What happens when Game of Thrones catches up to the books?
By Winter Is Coming on in Books, Press, Production, Speculation.

A Song of Ice and Fire

There has been much speculation amongst fans on what Game of Thrones might do if (when?) they catch up to George R. R. Martin. But the showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, haven’t really addressed the issue. Until last week, in an interview with James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly. They, along with HBO president Michael Lombardo, discuss what is becoming a very real possibility: the show finishing the series before the books.

“I finally understand fans’ fear — which I didn’t a couple years ago: What if the storytelling catches up to the books?,” says HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “Let’s all hope and pray that’s not going to be a problem”

…..

Martin has told the showrunners his top-secret end-game plan for Ice and Fire, but wouldn’t be thrilled with the TV series progressing into that territory before he published his books. “I don’t think I’d be happy with that,” the author says. And neither would the producers. “We still have our fingers crossed that George will get there,” Weiss says. “That’s what’s best for us, it’s what’s best for the fans. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” Adds Benioff: “Ideally the books come out first.”

So they are still hoping that GRRM can finish the books in time. However, given his writing speed (slower than Patrick Rothfuss, but slightly faster than Susanna Clarke), that would surely require them stretching out the remaining books over many seasons. So is that what they are planning? Could this show last for 10 seasons?


“We can’t wait too long because of the kids,” Benioff says. “Issac’s [Hempsted Wright] voice is changing. Everyone is getting bigger. We have this wonderful cast, but we don’t have an infinite amount of time … We don’t want to become a show that outstays its welcome and tries to turn each book into three seasons. Part of what we love about these books and the show is this sense of momentum and building toward something. If we tried to turn this into a 10-season show we’d strangle the golden goose.”

Oh. So 10 seasons is considered too many. What about that holy number that has been floating around? Both HBO and Benioff & Weiss deny that any such number has been agreed upon, be it Seven or otherwise.

The interview also discusses the possibility of the show taking a hiatus, but that idea is quickly shot down due to the complications over actor contracts. The other possibility floated by Hibberd is finishing the series off with theatrical-released films, something Lombardo pooh-poohs.

In the end, it all comes back to Martin. How fast can he write? And, the more immediate question, when will The Winds of Winter be done?

“I’ve given up answering that question,” says Martin, with only a hint of terseness. “I’m working on it and it will be done when it’s done. Hopefully it won’t be as long of a wait as the last book.”

Winter Is Coming: It is my opinion that they are going to catch up to the books and we will see the end of the series on TV before reading about it in the books. It seems HBO and the writers are in a bit of denial over that likelihood. Would you be okay with that? Or would you try to avoid the show so as not to spoil the books? Personally, I’d rather read about it first, but if the show catches up, so be it. I will watch it and enjoy it and then read the books when they come out to get a slightly longer, more in-depth and, maybe even different, ending.


445 Comments

  1. Zag
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Hodor

  2. Tyrellboy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Hodor!! Sfghd

  3. Ryan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I would like to believe the books will come first. Perhaps GRRM is further along than we all think

  4. anna
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The show is definitely going to catch up. And maybe for the better because the last two books were painfully slow moving.

  5. The Golden Hand
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Both properties are in great hands, and I honestly find it hard to believe that this wasn’t talked about in the early stages. But either way, if both parties keep churning out the quality of work they are known for, I don’t really think people will mind who finishes first.

  6. Cee
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I’m hoping it doesn’t happen. Hopefully George will release the next book in 2014. If the show does catch up, I think the variation between the show and the books will be even bigger than it is now. I’m hopeful that George will finish first though.

  7. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Hodor!

    Also, Frodo lives!

    I believe HBO will commit to seven seasons (the seventh being the most expensive since the main actors are signed for six, making an eighth less likely unless the revenue stream has increased substantially, something that is unlikely).

    GRRM will finish the 6th book next year, giving him about 3 years to finish the last.

    HBO will shoot the final season based on the material George provides D&D. The book will be released a month before the final, and likely delayed, season.

  8. hinka
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Still hope for Martin to get it out first… but since he says nothing about his progress I guess we won’t see A Dream of Spring before the TV-series is finished.
    At least he could say something like: “I got 20 Chapters done. They can be cut out or moved in the next book. And at the end I still/might need to work on them again… but this is how far I got. Still don’t know when WoW is going to be published”

    So nobody would take him into account for saying wrong release dates… but at least we “see” progress.

    Back to the question: If you read the books you still can enjoy the TV-series. But If you know the ending in most parts… the book isn’t shocking anymore. And who would love to read 1300 pages? Okay, I would… but wouldn’t enjoy as much as I wouldn’t know anything.

  9. Griffon Reborn
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I think Winds is out next year. My question is, what would be the time gap between the announcement and the release date? Is it usually about six months?

  10. Queen in the North
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I think if they do Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons in 2 seasons (3 at most), hopefully that will give GRRM time to finish and publish Winds Of Winter before they start production. But if WoW takes up only 2 seasons , then GRRM will be rushed with A Dream Of Spring, and the show may have to wrap up before the novels finish…. Sigh…. Better get writing Uncle Ray!!!!

  11. Kevin
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    I think that the tv show will catch up to the release of The Winds of Winter, as GRRM has estimated a 2015 date. 2014 is going to be the latter half of ASoS and maybe the first half of AFFC/ADWD and then 2015 will be deep in that content, so by the time TWoW is written, the show will have one book to produce (and hopefully be long enough for some of ADoS to be written or something. Maybe a Pre-Got/Dunk & Egg or Robert’s Rebellion filler-season in between?

  12. Ned's Head
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    If Winds comes out in 2014, then there is a chance George finishes first. He used to get them out every 2 years, and once Winds is done and the end is in sight it could be like going down hill, finally an easy, smooth stretch to the finish line. I read an interview where he had already finished 400 pages back in mid 2012, so he could be nearing a 1,000 by now, with a few hundred to go. I imagine it hitting stores by the holidays 2014.

    Now if he doesn’t get winds out until 2015 or later, and Feast and Dance don’t produce more than 2 total seasons, than he will not stay ahead of the show. I think George feels Feast and Dance should be 3 seasons, but that’s not happening. He’ll be lucky if they fill 2 seasons with Feast/Dance due to the amount of characters that will likely be cut.

  13. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I forgot a scenario… damn. Can’t believe I left this out.

    So, like I said above EXCEPT… HBO will make a 20 episode 6th season based partly on material from the unreleased 7th book, but will release that season a year apart (there is precedence for this, though actors and managers consider this super sneaky and underhanded).

    Therefor the 7th season, based on the rest of the 7th book, will actually be released the year following the release of the book. To fans this will be the 8th season but legally considered the 7th, saving HBO a boatload of money.

