 before reading the books so I don’t have as much time invested into it as some. Then again, I don’t believe George will ever finish the books.So that is part of the reason I’d watch the show.My opinion could change if TWOW is actually released in 2014/early 2015.

    I thought about that too and it would be hilarious :D
    Imagine the face of a douche reader, that used to spoil the show for eveyone in the first seasons, being spoiled by a douche non-reader because the show surpassed the books. Karma is a bitch haha

  38. Barista Selmy
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    My fear is that GRRM will troll us in a way similar to that done by Tyrion at the Eyrie:

    Tyrion: I once brought a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel…

    Lysa: SILENCE!

    Robin: What happened next?

  39. Tar Kidho
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid that the GoT hype we find ourselves in nowadays will not last that long. My bet is that the series will not continue after the 6th season.

  40. LordNoga1981
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Im sure someone already mentioned this. But to give Martin and extra year, we should have one season as the War of the Usurper and events leading up to it. With it ending at the death of the Mad King. They could easily make a season of ten episodes with the history already given to us about that war. Im all for that. They could start at the Tourney at Harrenhal. Go all the way to sacking of Kings Landing and Tower of Joy. But personally i think Martin will make it just under the wire. If he can get tWoW out in 2014 then we should be fine. Also i realistically see this show making it to 9 or 10 seasons and still bein the most popular show of all time. Its headed there.

  41. Elia
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to see the end first on the tv show?

  42. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    OT: Is this site loading slowly for anyone else? I’m using Chrome. I’ve never really had problems before. It’s been this way the past two days for me.

  43. LordNoga1981
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    In all honestly, i cant fathom why George cant get these last two books out within 5 yrs. He needs to get to writing and quit dicking around. He is not gettin any younger. Quit wasting time with any other projects. Finish the books first, then do other stuff. Its quite possibly the greatest story ever told(take that bible!) and needs to be finished.

  44. Duff Man
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead
    . THE WIRE actually did lose Dominic West for most of Season 4 because of the same problem, though they were able to get him back full-time for S5 (and THE WIRE employed a lot of local artists in Baltimore who weren’t working on tons of other projects in the interim). OTOH, GAME OF THRONES’s cast is made up of a lot of British and Irish stage, movie and TV actors who will definitely get other projects if the show goes on hiatus for any length of time.

    Many would argue (not me though as I think season 2 was the best) that season 4 was the best season of the Wire and the featured the least amount of McNulty.

  45. Wyvernwood
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Slow for me too – I’m guessing traffic has started to pick up again – with less than 30 days to go, interest is stirring.

  46. Bastard of Dreadfort
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyone who thinks that Martin would even have book 6 ready by the time the show catches up.

    Also any delay to the TV show would be the end of it. If they have to go their own way with plot and ending fine by me. “Based On” on the books by Martin

  47. Juego de tronos
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I hope that show will not spoil the books.

  48. HedgeWizard
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I expect the series to be concluded within this decade. I don’t think GRRM will run into any Meereneese Knot type of situations again.

  49. Zachariah Wiedeman
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The Sopranos put out 6 seasons over 8 years and wasn’t waiting on books to be written, so this idea that HBO will stick to a strict 1 season per year schedule is a little unrealistic. More than likely you’re looking at slightly longer breaks between seasons in a similar fashion to how the Sopranos did it:

    Sopranos Season 1 – Jan 10, 1999
    – 12 month gap –
    Sopranos Season 2 – Jan 16, 2000
    – 14 month gap
    Sopranos Season 3 – Mar 4, 2001
    – 19 month gap –
    Sopranos Season 4 – Sep 25, 2002
    – 15 month gap –
    Sopranos Season 5 – Mar 7, 2004
    – 24 month gap –
    Sopranos Season 6 – Mar 12, 2006

  50. Govnor
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Elia:
    Is it possible to see the end first on the tv show?

    Possible and very likely.

  51. DamienDD
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Oh the man some credit, do you even know how hard it is to write something of that proportion?

  52. Joan Català
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    One option which would gain a few months time would be to air in autumn instead of spring. Of course they would have to wait until Boardwalk Empire ends (or just swap them, but I don’t think it will reach a very high number of seasons). We would have to wait six months longer than usual, yes, but it would also give Dan/David to shoot in the winter, which will come in handy in future seasons since winter will arleady have arrived in Westeros (Starks are always eventually right).
    Stannis goes through a blizzard trying to get to Winterfell in aDwD. I gather it will be easier to shoot if they shoot in snowy Ireland rather than sunny summer Ireland.

  53. Jim
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Say they catch up, and Martin says he’s about 12-18 months from getting A Dream of Spring published.

    Why not do a season on Dunk and Egg followed up by Robert’s Rebellion? It helps stall for time, and also would bring back some of the television fan only favorite actors such as Bean and Addy. Plus a proper attention paid to the story of Rhaegar and Lyanna which the TV adapters seem to be glossing over.

  54. Jackol
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    In regards what HBO might have signed up for, I’d keep in mind that David and Dan have previously said their primary ambition for the series was to get to where they’re going to get up to in this third season.

    I think everyone involved is probably just going to wing it from here on – if production gets too messy or ratings drop off substantially, the TV series will just stop.

    There won’t be any “hiatus” or pussy footing around GRRM’s glacial writing – the TV show will carry on provided they can feasibly film it and provided people keep watching it/buying stuff.

  55. Yago
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I prefer not to think too much about it. Maybe the show will be canceled after season 3. (not bloody likely, but still, even if it gets cancelled after season 5 or 6, there’s no issue with the books). Maybe Martin will die before completing he ends the 7th book.

    I just hope all those things don’t happen, and Martin finishes the series just in time.

  56. Darquemode
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    This is something I have thought about and honestly there is no simple answer and there are too many variables to really arrive at any certain alternative plan.

    I think they can gain a few months if they switch to a summer premier, but as Adam stated, that is a one time deal.

    After that “easy” delay, it ges so much mroe difficult…
    If they adjust to shorter seasons it really starts to interfere with the natural flow and narrative of the books. Th 10-episode season is almost too short to make it through a single book and ending a season at random points means tweaking the story in major ways to make for satisfying arcs.

    I guess they could leave the books behind and create their own alternative stories , but a number fans would rage and others would lose interest I think. I know I would lose interest to some degree if the deviated too greatly from the books ….

    The one sghtly positive aspect in this ordeal is that over the next two seasons a number of original cast members will no longer be needed for the series. At that point maybe HBO can get the smaller number of remainig important long term characters locked up on some retainers. If so longer deays between seasons MAY be easier to do since they can cast new actors in the new roles introduced in Season 5 and 6.

    It still seems long a longshot to me, but it would be preferred to having the stories veer away from the books or having the books take a backseat to the series as the series shows how the books will play out.

    With such huge producton issues and the number of recurring cast members I just do not see the series ever taking some extended break of indeterminate time. Maybe they could schedule a long hiatus ahead of time, but it seem like an unlikely scenario…

    It’s a very interesting problem, but so much can change in the next couple years that would make any theory moot…

    Right now I just hope GRRM finished the series and I am not conerned too much with his prmptness honestly. The books are more important to me than the series by far.

  57. Zachariah Wiedeman
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    You also have to consider one other important factor. There was no hit TV show based on his books running when GRRM wrote his first 5-6 books. All GRRM was beholden to was fan pressure. Now there is a huge new factor involved. Why do we expect GRRM to write the next two books at the same exact pace he wrote the first five?

  58. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Thing is, George is pretty open about not having a true outline for the rest of the books. He knows where the characters are going to end up, but that’s different — he knows folks’ final fates, not a hell of a lot of the journeys. And that’s not counting, for those of you who don’t write a lot, characters who decide to go down an interesting path not previously planned. (Which I think at this point is most of them, unfortunately.)

    As far as I’ve read, he gave D&D the ending and perhaps a few big plot points – maybe “so-and-so dies at the hand of such-and-such, causing this eventually, there’s a battle here over this place” etc. He did not give D&D the entire rest of the series down to the color of Jaime’s boxer-briefs. I could be wrong, but this is what I’m going on.

    The real quandary — since this is sadly going to happen, no ifs, ands, or buts, IMO — is how we should take D&D’s ending into account. Should we consider it canon, since it’s George’s ending but not George’s journey? Should we consider it partial book canon if George happens to find himself unable to finish the written series? Will D&D ignore George’s ending and make something up themselves? And if so, how do we react to a complete universe divergence? (As it is, GoT is its own contained universe, but if there’s a total 90 degree split someplace, what do we do with that?)

    Somehow I completely cannot see a publisher allowing a television show – or set of movies, for that matter — to out-spoiler and out-do the books. I’m thinking of big fantasy/sci-fi establishments in our current culture (decent or not), and I’m drawing a blank. This would not have happened with Harry Potter, it would not have happened with The Hunger Games, with Twilight, with Lord of the Rings, with any major franchise. Then again, JKR kept up with HP — some still say by ghostwriter; Suzanne Collins would not sign a movie deal until she was done; Twilight was finished fast because it’s, you know, Twilight; and LotR’s author had been dead and gone and his shit assigned to an estate already. And those are all movies, anyway.

    I’m fairly sure this is unprecedented. What a strange place we’re in!

  59. Jacarb
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I’d be fine with the show finishing before the books. Excited, even.

    GRRM is notably versatile with the media he has created original works in. I see no reason we should assume his vision of the story would suffer from being adapted in one over the other, first. Consider that, in a vaguely Platonic sense, the books themselves are an adaptation of the story in his mind.

    Books are usually better than their film adaptations. Though not without exception, this is a true enough rule that we’re all a little nervous at the idea of the show overtaking. But have you ever read a novelization of a hit movie? They are better than the original even less than the book-to-film conversions.

    Audiences set a standard based on their first experience. Artists strike closer to the ghost in the original piece. The show could be that much stronger simply by virtue of becoming the original work.

    I adore shows like Game of Thrones because they are raising the quality of good TV to the level of good books. I kinda love the idea of this whole Game of/Ice and Fire thing blurring the line.

    The only reason I would, push coming to shove, want the books first is that I could finish them faster once started. If reality sees the show done first, gimme.

  60. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    John-Michael:
    I agree the show will finish FIRST (See what I did there).

    Well done Lord John-Michael…a good example of a creatively done FIRSTIES. Huzzah!

  61. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    While I may quibble about the proffered timeline, unless TWoW is out this summer (and that’s not going to happen) I have little doubt that the TV series will finish first.

    I think GRRM always knew that this was a risk, but due to the fact that A) he had a large head start and B) there was a very good chance the TV series simply wouldn’t run that long — GRRM figured at the outset that the risk was low.

    GRRM is sure as hell not thinking that anymore — and not many of his readers are, either.

    I think the show finishing first is even MORE likely given that there are large swaths of AFFC and ADwD which, frankly, can and SHOULD be cut out by D&D. While you might milk those two books for three season, I really don’t see it. There’s just not enough story development in there to do it. It might be interesting to see D&D start to invent more new material after ASoS as frankly – after A Storm of Swords, GRRM can use the help.

    The fascinating thing in all of this is that in terrms of aging up the kids, GRRM is going to get the benefits of a physical “five year aging” that the five year gap would have brought all along. This benefit will also be obtained without the awkward narrative that GRRM struggled with, too. Yet, given the way the story has developed, that change on TV won’t really help GRRM or the tale. Which is pretty much the heart and soul of irony at this stage.

    Bran, Arya and Sansa are ALL going to be more than 20 years old when this TV series finishes. That’s the reality here; Irony, reality; Reality — meet irony.

    In the end, GRRM simply does not write fast enough – and there is no reason to believe that it going to change. And he’s got nobody to blame for that but himself.

    All by way of saying, yes, it is FAR more likely than not that we will see this series finish on TV first.

  62. Alyssa
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Like others, I’m highly doubtful this show will run 9 seasons…it is so expensive, and you have to consider the actors’ contracts: no one signed on for 9 years and it will be very hard to offer everyone enough money to stay once contracts start expiring, considering the vast number of actors they employ. I would be surprised if it ran more than six seasons, to be honest. It sucks that the books won’t be done by then because I don’t the show ending to be different than the book series’s ending, but I also don’t want to watch the real ending before I read it :/

  63. Spidey-Dan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Another possible way of stretching out the duration of the series would be to extend the production schedule of each season. Instead of a twelve month schedule, produce each season over a fourteen oe fifteen month period. This would require some creativity in the scheduling of other series and result in a longer wait between seasons, but it would prevent the consequences of lost actors that going on hiatus would cause.

  64. Valyrian
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I would never watch the show before reading the last book. I mean, if GRRM dies (GOD FORBID) or says clearly that he’ll never finish it, I would, but not in any other scenario. As for the ratings dipping, that’s always a “what if” IMO. As much as they can dip, they can also only grow from now on, I think there’s really no predicting that.

  65. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Also, someone here once suggested a modified, slightly extended ASoS ending (with just a few details from later books) as the show’s finale.

    Would sadly be too soon, but, guys, let’s face it — no one’s gonna sit around for 3+ years while Dany gets her shit together, for example. Book people, yes, we’re used to it. Show people, no. I can foresee the show becoming a Heroes-esque laughingstock for stuff like that unless it is given a major change.

    Of course, I always think the worst, and look forward to being pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong.

  66. John Webster
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    While I love George’s book with all my heart, I have no intention to stop viewing the tv show to wait for his slow writing to catch up. I can understand how people who have put more time into the books would feel obligated to do so, but I only just started the series a number of years ago (2009 if I remember correctly). If he decides to expand to 3 more books, I have no desire to wait another 10-15 years to find out the end of the story – or to stop watching my favorite tv show until he finishes.

    I certainly hope that HBO won’t put on the breaks to give him more time – because THAT would finish the show. Momentum is everything.

  67. NewJeffCT
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    GRRM was a TV series writer before on Beauty & The Beast, so he should know how to write with a deadline in mind.

    I think he’s already got a decent start on Winds of Winter – he’s read or published on his blog a lot of chapters at various events over the past year (Theon chapter, two Arianne chapters, two Barristan Selmy chapters, a Tyrion and a Vicktarion), so I’m going to try to be optmistic and say we’ll get something by the end of 2014, which would be 3.5 years from the release of Dance with Dragons.

  68. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    By the way, in terms of marketing hype and sales synergy? I think the most brilliant result possible would be for the final book to be published two weeks AFTER the conclusion of the series on TV.

    If I was GRRM? Seeing how well A Dance with Dragons and the rest of the book series did on Amazon after the first season of HBO’s A Game of Thrones?

    I would actually AIM for that result in terms of publication and timing. And then I would be promise a DIFFERENT ending of the main story in the books than was depicted on TV.

    Release the final book two weeks after the TV series concludes? Basking in the post-coital afterglow? Sales would go through the roof on the final book and the rest of the novel series. It would be the book marketing coup of the century.

  69. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    My hope and dream is if we come to that bridge HBO might commission a prequel on Robert’s Rebellion.

  70. Sir Gallahad
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Not 100% certain if it’s already been written above in the comments, but one season on Robert Baratheon’s Rebellion would really be something, showing Robert, Ned, Hoster and Arryn when they were all younger, as well as the dramas of Rhaegar and Lyanna, Jaime and the Mad King Arrys, Elia and… Gregor Clegane, of Catelyn-Lisa-Petyr-Eddard, and the two separate escapes of Vyseris, Daenerys, and Aemon, with Varys’ associated plotting.

    There would be so much for such a season, with sufficient flashback/”flash-forwards” provided in order to dovetail it well with the other seasons.

    Would also be a great moment to see Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) again. :-D

    I’m not sure which other possible prequel seasons might be viable, if any — I’m pretty certain this would be the most appealing to the majority of fans. And that would give GRRM at least another year, if not more, to write his books and fulfill his other commitments/interests.

    What do you guys and gals think?

  71. Brandice
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Kyle Dawe: HBO knows that the success of the show is due to . . . its generally extremely faithful approach to adapting the source material and keeping the book-reading core of the fanbase happy with. The show.They will not risk alienating the fans if the books by putting an ending on screen first.

    The show has grown beyond that particular concern, and certainly will have by the time it comes time to pass the books. The book fans are certainly the most rabid, but the tv-only fans are and/or will be a larger group. (Plus don’t think that just because you and a dominant number of folks posting on this forum say you won’t watch the TV show if it goes beyond the books that the majority of book-readers will actually do that. Folks who refuse to watch the show if it goes beyond the books would end up being an extreme minority.)

  72. Zack
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I’m not deluding myself into thinking that there’s much of a chance the book series will be completed in time.

    The two most likely scenarios are as follows: Either the show’s popularity craters once the third book is dealt with and 5-6 seasons is all we get, or the show simply goes on ahead of the books with input from GRRM (and his one episode a year) to make sure the show hits the essential moments of his planned books. And I’m perfectly happy watching the story finish rather than reading it. I’ll do both eventually so the hell does the order in which I do so matter?

  73. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Sir Gallahad,

    I like the idea but unless George confirms some mysteries beforehand, it’d be hard to skirt around stuff. For example, Jon’s parentage, if Aegon is the real deal, if Rhaegar and Lyanna were as shiny as everyone claims…etc.

    It would be a ton of fun, especially if they got Dempsie as young Robert, but there’s stuff there that we’re still unclear about in the books. It’s why I still wonder how that ASoI&F encyclopedia is going to work.

  74. TheWalkingDave
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    YES!!!!

  75. Alex Pendergrass
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Not to be a downer, but let’s be clear. Writing and releasing two books in 7 years is not a fast pace (2011 Dance, the last two out by 2018). I don’t care how long they take, personally, but you’re kidding yourself if you think that is in any way quick.