  14. The Young Wolf
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m worried that GRRM is going to rush himself and push out the last two books as fast as he can, and not take the time to make the books as a best as they can be.

  15. Squash
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I think there’s still a slight chance GRRM will beat them to it. Slightly confused by David & Dan’s assertion that ten seasons is too many, though. Here’s how I (hope to) see the rest of it going.

    Season 4: 2nd half of Storm Of Swords, inc. some material from A Feast For Crows, possibly.
    Seasons 5 – 7: assorted material from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, perhaps touching on a little material from The Winds Of Winter.
    Seasons 8 – 9: The Winds Of Winter.
    Seasons 10 – 11: A Dream Of Spring.

    I don’t really see how else they could do justice to it, seeing as they already split A Storm Of Swords into two parts, and that the last two novels are likely to be at least the same length. That gives GRRM six years to finish the series before the first material from A Dream Of Spring is filmed. Doable, if not completely likely.

    Also, to give GRRM some more time to finish the books, should he need it, why not release the climactic moments of A Dream Of Spring as motion pictures, and space out their releases? I obviously don’t know how it goes down, but I think two three-hour films (akin to the way The Hobbit was originally planned) would get the interest of the public, as well as provide enough screentime for all the major characters, and make the ending of the series seem like more of an event. They could be filmed back-to-back in order to avoid any potential issues that arise from putting contracts on hold.

  16. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    The Young Wolf:
    Now I’m worried that GRRM is going to rush himself and push out the last two books as fast as he can, and not take the time to make the books as a best as they can be.

    He’s not going to rush himself. He’s made this pretty clear.

  17. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    The question of the show surpassing the books is no longer a question of “if”, but “when”. The answer is, IMO, season 5.

    For example, Bran’s story for ASOS was used in its entirety for S3, meaning whatever he will do in S4 will be from ADWD, and since he has 3 or 4 chapters there, it’s entirely possible that his story will advance even further than ADWD. Other characters will probably also have their plotlines from the last two books used in late S4 – Dany has conquered Yunkai, so only Mereen is left to be conquered, if for some reason this plot sinkhole will be used after all. Expect the exciting Mereenese scenes from ADWD to be used for S4, because there is simply nothing else to with her.

    Like WiC, I will gladly watch the show’s take on the later story, partly because I still hope D&D can do a better job with the later material than Martin did and partly because I don’t believe we’ll see TWOW before 2016 at the earliest and ADOS before the next decade.

  18. Jason
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I had a thought on this that hasn’t been discussed yet. IMO, Winds will definitely be released before the show catches up or just in time and will give at least another season or two to work with.

    While GRRM is writing the last book while the material from Winds airs, GoT could prodcue and film what would be their last season but HBO could hold that season from airing until the final book is published and even air the first episode in line with the publication date. This doesn’t keep the actors locked up but I’m sure HBO would have concerns with spending millions of dollars on a season of TV and not airing for a year or two (or longer depending on how long GRRM takes) It’s a possibility though.

  19. Braincandy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I think it would be interesting to suddenly become an Unsullied. I’d like to see if I can pick out clues in the show that I found in the published books.

    Personally, I do not think GRRM will finish any time soon and the show will catch up. HBO is already making TV history with the adaptation, I think this will be another news worthy event. Publicity is good, right?

    I am looking forward to a conclusion, be it from reading or TV.

  20. hinka
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Griffon Reborn:
    I think Winds is out next year.My question is, what would be the time gap between the announcement and the release date?Is it usually about six months?

    Don’t know why you think to know that WoW will come out 2014. But I can try to answer your question.
    Martin announced on Apr. 27th, 2011 that “Kong” is dead (DwD finished) … then he started copyediting and proofing. And on July 12, 2011 the book was released… even if you could get the book in some places in germany 1 week earlier.
    So it was about 2,5 mouths… reason why should be clear… tomany people were waiting for it so the book got highest priority for printing.

  21. The Young Wolf
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    The question of the show surpassing the books is no longer a question of “if”, but “when”. The answer is, IMO, season 5.

    For example, Bran’s story for ASOS was used in its entirety for S3, meaning whatever he will do in S4 will be from ADWD, and since he has 3 or 4 chapters there, it’s entirely possible that his story will advance even further than ADWD. Other characters will probably also have their plotlines from the last two books used in late S4 – Dany has conquered Yunkai, so only Mereen is left to be conquered, if for some reason this plot sinkhole will be used after all. Expect the exciting Mereenese scenes from ADWD to be used for S4, because there is simply nothing else to with her.

    Like WiC, I will gladly watch the show’s take on the later story, partly because I still hope D&D can do a better job with the later material than Martin did and partly because I don’t believe we’ll see TWOW before 2016 at the earliest and ADOS before the next decade.

    I think there’s going to be a lot of Coldhands in Bran’s S4 arc.

  22. Ser Marcus
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I would love to read the books first but I doubt that is going to happen. GRRM should really think of his fan more. Without us reading his books where would he be!!!

  23. pntrlqst
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    This is a non-issue.

    GRRM had ADWD finished YEARS before its publication. It was released to coincide with the end of the first season to maximize profits. TWOW is probably done, and he’s probably begun ADOS. They know when to release each to maximize profits.

  24. Jake
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I imagine they will shoot the show before the books are released, but they will sit on it and not release until the books are out.

  25. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Squash:
    Slightly confused by David & Dan’s assertion that ten seasons is too many

    People who started with the show and will still be alive after season 6 will command HUGE SALARY INCREASES.

    Right now, they are making a nice salary. When they renegotiate, those salaries could become prohibitive, especially with such a big cast. Sure, the actors could make other deals to get some kind of back end but HBO would still not be happy about such things (studios hate giving actual percentages on something they could make a billion dollars on in the next 20 years).

    HBO could swing it for a season but might not be able to hang on for two or three more. This is actually what killed CHEERS back in the day. The show was a huge hit for NBC up to the day it was cancelled due to cost.

  26. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see how they can finish the series in 7 seasons ahead of GRRM, although I completely understand their reluctance to go 10 seasons (has any major HBO show gone 10 seasons?)

    Some back-of-the-napkin estimates:

    2011 (season 1): aGoT
    2012 (season 2): aCoK
    2013 (season 3): aSoS pt 1
    =-=-=
    2014 (season 4): aSoS pt 2 (and probably bits of aFFC/aDWD)
    2015 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD
    2016 (season 5): aDWD (and probably bits of aFFC/tWoW)
    2017 (season 6): tWoW
    2018 (season 7): tWoW/A Dream of Spring????

    So, if GRRM comes out with Winds of Winter in 2015 (or maybe even 2016), things can stay on track. But that’s about where the track ends… There is no way he is getting out Dream of Spring before 2018.

  27. Turri
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I would probably stop watching the show if it wasn’t for the nasty fact that it will be completely impossible to avoid getting spoiled about how it ends by the show watchers anyway. So I’d actually be okay with them ending the show unresolved after 7 or 8 seasons, as long as the last books are published before we’re all dead.

    I wouldn’t start to worry about it before 2015, however.

  28. bleh
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    pntrlqst,

    troll harder

  29. haltwhogoesthere
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I won’t watch if the show catches up, just because I find the books so much better that I don’t want the show influencing my perceptions. It happened when I read books 1 and 2 and I didn’t like it. In the back of my mind I kept expecting things to go a certain way, no matter how hard I tried to forget the show. Plus I felt many of the changes to the Red Wedding were unnecessary, and not improvements. That made me lose faith in their ability to tell the story nearly as well as GRRM. So, yeah, I wouldn’t watch.

  30. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    The Young Wolf: I think there’s going to be a lot of Coldhands in Bran’s S4 arc.

    What for? Is he that exciting of a character? Martin didn’t even bother to explain who/what is he and his story is basically done once Bran got to the magic cave. Bran’s entire story for the next season can’t be a complete rehash of his S3 story, with slightly different companions. He can get less scenes, like Jaime got in S2, but I doubt the audience will like it much.

  31. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Turri,

    Ah, wouldn’t that be a catastrophic turn of events….. the show watchers spoiling the book readers. The Sullied become the Unsullied. Apparently, (tWo) Winter is not Coming fast enough!

    Actually, I hope the show does not catch up. I like the fact that the Sullied know what we don’t know. Good luck book readers… I am rooting for you!

  32. Joey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I would have no problem watching the show first. I started by watching the first season(right before the second season was going to start) Then starting to read during second season and and going on forumns and listening to podcasts of the books so i was spoiled about all the material i read and that really didnt bother me. In fact I think it inhanced my read.
    I think that the last season will come out the same time as the final season. Im actually not that worried. A lot of people who lived throught the wait for Dance have a lot anxiety about this but he wrote his other books pretty fast and him splitting the two and figuring out how to move Dany along is what took so long. Hes past that now and it will go quick. My biggest fear would be him not actually finishing the story in 2 book. I can see him needing to write 3 more.

  33. El Beto
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Book fans are waaay more important than the show viewers… Come on!!!
    Make a miniseries like the did in Spartacus. You can talk about the Robert rebellion or the origin of the NightWatch or the Targaryens or something!

  34. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Squash: Seasons 5 – 7: assorted material from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, perhaps touching on a little material from The Winds Of Winter.

    Three seasons of ADWD and AFFC?

    Three seasons of Tyrion travelling through Essos? Three seasons of Daenerys ruling a city at the other end of the world? Three seasons of Jon making preparations for the arrival of the WW (“we promise you, they ARE coming”)? Three seasons of Brienne walking around Westeros? Three seasons of Bran sitting in a cave? Three seasons of Arya training on another continent?…

    Come on. AFFC and ADWD will cover 1.5 seasons maximum.

  35. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    El Beto:
    Book fans are waaay more important than the show viewers… Come on!!!
    Make a miniseries like the did in Spartacus. You can talk about the Robert rebellion or the origin of the NightWatch or the Targaryens or something!

    Do you know why Spartacus did the miniseries and do you think that the reasons are comparable?

    Sorry for not spoiler-coding the spoilery parts of my posts. I just thought that since this discussion ‘ill definitely go to the future material and beyond, it wasn’t really necessary.

  36. Griffon Reborn
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    hinka,

    Thanks for the answer. My only reason for thinking 2014 is pretty much blind optimism. We know he has 10 chapters done. I’m just hoping he has a lot more than that, because those chapters have been done since Dance.

  37. shywalker
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I think we’ve already reached a point of no return in regard to ‘spoiling the books.’ From this point on, it’s going to be VERY telling which characters/plotlines/etc. will be a part of GRRM’s endgame purely from what starts getting the most airtime (or subsequently cut).

    The show is already killing some theories readers have clung to for years– the most recent being the Jeyne-body switch/ Robb’s hidden heir. I would expect more of that to happen as we enter seasons 4 and 5. It won’t be hard for book readers to begin to read the tea leaves and see the outline of the end of the series forming up.

    I think that’s one of the reasons we *haven’t* seen Coldhands yet. I think it’s probably a returning character (like Benjen Stark) whose mystery can’t be concealed like it is in the book due to the visual nature of television. GRRM hasn’t hit the reveal point in the books yet, but there’s going to come a point very soon where we as the television audience are going to learn his identity.

    That being said, I don’t think watching the events unfold on television will take away anything from reading the books. The depth of the series can never be as grand or as detailed as it is in the novels, and HBO can’t recreate the POVs and inner monologues that give that depth to the books.

    I can’t see the show going past seven or eight seasons, and I can’t see them stretching AFFC/ADWD into more than 1.5 of those seasons (beginning with mixing in some of those books into the back half of season 4). My bet would be on GRRM beating them (just barely) with TWOW before they both cross the finish line together for ADOS.

  38. H. Stark
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I think they will do a movie and then wait ADoS comes out to releases it.

  39. AJN
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I have no doubt Martin will finish the books before the show catches up. It’s my belief that he’s playing coy with his progress because it keeps people from guessing release dates and bugging him more. With his head start on TWoW and the way the story has begun to narrow, I’d be willing to bet we’ll see a release next year. That gives him about 3 years for the last book, which should almost write itself at that point. I mean, he took 8 years to pen 3 books with no starting point, so finishing the final 2 in 7 years should definitely be doable.

  40. vlad
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    If they catch up to the books, I would watch only if they make their own ending…. which they won’t. So, I will try really really hard not to watch it. It’s a sad truth, but the books are a lot better then the show, which changed a little too much for my taste some of my favorite characters: Jon Snow, Stannis, even Tyrion which is just too good :). Anyway, I can’t understand how they dream they can end the show in just 7 seasons. There will be 7 books… they already split book 3 into 2 seasons … so, does that mean they would make 2 books into only 1 season??? That’s crazy. The last 2 books will have each 1500 pages, just like A Storm of Swords…. each could be made into 2 seasons. Yeah, 10 seasons is a lot…. but that’s the size of the story, to shorten it, would mean to destroy it.

    PS: Did I mention that I believe that if HBO wasn’t pressuring him, GRRM would write 8 books?? :) I say this because of the way he wrote the last 2 books, and because of the sample chapters, which don’t show any increase in the speed of events. He could finish in just 7, but only if he lets unanswered many questions that fans have… about mythology, different minor characters, houses, events from the past…. and that would not be a good ending. And if the final war against the others would be very short (after all this preparation??) I’m actually hoping he does write 8 books.