  76. Omar Brown
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The Lightning Lord,

    The Lightning Lord:
    As a big fan of the books I have to say AFFC and ADWD getting stretched out to 2 and a half seasons sounds dreadful. AFFC has like 4 episodes of plot advancement if you ask me

    Har! Indeed, book four should get some heavy editing by the Tv show writers. Heck maybe they will do something interesting with it, the book was a chore to read ( and I consider book 3 one of my all time favorite books EVER )

  77. umuckurlife
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    The horror…the horror. It would be a travesty (for me) if the show concludes before the books. I’m sure I’m just not being open minded about this, but it would be such a shame.

    Here is how I see it going at 3 years per book and keeping in mind that ADwD overtakes AFFC halfway through.
    2014:
    Show – ASoS pt 2 , AFFC & ADwD pt 1
    Book – TWoW
    2015:
    Show – AFfC & ADwD pt 2
    2016:
    Show – ADwD pt3 TWoW pt 1
    2017:
    Show – TWoW pt 2
    Book – ADoS
    2018:
    Show – ADoS pt 1
    2019:
    Show – ASOIF Concludes.

  78. Mike Chair
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming:
    What if …

    Really?! “What if”?

    Today, GRRM Wrote:

    The first of March already… damn, where does the time go?

    Indeed.

    He also wrote:

    Only thirty-one days till the third season debut of GAME OF THRONES on HBO.

    And only TEN days till Hugo nominations close! So let me make a few more recommendations for your consideration, boys and gals. Resuming with “the Big One,” the Hugo for Best Novel.

    I cannot claim any great breath of knowledge of this year’s top contenders. While I read constantly and voraciously, my bookshelves contain all sorts of things, not just the current year’s SF and fantasy. Looking back, now that Hugo time is at hand, I find I read a lot of history and historical fiction last year, some non-fiction, a number of mysteries, and a bunch of older books, published in 2011 or 2010 or 1999 or 1953 or whenever. None of which are eligible for Hugos. I have also dipped into (but not always finished) a bunch of bound gallerys and ARCs of as-yet-unpublished novels that may be eligible for awards next year, but not this year.

    Which is not to say that I did not read anything in the field this year. I did, and some of what I read I liked a lot.

    Last year I recommended the first book of James S.A. Corey’s Expanse series, LEVIATHAN WAKES… and a lot of people agreed, since LEVIATHAN was nominated for a Hugo (to the evident annoyance of one prominent writer who was not) and actually finished third in the final voting, two places ahead of my own A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, which fact Ty does not hesitate to bring to my attention on a regular basis. ((“James S.A. Corey,” of course, is actually the pseudonym of my assistant Ty Franck writing in collaboration with my friend Daniel Abraham).

    Well, in 2012 the second volume of the Expanse series, CALIBAN’S WAR, was published. And far from being a victim of sophomore slump, that bastard Jimmy Corey seems to have done it again. CALIBAN’S WAR is even better than LEVIATHAN WAKES. It’s old-fashioned space opera, the kind of SF that I cut my teeth on, a real page-turner set in a vividly imagined solar system, squarely in the tradition of Heinlein and Asimov and Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (lacking only Pinto Vortando), superlatively written. Books like this were what made me an SF fan to begin with. CALIBAN’S WAR was the best pure SF I read in 2012, and I will be nominating it for the Hugo.
    I read more fantasy than SF last year. Understandably, as the publishers send me just about every epic fantasy they are putting out for blurbs. This is a golden age for fantasy, and there’s some great work being done. 2012 was no exception. I enjoyed Saladin Ahmed’s THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, an old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery adventure with an Arabian Knights flavor, rather than the usual “medieval Europe” setting. There was a new Joe Abercrombie as well, and though I didn’t feel RED COUNTRY quite measured up to last year’s THE HEROES, Abercrombie is always worth reading. No new Rothfuss last year, though, and nothing by Scott Lynch… or that Martin guy, for that matter.

    My favorite fantasy from 2012, all in all, was the second volume of Daniel Abraham’s Dragon’s Path series, this one entitled THE KING’S BLOOD. Like Jimmy Corey, Abraham just keeps getting better and better. It has been said, and truly, that Dragon’s Path is perhaps not so innovative as Daniel’s first fantasy series, the Long Price Quartet… but innovation is not the only value worth consideration while weighing a work of art. The world of Dragon’s Path is considerably larger, older, and more colorful than that of Long Price, the characters are just as well drawn, the prose as rich and evocative, the plotting full of devious and delightful twists and turns. Abraham belongs in the first rank of today’s fantastists, I think, right up there with Abercrombie, Lynch, Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, and the like. And THE KING’S BLOOD deserves a Hugo nomination.
    Those are my favorite SF and fantasy novels from last year. What were yours?
    Current Location:Santa Fe
    Current Mood: pensive
    Tags:

    That’s 677 words that are not part of The Winds of Winter.
    It’s not “What if”. It’s “When”.

  79. Bastrd of Winterfell
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, I dont even like to think about this. I dont want to watch the show at all before the books…but if I don’t I know I will inevitably hear spoilers, and that would be even worse (hearing things second hand, not from the books OR the show!). I get my ASOIAF fix in between books by message board discussion on the intricate details and crazy theories… That will be all but impossible to do without tv show spoilers coming into play.

  80. Aline
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    That would be the worst possible option. I, for one, would refuse to watch the show before reading the rest of the books, or even worse, would simply lose the wish to see the ending of either and move on to some other less troubled fantasy oeuvre. We have no way of knowing what the internet will be like in 2018/19, but I think it’s pretty sure it will be even harder than it is today to avoid spoilers, and staying away from it will be an even more impossible task with the way everything is going to be connect then.

    Of course, this speculation is optimistically assuming that the show won’t be cancelled before then; I have my doubts it will even get to finish ADWD. Don’t get me wrong, I love the show, but it’s very expensive to be produced. So far, the financial return might be good enough, but the way things are going what are the chances we won’t have an even worst economic crisis by 2017?

    The best we can hope for is that we might get TWOW by late 2014, and ADOS by 2018/19. Or, that, à la Sherlock, we just won’t have one season per year the closer it gets to overlapping with the books.

  81. Mr sharpy knife
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    LordNoga1981,

    that would probably spoil ned’s promise to lyanna if it hasnt been cleared by then

  82. Omar Brown
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Steve:

    I would actually argue a more likely scenario would be – 5 or 6 seasons taking us up to the end of DWD, then perhaps a hiatus of a few years, followed by one or two movies on the big screen to wrap it up, a la The X Files.

    I would watch the HELL out of a game of Thrones theatrical film, odds are the final battles will be big, so they could up the budget. By this time the show will be popular enough to warrant this. I know, wishful thinking, but still.

    -Wicgeeks.com “our unofficial forum”

  83. Mormegil
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    If it becomes clear that the show is not going to go longer than six seasons (HBO have had enough, D+D have had enough, all the actors won’t sign new contracts) I would actually want D+D to finish the story off (and plan to do so from the start of the last season if not earlier).

    This would of course be a different ending to the one GRRM has planned as it would take place a lot earlier so would not really spoil the Book ending when that actually appears.

    Worst case scenario is I think the show following the books closely for 6 seasons but then being cancelled leaving the plot at the point ADWD finishes.

  84. Caab
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I really just don’t see how he wraps up the series in two more books. Several of the prominent characters are going to need years to finish their story lines when I don’t think that most of the books even span one year. Just seems like too many of the story lines are going to require more time than two novels would logically span.

  85. Nancy
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I expect the show to overtake the books. I refuse to predict GRRM’s writing schedule because who knows…
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more of a gap between seasons, which the Sopranos, Mad Men and Breaking Bad have had. Given the fact that the show is largely based on the books, I don’t see the creators taking much of a license with the story if the show surpasses it…they either consult with Martin about it…and if the end game is revealed on the show could it effect book sales? That is a consideration but if the show continues to be popular, than it won’t be much of a consideration. I think the biggest problem (aside from Martin’s speed of writing) is keeping the cast they need around. How much in raises will people like Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Peter Dinklage, NCW, Lena Headley, and possibly the younger Stark kids are going to ask for? Especially if they are in demand for other projects? What if, say Kit Harrington, wants to leave the show after 6 seasons or whenever his contract ends?

  86. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Has HBO cancelled a successful show since they realized how valuable DVD/BR sales are? Call me crazy but I don’t ever see HBO cancelling the show. As for viewers abandoning the show, there may be a dip, but not a major one. ‘True Blood’ has been garbage for 2+ seasons and yet the ratings have not dropped off that much. Once people are hooked, they will endure a lot just to find out how it ends.

  87. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Let’s not forget that the man is entitled to his hobbies outside of writing, so that cuts down on time as it does for every writer.

    But then there’s the anthologies he’s editing or writing for — some of which have been waiting on him for months — the encyclopedia, advising the show, writing for the show, advising/writing for whatever shows might appear in the future…

    This man’s “monkeys” are going to stomp his head into a pulp at this rate! :/

  88. Tom O' Sevens
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Prequel series!

  89. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    In this woman’s opinion, it is irrelevant who finishes first as long as the story eventually does come to a conclusion that is conclusive. A woman started watching the show before reading the books, and has read the book series 3 times since, loving it more each time as the nuances settle into the grey matter with each read. May GRRM live long and prosper, finishing this series sooner rather than later, and continuing on to write whatever floats his boat, soothes his soul, and warms his heart and hearth. As long as HBO is making money from the series, it will continue to be produced, that is the way of commerce. It is known.

  90. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    To me Seasons 3-4-5 will end up covering the 3 books almost entirely. The 4th book really is lighter on plot, and so it may end up being the only book in the series that does not have at least one stand-alone season devoted to it, by itself. Season 3 is half of ASoS, Season 4 is the rest of ASoS and part of AFFC, Season 5 is dominated by ADwD and mixes in a bit of ASoS. That takes you to end 2015. By then WoW will be out – and so it still seems like GRRM ends up giving D&D a ton of material to work with for Seasons 8/9 before the book is released. If he’s back on track, well that’s another story.

  91. James Williams
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Martin has said that he won’t write the novelization of Robert’s Rebellion and the reign of the mad king…but why couldn’t HBO do a season (or two) set in the past and center around Robert, Ned, Rheagar, Aerys. etc etc etc? 1. It would buy GRRM time to finish his books 2. It would bring fan favorite Sean Bean back as Ned (as well as Robert), 3. It would be awesome to see Targaryen rule in Westeros 4. There is enough back story that already exists that D and D could easily come up with 20 episodes if need be…I don’t see why they wouldn’t do a prequel season that would be part of the series Game of Thrones and not a separate thing

  92. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber:
    To me Seasons 3-4-5 will end up covering the 3 books almost entirely. The 4th book really is lighter on plot, and so it may end up being the only book in the series that does not have at least one stand-alone season devoted to it, by itself. Season 3 is half of ASoS, Season 4 is the rest of ASoS and part of AFFC, Season 5 is dominated by ADwD and mixes in a bit of ASoS. That takes you to end 2015. By then WoW will be out – and so it still seems like GRRM ends up giving D&D a ton of material to work with for Seasons 8/9 before the book is released. If he’s back on track, well that’s another story.

    In a woman’s opinion, book 4 indeed carries enough plot for its own season if the many adventures and events that are referred to and spoken of are actually acted out or shown rather than conveyed verbally. There’s lot implied, lots that could be embellished to enhance the visual feast that is GoT. Plus D&D have creative license to embellish further whichever aspects they wish to in order to create a more compelling show as they did in S2 and will no doubt continue along those lines. The main characters still have miles to go in book 4 IMO.

  93. Jacarb
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Has HBO cancelled a successful show since they realized how valuable DVD/BR sales are? Call me crazy but I don’t ever see HBO cancelling the show. As for viewers abandoning the show, there may be a dip, but not a major one. ‘True Blood’ has been garbage for 2+ seasons and yet the ratings have not dropped off that much.Once people are hooked, they will endure a lot just to find out how it ends.

    This. Exactly.

    Also, I love how bad True Blood is gotten. How else could we have Chris Meloni give a speech that rivals anything he said in Wet Hot American Summer for insane comedy, while also murdering a child?

    Not that I want GoT to be good-terrible like that. It’ll be better for longer, and already has stronger disc sales.

  94. Villane
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    I really can’t see Feast/Dance being more than a season and a half worth of stuff. There are several subplots that can be simplified/omitted in both those books. Showing Quinten’s journey in Volantis and Astapor was pretty pointless in the books and would be even more so in the show. I also don’t see D&D going too far into Feast in Season IV. The end of Storm is such an excellent punctuation for most of the characters. It would be dramatically awkward to kill Tywin/Lysa and make Jon Lord Commander mid-season. That’s why I think Season IV is going to be the Season where we see Robert’s Rebellion. Here’s why:
    1. we got a lot of actors exiting the show in Season III. And the only new character completely neccesary for Season IV will be the Red Viper. That’s going to free up the casting budget immensely and this is a show that has to make many storytelling decisions based on money. So, they can hire a Rhaegar, Lyanna, Mad King for one Season before the whole slew of new characters are introduced in Season V
    2. There’s time. With only a third of Storm less to tell, there’s plenty of time to add a new story thread.
    3. It becomes far more important to know the details of 17 years ago. Understanding who Elia was and what happens to her children is hugely important to the Red Viper story in Season IV and Young Griff in Season V. Of course, you could just have a character explain what happened, but I don’t know how dramatically satisfying that’s going to be. Viewers need to understand who Rhaegar was and the golden rule of TV is: “don’t tell us…show us”

  95. DawnRooster
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    somewhere in there they could make Dunk and Egg and use it as a Filler like anime series. Seeing as the story gives no room for real crap filler, so they would need to use something quality like the Dunk and Egg stories. It could buy him 1-2 years extra time

  96. Frank
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I think there are actually two, related problems here. First is whether GRRM will finish before the series. I think not, and am perfectly fine with D&D crafting an alternative ending. Which is canonical is, to me, frankly irrelevant — canonicity is such an amorphous notion, and I think we can all handle having two endings to the same narrative in our heads.

    The other problem, which strikes me as actually much more severe, is the way seasons will be structured into coherent, dramatic arcs starting with Season 4. The “Meerenese Knot” is a pretty glaring problem for the teleplay writers, since a lot of fans I know who watch only the show were already confused and frustrated that Dany doesn’t arrive at Westeros to kick ass in Season 1! Granted, her arc this season will be loved by everyone, I’m sure. But can you imagine the irritation and loss of interest in her story-line when it turns out no progress has been made by Season 6! This is one of the reasons I thought the way they handled the House of the Undying in Season 2 was so bone-headed. Presenting the reader with all those prophecies that gradually are clarified/come true over books 3-5 gives some sense of inevitability and progression to Dany’s story, even while stalls in actual plot-development land.

    I think they have to devote all of Season 4 to the latter third of Book 3, and not inject parts of Books 4/5. Remember that despite being a slimmer portion of that volume, the last third of SoS is the most eventful part of the series BY FAR. Also, since it’s clear The Red Viper is not cast or part of Season 3, they could really flesh out his narrative in the next season, and make this character, who despite being a fan favorite and totally awesome, is thinly sketched with barely anything to do before their big chapter. The only task that remains would be giving the arc-less Arya and Bran something to do in Season 4. And seeing how D&D created an actual arc for Dany in Season 2 (whether you like it or not, you must admit it coheres better, and has more dramatic thrust than her activities in Book 2), I have faith they can give those two something NEW and interesting to do.

  97. Hurtya
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    yeah. I, like others, will refuse to watch the show go beyond the books. In fact, if the tv series ends before the books end, I may refuse to watch the final season of the tv series altogether.

  98. HouseLark
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    One of the problems that we have when trying to make educated guesses on this is estimating precisely how much “world building” will go into the last two books. AFFC and ADWD are both long enough to cover 1.5 seasons each but there is hell of a lot of non-televisual material in those books. In my view, those two books contain around a season and a half of good TV in total. So much will depend on whether TWOW and ADOS follow the Storm of Swords model or the Feast/Dance model.

    FWIW, I think the TV show will finish a couple of years ahead of the books and I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing.

  99. ChristineMarie
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    One of my fears is that some of the younger actors who’ve seen their stars quickly rising (Emilia, Kit, Sophie, Maisie, etc.) are going to bail once their contracts expire to pursue big-screen careers. Kit already has a few movies lined up and I believe Sophie may as well. Taking a break, whether it’s a production break, prequel season, whatever, makes it that much more likely we’ll lose people.

    I know I’m in the minority, but I’d rather see the conclusion on screen even if it surpasses the books. Perhaps I’m just a more visual person, but certain key moments have affected me more while watching them than reading them. I expect certain moments in S3 will pack a bigger emotional wallop for me on screen than on the page, which is something I look forward to.

  100. Kate
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I don´t have a problem with the show finishing before the books, but a I dont think that you need 3 seasons to finish AFFC/ADWD. This is how i see:
    2013: Season 3 – A Storm of Swords Part 1
    2014: Season 4 – A Storm of Swords Part 2/A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons Part 1
    2015: Season 5 – A Feast for Crows Part 2 / A Dance with Dragons Part 2 / The Winds of Winter Part 1
    2016: Season 6 – The Winds of Winter Part 2/A Dream of Spring Part 1
    2017: Season 7 – A Dream of Spring Part 2.

    :)

  101. Ren Snow
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    NewJeffCT:
    GRRM was a TV series writer before on Beauty & The Beast, so he should know how to write with a deadline in mind.

    I think he’s already got a decent start on Winds of Winter – he’s read or published on his blog a lot of chapters at various events over the past year (Theon chapter, two Arianne chapters, two Barristan Selmy chapters, a Tyrion and a Vicktarion), so I’m going to try to be optmistic and say we’ll get something by the end of 2014, which would be 3.5 years from the release of Dance with Dragons.