  41. Oi!
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Really don’t care at this moment although would actually prefer for HBO to overtake Grum just so i could experience a season without being spoiled by the books.

  42. Vikestad
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I imagine watchers spoiling book readers. Some cosmic karma going on in that case.

  43. Adam
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    If they catch up, they should just plow on. It would be terrible for such a great show to have no conclusion. But one possibility they should consider is to make the final seasons significantly different, including the very ending, from the books. That way we get conclusion without spoiler. Not ideal, but better than nothing and could be interesting. Of course, hopefully he finishes the books and it isn’t an issue.

    And hopefully if Isaac ages at the speed of light they can just write that in.

  44. Just A Random
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m am Unsullied and don’t plan on reading the books so I’m fine with it.

    As far as martin not liking the idea of the show catching up, I get it. But he’s known about this for years and at a certain point he has to accept the show will be done when the show is done.

    In theory fans of the books could just avoid the final season of the show to remain Book Unsullied, although hbo wouldn’t like that either.

  45. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the show could make an alternate ending of sorts. Change up the ending for a few of the plotlines and not tell us which ones are different from the book. This way, the show gets closure and everything isn’t spoiled for the books.
    I also worry about what happens when it’s time to renegotiate contracts. Hopefully both HBO and the cast members are dedicated to the show and can work something out.

  46. Voiceareason
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Is there really any doubt about this? Unless GRRM actually starts caring and focusing, this is certain to happen. It took him 6 years to write half of DwD, and now he has even more projects on the line, for an even larger portion of a book! At this point, I’m predicting 2017 for WoW. I wouldn’t be surprised if we never see DoS, and only ever see the ending on TV. Which I’m frankly OK with, because Martin has seriously lost my interest with the pummeling boredom of much of DwD and FfC
    And don’t talk to me about the Mereenese Knot as a reason for the slow writing pace. What about the Westeros knot? Every PoV needs to be getting to Westeros around now! What about other future knots like The Wall knot if the WW attack, or the King’s Landing knot if the contenders congregate around KL? How about the Battle of Winterfell Knot? The possibilities for writer’s block are endless, and all are Martin’s fault because he didn’t plan anything!

  47. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Adam,

    Beat me to it!

  48. JohnnyBoy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    A tough question, but I would like to see the books finish first. I’m hoping WoW comes out late next year and give George some time to wrap up aDoS while the show mixes around material from the books to get some seasons together. I saw Ned die on TV, a big shock, but reading about the RW was even bigger. Yes, one might be more devastating than the other, but I think reading the conclusion would have a quality not available for the series. If the show did air first, I’d like to think I’d abstain from seeing it, but then spoilers become a whole other problem. All in all, the quality of the series is paramount, but some haste would help.

  49. Nic
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Squash,

    3 seasons for “A Feast For Crows” and “A Dance With Dragons”? That’s way too much.

    2 seasons max IMO. There is simply not enough plot in those books to spread across 3 seasons, even if they dip into Winds of Winter material as you suggest.

    I actually think 1 and a half seasons is enough to cover those two books.

  50. Doug
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s becoming increasingly obvious they will catch up. George has already started in recent interviews to bring up the fact that he’s “still hoping to finish in 7 books.” That was never in the vocabulary at this time last year. It was all about being done in 7. Now he’s starting to hint around at the possibility of 8. So, there is no doubt they will catch up.

    What do I think they’ll do? A similar but different ending. They know the ending, it may be similar but some things will change. For instance I’m not even sure they’re planning to do the whole prince that was promised, Azor Ahai rebirth thingeven if they don’t catch up with the books. So that could be a similar but different ending.

    Both stand alone. I don’t know if it will spoil anything for the books. The books are their own entity and will be filled with a lot more information than the show will ever provide. So, I think it’s alright if they catch up. I tihnk there will be satisfying endings for both the show and the books, and you’ll be on the edge of your seat, watching and reading, regardless of what comes first.

  51. Maxwell James
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Actors in successful shows usually seek to renegotiate their contracts well before season 6 – often around season 4 in fact. See the much-publicized negotiation battles for the Sopranos and Modern Family, for instance.

    In recent years HBO has a good track record of managing these negotiations quietly – but point is, it’s likely the show is going to get significantly more expensive by next year (if not before).

  52. AA
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I agree with people that think GRRM is further along than he is hinting at.

    Maybe I am reading too much into it, but on Conan, GRRM said that WoW would be 1500 pages, just like ADwD. To me that signaled he was done/almost done with the manuscript pages and the book was being edited. His certainty seemed different from previous interviews where he said something like “who knows, maybe I’ll need more than 7 books to finish the story.”

    And in other interviews GRRM has said he likes to get into a character’s head and write multiple chapters from that point of view. It is very likely he has a bunch of chapters from ADoS completed already.

    All that said, I think it is possible the books will be out before the series is over, but I think it is just as likely that the series passes the books. GRRM sees the books as his legacy, and he is not going to rush his writing to coincide with the tv series. And D&D are not going to delay the tv show, do a prequel series, do the last book as a movie. nor stretch the series out to 10 or 11 seasons.

    I think in less than one year’s time we will have a much stronger idea of where GRRM is with his writing, and where D&D plan on taking the series.

  53. Turri
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones,
    You know, reading your stuff I sometimes wish I could watch the show as Unsullied and I can see it being tons of fun watching its grand last act all together, all on the same page. But then again, for me, the books are where it’s at. A man needs to have priorities.

    Anyway, I enjoy the weirdness of the situation, I don’t think any adaptation has had the same set of challenges yet, with different mediums competing against each other in a way. Will be interesting how they solve it in the end.

  54. HouseLark
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s inevitable that the series will overtake the books. Martin writes at a snail’s pace and the series cannot go on hiatus – I know people have all sorts of fanciful ideas about a year of “Robert’s Rebellion” or filling time with the Dunk & Egg stories but realistically this just isn’t going to happen. GoT is too valuable a commercial property for HBO for them to forego it for a year. For better or worse, the GoT property is more valuable than ASOIAF now; it serves a much bigger audience and that audience is demanding. Looking at it from a purely practical point of view, why should HBO make concessions to their schedule for Martin’s pace of work? The thing is, Martin knows TV and knows this situation was a possiblity, even a probability, and I think he was content to live with it in return for the cash mountain and attendant fame that the TV series has given him.

    I’ll be kind of sad when the show overtakes the books but I’ll enjoy both and I’ll enjoy comparing them. I was a book reader before I was a show watcher and I sympathise with the part of the fandom that would call themselves purists. It will hurt them when the show runs past the books and I’ll be sad to see the communities split, as they will, since the purists will do everything to avoid spoilers from the TV show. But this is the price for recognition; a favourtie theme of Martin’s is that actions have consequences, and well, this will be the consequence of selling the adaptation rights.