    WAIT RIGHT THERE…. Barristan Selmy??? where? when? dou you have a link?

  102. Malcatraz
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    What happens? What happens is I jump out of a window.

  103. Mike Chair
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Lin Beifunk: Let’s not forget that the man is entitled to his hobbies outside of writing, so that cuts down on time as it does for every writer.

    Sure. I’d rather wait for something great (like we’ve been getting from GRRM) than have something inadequate in haste (with the understanding the GRRM’s definition of haste is different than mine) . If this is GRRM’s process, so be it. But let’s not pretend HBO isn’t going to catch up with him. It will, unless GRRM substantially changes his process — and all evidence points to him not doing so. That was my primary point.

    My secondary point, which I believe was Martin’s hidden (and possibly unconscious) point in that 677 word non-Winds of Winter essay, is that there are other things we could be reading. He mentions Abercrombie and Lynch. I read all of Abercrombie’s books (The First Law trilogy being the first 3), and I am about 85% through Lynch’s The Lies of Loch Lamora. All fabulous.

    Check this site entitled 10 Great Fantasy Series to Read While You’re Waiting for George R.R. Martin’s Next Book.

  104. Shock Me Sane
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Its astonishing to me how few people seem to either have not read the article or are simply blinded by crazed optimism.

    There will not be a prequel series (perhaps after the series is over, and with a whole new cast) and there will not be a long break. In fact it will be very, very difficult for the show to go over six seasons. This is because of contract negotiations with actors. If they signed six year contracts, I can promise you that come season 7 production costs will double, and HBO will likely scrap it unless the actors decide to do it purely as a labor of love.

    Even the possibility of making movies to wrap it up are absurdly unlikely for two reasons. One: Even with a 3 hour movie, you’d have to condense the storyline down so much that it would be awful and, Two: They will never be abe to re-unite such a large cast.

    At this point we can only hope we even get 9 seasons so they can wrap up the TV show properly. The logistic problems are harrowing.

  105. Richard
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    HBO will keep going if the series is still popular and still a money maker, whether Martin has finished the books or not. They aren’t going to stop their production schedule to wait on Martin either, they’ll lose actors/behind-the-scenes staff to other productions (see: the original Mountain actor) and wouldn’t be able to get them all back together again. (also see HBO’s DEADWOOD). Martin told David Benioff & D. B. Weiss how the series ends, they’ll just create their own last season if worse came to worst. I’m sure they will do that anyway if for some reason they had to end the series early.

  106. Hawk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    This is a matter of far more import than sequesters and asteroids flying about the planet. Will GRRM finish his series on the page before HBO catches him up and has to start spoiling parts of what is to come before the author does it in the proper manner. I do believe GRRM’s legacy will be tarnished a bit if he cannot finish the series before the TV show catches or passes him. If he dies first that is one thing, but if he can’t get his books out in due time that is another thing altogether. He is certainly nobody’s bitch as another popular author has pointed out in GRRM’s defense, but I cannot imagine being a fan that started with him in 1996 with AGOT, read three excellent books in the span of four or five years, and had to wait patiently over 12 more years to read two more books that were very fine works but lacked a bit as complete works in their own right because of how he chose to handle splitting that part of the narrative, only to see HBO and some of their hack writers reveal mysteries you’ve been waiting close to two decades to find out the answers to on the page, where you were first turned on to them. I would point out that without the popularity of this series being driven by the rabid book fans it never would have made it onto HBO.

    That being said I have great faith in GRRM, and if he gets TWOW out by next year I expect him to finish the last novel before the TV show, if it is still around, catches him up. You can see the narrative threads having turned back to the center in ADWD, and I don’t expect him to have another Mereenese knot, since the situation that created it, his original design of having a five-year gap in the story after ASOS, and then him having to redo some two years of work on the story after he decided, rightly so, that such a gap and telling it in flashbacks would hurt and not help the story as a whole, should not be an issue again. I think GRRM knows what he’s doing, and maybe the timeline now imposed on him to a degree by the TV show will help him. If the HBO showrunners are smart, they will make sure to end season four right where ASOS ends, b/c it has some great stopping points for the major characters before the next parts of their stories, and they will only bring in a few select elements from AFFC, and leave ADWD for season five and beyond.

  107. Chibarin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    You know, it actually excites me to think that we might be having to watch the last few seasons without knowing anything about how the story ends, because every time an episode comes out we compare them subconsciously with what we had imagined when we read those scenes on paper. I love discussing stuff with people who haven’t read the books yet and I imagine it’ll be just as fun to discuss it on wonderful Asoiaf/GoT boards like wic.net, with a fresh perspective, then go into detail reading about our favourite characters and their thoughts when the books come out.

    I kinda want this to happen now^^ Plus, I’m bothered by the idea that George might be hurrying his hand to catch up with the show and I don’t want him to do that for a couple of reasons…

  108. TheImp'sNose
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I think it is a little unrealistic to think that GRRM is going to be able to finish the novels in six years, given the speed at which he works.

    In an odd way, however, this puts him back in total control over the fate of the characters in the show and the books- if he gives HBO an outline for the last couple seasons, he can steer the T.V. versions of his characters to any fate he so chooses, and then finish the books in a completely different way, just to throw the fans off.

    I see them as two distinct worlds, so it dosen’t bother me at all if it goes down this way.

  109. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: In a woman’s opinion, book 4 indeed carries enough plot for its own season if the many adventures and events that are referred to and spoken of are actually acted out or shown rather than conveyed verbally. There’s lot implied, lots that could be embellished to enhance the visual feast that is GoT. Plus D&D have creative license to embellish further whichever aspects they wish to in order to create a more compelling show as they did in S2 and will no doubt continue along those lines. The main characters still have miles to go in book 4 IMO.

    Mrs. H’ghar: You do make some good points. I worry that some of it would have to be truncated a bit – Brienne’s journeys are long, meandering, and run into a few dead ends, with the end result not yet clear (WoW may help amplify this a bit). Cersei’s slow deterioration and feud with Maergary may also add much to this, but I had felt Littlefinger’s’ plot was a bit bogged down in this book as well, and the Dornish intrigue is only just getting going. There’s a lot of chess-piece-moving that goes on in the 4th book, and while much of it is very good, I fear it would meander a bit. I have a hard time figuring what would effectively end a season 5 of G0T out of this book…

  110. The hounds pup
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    The show will finish before the books,

    No question.

  111. Harry OD
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Only two season in total for A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons? Although the plots of both books will probably be presented on the show the same time, remember that’s still two very long books, not one. So I think they will probably be taking at least 3 seasons net, if not more than that.

  112. Tclark
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I believe that because GOT has only 10 episodes per season per year, the show is a rarity and people will not lose interest.

  113. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Indeed, there are a lot of good books out there, in all genres. I’d say SF is getting the best resurgence now, though — half the books on io’s list there were a slog for me to get through. I think that just might be me, though. I’m picky and have little patience!

    I’m also very much into trope destruction. Soon as I see we’re set in a nondescript Western medieval/Renaissance setting with some evil nobles and things, my interest is cut quickly by half. George got me with his wildly entertaining prose style and the fact that within the first few pages I knew he was the kind of dude who pulled no punches. He may not be the best but I’ll be damned if anything’s been more fun than ASoI&F in the low fantasy genre.

  114. Bgap
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Ren Snow,

    There’s a post about half way down. Someone heard GRRM read the two chapters and wrote detailed notes. Obviously, major spoilers.

    http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/81338-twow-spoilers-barristan/

  115. Laurentius
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Regardless of whether HBO would ever actually consider making a prequel, I’m atonished at the number of people who actually want such a prequel to even be made!

    Dunk and Egg, fine, they stand on their own, but i STRONGLY resent even the idea of making a Roberts Rebellion story. I don’t even want GRRM to ever write one. In my opinion, one of the major reasons for the brilliance of the story is the fact that we know very little about that whole episode, just like the brilliance of characters like Ned, Rhaegar, Lyanna and others characters is that they manage to remain strong characters with important roles to play even after death, as subtle reminders as to why a certain character chooses to take certain action.

    I really hate these expanded universe pieces of crap that seem to crop up around so many originally good stories. Roose Bolton is a great mysterious characters with an abviously dark but largely unknown past – I do not want a stand-alone movie focusing on his troubled teenage years, I don’t want to see “Rise of the Brothers Clegane”, “The fall of Valyria”, “Brandon the builder in 3D” or “Roberts Rebellion- secrets revealed”

  116. Dan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I hope the show doesn’t catch up, but if it does I’ll just hold off on watching it until the books come out. Thankfully, in my little circle I never hear anything about television shows unless I seek out the info myself, so avoiding spoilers is easy for me.

  117. Peter
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    There’s no way GRRM has TWoW done by 2015. The show will easily overtake the books and I’ll be going into TV hybernation. The books have been my beloved primary source for over a decade and I intend to keep it that way til the end.

  118. Dan
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Laurentius,

    Why would you strongly resent the idea of that story being told? You could simply not watch or read anything about Robert’s rebellion if they did a stand alone story about it. That way nothing changes for you, and the people who want that story more fleshed out get what they want, too. Personally, I wouldn’t want to watch something like that if it came out before the end of the books because I don’t want it to spoil the mysteries that haven’t been revealed yet, but I don’t resent the idea of that story being told.

  119. Jeff
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s nice to finally see an article that suggests HBO won’t wait for the books (they absolutely shouldn’t and likely won’t). I also appreciate that the author says AFFC and ADWD shouldn’t take long to tell. If I had it my way, I’d say season 4 should finish ASOS and start into AFFC and ADWD, while season 5 should easily finish those books. They don’t have enough solid content for several full seasons. Also, it’s been stated many times already that GRRM has provided D&D with outlines for the remainder of the story. They’ve already changed enough that the show is their own thing now. They should be able to finish it in their way based on those outlines. As much as I enjoy them, these are not holy scriptures that need to be followed to the letter, and HBO does not need to wait for the books to finish.

  120. charles
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    i will definitely stop watching the show if it overtakes the books. No way the show is going to spoil the books for me.

  121. kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Ivan,

    Till now he made contracts for 2 years, so the show will have a problem if he don’t want the show to end first than his books (I think his publisher too).

    MedievalFantasy,
    That’s what I think. Martin will finished the books before the show end, at least we have faith in him.

    Villane,

    I think Roberts Rebellion will be much later in the show because it’s best to have it in the season where we will learn about Eagon.

    And why do people say that we need to skip certain parts of book 4 and 5 because it was bad there? isn’t it better to make it better in the show instead of skipping it?

    Shock Me Sane,

    People aren’t having crazed optimism. People are having faith in GRRM. The story comes to an end, its like writing the beginning of the show. Look at HP books. First 4 year between each. Than 3 year nothing. Than around 1,5 year waiting each. I think its better to have some faith in the man, let him write the books without having people that are worried that the books are too late. Therefore he can work relaxter and the books are here sooner.

    But the thing that I find interesting is that the people who think that George will be on time are saying that they think it is, nobody can look into the future. But 90% of the people who think he won’t make it, say it like its already history, or can those people look into the future? Than I will recommend those people to go work for the goverment, because it looks like they really know whats going to happen.

    Really I don’t mind that people think that he won’t make it, it’s your opinion. but don’t put it like it’s actually going to happen, nobody can look into the future and it’s not that difficult to write: I think George is not going to make it.

  122. Laurentius
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I just think it would be preferable, though I can fully understand that people think otherwise. I’m not saying it would cause me personal harm, of course I could avoid reading it. I just feel that sort of expansion would somehow dilute the quality of ASOIAF. Maybe it’s because I subconsciously make the connection between after-story expansion with an over-commercialised franchise of endless spin-offs, lego and whatnot.

    I don’t know. In my opinion there are just not many works where the story benefits from being re-told a hundred times until every possible nuance has its own wikipedia-space.

  123. Knurk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the “what if” question. People who think GRRM will finish this series before 2019 are delusional.

    Also, after this season it’s better for HBO to take the story in a different direction than the absolute slogs that are AFFC and ADWD. Viewers will moan and bitch if those books are adapted word for word, you can like those books but save for a few storylines it hasn’t got enough material to keep viewers engaged for 2 seasons. GRRM preferring descriptive storytelling above plot has killed the momentum of the books being so perfect for tv, the only thing it still has going for is those bloody cliffhangers everyone is so damn tired of.

  124. Nancy
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Frank,

    I think Dany’s story progression is definitely going to be an issue with TV watchers.
    By the end of book 5…possibly season 6 of the show (let’s say season 4 is mostly the latter half of book 3 and seasons 5 &6 are books 4 &5) Dany still isn’t in Westeros yet.

    What makes this show unusual is that for a successful show, it’s future is cloudy. The thing most successful shows usually worry about is cast. This show has that and more to worry about.

  125. WildSeed
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Has HBO cancelled a successful show since they realized how valuable DVD/BR sales are? Call me crazy but I don’t ever see HBO cancelling the show. As for viewers abandoning the show, there may be a dip, but not a major one. ‘True Blood’ has been garbage for 2+ seasons and yet the ratings have not dropped off that much.Once people are hooked, they will endure a lot just to find out how it ends.

    True enough. However pessimism expressed by a few here, have not taken
    into account the growth for demand of such projects done at HBO. The
    Sopranos was groundbreaking, a beginning. I’m not sure why the Wire
    or OZ ended so abruptly. True Blood, on the other hand, represented yet
    another progression , and based on an adaptation from a well known
    book series with loyal fan base in tow ( Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries ).
    TB fuckups were not inevitable, and could have worked for a longer
    period had not the perception of the show and characters taken on a
    grotesque alteration from the books. Game of Thrones, may turn out
    to be another game changer. With a reasonable adaptation model
    in place, and relatively close consultation with the author that penned
    the books ( unlike SVM author, Charlene Harris ). There is great
    promise here to take the series to an unprecedented number of seasons.
    We’ll see. Darquemode and Adam Whitehead, mentioned several good
    points too. I’d hate to have to quit watching if the the GoT show gets
    ahead of the ASOIAF series though. It may not come to that *>* with
    GRRM involved in the project, and keeping paced. Still, many ifs…..

  126. WildSeed
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: In a woman’s opinion, book 4 indeed carries enough plot for its own season if the many adventures and events that are referred to and spoken of are actually acted out or shown rather than conveyed verbally. There’s lot implied, lots that could be embellished to enhance the visual feast that is GoT. Plus D&D have creative license to embellish further whichever aspects they wish to in order to create a more compelling show as they did in S2 and will no doubt continue along those lines. The main characters still have miles to go in book 4 IMO.

    You said it….miles to go *>* indeed .

  127. kvothe
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    i m worried about danny. wht will she do after third season? i mean she will hv 3 seasons to play in meereen.

    winter, wic.net hs become really slow to load in last two days. sometimes it doesnt load at all. i hv to retry many times.

  128. kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    And what if he will finished before? Does that mean that you were delusional? A shame that you have to attack people to win a argument about something that will happen in the future.
    Nancy,

    I don’t think that will be the case if they can tell her story in a very exciting way. And a way to resolve this problem is maybe to have the audience think Danny is death for a moment (Like in the books at the end of book 5). But they have to make it clear in season 3 or 4 that Danny has a long road to have before she reach Westeros. Maybe she speaks with Quaithe about it?

    But what I don’t get is why people aren’t optimistic for the man. Like he said before. He knew what he wanted in the first 3 books. What he wanted in the last 2 books. But he couldn’t figure out what there must be in the 4 and 5 book. That takes a lot longer to write.

  129. MUGger
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Sure-fire ways to cause a panic:

    1. Shout “Fire” in a crowded public place.

    2. Hint that GRRM will pull a Robert Jordan and/or won’t finish his ASoIaF series.

    3. Speculate whether HBO will be able take its “Game of Thrones” series to its conclusion (see #2).

  130. Suzaku
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Harry OD,

    I agree. I was checking out page counts just yesterday. Storm of Swords is about 1000 pages, while Feast and Dance combined is aout 1800 pages. It could easily be spread across three seasons, potentially even three and a half.

    Plus, you have to factor in the fact that the showrunners create new and extended scenes, especially for characters who don’t have POV chapters.

    Overall, I completely agree with the estimate of the series needing to be finished by 2019 if they’re to directly adapt the books. It’s also possible that Martin could feed them material from the unfinished books, in addition to the outlines he’s already given them.

  131. Liam williams
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    In an interview one of the Dan’s said there will be 8 seasons so Will end in 2018

  132. Knurk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    kevin: And what if he will finished before? Does that mean that you were delusional? A shame that you have to attack people to win a argument about something that will happen in the future.

    when all evidence points towards GRRM not being able to write anymore, I would say people thinking that he wraps this series up in 6 years are delusional indeed. He recently claimed he is “nowhere near half done” with tWoW. He is still editing shit tons of stuff. He has a new HBO contract. But what is most frightening is that he even can’t write SHORT stories on time anymore:

    -the Nicholas van Rijn story was supposed to be done 1 year and 8 months ago. He still hasn’t finished this story.
    -the Dunk&Story should have been done by january 22 to be in Dangerous Women, but alas, he didn’t write that one either though he thought it would be done by Worldcon last year.

    Take in mind that The World of Ice and Fire-book should have been done in 2008(!!). All the chapters that GRRM has read and published of tWoW have been written a LONG time ago, and upon reading them they do seem to be chapters pulled out of ADWD.

    How can you believe this man can write whole books in 6 years if he even can’t finish 2 bloody short stories in 2 years? GRRM lost his mojo in 2000.

    Edit: and I meant delusional in a fun way, like delusional as people saying the Jets will win the Superbowl next year for example. I don’t mean it as an insult, I am just pointing out they have lost their touch with reality a bit. That’s ok, it’s a normal occurrence when you really, really want something to happen.

  133. anon
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    D’Arcy,

    I totally agree with you. A lot of people here believe that Feast and Dance will be split up into many seasons, but the sad reality is that it won’t happen, because frankly it wouldn’t make compelling television. At least not for the average non-reader viewer, who will get pissed pretty fast when come season 6/7 Dany still wastes everyone’s time in Meereen. They won’t drop the ironborn for a season, so the Kingsmoot will happen in season 4. Since they actually bothered including Theon in the coming season, quite a bit of his Reek arc from Dance will also get pushed into season 4 as well. Arya’s part in the rest of ASOS is not enough to cover her arc in season 4.

    And so on.

  134. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    I like your posts. Honestly. You cut right to it, though I miss your old RIP icon, lol!

    I get a strong vibe he’s bored with these characters. Not the timeline or the universe, just these guys. He wants to just write about the world he created now. Could be wrong as I’m not a mind reader, but to me, he’s stalling.

    I suppose you feel similarly?

  135. kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    I tried to educate you there but you didn’t get the point. A shame.

    I’m not saying that he will finished it on time, i just stated that I have faith in the man. And he finished the first 3 in 6 years. He stated too that the last 2 will be much easier for him to write than the 4 and 5th.
    And maybe he has to much on his mind. too many projects, and he probably will think soon enough that aSoIaF will need his attention first. What do you mean new contract about GOT or Dunk and egg?

    Liam williams,
    source? because I found a source where they stated that they will stay as close too the books as they can, no matter how many seasons the show will get as long as GRRM is happy with it.

  136. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    As a side note, I’m a fan of the books and of the show and George’s work at large. (I sing the Doorways Lament quite frequently.) But I’ve sadly lost faith in him. I’m not saying you all can’t be optimistic, but a brief look at his blog suggests we’re not getting TWoW soon. Specifically why is pure conjecture; it is, however, clear the guy is inundated and will be for a long while now.

  137. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    …and I will fully eat my words if I am wrong.

    So I really have no dog in this fight, I suppose.

  138. Hawk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m quite confident the show will end before GRRM has to deal with the issue. All the HBO viewers that can’t keep an Asha or an Osha straight will depart the show in droves once Dany starts wasting their time in Meereen. The book readers will be gone by then too once they see HBO continue to dumb down the story to make it accessible to the “masses”. Hopefully this happens faster than Benioff and Weiss can react so they don’t rush the show to some truncated conclusion.

  139. Atreyu
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Lin Beifunk,

    I concur. Except for one thing: Knurk’s avatar is perfection.

    Kevin,

    I’ll break your heart after dinner. :)

  140. barak
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, I think season 4 will be the last season of the TV series (if it gets greenlighted). As popular as GoT is, I’m quite sure it’s going to lose many TV-only viewers over the Red Wedding. Robb and Cat are beloved characters, people will be reminded of losing Ned and will accuse the show of repeating itself, and I think many people will find Lady Stoneheart way too hard to swallow.

    It doesn’t help that somewhere along the line GRRM seems to have completely lost focus and started meandering and needlessly drawing things out for no apparent reason, without any sign of the plot lines converging in any significant way any time before the last book. And while a novel can get away with that (to a degree) a TV series can’t. It just makes for a show that looks good and has interesting characters but is apparently going nowhere, and viewers won’t like that.

    HBO will keep the show going as long as it makes them money. They won’t make an effort to keep it running if it doesn’t seem to pay its own cost.

  141. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    I personally have no idea how they’re gonna further handle the Greyjoys and the Martells in a way non-readers will enjoy. (And, to a lesser extent, the Tullys.) People have their ponies already, and they’re dragon, lion, stag or wolf in form. I think show fans find Theon fascinating; his family really only served as an explanation for his psycho BS, so I have no idea how D&D plan to integrate his entire extended family as mains. And as for Arianne and her crew…they’re great, but I can almost see people going “Another damn house?”

    Dunno. Hope my mind is blown, in a good way.

  142. Remy
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I love how everyone has their certain fantasies about Feast of Crows and Dance of Dragons. Both those books will be wrapped together in one season with newer stuff thrown into the mix. David and Dan have said they have a vision of the series as well and there will probably be a break between seasons. I think they’ve already discussed this with George, who also sends them notes on things. They already know certain fates and what needs to be done with certain characters. I think George will get Winds out by next year. The same thing happened with Harry Potter and they did two movies for Deathly Hallows to cash in on the last book.

  143. kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Atreyu,

    ??? what do you mean, with eat my heart?

  144. Knurk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    kevin: I tried to educate you there but you didn’t get the point. A shame.

    I’m not saying that he will finished it on time, i just stated that I have faith in the man. And he finished the first 3 in 6 years. He stated too that the last 2 will be much easier for him to write than the 4 and 5th.
    And maybe he has to much on his mind. too many projects, and he probably will think soon enough that aSoIaF will need his attention first. What do you mean new contract about GOT or Dunk and egg?

    you can have all the faith in the man you like, I have seen people having faith in the Jets too (aside of Rex Ryan). I am saying that the man simply has no arguments going for him to deserve that faith. He can say the last two books will be easier to write, but I don’t put faith in GRRM’s words because he has NEVER delivered on those words. I simply look at the facts and all he has done the last 13 years is miss deadline after deadline. And with the new HBO-contract I meant this of course: http://winteriscoming.net/2013/02/breaking-george-r-r-martin-signs-development-deal-with-hbo/

    Lin Beifunk:
    Knurk,

    I like your posts. Honestly. You cut right to it, though I miss your old RIP icon, lol!

    I get a strong vibe he’s bored with these characters. Not the timeline or the universe, just these guys. He wants to just write about the world he created now. Could be wrong as I’m not a mind reader, but to me, he’s stalling.

    I suppose you feel similarly?

    my avatar has been missing since the twitter-login is broke alas. I think he is bored too, though as you say this is pure speculation. The way he talks in interviews, it always seems to me he thinks aSoIaF is a chore to him, it’s not fun to write anymore. I think he would rather ditch the whole project and go do other stuff (like creating new tv-shows, edit more books), but he knows he can’t do that to his fans. I am a strong advocate of him saying: “sorry guys, I just can’t do it anymore, HBO is going to finish this monkey and a bitch for me.” But I’m afraid he will never have the balls to come out and say this and all we will see the coming years is stalling and stalling and missing deadlines.

  145. SteelPuppet
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Caab,

    I agree with you! This is my main worry as well. At the current rate, I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that GRRM will not be able to finish ASOIAF in just two more books (unless they are monstrously huge). By the end of ADWD there’s already too many story-lines and each story-line seems to be moving excruciatingly slowly.

    Also, I wouldn’t be too optimistic about TWOW release date based on how much Gorge’s already written: remember that ADWD was meant to be the “other half” of AFFC, and I had presumed this meant that most of the material for ADWD was already written by the time AFFC was published, and yet it took 5 years to have ADWD published.

    Personally, I’d hold out on watching the show if it starts to move beyond the books. I really really hope that doesn’t happen, but I’m going to be pessimistic and assume D & D would have to end the show before they get to reach ADOS. I just don’t want to be disappointed, is all. If they do manage to pull it off, well, it’ll be a nice surprise. :)

  146. gecc1
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    There are a lot of folks here drowning in a glass of water.

    If the show remains popular there are no real issues.
    1. The kids get older? BIG DEAL. Has anyone compared Radcliffe in Harry Potter 1 with Radcliffe in Film 7? Did anyone care? Not really.
    2. Last Book is Late? BIG DEAL. Can we slide the series a few months? Yes. Can we pad seasons 5 and 6? Yes. Material from Robert’s Rebellion can be easily inserted to flesh out seasons 5 and 6. And it can be done as “show” don’t tell.
    Remember that Bran can now see/dream the past while connected to the Weirwoods. They can show Bran Dreaming about: The Knight of the Laughing Tree, Dunk and Egg, Ned and Barristan besotted with Ashara Dayne, Rhaegar and Lyanna, The Mountain killing Elia, The Trident, The Tower of Joy. So what if there are no heart trees in Dorne or Elia’s bedchamber? Bran’s green dreams existed before he joined the trees.
    If the show remains popular, all things become possible. A movie trilogy based on the last book? Why not?

  147. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Yeah, I don’t mind if he gives it up to HBO. I just want some kind of transparency, I guess, although that’s probably a bit self-entitled on my end.

    Overall, I suppose I hope he really knows he can finish this thing. Stringing people along, while completely in his power and right as a major writer, is not very kind.

  148. kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    you know that the Dunk and Egg tale will not be filmed before 2020?

  149. Hawk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Lin Beifunk,

    HBO’s grand plan is to hold off on all the un-mined Roz the Whore material and that’s how they’ll fill seasons to allow GRRM to catch up…

  150. Knurk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    kevin:
    Knurk,

    you know that the Dunk and Egg tale will not be filmed before 2020?

    no I do not, but what has this got to do with anything? The simple fact he even signed this contract (which is not only Dunk&Egg) besides him blogging a few months ago to learn to say ‘no, no, nonono’ to new projects is another sign on the wall that he isn’t focussed on finishing aSoIaF. GRRM is a prime example of a procrastinator, I can tell because I am one myself. Taking on shits of other stuff to have poor excuses of not doing the one important thing you have to do.

  151. Rhaegar
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Releasing the series before the books doesn’t make any sense, I can’t believe any author would do that… I would like to see a season on Roberts rebellion 16 years before to give Martin some more time…I think that could be very interesting and leave fans of the books and the show happy

  152. Kelly
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Well Martin has said he’ll have WoW done in 2014. Not saying he’ll stick to that, but by these projections, he’ll have 4/5 years for the final book. That’s totally reasonable. By the way, I can’t imagine the end of SoS adaptation ending in the middle of the season. Too many scenarios ripe for a season finale.

  153. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Here is how I would want them to do it:
    2013 – ASoS part 1
    2014 – ASoS part 2 (+ the ironborn storyline from AFfC setting up the kingsmoot. I disagree that anything aside from that from AFfC/ADwD will be in this season. I believe that Oberyn vs Gregor and the Battle of the Wall will be in episode 9, ending with Tyrion leaving)
    2015 – AFfC + ADwD part 1 (~the first 1/4 of ADwD. ending some storylines with: Stannis leaves the Wall (the election will take place early in this season), the Jorah capturing Tyrion cliffhanger, Euron tells Victarion to take the Iron Fleet to Meereen, and the Queenmaker)
    2016 – AFfC + ADwD part 2 (ending the storylines from AFfC, and getting about halfway through ADwD (where the POV’s from AFfC start appearing again). ending storylines with Tyrion and Jorah captured by slavers, Aegon and Joncon land in Westeros, Quentyn gets to Meereen, and Stannis captures Deepwood Motte and starts to head for Winterfell.)
    2017 – ADwD part 3 + TWoW part 1 (mostly stuff from ADwD, but ends with the battles that will happen at the start of TWoW (ie The Battle for Meereen and Stannis vs the Boltons)
    2018 – TWoW part 2
    2019 – TWoW part 3
    2020 – ADoS part 1
    2021 – ADoS part 2 ~ potentially finale
    2022 – finale if it doesn’t end in 2021. book 8 will start here if there is one.

    This will work if and only if D&D expand on the stuff that the books skip, instead of leaving stuff out. Expanded storylines would include:
    2015 – Quentyn in Dorne and his interactions with Doran ending with his journey to Volantis, Tormund regrouping the remainder of the Wildlings, Rickon and Osha’s journey ending with them leaving for Skagos. maybe features some added Varys stuff, perhaps him going to Pentos and visiting Illyrio

    2016 – I would expect them to hype up and expand on Aegon and Joncon, with their storyline going from realising Tyrion is gone to landing in Westeros. Mother Mole will show up and start preaching about Hardhome, Rickon and Osha will arrive in Skagos and part of their time there should be shown. Jorah and Tyrion’s time in Volantis will be expanded. there will also be some of Euron’s conquest of the west.

    2017 – I would expect them to continue hyping/expanding Aegon, showing more of their conquest of the Stormlands. I also think that they will also want to greatly expand the role of Kevan, and his attempts to create peace and stability. Davos travels to Skagos, ending with him meeting Osha and Rickon, and the pilgrimage to Hardhome and the battle there is shown. Euron’s conquest continues.

    All three would expand on the situations in Dorne and the Vale (especially the Vale, as it is essentially absent from the books). By expanding on all of these things that are either only mentioned or barely featured in the books they can easily make AFfC and ADwD stretch out to most of season 7, giving GRRM more time to breathe.

    as for how quickly GRRM can write:
    - I would expect TWoW in early to mid 2015, maybe even as early as the end of 2014, but definitely not any later than 2015
    - ADoS should then come in 2018 or 2019. if Geroge decides that he will need an 8th book, then ADos should be 2018 (as it would then be a bit shorter, with some of its material moved to book 8), and book 8 in 2021/2022.
    I am fairly confident that GRRM shouldn’t take as long for these 2/3 as it did for AFfC and ADwD.
    - AFfC only took 5 years to write because GRRM spent 1.5 years writing it with a 5-year time skip between it and the end of ASoS, then decided that it wouldn’t work and started again from scratch.
    - ADwD only took 6 years because GRRM had major problems working out the ordering of the chapters and the chronology of stuff.
    He won’t have these problems for the future books, so they shouldn’t take as long to finish

    as long as D&D have the sense to expand and not contract then everything should be fine. Unfortunately, I do not believe that they will do this, and instead will leave stuff out and contract the series, catching up to GRRM much sooner.

  154. Atreyu
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    kevin,

    Faith in GRRM? This still exists? The book writer who blew through R’hllor knows how many deadlines? Anne Groell might know, but good luck on getting her honest answer: that’s not her job. I suppose you could ask his amateur editors and current collaborators of the oft-delayed Encyclopedia of Who Gives a Fuck, but they’re probably too busy fussing about how Second Life ASOIAF roleplay is ruining book canon. And I assume they’re smart enough not to shit where they eat. Maybe Gardner Dozois gets brave enough to comment how authors and editors not fortunate enough to be GRRM (Shawn Speakman himself posited that maybe teh GRUMs just got lucky with the first three books) are affected by GRRM’s inability to follow through. Quick question: how many people are now less likely to buy Dangerous Women now that it includes a bloated, cliffhanging sidebar instead of the promised installment of Dunk and Egg? It’s like GRRM’s other hobby (one of many) is taking the food off his colleagues’ tables. This was all before HBO ensured the American Tollkeen wouldn’t spend the next two years giving TWOW some kind of priority.

    Faith? Really? Hugs are free when you’ve seen the light. I’m all about the love.

    Also, I said “break” not “eat” your heart. Organ meat is disgusting.

  155. Lexyvil
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Investing a year into a prequel series would indeed make more time to wait for the last two books.

  156. Atreyu
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Kelly,

    But he didn’t say that. Ever. Adjust your calculations accordingly.

  157. kevin
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Atreyu,

    explain how you are going to break my heart than?

  158. Ryan71
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Seriously. George just simply needs to get his act together.

    The deadline is 6 FREAKING YEARS!!! Get it done!!! 2 books.. SIX YEARSS!!!!!

  159. Omar Brown
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Dude, you really, really gotta lay off the bath salts. Or if it was some brilliant parody of the Mad King’s ramblings, congrats!

  160. Sir Gallahad
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    What does any of that have to do with “In a woman’s opinion”??

  161. Phil
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I feel like D+D and GRRM have this all worked out already, and are just waiting for HBO to keep green lighting the seasons. Now I don’t know GRRM personally of course, but from all the talk on here an other sites, he does write slowly and is a “procrastinator” or “just doesn’t feel like writing anymore” but this is still HIS STORY. Would he really want HBO to take over (or even finish out the books ONLY as a tv show?) I can’t imagine that he cares so little about his creation (and probable magnum opus).

    J.K Rowling was still writing Harry Potter while the movies were being filmed/released. And yes, GRRM has seemingly overloaded his plate, but I still have to believe he cares enough about his work to let HIS words go out before an “adaptation” does. Unless the show is going to vastly depart from the books (a la The Walking Dead show vs. the comics) which it doesn’t seem to be doing (there are some changes, but not as many as Walking Dead)

  162. dubq
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    2019 ..and by that point, all of the actors playing the youngest Stark’s will be WAY older than what their characters should be. Bran/Isaac, for instance, will be 20 years old in 2019… I still maintain that they’re going to have to do a time jump at some point on the tv series if they want to avoid any aging weirdness.

    ..and by time jump, I mean, instead of a battle just being a battle that takes a day or a night, it needs to be extended out to be another “war” that takes years, and then the following season starts with something like “5 years later” or whatever. It’s really the only way around this, IMO.

  163. Kai Alexis Price
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Then you will have to wait a bit. Sorry. HBO has had long between-season hiatuses before, such as with The Sopranos.

  164. dubq
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    Kai Alexis Price,

    Quote who you’re replying to, dude..

  165. dubq
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Phil:
    I feel like D+D and GRRM have this all worked out already, and are just waiting for HBO to keep green lighting the seasons.Now I don’t know GRRM personally of course, but from all the talk on here an other sites, he does write slowly and is a “procrastinator” or “just doesn’t feel like writing anymore” but this is still HIS STORY.Would he really want HBO to take over (or even finish out the books ONLY as a tv show?)I can’t imagine that he cares so little about his creation (and probable magnum opus).