    The best we can hope for when his does happen is that Martin becomes more involved with script writing and story development. At least that way he can try and realise as much of his vision as possible on the screen.

  55. Robert
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I’ll echo some of the others here… if they catch up, I stop watching. I will get the DVDs, sock them away, and then watch them some day down the road after I’ve read all the books.

  56. Maxwell James
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    As to the topic at hand – at this point I’m more or less resigned to the fact that they’ll catch up. The most we can hope for is that Martin will finish TWOW in time to stay ahead of the series. But as Alex Dubrovsky says, we’re already at the stage in some storylines where they have to enter ADWD territory. The tipping point is coming soon, very soon.

  57. Delta1212
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    “Will I be able to publish the ending to my wildly popular series before the award-winning television adaptation catches up to me?” #SuccessfulAuthorProblems

  58. Squash
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Fair enough. Misremembering AFFC and ADWD, I guess. Only read through them once. You’re right, two seasons would be fine to cover both books.

    I think there will be more original scenes as the series continues, though. The character count is steadily increasing – one memory I do have of the latter books is quite a bit of confusion at a lot of new storylines (especially the Dorne stuff). There’s just so much to cram in your mind. I imagine there’ll be yet more new scenes of exposition to come, further drawing the series out.

  59. El Beto
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    WRITE, GEORGE, WRITE LIKE THE WIND!!!

  60. Azazel
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    late 2013 – film S4 (part 2 of ASOS and incorporate parts of AFFC)
    early 2014 – air S4
    late 2014 – film S5 (bulk of AFFC and some of ADWD)
    early 2015 – air S5
    late 2015 – film S6 (rest of ADWD, maybe a couple scenes from TWOW)
    early 2016 – air S6
    late 2016 – film S7 (bulk of TWOW, some ADOS)
    early 2017 – air S7
    late 2017 – film S8 (conclusion of series/remaining ADOS)
    early 2018 – air S8

    This means that GRRM will likely have to publish TWOW BEFORE very early on in 2015. I think a fall/2014 date is easily doable, and from reports/interviews, I really think he isn’t too far off from TWOW being done.

    The kicker with that schedule, though, is that he’d also have to have ADOS published by at least May of 2017 for the show not to overtake book material.

    Can he drop TWOW and ADOS within the late 2014 – early 2017 window?

    I would think that, what with knowing the end game and all, that ADOS should be a pretty easy book to write, depending of course on how things go in TWOW.

    Let’s just hope that an 8th book isn’t required. If so, that really increases the speed on the treadmill.

  61. Lex
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I had a feeling from Day 1 that this would happen. Having waited 5 years for AFFC, and 6 years for ADWD, I’m under no illusions as to GRRM’s writing speed. He did say he thought he could stay ahead of the books, but that would require a maximum of 3 years to write Book 6 and 3 years for Book 7, as well as thinking the show might turn AFFC/ADWD into as much as 3 seasons.

    But GRRM is slow, and there’s no way they will get 3 seasons out of AFFC/ADWD. So I think it WILL pass the show, and it will have it’s own ending. It definitely sucks, but I can’t see myself quitting the show or anything like that.

    Anyways, I’ve spent the last few years trying to brace myself for the possibility that the books NEVER get finished, and I would definitely rather have a TV ending than no ending at all. I just hope GRRM at least takes on a more central role as executive producer for the final season, if the show does finish first.

  62. Winter Is Come
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The Golden Hand,

    I agree with this whole heartedly! The show seems to be in rather a unique position in this regard, and as each version of George’s story is quite different in the telling I don’t think it will harm George’s vision, or the integrity of the printed series if the TV version concludes first.
    I saw series 1 on DVD, then tracked down and devoured season 2. I was hooked, but it became clear there were some huge events in the coming books that I might’ve spoiled for myself (Facebook friends posting big plot points etc) So I bought all the books and read them cover to cover in just over 5 weeks. (Didn’t get much work done I can tell you!) The prospect of going from Unsullied, to Sullied and back to Unsullied again for the final seasons is sort of amusing in a way! Whatever happens, I only hope the viewing numbers continue to be strong enough to allow the show to finish, one way or another! :D

  63. El Beto
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    pntrlqst,

    Pray the lord (lords)

  64. Nick
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I have been wondering if George RR Martin might consider using additional writers to help finish the last couple books. HBO’s writing team is excellent. They could easily write select chapters ( probably better than Martin could himself), which Martin could then go back and edit to his liking. With HBO having so much riding on this, I am sure there will be pressure on Martin to finish the work & bringing in additional writers to help out could be a solution.

  65. biobi
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    No sir, won’t like it

  66. Worthing
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Most of Dance and Feast could honestly be covered in a single season. So many important characters have so few chapters, though, that I’m sure the show will invent a lot more for certain stories. I expect almost all of it to be used up by the end of season 5, though.

    Doesn’t matter to me which medium finishes first. Both are excellent ways to experience the story.

  67. sCor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    8 Seasons seems to be the be the perfect number for the show.

    Season 4: Remaning 1/3 of ASOS with some storylines advancing into AFFC/ADWD

    Season 5: AFFC/ADWD

    Season 6: TWOW

    Season 7: TWOW/ADOS

    Season 8: ADOS

    I don’t think they will catch up, before he releases the 6th book. He has already finished 50% of the book. But they will almost certainly catch up for the final book.

  68. El Beto
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    Yes, this is exactly the same.
    One due to the actor ilness and the other due to the writer slow writing…

  69. ATBoz
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    anyone who thinks AFFC and ADWD will take 2 seasons, please explain how you think they’ll stretch Dany’s story for 3 more seasons based on where she is now and where she ends up at the end of ADWD? Same goes for Bran, Arya and the other POV characters who just don’t have a ton to do between where season 3 ended their stories and where they are at the end of Dance. There’s just no way. I believe that the end of next season will begin some Feast storylines, and by the end of season 5 we may well be through most of Feast and Dance.

  70. Yago
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    sCor,

    Agree, although it’s hard to say without having read WoW and DoS.

  71. Blaineo
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see a season that goes back and shows the rebellion. With younger Ned and Robert. It would fill in a lot for the TV viewers and it would buy them one year. Plus it would be interesting for us book readers too.

  72. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    El Beto:
    Alex Dubrovsky,

    Yes, this is exactly the same.
    One due to the actor ilness and the other due to the writer slow writing…

    Please, explain how having cancer is the same as unwilling to write.

  73. Rukie44
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    One possibility could be for D&D to shoot the series regularly, but withhold airing any seasons until the corresponding book is released. That way we’ll get the books first, & the production wouldn’t have to worry too much about actor contracts or child actors growing up (although they are already getting pretty old).