    HBO wouldn’t. D&D would. Like you said, they probably already have it worked out. They’ve actually said that they know how the story is supposed to go in case something should happen to George. I would imagine that the same applies for if he can’t get his books done in time…

  166. Phil
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    also we’re talking about a show lasting until at least 2017-2019. Who knows what the state of television will be by then. This is massive speculation not only because of GRRMs writing style, but becasue of the evolution of media. 6 years ago was 2007. Hulu was founded in March, Netflix was just starting to do Instant-stream. There was no HBO Go. Now Netflix is almost totally instant stream (I still get dvds, but many dropped this option). Hulu is huge, and we have HBO Go. Who knows where or how we’ll be watching Game of Thrones season 7 or 8 or 9. Or even how it will be distributed.

  167. sunaeryn
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Optimism on the net is such a rare sight that I’m finding this post really refreshing. Shame it’s so misplaced though.

    There’s really zero to nil chance of the books finishing in time with the show. LOL GRRM won’t even rule out the possibility of this series needing 8 books to finish, instead of 7.

    The show will drastically diverge from the books come season 5, perhaps even as early as season4, it’ll have to in order stand a hope in hell of holding on to an audience while managing production costs. Maintaining a pace that will likely finish the story in 7 or 8 seasons total. That is how I see it.

    However, the microscopic, atom like, cinders of the little girl who believed in Père Noël inside me, still hopes against all hope that GRRM would get his shit together and prove me wrong.

  168. sunaeryn
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    dubq:
    2019 ..and by that point, all of the actors playing the youngest Stark’s will be WAY older than what their characters should be. Bran/Isaac, for instance, will be 20 years old in 2019… I still maintain that they’re going to have to do a time jump at some point on the tv series if they want to avoid any aging weirdness.

    ..and by time jump, I mean, instead of a battle just being a battle that takes a day or a night, it needs to be extended out to be another “war” that takes years, and then the following season starts with something like “5 years later” or whatever. It’s really the only way around this, IMO.

    I agree that a time jump is a distinct possibility, and rather a good option. What GRRM couldn’t pull off in the books, the producers could easily bring to the show. Flashback are far less confusing and cumbersome on film than they are in novels.

  169. Devo
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    “Will the series finish before the books” presupposes that either of them will finish, ever. Realistically I’d put that on long odds right now, despite the obvious success of both.

  170. Turri
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    He’s not gonna be able to finish in only two more books. He’s not even gotten to what he planned as the ending of ADWD, which was originally book 2 of 3, so he should be at roughly 60% of the story now. And it’s usually the ending that expands the most in the telling.

    The real question is whether the books will ever be finished. In this uncertain situation, I don’t think it makes much sense to speculate about what Season 8 or 9 might look like.

  171. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Laurentius:
    Regardless of whether HBO would ever actually consider making a prequel, I’m atonished at the number of people who actually want such a prequel to even be made!

    but i STRONGLY resent even the idea of making a Roberts Rebellion story. I don’t even want GRRM to ever write one. In my opinion, one of the major reasons for the brilliance of the story is the fact that we know very little about that whole episode

    I can’t help but read this and think about the Star Wars movies.

  172. Liam S
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    George is a fat old man, I don’t think he has enough time to finish the books. He will die soon.

  173. Maxwell James
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    That reminds me that most of the main actors for GoT are signed through six seasons. Some folks are undoubtedly going to get a big payday if it goes beyond that. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  174. Blueberry2
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    The show needs to diverge wildly from the books after they’re done with Storm. If Dany is still nowhere near Westeros in season 5 and 6 and the White Walkers still haven’t made their move on the Wall then viewers will lose patience. One way or another I think HBO will bring the series to some sort of proper ending, there’s simply too much money to be made not to. Hopefully they’ve learned from the mistakes they made with Deadwood and Rome. I suspect GRRM and the showrunners have come up with some sort of secret agreement on how to handle these contingencies, though that might be wishful thinking.

  175. natehilk
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been reading this site for several months and this is my first ever post:

    I heard that only 3 people on the planet know how the story ends: GRRM (obviously), David Benioff, and Dan Weiss. George told the showrunners the ending to the story and the fates of all the major characters in the case of his untimely death.

    I like to imagine that there is a hardcopy of the major untold plot points somewhere in a secure bank vault. HBO has GRRM’s blessing to finish the show without him. Alas, the show must go on.

    There goes my WinterisComing.net virginity. I didn’t last as long as I’d hoped.

  176. Matthew
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    The stress is definitely on both George and D&D.
    I think D&D will have to make quite a few changes when it comes to book 4 & 5 (more deaths, more plot changes, more stuff for certain characters to do) to keep the audiences interest. In result, it’s going to make a huge butterfly effect on the last 2 books.
    So events that are going to happen in them will playout or setup differently in the show (also consider how big or epic George will make the last 2 books, and how HBO will be even be able to pull it off). Which might even result in a different ending in the show (or at least playout differently).

    Also I don’t think it will take George 5/6 years (from 2011) to write tWoW, since he’s not going to split the book geographicly, or rewrite most the book to organize it, and also because he has a pretty clear idea of where the story is going now. More like 3/4 years (for each book), because of all the distraction he’s gotten lately (mainly because of the show), and that he’s gotten older.

  177. Big Bad Wolf
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m a reader who’s been enjoying the saga for the last ten years, but I couldn’t care less about which one (series or books) reachs the goal first: I just want the end of ASOIAF to be told, no matter where.

  178. michael mcg
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    And if anything happens to GRRM I put my money on Daniel Abraham to finish the books from GRRM’s notes. He is a worthy author in his own right and they belong to the same writing group

  179. FictionIsntReal
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been looking for the source of the “eight seasons” rumor, and I think this might be it:
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/03/21/game-of-thrones-creators-we-cant-kill-the-characters-fast-enough?page=2
    “When we’re done, provided that HBO gives us permission to keep going with this year after year – say it takes us eight seasons to finish it all – then someone could take the DVDs for all eight seasons, some masochistic viewer, and just watch 80 straight hours and it would tell George’s saga”
    It seems clear to me he was just speaking hypothetically.

  180. Phil
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    ACVG,

    Omg imagine a world where NON-BOOKREADERS could spoil it for the BOOKREADERS!!!

  181. Ceri
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Meh. There’s plenty of spinoffs they can do while we wait for GRRM to catch up:

    Hodor Begins
    The Dark Hodor
    The Great Hodor
    Hodor in Wonderland
    The Hodor of Oz
    The Fellowship of the Hodor
    The Two Hodors
    Return of the Hodor
    I Am Hodor
    Beauty and the Hodor
    The Little Hodor
    The Sum of All Hodors
    The Hodors of the Caribbean
    Planet of the Hodors
    Battlestar Hodor
    The Day after Hodor
    A Perfect Hodor

    Ser Pounce!

    The Mighty Crows

    A Night in Duskendale

    Bad Boys (starring Tyrion and Bronn)

    Corn! (starring our beloved crow)

    That’s hundreds of hours of Hodor people! Jeez. =/

  182. John
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I think that, realistically, eight seasons is what we’re looking at. Two more seasons for A Storm of Swords, two for the combined A Feast for Crows/A Dance With Dragons (the people speculating that those two books could be 3+ seasons make me question if they read those books–at least half of those books was made up of filler) plot and one each for the remaining two books. If those books are incredibly action-packed the way A Storm of Swords was, *maybe* it gets a ninth season.

    I see a lot of arguments in the comments that I just don’t understand or agree with. For one, I love all the people who claim they will stop watching the show until the books are finished. Color me extremely skeptical. I think that’s easy to say right now, but their resolve will be tested, especially if Game of Thrones really does become the most-watched HBO show ever. Does anyone remember what happened after the finale of The Sopranos? At least in the US, it was literally impossible to get away from it or avoid spoilers. I, for one, am not so naive to think that I can avoid spoilers. If the final book comes out first, I will read it as soon as possible. Ditto for the TV show.

    Also, there are a lot of time-delaying tactics that just aren’t going to happen. The show is not going to take full seasons off while George writes one fifth of a book. I think it’s possible that the show could be moved to later in the season–once. Breaking Bad moved from the spring to the summer. I could see Game of Thrones moving from the spring to the winter. But that’s about it. Even more ridiculous is full seasons devoted to Dunk & Egg and Robert’s Rebellion. Not only is it ridiculous to think that the entire main cast will just sit around on their hands, but the ratings would absolutely plummet. Look, I’d be interested in Robert’s Rebellion, but I don’t think most non-readers would be. And nobody but the most diehard fans care about Dunk & Egg.

    The one thing that gives me hope is that the show finishing first would render the final book largely irrelevant. I’m sure plenty of people would still read it, but I think already knowing the ending would put a significant damper on sales. I don’t think (if for no other reason than monetary) that George wants that to happen, and I think that might serve as the motivation he needs to get off his ass and get the job done.

    So, with that in mind, I may be just wildly optimistic, but I think Martin finishes The Winds of Winter by the end of next year. Obviously, Season 4 will have aired by then, with Season 5 pretty close to starting. Assuming that there are eight seasons total, and assuming that the final season gets pushed to the winter, that means Martin would have more than three years to finish A Dream of Spring and release it in the summer of 2018, several months before the show finishes its final season. If we find a ninth season in there, that gives Martin an additional year to finish the series.

  183. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:05 am | Permalink

    michael mcg,

    Unfortunately, George has repeatedly stated the books go with him. Could change, but he wants no one else finishing the written work for him as it stands.

  184. Fish
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Call me a pessimist but i would be surprised if The Winds of Winter come out before 2017

    look how long it took for dance and that was before he had to worry about making tv episodes / new HBO show / ever growing popularity and deals / demands for his time….

    i can see them doing an original ending and getting some things right, but then GRRM would probably change them just for the sake of being different from the show

  185. Laurentius
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber,

    Yeah, they’re very different stories in a number of ways but as far as character building that’s sort of what I mean. Darth Vader was not helped by appearing in a number of poorly acted, silly haircut flashback excuses for patched together streams of crap years later. I maintain that some stories are better because they are untold, which is why I think a Roberts Rebellion series is stupid and why I would cringe if a potential dunk and egg series kept highlighting contrived Bloodraven/Brienne/Walder Frey references to ASOIAF.

  186. Jentario
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    umuckurlife:
    The horror…the horror.It would be a travesty (for me) if the show concludes before the books.I’m sure I’m just not being open minded about this, but it would be such a shame.

    Here is how I see it going at 3 years per book and keeping in mind that ADwD overtakes AFFC halfway through.
    2014:
    Show – ASoS pt 2 , AFFC & ADwD pt 1
    Book – TWoW
    2015:
    Show – AFfC & ADwD pt 2
    2016:
    Show – ADwD pt3 TWoW pt 1
    2017:
    Show – TWoW pt 2
    Book – ADoS
    2018:
    Show – ADoS pt 1
    2019:
    Show – ASOIF Concludes.

    This. The only reason George got stuck in AFFC and ADWD was the five year gap issue where he had to start from scrap after writing down a big chunk of AFFC and of course the Meereenese Knot where George could not find a way to tie up the Meereen plot with Daenerys away and no POV on the inside of the city, and wrote those chapters time and time again without satisfaction till he got a Barristan POV.

    I doubt these problems will happen again. George does not plan another 5 year gap and I think he’s learned a lot from the Meereenese Knot. Now, along with those points, he has the TV series catching up to him, which is a great motivation. Look at how much YOU don’t want it to catch up. Now imagine how much HE doesn’t. ASoS took 3 years to write and its still possible we’ll get it at 2014 (though a bit optimistic). I think the fact that George is rather silent about his progress is a good sign along with the fact he published 7 chapters already (I still don’t get that, why?) can imply that he is rather optimistic himself.

    As for the above post… I think they shouldn’t split ADoS into 2 seasons (that will likely undermine the quality). Instead HBO should commission an extended 12 episode season to wrap things up nicely.

  187. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    D&D have stated that even if they wanted to they just aren’t capable of writing 10 episodes a year. I am expecting TWoW and ADoS both to be ASoS/ADwD length, and ASoS pace, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they get two seasons each. The big unknown for me is AFfC and ADwD. they could easily cut stuff out and compress them into two seasons (5 and 6), but they could also rather easily expand on stuff that is only mentioned in the books, such asAegon after hiring the golden company, their journey to Westeros and their campaign in the stormlands. Quentyn pre-Volantis, Kevan taking over kings landing, Rickon and Osha in Skagos, The Wildling retreat to hardhome, the Ironborn conquest of the West and the unrest in Dorne and the Vale. I personally would prefer the latter and AFfC+ADwD to take up seasons 5, 6 and most of 7.

  188. DjWeideman
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Martin says he’s aware of the HBO locomotive bearing down on him. That makes me wonder how much of his future plotting and writing will be influenced by the show and the changes it has wrought to his storyline. Granted, they are not sweeping changes, but changes nonetheless.

    Also, the logistics of the show as it reaches books 4 & 5 will be interesting. Remember how young the Stark kids were when the show started? Let’s face it, Isaac Hampstead-Wright will have to be recast by the time we reach Bran’s adventures beyond the Wall. I shudder at the possibility of the show losing Maisie Williams. I don’t think Sophie Turner will be much affected as Sansa’s storyline is less affected by her getting older And even though we already have to wait a year between seasons, I think if the show were to go on extended hiatus a la The Sopranos, it would really hurt its momentum, not to mention they would inevitably lose some cast members to other opportunities.

    None of this is insurmountable, but it will present challenges down the line.

  189. HouseLark
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Atreyu:
    kevin,

    Faith in GRRM? This still exists? The book writer who blew through R’hllor knows how many deadlines? Anne Groell might know, but good luck on getting her honest answer: that’s not her job.I suppose you could ask his amateur editors and current collaborators of the oft-delayed Encyclopedia of Who Gives a Fuck, but they’re probably too busy fussing about how Second Life ASOIAF roleplay is ruining book canon. And I assume they’re smart enough not to shit where they eat. Maybe Gardner Dozois gets brave enough to comment how authors and editors not fortunate enough to be GRRM (Shawn Speakman himself posited that maybe teh GRUMs just got lucky with the first three books) are affected by GRRM’s inability to follow through. Quick question: how many people are now less likely to buy Dangerous Women now that it includes a bloated, cliffhanging sidebar instead of the promised installment of Dunk and Egg? It’s like GRRM’s other hobby (one of many) is taking the food off his colleagues’ tables. This was all before HBO ensured the American Tollkeen wouldn’t spend the next two years giving TWOW some kind of priority.

    Faith? Really? Hugs are free when you’ve seen the light. I’m all about the love.

    Also, I said “break” not “eat” your heart. Organ meat is disgusting.

    I’m not quite as despairing as you but I really liked this post, it actually made me chuckle.

    I get as frustrated as anyone when I read of all the side projects that Martin takes on which only add to the delays with the “main event.” But for all the protestations that Martin is allowed diverse work interests, a big part of me believes that he’s dragging this out for commercial rather than artistic reasons. ASOIaF/GoT is a massive cash cow – the books continue to sell in huge numbers and the associated trashy merchandise only adds more pennies to the coffers. As soon as the books are done and the TV show is over then it all slips back into the ether. To be blunt, any interest in Wild Cards and even Dunc and Egg is residual, anyone who thinks Dunc and Egg will get further than a pilot is deluded – once ASOIaF/GoT is finished then interest in that world will recede to a niche. So as a commercial writer Martin has a huge incentive to drag this story out.

  190. zod
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    DjWeideman,

    None of the kids’ storylines will be affected by them getting older.

  191. Firelix Seashore
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    The show will definitely overtake the books, seeing as TWOW isn’t coming out.

  192. Nic
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    I agree with one of the comments above regarding the pacing of the show diverging from the books. The meandering plot lines from AFFC/ADWD will have to be heavily truncated. For example it is difficult to imagine viewers maintaining an interest in seeing Dany sitting idle in Meereen beyond season 5.

  193. anon
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    DjWeideman,

    As far as Bran is concerned, wasn’t there some interview with a writer on the show, where he speculated that Bran’s story in ADWD might actually already happen in season 4? I think I even read it on this very website.

    It would make sense, though. Once starts his Internet tree training, it won’t really matter how old the actor gets.

  194. barak
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    HouseLark,

    Frankly, I think he’s burned out. All that meandering and stalling for time in the latest books, all those new characters show that he has lost inspiration. And while people still buy his books hoping that in the next one he finally gets his shit together, TV audiences won’t be so patient and forgiving. As some of us said above, unless the show is willing to deviate from the books eventually people will say “fxxk that, this story is going nowhere, quit wasting my time HBO” and not support the show anymore.

    One of the biggest hooks of S1 was Dany and her dragons. People loved her and expected her to kick ass and join the fight for the Iron Throne. Fast-forward to a hypothetical S6 where Dany is not only still nowhere near the Iron Throne or even Westeros, but seems to be more removed from the Westeros plotlines than ever. (And in the meanwhile – bigger dragons need more CG which need more money.)

    Which is why I say that unless a miracle happens I think S4 will be the last season. Call me a cynic, but I think while GoT is popular now, unless the writers are willing to deviate from the books eventually it’ll grow too stale for TV. There will come other good shows, shows that will captivate viewers just as GoT did when it was all shiny and new.

    zod,

    No, but it’ll mess up the timeline and the suspension of disbelief without time jumps. Bran is supposed to be 10 (in the show), how do you expect a teenager play a little boy? It’s either time jumps or recastings…

  195. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    barak,

    To be fair, although Dany herself just sits in Meereen, many other storylines start to link up with hers (namely Tyrion, Aegon (although he eventually gives up on that), Victarion and Quentyn). Also, I believe that Dany will return to Meereen either near the end or just after the battle, right near the start of TWoW. And then with her enemies defeated I believe she will be on her way to Westeros within the first third of the book. Her main reason for staying in Meereen is because if she leaves her ‘children’ will be put to the sword, so her reason for staying dies with her enemies.. So this whole ‘Daenerys just sits there doing nothing’ complaint should end pretty soon.

  196. Ron E.
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Maybe GRRM should stop taking on new projects like he seemingly does every week and instead finish the damn books. The most recent 2 books were easily 1/3 longer than they needed to be. If he stopped cramming in extraneous new plotlines and characters into the remaining books, he would have no problem finishing them before the TV series catches up.

  197. Hassan Madkour
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    HBO can do something smart, they can delay the airing(to our dismay) like :
    Season 4 : December 2014
    Season 5: March 2016
    Season 6 December 2017
    Season 7: March 2019 and so on.. until the books are done

  198. kevin
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    dubq
    ,

    Strange that characters will grow up 5 years but the actors don’t??? Because they will shoot it in the same year. People forget that every season the characters will age 1 year in the show. So don’t worry.

    Blueberry2,
    They won’t do that. D&W already said that they are going to follow the story as close as posible, they don’t look at the big picture with got because that will ruin the show. they take pieces of the bookseries and look at it per season. They don’t know how many seasons the show will get. It can be 8 it can be 10. The only thing they know is that it has at least 8 seasons. It is known.

    FictionIsntReal,
    It says say it, and if you watch many interviews with those guys you know that the show will get at least 8 seasons maybe more.

    HouseLark,

    Something what I think that George is further with the books than he let us know. That he can bring out the 6th and 7th book when he wants too, so that he will eventually saves the day at the end by ending the books sooner than the show, and if he said right know that he finished almost the entire book (I know it’s not), he have to publish the book in a year, better say that you are still at the first half of the book. The second thing that he will get from this is that the time between Wow and DoS is shorter, many times this worked the best if the time between the last book and the previous isn’t that long.

    Nic,
    What if she takes over Mereen in season 4. the Hizdahr thing in season 5. And at the beginning of season 6 she disappears with Drogo, people asume that she’s death. But then she’s get beg at the end of the season with khal Nogo. That way the showviewers have the same feeling as the book readers, that’s she’s maybe death, maybe not. Than after 5 episodes further in the season we see that she’s alive and well.

    barak,
    The show has a different timeline, every season is one year. At least 6 months. (Look at HP movies that doesn’t matter.) And about Dannyplot. There are many viewers that don’t care what Danny do, if she gets to Westeros or not, just as long as they see her on screen.

    Ser Tahu,
    And don’t forget, people will know at the end of season 3 that it will takes a long time till she gets to westeros. It’s the same with Lost with the questions: What is the smoke monster, when do they leave the Island?

  199. Sinslash
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    They could do like Fullmetal Alchemist where the anime went ahead and completed the series before the manga ended and then a new anime series (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) came out that’s loyal to the manga. Ehehehe!

    I prefer GRRM finish the books first though before it’s adapted to the small screen. But knowing me, I would probably still watch the show even if the books aren’t out. I personally think the show is really great on its own that the threat of spoilers won’t cause me to stop watching it.

  200. Sinslash
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    They could do like Fullmetal Alchemist where the anime went ahead and completed the series before the manga ended and then a new anime series (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) came out that’s loyal to the manga. Ehehehe!

    I prefer GRRM finish the books first though before it’s adapted to the small screen. But knowing me, I would probably still watch the show even if the books aren’t out. I personally think the show is really great on its own that the threat of spoilers won’t cause me to stop watching it.

  201. anon
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    barak,

    Personally I think season 5 is a given, if the showrunners themselves don’t throw in the towel for whatever reason. Season 4 covers enough relevant and exciting stuff that it will be a success and thus there would be no reason to not greenlight another one. Then of course it gets tricky because we are in full Feast/Dance territory. If they actually decide taking the approach some fans have suggested, namely splitting up the books into two or three seasons then you can bet your ass that it gets cancelled after season 5. While the books themselves are long, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a lot of meat to them, or to be more precise, the kind of meat the tv show wants. A tv show that likes to end each season with a bang. If you split up Feast and Dance in the middle, you would lack any climax, compared to the prior seasons. That’s not going to work.

    Optimistically the showrunners will drag as much as possible from these two books into season 4 and finish them in season 5, possibly ending with one of the two battles that were already written and were pushed into TWOW So if George hasn’t finished Winds by season 5 then they can cancel the show just as well, because this just means that he is completely unreliable and it will impossible to end the show anyway. lf of course he actually finished TWOW in a reasonable time and of course if the book is everything that was promised (another ASOS) we might get two more seasons out of it, after which the shworunners will probably end the show on their own terms, since finishing ADOS in time is completely impossible in that timeline.

    Realistically the show will get cancelled after season 5.

  202. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    anon,

    I don’t think that one slower or more boring season will be enough to sink a popular show, especially one as popular as Game of Thrones. Examples: Sons of Anarchy season 3 and The Walking Dead season 2. And to be fair, Boardwalk Empire has managed to survive for (at least) 4 seasons, and it is the slowest show that I have ever seen, with some of the worst pacing I have ever seen. Also, the Game of Thrones fans are incredibly devoted, so I don’t think that 1 or 2 slower seasons would do too much damage.

  203. Heiro
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    They could perhaps do a prequel season, to Robert’s Rebellion, to slow down the show.

  204. Nancy
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    DjWeideman,

    What Maisie Williams has going for her though is that she is very young looking. She does not look much older then her season 1 self on the show (in real life, yes). Isaac Hempstead Wright’s growth will be difficult to conceal and I don’t expect Sophie Turner to change too much looks wise. And remember, we are supposed to believe that 26 year old Richard Madden and Kit Harrington are supposed to be 17-18…I don’t think the show will address the younger Starks age. In the books from 1-5, if the back appendices are to be believed, only 2 years have passed. The show, I think, will address the passage of time differently (not acknowledge it at all or treat each season as a year, except for seasons 3-4 possibly) Of course, they could do what Lost did and have a character make jokes about their version of “Tall Walt”. I spoilered it all, just in case.

  205. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Nancy,

    I don’t think that age will be much of an issue on the show. As far as I can recall, the age of a character has only been explicitly stated once (Bran’s age when Catelyn was arresting Tyrion in season 1). for the most part, for younger characters they have just said ‘boy’ or ‘girl’.

    As for the passage of time, the show has been extremely vague, probably to help cover the ageing of the actors. The only occasion that I can recall a specific time-span being mentioned was in season 2 when Tywin said ‘Stannis is two days from the capital’ (and just for the record, that was absolutely stupid. There is no way that Tywin could have marched an entire army from Harrenhal to the south of King’s Landing, meet up with the Tyrell forces, then march back north to King’s Landing within two days).

    overall I think that they have been, and will continue to be, extremely vague when it comes to any reference of time or age.

  206. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to see how long various critical actors have been contracted for – that could well play into the equation too.

    All of the actors from Season 1 whose characters are still alive in AFFC/ADWD were contracted for six seasons. Actors who joined in the second season who were in the same situation were also contracted for six seasons. So at the moment Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington are contracted up until the end of Season 6, and Liam Cunningham and (I presume) Stephen Dillane the end of Season 7. Six-season contracts are standard in the TV industry in Hollywood, so I assume this is the same for characters joining this year as well (so Ciaran Hinds and the Reeds would be contracted until the end of Season 8).

    Many would argue (not me though as I think season 2 was the best) that season 4 was the best season of the Wire and the featured the least amount of McNulty.

    True, but I think that was more down to the power of the school storyline and Aidan Gillen’s magnificent performance as Carcetti as he wins the election and then discovers the absolute magnitude of the problems his predecessor has left for him. The police/Marlo storyline, which was lower in profile that year anyway, wouldn’t have really changed much if McNulty had played a bigger role in it.

    this idea that HBO will stick to a strict 1 season per year schedule is a little unrealistic

    It’s based on what HBO themselves have said: that they regard multi-year breaks between seasons as bad for business, as people lose track of when their shows are on or when they are coming back. It’s much more unrealistic to expect the show to survive if it goes on hiatus for a year and loses half its cast to other shows and projects.

    it would also give Dan/David to shoot in the winter, which will come in handy in future seasons since winter will arleady have arrived in Westeros (Starks are always eventually right).

    The show films through November and December, so it already films through the winter. Moving to a later slot in the year would actually move the show forwards six months or so, so it would be filming from January through the summer instead.

    I gather it will be easier to shoot if they shoot in snowy Ireland rather than sunny summer Ireland.

    It rarely snows in Ireland. It does happen, but usually it doesn’t settle and certainly not for weeks on end (Season 1 was actually lucky in that it did catch some real snowfall for a few scenes). Like the UK, snowfall is very hit and miss affair and years in which no snow falls at all are very common.

    Why do we expect GRRM to write the next two books at the same exact pace he wrote the first five?

    Because we are almost two years from the publication of A DANCE WITH DRAGONS and so far we only have it confirmed from GRRM that he has 200 manuscript pages done, almost all of them left over from ADWD. We have no further reports than that. If he’s written another 700 pages and not mentioned it yet, great, but based on his comments about being overloaded with other projects and how he’s recently been writing tens of thousands of words for THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE and doing stuff on the maps before that, it does not sound like huge amounts of progress has been made on THE WINDS OF WINTER.

    In fact, to get THE WINDS OF WINTER out even for late 2015, he still has to write faster than he has since A STORM OF SWORDS. Possible, certainly. Likely? Another question altogether.

    Should we consider it canon

    Absolutely not. The TV show and the books are separate entities with their own canons and continuities. One is based (with varying degrees of faithfulness) on the other, and the ending we get on TV will likely be somewhat based on GRRM’s notes but will also be partially the invention of Benioff and Weiss. If we get the ending on TV but not in the books for another 3-4 years afterwards, and GRRM comes up with a better idea, he will not hesitate to deviate from what the TV show does.

    Incidentally, this situation is similar to Japanese animated shows, where animes often start off closely based on a manga and then shoot off in their own direction when they overtake the comic, and the two have completely different endings.

    he’s read or published on his blog a lot of chapters at various events over the past year

    Most of that material is stuff left over from ADWD, in some cases surprisingly so. He gave out a list of POV characters he had material left over from ADWD, so when chapters from other characters not on that list appeared that was encouraging – like Barristan and Victarion. However, he then said those were also ADWD leftovers, to a lot of surprise. To my knowledge – and I’d be delighted to be proven wrong here – not a single sample chapter or chapter read at conventions has come from after the completion of ADWD.

    Till now he made contracts for 2 years, so the show will have a problem if he don’t want the show to end first than his books (I think his publisher too).

    GRRM’s 2-year contract is for his role as executive producer (and unofficial creative consultant) on the show. If he chooses not to renew, then he wouldn’t be consulted any more on that basis. However, HBO have bought the rights to A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE in its entirety. Even if GRRM ceases being a producer on the show, they can still adapt it any way they choose.

    More problematic is Benioff and Weiss leaving. They also seem to be on 2-year contracts (apparently their renegotiations resulted in the Season 3 renewal announcement being delayed a few weeks) and they are driving the show forwards. If they leave after Season 4 or 6, the show could very well end. HBO prefer having the same showrunners working on a series, and TRUE BLOOD is only continuing because Alan Ball has agreed to stay on as a non-showrunning producer and advisor (and may still end after the next season, or maybe the one following).

    And he finished the first 3 in 6 years.

    First 3 in 9 years. He started writing AGoT in 1991 (though he did havea year off whilst working on the DOORWAYS TV project). The book didn’t flash into existence already completed in 1996. And he had large chunks of ACoK finished when AGoT was done, and large amounts of ASoS done when ACoK was done. Those books were certainly written a lot faster than AFFC and ADWD, but they weren’t written anywhere near as fast as people seem to think based on the release times.

    Releasing the series before the books doesn’t make any sense, I can’t believe any author would do that

    GRRM wouldn’t. But he’s not in charge of the TV series and he has no legal power to stop them. I also consider it ludicrous that HBO would not have already discussed this with him. All that talk about outlines and Dan and Dave knowing how the show will end and how that helps them only makes sense in that context.

    HBO has had long between-season hiatuses before, such as with The Sopranos.

    Yes. And they’ve also said that the long between-season hiatuses cost them time, money and viewers, and they will not be doing that again.

    ASOIaF/GoT is a massive cash cow – the books continue to sell in huge numbers and the associated trashy merchandise only adds more pennies to the coffers

    True, but I think also irrelevant. We know GRRM made $15 million in 2012 from his book sales. But he still lives in the same house he’s lived in since the late 1970s. He hasn’t bought massive mansions or anything. He’s probably got a nice new car (or two) out of it, and he bought a second house to serve as his office years ago, but he doesn’t seem to have the kind of lifestyle that requires vast sums of money to support. He’s probably got more money now than he knows what to do with.

    Something what I think that George is further with the books than he let us know

    This is probably true. GRRM doesn’t count unfinished or first draft material as completed pages (or if he does, he makes sure to specify they are as such). He may still only have the 200 completed MS pages left over from ADWD, but he could easily have 200-400 incomplete, first-draft pages for TWoW. He wouldn’t read them out at cons or put them up as samples because they are not done. At the end of writing ADWD, when he was posting 50-100 completed pages every month or two for a while, that wasn’t him writing like the wind, that was him simply polishing off and signing off on material that had existed in some format for years and years beforehand.

    They could perhaps do a prequel season, to Robert’s Rebellion, to slow down the show.

    GRRM said recently on his blog they won’t do that, and he doesn’t see the appeal or the point of doing that.

  207. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    As far as I can recall, the age of a character has only been explicitly stated once (Bran’s age when Catelyn was arresting Tyrion in season 1). for the most part, for younger characters they have just said ‘boy’ or ‘girl’.

    Sansa also tells Cersei in the first episode that she is 13 years old. Robb tells Catelyn just before the assassination attempt that Rickon is 6. Arya’s age has never been mentioned that I can recall. Joffrey’s is also a bit vague; he seems to be about 16, but Cersei is explicitly named Queen Regent, indicating he is younger (or people are not allowed to rule before maybe 18 in Westeros). We know that Jon is 16 or 17 (in S1), from when Catelyn mentions that Ned went off with Robert Baratheon 17 years earlier and came back with another woman’s child.

    As for the passage of time, the show has been extremely vague, probably to help cover the ageing of the actors. The only occasion that I can recall a specific time-span being mentioned was in season 2 when Tywin said ‘Stannis is two days from the capital’ (and just for the record, that was absolutely stupid. There is no way that Tywin could have marched an entire army from Harrenhal to the south of King’s Landing, meet up with the Tyrell forces, then march back north to King’s Landing within two days).

    Renly also tells Catelyn that it’s been 18 years since Robert took the crown in Season 2, compared to 17 in Season 1. That at least seems to confirm that each season is supposed to span a year.

  208. Knurk
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu: So this whole ‘Daenerys just sits there doing nothing’ complaint should end pretty soon.

    it won’t end soon if they keep your epic schedule where she will get of her ass in 2017 when they finally adapt the end of ADWD. That’s three full seasons of Dany doing NOTHING.

  209. zod
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    barak: No, but it’ll mess up the timeline and the suspension of disbelief without time jumps.

    Yeah, and recasting all of the kids won’t mess up with the suspension of disbelief at all…

  210. Perkins
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    scary thought. would much rather have a flashback season (spartacus gods of the arena worked well, 6 episodes kept viewers satisfied, intertwined more characters, made you love/loathe people more) or… dare i say take a year off completely. The wait would torture me.

    whats fair? i dont know. I know i didnt start reading since after episode one. I would feel angered for all the folks who have been reading since 94/96?

  211. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I think it’s fairly likely GRRM has most of it written already. When an author writes a massive tome like ADwD, he more than likely didn’t choose where it to end it. The editor did that. He may have had another thousand or two thousand pages written that the editor couldn’t fit into the current project.

    So, my guess is, not only is AWoW practically finished, but so is ADoS. Obviously, he’s still in the process of completing them, but I’d imagine he could release them all right now if he absolutely had to. Of course, a publisher would never go for that. They want each book to have a shelf-life of a couple years, in order to maximize sales. So, I’d be willing to bet that that’s a bigger problem than the speed of Martin’s pen.

  212. Perkins
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    wow.. taking a year off after the prologue in adwd – white raven comes to signal winter, varys gives his whole speach about aegon returning, then doing his twin killings………… the season premiere of twow would blow everything in hbo out of the water if they took an entire year off

  213. jane
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    From the first I’ve been convinced that the show would catch up and as i’m a hardcore fan of the books it used to bother me a lot, but not anymore.

    I really enjoy the show for itself now, and I wouldn’t mind discovering D&D’s version of THE END before reading the books.
    I have no doubt if it happens, they will totally respect GRRM’s guidelines to create something that fits what he has in mind.
    The show has acquired its own identity now. The fans who only watch the show would get the only thing they care about, their end, and the ones who also read would taste a preview of what they can expect in the books, while knowing that they’re still going to find out very surprising things.
    That would work for me.

    But what I really feel nowadays is that we might never read the end of the story, and that for the very first time in history (i think), the official end of a cult book series will be released in the form of a cult tv show.
    And considering the quality of D&D’s work, that would work for me too !
    GRRM may have lost it, either because he’s bored with the characters as someone in these comments said, or because for some reason he just can’t write at all. Whatever the reason is and no matter how frustrated we are, if it ever happens this way we can only accept it.

    Actually, being delivered from the wait would have some healthy consequences on the show, they wouldn’t have to unreasonnably stretch the seasons and could write compact, rich ones instead. Then we wouldn’t end up with Bran being 20 years old.
    I’m certainly convinced it’s the only way the show can go on and wrap into a satisfactory ending.
    While if they try to wait for books (that might never come), they might lose actors, fans, and worse HBO’s support. And we might not get a proper end at all !! What a mess it would be then.