    The only problem is I don’t know how HBO would feel about putting the show on hiatus, though one would think that demand would cause the show’s popularity to skyrocket when it does finally return.

  74. Blaineo
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Nick,

    That is like asking a parent to let someone else bring up their child for a few years. He can’t do that. It’s his baby. He has to finish this himself. Although one thing he could do is let another writer take over all his other projects so that he could actually focus on getting the books finish. Someone could easily help out with the editing etc that he does while he gets these last two books together.

  75. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Martin has told the showrunners his top-secret end-game plan for Ice and Fire, but wouldn’t be thrilled with the TV series progressing into that territory before he published his books. “I don’t think I’d be happy with that,” the author says. And neither would the producers.

    Well, I for one feel vindicated. A few weeks back, I basically said that there was no way GRRM would want the show to tell the ending of his story. He’s spent a good portion of his life writing it and no one who had shepherded a grand story like this over decades would just hand it off to someone else. Of course, some rude ahole on here told me “that was the stupidest fucking thing” he had ever read. Who’s stupid now biotch?

    Okay, rant done. Seriously though, I think GRRM is being motivated by the deadline to write faster and that there is a good chance that he can get it done. He did say something that I thought was strange though. He said if D&D do everything in the books he’d have time to finish. But haven’t we (meaning fans on this site) generally come to the conclusion that they can’t and won’t do EVERYTHING that’s in the books? I mean, will they do the Kingsmoot? Will they have Dany sit in Meereen for an entire season? They may have to according to GRRM but I’m not entirely sure that makes for good TV, which is the crux of the discussion.

    D&D are clearly and understandably dedicated to the quality and reputation of the show and want to produce it so that they show the best of the story on the small screen (the medium being the critical point ). But they are also grateful for, respectful of and obligated to GRRM as fans. They are pretty clear they want to honor his desire to publish the end of this magnificent story and not have it be spoiled by the show.

    Ultimately, if GRRM can’t finish before the show I think they will fall back to something they’ve all said is possible in the past–the show and the book series will have different endings. No matter what, I’m content to sit back and enjoy the ride in the books and on the show. It’s all good to me as a fan of both.

  76. jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Jason: d that GRRM is going to rush himself and push out the last two books as fast as he can, and not take the time to make the books as a best as they

    Go tell that to GRRM and HBO, that is a golden idea.

  77. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Rukie44: One possibility could be for D&D to shoot the series regularly, but withhold airing any seasons until the corresponding book is released.

    It costs HBO $60 million to produce one season of GOT. Don’t you think they’ll want to get their money back once it’s produced?

  78. Bowl of Brown
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I could use an Excel ninja to back me up on this, but if you plot years between releases of each ASOIAF, the results are not encouraging. To wit:

    AGOT>ACOK = 2 years
    ACOK>ASOS = 2 years
    ASOS>AFFC = 5 years
    AFFC>ADWD = 6 years

    That GRRM is taking longer between books is undeniable. If you consider a linear increase between books, the wait between every subsequent release increases by 1.5x. This gives TWOW a Summer 2018 release date. ADOS . . . Summer 2027. Indeed, when you actually plot all seven release dates on a graph, you get a nice, even curve.

    But if you take GRRM at his word, you can blame the Meereenese Knot for the ugly spikes between ASOS/AFFC and ADWD. If you view this as a singular event, then perhaps you can cut GRRM some slack and tighten up the release schedule.

    For me, the truth lies somewhere in between. If GRRM returned to his AGOT-ASOS level of output, we would have TWOW in our hands in matter of months. Clearly, that hasn’t happened. There’s also the possibility (probability?) of running into a Westerosi Knot. If it was difficult moving so many important pieces (Tyrion, Victarion) across the game board, we don’t have any evidence to show that it will be any easier moving them back.

    So, I choose to split the difference and arbitrarily say we’ll see TWOW around 2015. ADOS . . . to quote GRRM, “who the hell knows?”

    tl;dr: There’s no way we’ll read the end of ASOIAF before we watch it on HBO. Best make plans now.

  79. Stacia
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I really don’t care if the show spoils the books. I’m not a fan of the last two books and I’m not optimistic about the next two.

    You’d think GRRM would be trying to write as fast as possible to capitalize on the show’s popularity and get the next books out in a timely fashion. Perhaps ghost writers/assistant writers could be used (I doubt this would be anything official, but it does happen).

    However, with the speculation that there could be 10 seasons or a hiatus with a pre-GOT story, I don’t see GRRM being motivated to hurry. He can try to put pressure on HBO to do something else to wait for him and hope that the fan backlash of the show finishing first will prevent them from doing it. GRRM would love for them to do Tales of Dunk and Egg as filler and more seasons to stretch it out. There’s no motivation for him to see the show cut out more of the filler from the end books to conclude the show in 7 seasons since he makes more money if they don’t.

    Depending on how different the show becomes than the books, it might not really matter. Not having to rely on the books might make it easier for the show to conclude.

    I also highly suspect that there will be an 8th book and Dream of Spring will be split in two. Even if both TWoW and ADoS are 1500 pages, I doubt GRRM can get to the conclusion with the point he’s at in the story and the pace he’s going.

    Perhaps not giving GRRM a deadline allows him to do his thing and show can do something separate.

  80. JR
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I doubt this goes past 7 seasons. Shows tend to get scale after 6 season but 7 is the right number for Thrones. I have more confidence in HBO concluding the series than Martin. I just don’t have much faith in him and opt for the quality of the show over the quantity of the books.

  81. umuckurlife
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    This scenario scares the crap out of me. Ideally, I’d wait to watch the show until after I’ve read the books. Because the show has such buzz, I imagine that I’d get spoiled at some point. That would piss me off to no end. So, the only option is for GRRM to finish the books. Frankly though, I don’t mind the show taking a break or filming a whole bunch of Robert’s Rebellion. Then, they can show a season or two of (non-spoilery) backstory while GRRM catches up. I don’t care if the kids age too much. I don’t think their ages change the story nearly as much as some of the other alterations have. When the books complete, the show can come back and complete the story (and possibly use some stuff filmed during the Rebellion Hiatus).

    I know the above will never happen…and in the end, I’ll probably be pissed off. The good news is that we’ll all get over it and life will go on.