  214. Ed
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    LoL!! Good one! Will you be here all week?

    MedievalFantasy:
    TWoW will most likely be out by late 2014/early 2015 at the latest, I think, with ADoS releasing in mid-late 2016/early 2017. This is enough time for GRRM to catch up to the books.

  215. Lin Beifunk
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    GRRM’s confirmed this false, unfortunately. Only 400 pages were cut from ADwD to put into TWoW. It’s probably on his blog or Westeros.org someplace, but I was at a signing where he said just as much.

  216. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s fairly likely GRRM has most of it written already. When an author writes a massive tome like ADwD, he more than likely didn’t choose where it to end it. The editor did that. He may have had another thousand or two thousand pages written that the editor couldn’t fit into the current project.

    Er, no. When GRRM finished ADWD, he had about 200 manuscript pages (out of a potential 1,500) completed for THE WINDS OF WINTER. He very definitely does not have ‘most’ of the next two books done.

  217. Max42france
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever seen this interview : http://www.airlockalpha.com/node/9199
    Martin talks about that.

  218. laurat
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Sadly, I agree with your last statement. I am one of many who drag themselves to the couch on Sunday nights to be insulted by what True Blood has become but I’m hooked. I got out early from The Newsroom, which is already becoming silly & Girls is becoming tedious as well but I’ll remain faithful to True Blood (though secretly wishing it could recapture it’s inital spark or be cancelled already) & I love my Game of Thrones.

  219. That Chubby Kid
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    If the show catches up to the books, I think HBO will do a spinoff called “ROZ”. It will be a half hour comedy series about the escapades of america’s favorite red head and her zaney adventures running the most popular brothel in Kings Landing. When the boss is away the mice will play.

    I also think HBO will do some crossover stuff…like having some of the characters on GOT show up for therapy on “In Treatment”.

  220. kevin
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Lin Beifunk,

    Just 400 pages? When did he published DwD? Yes in 2011. Don’t you think that he can write a couple of pages in 2 years? He’s probably already around 800/1000 pages.

    but I understand him that he wants to write the other two books at the same time. That way he can clear his mind about some things that he wants on paper, that way he can write much better.

  221. WildSeed
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    HouseLark,

    Aside from the strong tone of cynicism, Atreyu’s comments made me laugh too….
    thought provoking though…..Knurk’s included.

    It’s not uncommon for authors and artists to switch gears with projects,
    for them, it’s actually therapeutic. Anyway, I want no part of peering
    into GRR Martin’s head……..surely a scary place…….like creating a
    Shadow Baby *>*

    I realise all we can do here is speculate about much here, but I did not
    perceive much detail discussed in GRRM’s interview, in respect to
    “Dunk and Egg”.

    Having a career and a life of details to tend to daily, distracts me from
    obsessing about any of this. When GRRM and GoT production gets
    their collective minds in order, I’ll likely be present to check out the work.

  222. WildSeed
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Big Bad Wolf:
    I’m a reader who’s been enjoying the saga for the last ten years, but I couldn’t care less about which one (series or books) reachs the goal first: I just want the end of ASOIAF to be told, no matter where.

    Lets hope then this doesn’t become a Doctor Who-like project :D

  223. Jentario
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    kevin:
    Lin Beifunk,

    Just 400 pages? When did he published DwD? Yes in 2011. Don’t you think that he can write a couple of pages in 2 years? He’s probably already around 800/1000 pages.

    but I understand him that he wants to write the other two books at the same time. That way he can clear his mind about some things that he wants on paper, that way he can write much better.

    I agree. He probably has around 800/1500 pages now (including the 400 pages he had when ADWD was released).

  224. monsieurxander
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Show passes up books, uses GRRM’s rough outlines, ends in a way that is consistent with the show. Show watchers are happy because the quality remains consistent and production doesn’t depend on the whims of one man.

    Books finish up a few years later, and book purists consider it “definitive.”

    Everybody’s happy.

  225. zod
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    kevin: Just 400 pages? When did he published DwD? Yes in 2011. Don’t you think that he can write a couple of pages in 2 years? He’s probably already around 800/1000 pages.

    The poster above is wrong. They didn’t cut 400 pages from ADWD..

    October 2011: he said he had 100 manuscript pages written for TWOW (that probably came from the ADWD cut).

    October 2012: he said he had 400 manuscript pages written. Do the math: that’s 300 pages/a year. TWOW isn’t coming out anytime soon.

  226. zod
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Baramos,

    Cause:

    - S3 will cover more than the first half of ASOS.
    - The events of AFFC and ADWD happen during the same timeframe.

    See?

  227. Zack
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    zod,

    *shakes fist* “Logic!” lol

    Anyway the more important question to my mind is how the hell the writers plan on approaching the 4th and 5th books as television seasons. They’re almost the reason the saying ‘quality, not quantity’ can be used. There certainly aren’t a lack of pages in those books, but there’s a pretty glaring lack of shit happening, especially in comparison to the other books. I don’t know how they plan on keeping viewers attention for all of Brienne’s Westeros travelogue shit, Dany’s utterly fascinating chapters filled with sitting around thinking ‘should I or should I not fuck Daario?’ for a whole book, and Tyrion’s misadventures with the most dreadfully boring character in the books so far (Penny)…

    Between the two books, you have about enough material to fill a single season. This makes sense, considering the characters in one book are largely absent from the other, so you have two books filled with one, not two, full arc per character.

  228. Laurentius
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Baramos,

    Surely there are nicer ways to say that you don’t agree with him.

  229. Dark Star
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Who the seven hells is Adam Whitehead and why does think he knows everything?

    That’s a lot of supposition there, buddy, as I am sure GRRM does not confide in you.

  230. hey now
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    *insert self-absorbed inane comment/debate about how I choose to consume my entertainment*

  231. mimi
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Malcatraz,

    I’ll be with you.Will you hold my hand??……….;(

  232. Alex
    Posted March 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    IMO, those two books will fill the 4th season after the ASOS material is finished and fill the entire 5th season. Since Tyrion and Dany are considered major and important characters, D&D will just invent stuff for them to do, like they did with Dany’s storyline in season 2. Whatever they invent can only improve those awful ADWD chapters set in Essos. There won’t be a season of scenes with river turtles and of Dany being an angsty teen.
    I also hope they’ll throw away Quentyn Martel entirely.

    As to what will happen if the show catches with the books, which most definitely will happen – I’ll be content with D&D’s version of the story until GRRM finishes the books sometime in the next decade. I like what D&D do with the source material.

  233. Jon
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:50 am | Permalink

    Dunk and Egg will be used to replace a season of the series to slow down the progression of catching up to GRRM and his writing. The spinoff will consume an entire season of progression.

    I’m also sure that GRRM knowing that he needs to stay ahead of the series, has developed ideas for his last two novels to be seperated into seasons where there is a major plot thiller mid-book, as per Storm of Swords.

  234. Ivan
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    If it came to it they could make a two-hour movie set before the last season, which could cover some of the story from the novels, but since the dynamics of a movie are quite different than those of a TV show they could use the flashback material too.
    It could cover the story of the preparation for the final battle against the Others, with Cersei and Jaime in the middle of the political struggles in king’s Landing, Arya’s assassin training, Bran honing his dreamer skills etc, but also telling the background stories of the Targaryens, Bloodraven, Children of the Forest etc.
    This way they wouldn’t have to worry about putting the main cast on hold, they would have the great majority of the sets, costumes and props already on hand, and it would buy them 2-3 years (considering there’s still the last season to film).
    I know these kind of things don’t really happen in Hollywood, but HBO has been known for redefining the TV industry’s rules. With a clever marketing campaign they could pull it off.

  235. Imre Simon
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    I dont see any chance of the Tv series finishing faster than the books, the publisher just wont f-ing allow that, i’d wager 100 to 1 that the last book is gonna top all the book-sale lists, probably setting some new records.

    If (more like when) it’s the case that the show caught up with the books, they can do one of three things>
    1. Make a prequel series / mini-series, there s plenty of material and room to improvise
    2. Take a year pause, before they air the last available season, than take another year pause, those extra 2 years should suffice.
    3. Posison GRRM with the Tears of Lys, and write the ending, since it’s already revealed that David and Dan know about George’s end-game.

  236. HouseLark
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead:

    True, but I think also irrelevant. We know GRRM made $15 million in 2012 from his book sales. But he still lives in the same house he’s lived in since the late 1970s. He hasn’t bought massive mansions or anything. He’s probably got a nice new car (or two) out of it, and he bought a second house to serve as his office years ago, but he doesn’t seem to have the kind of lifestyle that requires vast sums of money to support. He’s probably got more money now than he knows what to do with.

    Well I can’t say that I know George or read up about the man (I love his work, don’t really care about him as a person) so I can’t comment on how much money means to him. What I can say is that having money seems to breed interest in having more money. I often think “why does Warren Buffet need *another* billion dollars?” or “why does George Lucas continue to sell licenses for tacky crap based on Star Wars?”. I think if you don’t have millions of dollars then you can’t really say how it influences a person’s thinking. And I wouldn’t take his clothes, house or cars as an indicator of that. People do a lot more with money than spend it on goods and property – not many people would look at Bill Gates and see an obvious *billionaire*.

    And as for Martin; he seems like a commercially savvy man. He’s used his current popularity to boost sales of his other less-successful works, to get back into TV (always useful to bear in mind that he’s from that commercial world), and so on. I don’t think he is holding back the books because of his desire to make more money or that he’s not being entirely honest about how far he is along with them, but I think he is acutely aware that his entire success is contingent on the ASOIaF/GoT property and the longer he can sustain it the better. This also makes me wonder if we will see a book between TWOW and ADOS.

  237. Karazax
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    They don’t HAVE to condense things as much as they do if they are looking for more material to stretch things out. If they want more material, they simply slow down and don’t cut as much from the books. Instead of covering a typical chapter in under 5 minutes, do it in 8-10, and make each season cover half a book or so. There is plenty of material there to make things longer if they wanted.

  238. sunspear
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    I think that TWOW by the end of 2014 and ADOS by 2017 is entirely possible. We’re over the biggest writing challenge, the Meereenese knot and and the 5-year gap, and that would be fast enough that the show wouldn’t over take the books.

    My timeline was to have eight seasons, with the first seven seasons covering through the end of TWOW and the eighth season exctended 2-4 episodes to cover the whole of ADOS. They can push the last season back to summer or fall to give them the extra production time. That way if Martin does take longer to finish the last book, he can just tell the showrunners what happens, and HBO can just sit wait until the last book comes out to air it.

    Of course a thread like this brings out a lot of whining about AFFC/ADWD. I’d love to hear what people would cut to get it to come in under two seasons.

  239. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I agree. He probably has around 800/1500 pages now (including the 400 pages he had when ADWD was released).

    GRRM had 200 pages done when ADWD was released. The 400 pages thing was from an interview at the end of last year where the interviewer later admitted he made a mistake. I would be surprised if GRRM wasn’t at least at 400 pages by now (including drafts and partials), if not closer to 600-800, but we have had no official word on the page-count since the 200 page thing. We have had official word that he’s been spending a lot of time on the world and map book projects, however.

    Who the seven hells is Adam Whitehead and why does think he knows everything?

    I’m the founder of the GoT Wiki, I’ve been on this site since pretty much Day 1, I’ve been a moderator on Westeros.org since 2005 and a reader of the books since 1999. I’ve interviewed GRRM live on stage for an hour (and been recommended by him for a Hugo Award, at least three times that I’m aware of), I’m one of the (numerous) people ADWD is dedicated to and I contributed to the Beyond the Wall essay book about the novels and the TV series.

    So yeah, I do have a good grounding in the situation.

  240. Sara
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Steve,

    The X-Files had 9 seasons, and the movies didn’t “wrap anything up.”

  241. Zack
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Alex,

    Seems likely, some stuff is gonna have to be made up

    Though it seems I’m one of the few people who really loved the Quentyn Martell chapters. Especially the last one, so exciting and such an unexpected outcome. And I think on TV his arrival will be able to be done relatively quickly. Everything takes longer on the page.

  242. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Sara,

    Agreed. They did actually have a masterplan for THE X-FILES in that there was supposed to be an alien invasion of some kind in 2012, and in 2012 they would make a new film or TV series to round off that storyline. Unfortunately, the 2008 movie was not a huge success. It did all right, but not enough to warrant a sequel, especially one which would need a larger budget (as it presumably would need, to depict an alien attack on the planet). So that appears to no longer be happening. Disappointing, and also a warning on how these multimedia masterplans can go awry.

  243. Krh240
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I think they’ll shoot ahead of Martin, but hold the episodes until after the books have been released.

  244. Zack
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Krh240,

    What would be the point of that? If they’re writing episodes faster than George, clearly there will be substantive differences between the two. So holding the episodes doesn’t improve accuracy, but it would stall any momentum from the show with no guarantee the fanbase could be recaptured. The only reason to stall the show would be to allow GRRM to catch up in order to faithfully write the episodes.

  245. El Beto
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    The books are way more important than the tv show… it would be just wrong to end the show before the release of the entire book saga
    … how about delay the seasons like 6 months of each other? that way you win a year between 3 seasons

  246. Currer Bell
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    One’s hope that the series will not overtake and pass GRRM is based on two givens: (1) No one connected with enterprise is an idiot: GRRM and his publishers certainly aren’t, D&D aren’t (despite having created Ros and the line “Where are my dragons?”), and the hard-nosed money-making executives at HBO (one of whom at least must have read the books before green lighting the project) aren’t dummies. Everyone must have been aware of where the books stood, GRRM’s writing speed (There’s a reason the man’s sigil is a turtle.), and the ins and outs of the TV and publishisng businesses. There must have been a mutually satisifying agreement among them all from the git go.

    Which brings one to one’s point (2) greed is good. GRRM and his publishers are not going to let a tv series damage the money making potential of a hugely popular franchise. D&D wouldn’t want to damage their future producing prosects by being associated with a fiasco that stops without a proper ending. HBO execs would probably lose their heads if they got the network committed to a massively expensive program which could leave them holding the empty bag if it tanks because of a busted ending. Worst case scenarios must have been considered and contingency plans put in place. After all, lawyers were involved. No one wants to kill the cash cow.
    Speaking of cash cows,
    Note to Elio and Linda: get the hell away from GRMM! You’ve milked your association for a project that if it doesn’t make you millionaires will at least leave you very comfortable. Now go away and let the man write the damned books.

  247. wycoff
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I think that there will be drastic changes from the books to the shows.

    I think that Season 3 will be the first half of ASOS, but will complete Dany’s and Arya’s entire ASOS storylines. Season 3 will end with the Red Wedding, with Dany ruling Meeren, and Arya arriving in Braavos, and Stannis arriving at the Wall. I also think that theres going to be a portion of the Reek storyline in Season 3 since Theon is a marquee character on the show. They’re not going to have an entire season without him.

    I think that Season 4 will include the end of ASOS and virtually everything of note from AFFC and ADWD. I think that it will have the Reek storyline and Stannis’ march on Winterfell, it’s going to have Jon bringing in the Wildlings to save them, it’s going to have the Purple Wedding (relatively early in the season, probably no earlier than episode 5), it’s going to have Cersei and Margery and probably the growth of the Faith as a powerful faction. IMO, it’s going to resolve the Essos storyline for Dany, and it’s going to end with her arriving in Westeros, Jon getting stabbed, and Tyrion killing Tywin. I bet that Aegon and Quentyn are cut entirely, I bet that the Iron Isles and Dorne will be drastically reduced in importance. I wouldn’t even be surprised if the Viper (aka Inigo Montoya) gets cut out.

    Season 5 will start with Tyrion trying to escape to Dany, Stannis attacking Winterfell, and the Others attacking the Wall.

    This method would maximize the progression and screen time for the established characters / t.v. fan favorites. The T.V. audience won’t sit through the Dornish and Iron Islanders as central characters. I can’t imagine episodes starring Areo Hotah and Aerys Oakheart and Victarion as main characters.

    The t.v. show will wrap up ASOIAF in Seasons 5 and 6. I can’t see the series lasting longer than that.

    IIf GRRM then finished the books, he can flesh out the Dornish and Iron Island storylines.

  248. sunspear
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    wycoff,

    There are so many terrible ideas in your post that my brain can not even process all of them, so I’m going to just zero in on your idea that they won’t bother casting the Red Viper.

  249. wycoff
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    We obviously differ on our appreciation for (or lack thereof) of the Dornish given your screen name.

    Regardless, do you honestly think that they’re going to both to spend the time and money to do what it takes to painstakingly establish the Dornish and the internal politics of the Iron Islands, do Tyrion and Brienne’s meandering trips, and film the Meerenese nothing with Danys? Do you think that the T.V. audience is going to sit through having the majority of their favorites basically replaced (or at least moved off of center stage) in season 5 by a cast of thousands of Dornish and Iron Islanders and Meerense and Mummer’s Dragons? Not likely. There’s so much that can be (and almost certainly will) be cut from AFFC and ADwD. If they try to include half of that stuff the Series won’t see season 6, because people will abandon the show en masse in season 5. Danys subplot is going to be resolved far more quickly on screen than in the book. Danys is probably the biggest star on the show. They’re not going to let her languish for 2 or 3 seasons doing nothing. People who haven’t read the books already seem to be getting impatient with her storyline.

    You may not like what I’ve suggested, but it’s much more likely that they take my route than hew to the books, and it’s infinitely more likely that they’d take something like my approach than interrupt the series for a Robert’s Rebellion prequel season that omits the vast majority of the characters who have become stars of the T.V. series. There’s about 2 and a half seasons worth of show in ASOS, AFFC, and ADWD combined, and about a season and a half of it is in ASOS.