  82. I won da GwD pubquiz
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I doubt many would dispute that HBO will NOT go beyond eight seasons with any show, including GoT. I have been hearing seven as their goal, but as they have already made season 3 two seasons, this obviously is impossible. Further, at BEST Martin will finish TWoW by the time season six airs (mid 2016 or before, whatever), but there is no way he will finish his masterpiece by the time season seven is is being aired. Therefore, the most realistic setup (to me) looks like:

    1 – GoT
    2 – ACoK
    3 – ASoS part 1 (which given the streamlining and exhausting of certain storylines, is more than half-way complete)
    4 – ASoS part 2 (early episode = PW; episode 9 = tyrion escape/tywin +battle of the wall) + AFFC plot laying (Iron Islands drama and Doran’s reaction to Oberyn/sand snakes (if they aren’t cut))
    5 – AFFC/ADwD proper part 1 (episode 9 = whispers (if not cut)/Cersei capture/quentyn burnination(if not cut, most likely a different character will attempt the theft)/tyrion ship battle and/or capture depending upon how much they are rushing)
    6 – AFFC / ADwD proper part 2 (episode 9 = jon snow/fighting pits)
    7 – TWoW
    8 – TWoW/Make up their own ending based on Martin’s broad strokes.

    Although I don’t really see where they would have the time to improvise an ending to the show, if they take the next 4 years to work on their endgame, they could probably streamline the later books to meet there own unique ending and finish the series in eight seasons. ALSO, this would prevent the show from merely being a weak spoiler for the actual books, and could change several key plot points where Martin has left multiple possibilities open (Jon’s mother and its significance or lack thereof, and all of the other plot variables including of course who the man and woman on the iron throne is/are at the end). This would be a great mindfuck for book readers, and David and Dan have demonstrated their skill at turning this book series into something that works as a show while still retaining many of the features we love from the series, so I am sure any ending they manage will be watchable and have the feel of the books to it.

    Obviously speculation, but if I was David/Dan I would seriously consider this as a plan. Now if Martin doesn’t even finish TWoW by the time they need to start shooting/writing season 7 (early/mid 2016), it all just goes to hell, but I think that is an outside possibility at this point.

  83. El Beto
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    I’m not going to fight over the internet with stupid arguments about ilness and whatnots, I’m not that kind of person.

    I just said that what they did in Spartacus they could do it here. It would be great for us readers to actually see the Rebellion or the Targaryens or the early Starks or some other story.

    Of course, as a human being with feelings you can’t compare an actor with cancer and a writer who writes slow, don’t be a smartass and try to create an argument where there is none. I just intented to say it had already been done and they can do it if they want.

    “Please, explain how having cancer is the same as unwilling to write.” That sounds awfully like the Charlie and the factory’s meme. You just like to fight over the internet… You now people with cancer? So do I. It’s awful and no one deserves it.

    You early said to me “I just thought that since this discussion ‘ill definitely go to the future material and beyond, it wasn’t really necessary.” …Well, fighting about cancer is not really necessary in this post, don’t you think?

    Have a great day, Dubrovsky!

  84. John
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Blaineo,

    The problem are the actors.
    Filming something that happened many years before their story line? You wouldn’t need a NCW or Peter Dinklage for that.. and one year later you hope to get all the actors back to shooting?
    Seems very incalculable risk..

    But I’m one of those who thinks that writing the last book will be much easier for GRRM for multiple reasons.
    a) There has to be an end. Once you start seeing light at the end of the tunnel (is there a metaphor like this in English?), everything will go easier and faster for him
    b) There has to be an end. I expect that we will have by the end of the last book as many POV characters as we had in the beginning of the first book, this means that sometime GRRM has to stop including more and more characters (probably just a few new in TWOW and none in ADOS) and continue killing more and more characters (Valar Morghulis!)… and finally:
    c) There has to be an end. And GRRM already knows it. He won’t need much time thinking of how the story will continue, I believe for some characters (who make it as POV into the final pages) he already has a plan how they will get to the place where they will be at the end. He just has to write it done.

    On TWOW I’m not sure.. we will have to analyze his comments about it on TV shows his “Not a blog”-blog etc. Does he change his answering-phrase about the release? That mostly indicates some kind of progress.. but I think we will here something by himself at the end of the year.

  85. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I won da GwD pubquiz: I have been hearing seven as their goal, but as they have already made season 3 two seasons, this obviously is impossible.

    Why?

    S4- ASOS + some AFFC and ADWD.
    S5- AFFC + ADWD (and probably some TWOW, just to have something major – like a battle – happening in E9).
    S6- TWOW.
    S7- ADOS.

    Seems doable to me.

  86. Nick Larter
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if ASOIAF will end up making media history – say if GRRM throws in the towel on the books after TWoW, with the conclusion to the saga existing only as a TV show, with him penning all ten scripts.

  87. RhymeswithWeak
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I have never really been sure of how writing his POV style would allow him to bring it all together….like if Dany were to come to King’s landing and the WW get there too….and who knows who else is there…lannisters, stannis, Jon, Bran, greyjoys, etc….

    If you have all of them in the same room who’s POV do you read?

    I can only imagine that multiple things happen in multiple places….and there is no real end….but maybe a new truce with someone kneeling before another and the next 100 years of peace….blah, blah, blah.

    Perhaps a Stark restores Winterfell….and some group drives off the white walkers….and spring is coming.

    Who is the last POV? What does the last Epilogue entail?

  88. Jacarb
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    AJN:
    I have no doubt Martin will finish the books before the show catches up. It’s my belief that he’s playing coy with his progress because it keeps people from guessing release dates and bugging him more. With his head start on TWoW and the way the story has begun to narrow, I’d be willing to bet we’ll see a release next year. That gives him about 3 years for the last book, which should almost write itself at that point. I mean, he took 8 years to pen 3 books with no starting point, so finishing the final 2 in 7 years should definitely be doable.

    I completely agree with the idea that the writing is only going to get faster.

    I think of the various narrative arcs of the story branching out and coming together again like the outline of a football. The whole “Meereenese Knot” issue exemplified the middle part, when the author struggled to keep the plots from growing out of control (with varied success, too). This would make Winds of Winter the book that starts funneling the plots back together. It’s a hard task, but it also means the path is going to be clearer/already thought through when it comes to Dream of Spring.

    So, yeah, I expect the last book to be done faster than the last few.

    That said, I really don’t mind if the show catches up. It has GRRM’s blessing, and that is worth everything. I’ve never heard a compelling argument as to why experiencing a lesser version first takes away from the greater version, later. And in the year between the show revealing the ending and the book coming out, I could get hit by a bus.

    Also, who is to say the books are going to be the better version of the story, at that point? Which was more promising, the last book or the last season?

  89. gosensgo
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    are the spoilers in this article? i havent read it yet andim unsullied

  90. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    El Beto: It would be great for us readers to actually see the Rebellion or the Targaryens or the early Starks or some other story.

    “For us readers” are the key words here. We aren’t the majority of viewers.

  91. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Nick Larter: with him penning all ten scripts.