  250. Mojo The Hutt
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    There is a Winds of Winter book announced (without pub date) on Amazon and Amazon owned Bookdepository.com. Bookdepository even has a short description, but I don’t really know what to think about it. It has been up for a couple of months. Page count is 704.

    Bookdepository

    Amazon

  251. John Webster
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Holy hell, some of you really do hate AFFC/ADWD, don’t you? Personally, some of these ideas of cutting out huge swaths of events and characters horrify me. Hopefully that doesn’t happen. By all means, speed things up a considerably (the pace of the books simply wouldn’t work well for the show), but I don’t want to see the story itself thrown out the window.

  252. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Mojo The Hutt,

    Amazon pulls dates out of its arse and puts them on their site without bothering to ask the publishers. Happens all the time. GRRM’s publishers got so annoyed with them putting up dates for ADWD which were then missed (resulting in angry fan complaints, despite them not being dates given out by the publisher or GRRM himself) that they complained and Amazon changed the date to 2035, just to ensure no-one was expecting the book to come out imminently (plus it was quite funny).

    Sounds like a similar approach will be needed for WoW. I just can’t see any way the book can come out before 2015 at the very earliest.

  253. wycoff
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    John Webster,

    John Webster-

    I didn’t hate AFFC or ADWD. IMO, they were decent books sprinkled with some great moments ( e.g., the Winterfell chapters of ADWD were masterful). However, I don’t think that those two books came close to meeting the exceedingly high bar of the first three.

    I don’t think that AFFC and ADWD will translate to the television the way that the tightly written first three books did, especially since so much of those books focus on characters who haven’t even been introduced yet. HBO can’t risk having the established stars of the series basically sidelined for two or three seasons. I think that many of the developments in those books can be drastically shortened or simplified (or cut out entirely) without hurting the story. If doing so can get the main plot moving again, doing so might even help the overall story.

  254. Zack
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Damn Stark loyalists…

    They lost, get a grip lol. The television show isn’t going to pretend this isn’t the case. All the time formerly given to Robb’s war is going to be freed up for the Dornish/Greyjoy. 0% chance they aren’t in the show. And that’s being generous.

    I hope for the swift return of the WiC Season Outline. You guys used to do them, I know you at least had S1 and 2 versions, where you plotted out what you expected to happen in each episode and which chapters from the books each would cover.

  255. kevin
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    wycoff,

    Do you ever read interviews with David and Dan? Season 4 will mainly be about SOS, and a littlebit of AfFC and DwD. They also stated that aFfC and DwD combined will be at least 2 seasons on screen.

    It’s true that the Dornish storyline will not be that interresting as storylines of exciting characters (in season 1 and 2) but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t going to be in the show. Their storyline are very short, maybe 6 episodes with 5 minutes each. But you can’t take it out of the show. For instance Young griff is one of the most important characters in the whole series, they aren’t going to cut that out. What they are going to do is it make it more interesting on Television. Putting Ariana in season 4 with Oberyn for instance. People are more flexibel with characters than you think as long as they are interesting for television.
    Don’t forget that GRRM made sure that they cover up as much from his books as possible.

  256. wycoff
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    kevin,

    Kevin,

    I have not read those interviews. If that’s true, then my guesses are obviously wrong. I think that it’s a big risk that they’ll be taking if they devote two entire seasons to AFFC and ADWD. If they do that without major changes, then I doubt there will be a season 7.

  257. Alex
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry to say, but this piece asks the wrong question. It should be when, not if. For all practical purposes, the series has caught up with the books.

    I don’t want to diss what was a well considered piece. But it has a major flaw : it doesn’t consider the HBO production timelines. Consider that the high level plan for a series has to be in place 18 months before broadcasting. We know that Charles Dance has his season 4 scripts already (in winter 2012/2013 for a 2013 shoot) so they would have been written late 2012. To write these scripts needs an idea of the high level season plan, which would have been finished in the fall of 2012 and signed off by the network.

    We can imagine that the first possible season where TWOW will be considered by the HBO writers will be Season 5. Season 6 is more likely to have actual TWOW scenes. So in the fall of 2013 the writers will have their Season 5 plan taking material from AFFC and ADWD, whilst considering TWOW. In the fall of 2014 TWOW comes into play with scenes written. That is 18 months away.

    Unless you think GRMM will complete TWOW next year, the TV series has de facto already caught up with the novels.

  258. LV
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Dark Star,
    What a ridiculous comment by someone who obviously knows nothing at all about the SoIaF community but still spews around his ignorant bullshit.
    You might wat to do some reading, lest everyone familiar with the SoIaF

  259. Jay
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    While I agree that the show will catch up with the books I believe the math presented here is inaccurate. Season 4 will most likely end with the second half of Storm of Swords Most likely the second to last episode will be Tyrion killing Tywin . Perhaps the last episode will be the very beginning of Feast for Crows. However, I believe it is a gross understatement to believe FFC/DWD will only be two seasons. These two books will most likely be three total seasons and some change.
    Why? Because Storm of Swords is 973 pages, Feast for Crows is 753 pages and Dance with Dragons is a whopping 1040 pagers. That means FFC and DWD which are taking place concurrently are a total of 1793 pages. That’s a ridiculous amount of material to condense into two seasons. On top of that, parts of Winds of Winter were removed from DWD because it was so large. That means part of WoW is also taking place concurrently with FFC/DWD. And, GRRM has also stated that Winds will be on the same scale as SoS and DWD, which leads me to believe that will be an additional two seasons.
    So, that being said, I believe that the conclusion of winds will not be until the end of season 9. The beginning of Dream of Spring will not be until season 10. GRRM can afford his current pace if he releases Dream of Spring in 2020, which is feasible.
    Also, most people seem to forget that this is HBO and the show will most likely be cancelled after season 5 so I doubt the show will even run into this issue.
    However, if they do overlap, all they need to do is do a prequel season and let us finally see Rhaegar.

  260. michael
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    ok, i think some people have the right idea.

    i too, think that there’s virtually no chance GRRM finishes the series by the time the show catches up. for those of you calling for production delays or a prequel season, that’s just not feasible. keeping such a large group of actors under contract if there were delays or a season that featured practically none of them would be prohibitively expensive (for an already expensive show).

    however, if they just end the series after the winds of winter, wait for a dream of spring to be published in 2025 or whenever george gets around to finishing it (assuming he’s still alive) and then end it all with two or three blockbuster movies filmed all at once (LOTR style), i think they could probably get everyone back together for another year or so to finish it out properly.

    it wouldn’t be ideal, of course, but if everyone involved (including HBO) can still make a boatload of money it could very well happen this way. i have no idea why so many of you are convinced the show’s popularity will wane and it will just end before this even becomes a possibility. that seems ridiculous to me since it seems the show will only get MORE popular after the next couple seasons and it’s already approaching cultural zeitgeist levels.

  261. Mojo The Hutt
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    Hey Adam

    Thnx for the clarification. I don’t know if you’ve read the short description, but it reads like an old one for Winds of Winter when it was still the last book. I have no idea if it is genuine, but if it is, it’s pretty spoilerific.

    http://www.bookdepository.com/Winds-Winter-George-Martin/9780002247412

  262. TyrionForPresident
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Fienix:
    Is there anyone close to GRRM that can comment on how his writing on the books is coming?I got really worried when they announced he was going to be doing more projects with HBO, which means less time spent writing ASoIaF.And I really, really hope he gets finished before anything bad happens (a la Robert Jordan).I honestly don’t think there’s anyone else on the planet that could finish the series even halfway as well as Mr. Martin himself.

    Ever since Jordan passed away and I’ve been waiting…..I lose count of how many years for the conclusion of WOT, I get very paranoid when starting a series that is lengthy and written by an author that is…*ahem* getting on in years. I’m sure George already has the very end written–for some reason I think he mentioned something about it, but I could be wrong–but even so I do NOT want to see A Dream of Spring by GEORGE R R MARTIN (and some random guy that really finished it for him)

  263. TyrionForPresident
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The Lightning Lord:
    As a big fan of the books I have to say AFFC and ADWD getting stretched out to 2 and a half seasons sounds dreadful. AFFC has like 4 episodes of plot advancement if you ask me

    IF that many

  264. TyrionForPresident
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Having the same problem, also with Chrome

  265. TyrionForPresident
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Ceri:
    Meh. There’s plenty of spinoffs they can do while we wait for GRRM to catch up:

    Hodor Begins
    The Dark Hodor
    The Great Hodor
    Hodor in Wonderland
    The Hodor of Oz
    The Fellowship of the Hodor
    The Two Hodors
    Return of the Hodor
    I Am Hodor
    Beauty and the Hodor
    The Little Hodor
    The Sum of All Hodors
    The Hodors of the Caribbean
    Planet of the Hodors
    Battlestar Hodor
    The Day after Hodor
    A Perfect Hodor

    Ser Pounce!

    The Mighty Crows

    A Night in Duskendale

    Bad Boys (starring Tyrion and Bronn)

    Corn! (starring our beloved crow)

    That’s hundreds of hours of Hodor people! Jeez. =/

    dying. Thanks for injecting some much needed comedy into this comment circus

  266. Duff Man
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    For me the biggest fear is that Martin needs 3 more books to finish the series and not 2.

  267. Onion Knight
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    TyrionForPresident: Ever since Jordan passed away and I’ve been waiting…..I lose count of how many years for the conclusion of WOT, I get very paranoid when starting a series that is lengthy and written by an author that is…*ahem* getting on in years. I’m sure George already has the very end written–for some reason I think he mentioned something about it, but I could be wrong–but even so I do NOT want to see A Dream of Spring by GEORGE R R MARTIN (and some random guy that really finished it for him)

    Martin has said he would not allow another writer to finish the series in the event of his premature passing. In that situation, the show would be the only end we would get.

  268. Charles_Gunn
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Couple things – I am not a fan of the 4th/5th books. Nearly 3000 pages of not a whole lot going on. To make matters worse, there are now so many disperate plot threads going on that it will be very difficult to turn into a meaningful show.

    So what I think will happen is that the producers will have a sit down with Martin and he will spell out which plots in 4&5 really matter and which do not (assuming this hasn’t happened already). Even if we don’t see a 6th book by the time we hit season 4 or season 5 we will already have a strong sense of where the book series is headed simply by what the show chooses to emphasize.

  269. Erikk
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone mentioned this before, but the comments are way to long to read and I’m at work lol, so forgive me if this has been said.
    I think that he NEEDS to finish the series ON TIME, I know that’s not his way, but he must. He agreed to let them make this show and now it’s his responsibility as the creator of this juggernaut to finish it properly. If he doesn’t, I honestly think that people (not all, not the hardcore fans) will lose interest in the books, specially here in the US.
    Let’s be frank, people barely like to read as it is, most people learned about the books THROUGH the show, if the show beats the books to the ending I think that will cut his sales in half if not more, for several reasons, and one of them is that once you know the ending – unless you are on of those hard core fans – you will lose that momentum and thirst you had to find out “How is it going to end”

  270. Mother
    Posted March 31, 2013 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    GRRM is slacking and the tv show is turning out better then his writing. IF the show surpasses the books i won’t read them. Leaving off with John that way was just gay and GRRM knew it. If i can read all the previously published books in less then a week how long should it take to make one or two more? GRRM says he knows what’s going to happen next, well what’s he waiting for to tell us a f ing invitation? well consider yourself invited G…

  271. Murray Creighton
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    There sure is a ton of ca$h being made from Tales of Ice & Fire….my bet is that he will die before he finishes the last book…there is a betting line on this in Vegas…

  272. chuck
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Stephen_neill,

    Then Brandon Sanderson will take over!

  273. Christine
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    Martin is a good story teller, but a terrible writer. Perhaps the books would come out sooner if he wasn’t trying to reach a ridiculous page count in order to fool readers into thinking there are actually 1500+ pages of substantive story. Books 4 & 5 were a complete waste of my time as I read duplicate chapters with different POV headings. Furthermore, he needs to take a page from Robert Penn Warren, Margaret Mitchell or Diana Gabaldon (who has churned out EIGHTEEN books, ~ great books, ~ in 22 years) when it comes to descriptive narrative….a 3-page account of the stores at the Wall does not pull one into the story or scene, ~ it merely bores one to death. So, just stop with the inane adjectives, introduction of characters who have dead end story lines, degradation of once enjoyable characters and the damn page count when half of it is worthless. Perhaps Martin should just hand over his notes, as well as the ultimate outcome, to the HBO writers and let them run with it.
    ~ Disgruntled Reader

  274. Steve25
    Posted April 9, 2013 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Mother,

    >>SPOILER<<

    Yeah, even though he's known for killing off main characters, I did not see that coming with Jon, I don't think hes dead though, Melisandre will either bring him back somehow or him being a warg will have something to do with it. Not sure but I think I remember reading in one of the books that when a warg dies they live on through an animal

  275. Tim
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I disagree, I believe 6 books have already been written ( not completed) with the draft for the seventh already completed. No television station is going to do a series without knowing a finale. This is not an ongoing open series! That’s why there was a long wait for the last book. It’s done roughly and depend on one’s definition on complete. Doesn’t change anything it’s still one of the best book and tv series. So no worries off it will ever be completed given his age and all. Book six is due either start or end of season 4 tv series maybe even concurrent launch with season 5 no later.

  276. Adam Whitehead
    Posted April 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Tim,

    You can believe that if you want, but it’s simply not true. GRRM is, at best, 1/4-1/3 of the way through THE WINDS OF WINTER and there is exactly zero material completed for A DREAM OF SPRING. There are very rough outlines for how the series will unfold, but that’s it.

  277. Bryan
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    Stephen_neill,

    Martin has stated before that if he is unable to finish the series that he will not allow another author to step in an finish it, the way that Robert Jordan allowed Brandon Sanderson to finish the Wheel of time series.

  278. Bryan
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    John-Michael,

    There are many things that the people at HBO can do if they run into this problem. Something I think would be great for them to consider would be to do a prequel about Robert’s rebellion or the War of the Usurper as it is referred to in the books. This would give them the opportunity to create a season, or even possibly two, based on a part of the books that is mentioned by many different characters frequently but of which details are scarce and sketchy. This would be something that I think could actually be fun for them as it would give them a lot free space to work with while allowing them to give background on popular characters that some feel may have died to early in the series.
    Stephen_neill,

    Martin has stated before that if he is unable to finish the series that he will not allow another author to step in an finish it, the way that Robert Jordan allowed Brandon Sanderson to finish the Wheel of time series.

  279. Luana
    Posted April 14, 2013 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    Martin didn’t have any reason to write more quickly, until now. Now that he has a real deadline (keeping ahead of the tv show), instead of just arbitrary imaginary deadlines set by annoying busybody publishers, he has a real incentive to write to meet that deadline. I think he’ll stay ahead of the show because the consequences of not staying ahead would be loss of control of his story. And that’s a perfectionist’s worst nightmare.

  280. Matt
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    There’s no way Martin would sign off on finishing the tv series before the novels. The only thing I can think of happening is the show taking a break. Which would suck.

  281. Daario
    Posted April 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    The effect of hbo series can be seen in adwd too, the overall quality of the novels is going down as grrm starts feeling the pressure of hbo combined with the difficulty of coming up with a story of which he clearly lost control years ago. Maybe the next book will match with the quality of the first ones (he’s been working on it for the last 10 years…) but I’m afraid we’ll not be so lucky with the final novel. What a pity.

  282. Keith
    Posted May 11, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Martin has it specifically stated that if he dies before the books are finished, no one will be allowed to continue or finish his series. But on the other hand, he’s already told the producers his two big finale moments so that they can at least get it finished on screen for us to see.
    Stephen_neill,

  283. Mithril
    Posted May 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Started watching the show then bought the books! I have read all the books available but I’m frustrated at the lack of conclusion for some of my fave characters & the sudden demise of others, without fully describing their deaths ie Jon Snow. New characters keep getting introduced ! It’s all a bit confusing really! I would rather GRRM took his time & really thought about where he wants the stories to go, instead of wandering all over Westeros!
    Don’t risk the last book/s ruining a great series reading & ending up like the final Eragon book!(unconcluded & crap). Good luck!

  284. comma cameleon
    Posted May 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Using logic to figure out the release of the next book is flawed, unfortunately the two are are mutually exclusive. HBO would be more than happy to let a year or two go by where they can re-box the series highlights with unreleased material on a double penetrated diamond encrusted wolf pelt Blu Ray.

    The reality is there’s no way of knowing when that book will come out. A guess, the gaps between the recent books have been further and further apart with each successive release, more than likely we have a while.

    The real question then becomes, “Will the TV series survive Feast For Crows?”

    To be honest, I’m not a fan of that book and judging by many fans, most aren’t. TV relies on that momentum of big moments and great payoffs that, sadly, that book doesn’t have. My guess, if the release Seasons 5 & 6 are straight up FFC the series would be cancelled.

    a) your missing your best characters
    b)the story is SLOW & without payoff
    c) after the heights of SOS, it’s all been downhill with the source material
    d) the story becomes even bigger in scope and more unwieldy for a television show to cover.

    The only way that show will then survive is…

    a) break FFC & DWD into one long concurrent story and take it over three seasons. This will PISS OFF the readers but will keep the viewers watching.
    b) the show has been extremely successful at milestoning their breaks. First episode grab and final episodes pay off. They’ll need to find those breaks and make the middle worth coming back for.

    I think it’s worth keeping in mind that if the show looses it’s audience they will not complete the series. These are expensive episodes and HBO’s market is evolving, anything could happen.

    I have my fingers crossed

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