    Won’t happen. This is D&D’s (and Cogman’s and Taylor’s, to some extent) show. There’s no way they’d let him take over like that.

  92. King Tommen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    For those saying they won’t watch the show if it passes the book, I’ll believe that when I see it… that’s an awful lot of willpower that hasn’t been on display throughout the fandom that I’ve witnessed.

    And to what end? Are you going to stay off the internet for however number of years it takes for the books to come out? I can guarantee you that show watchers aren’t going to give a shit about the small handful of book readers who are attempting not to hear spoilerl details. The end of the show and who ends up living/dying/triumphing is going to be a part of pop culture, you won’t be able to escape from that information unless you plan on moving to Antarctica and cutting yourself off from humanity.

    And I have no sympathy for Martin if this is what happens. He was the one who greenlit the whole process in the first place with this exact eventuality a distinct possibility. Everyone had their eyes wide open to this. And the amount of time given is a perfectly reasonable range for any author to produce 2 books. He’s even done it before with this very series with his first 3 books. It shouldn’t take anyone 5-6 years to write the next volume of a story you’ve already had up and running, especially if as George has mentioned, he knows for the most part where everything is going already.

  93. I won da GwD pubquiz
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    babar: Why?

    S4- ASOS + some AFFC and ADWD.
    S5- AFFC + ADWD (and probably some TWOW, just to have something major – like a battle – happening in E9).
    S6- TWOW.
    S7- ADOS.

    Seems doable to me.

    I totally respect your opinion (and anything is possible), but when I made that statement, I was thinking about a few things. Most importantly:

    #1 – ASoS is 973 pages for the US hardback according to wikipedia. The total number of pages for the US hardbacks for AFFC and ADwD is 1793. Even operating under the assumption that HALF of season 4 will be AFFC/ADwD (which I personally doubt would extend beyond groundlaying in any case), that means the middle of season 4 through the end of season 5 will deal with TWICE the length in the same amount of time, and the story is already highly condensed.

    #2 – While it is true that AFFC in particular can be trimmed of some fat, in AFFC and ADWD it feels like we have more and more locations and characters than ever before, which will require substantially more show resources/production teams.

    These are the reasons I believe the two books require two seasons. But like I said before, anything is possible and I respect your opinion.

  94. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Kevin,

    Maybe a Pre-Got/Dunk & Egg or Robert’s Rebellion filler-season in between?

    This would make me happy too but how would they keep the present characters still in the audience’s mind? Like the EW article said, shows are like sharks, they have to keep moving. They could use present day story with flashbacks but they’ve explicitly said, no flashbacks/dreams except for Bran. One way they could tell that background AND extend the current material is to expand upon Bran’s ability to see the past. So we know Bran will most likely discover this ability next Season….

    I really want to know more about Rhaegar and I would love, love, love to see some of Lyanna’s story particularly the “laughing knight”.

  95. Joey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    El Beto,

    I really agree with the mini series thing. No matter what i hope HBO does Dunk and EGG. There so much backstory and it also has a lot more humor in it.

    El Beto:

    Alex Dubrovsky: Do you know why Spartacus did the miniseries and do you think that the reasons are comparable?Sorry for not spoiler-coding the spoilery parts of my posts. I just thought that since this discussion ‘ill definitely go to the future material and beyond, it wasn’t really necessary.

    Sorry i dont wanna sound like an insensitive jerk but yes its still comparable. Just cause the main actor was sick and eventually passed doesnt mean you cant compare it to a series catching up with books. Opposite. It makes it better to compare becaues it would be a series doing a similar thing for a different reason. Thats what comparing is. Again not to sound insensitive to Andy Whitfield because that was a trajedy and he played that role amazingly.

  96. ShadowStalker
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    How about this idea… 7 seasons… but the final season is a “super sized season” 14-16 episodes, with half of it shown one year and the final chunk shown the following…

    Think Breaking Bad.

  97. jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Hey fire, here’s some wood:
    http://youtu.be/BUp_RtzYMhk?t=1m
    EDIT: To be clearer, he’s a quarter done :(

  98. tazer
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    By all means, if show finishes earlier I’ll still read the books, just to know GRRM’s version and character’s POV in-depth.
    D&D could also change some things, assuming they would know the ending in details. Even killing off/sparing some/different characters wouldn’t bother me, as long as it sticks together.

    Yet write, George, write like the wind… ./’

  99. Bard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    babar: Three seasons of ADWD and AFFC?

    Three seasons of Tyrion travelling through Essos? Three seasons of Daenerys ruling a city at the other end of the world? Three seasons of Jon making preparations for the arrival of the WW (“we promise you, they ARE coming”)? Three seasons of Brienne walking around Westeros? Three seasons of Bran sitting in a cave? Three seasons of Arya training on another continent?…

    Come on. AFFC and ADWD will cover 1.5 seasons maximum.

    This. AFFC/ADWD will form a part of season 4, season 5 (completely) and maybe a part of season 6. Otherwise the show will probably be cancelled after season 6.

  100. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    gosensgo:
    are the spoilers in this article? i havent read it yet andim unsullied

    Nope. There are no spoilers in my post or the EW interview itself.

  101. Indii
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been following the books since early 2005 when I read the first three ones. And I was quite happy when I saw the next book would come out by autumn that same year. It was only a little later when I found out how long it was since the previous book. The discussion reports were pretty much the same as five years later when ADWD was about to come out. Martin used to say or hint at that he’d be done with it quite soon. And then it took him another two years. And he is not going to be finished faster this time, not with his heightened popularity and all that stuff.
    I agree that the show is so big by now, it has its own momentum and won’t wait for GRRM. But I am also sure he won’t let anybody help him writing. I don’t have a source write now, but I think he said that he wouldn’t allow anyone else to finish the series if he died. So why would he let anybody else write for him while he’s still alive?
    I also agree that the writers/producers of the show are in a bit of denial right now. Of course, we might all be wrong, but based on my experience with this series of books over the last 8 years, I agree with the ones saying that the show will catch up with the books rather sooner than later. I doubt that TWOW will be out tow years from now. And if the show needs at least parts of that book for season six, then that’s going to be a problem. Given that the show is not cancelled due to other reasons by then, they will have to come up with a solution.

  102. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The Young Wolf,

    worried that GRRM is going to rush himself…not take the time to make the books as a best as they can be.

    I don’t think he will because he has been so adamant that the story takes as long as it takes. He’s dealt with that question by now probably thousands of times and he is sticking to that answer. He seems to be a true artist, meaning that he writes because he feels compelled to tell stories and his first goal is to please himself. But different stories get into his head and come to the forefront at different times. For example, I do a lot of artwork but I will stop in the middle of one work and work on another because there was something that compelled me to do so. And in the end, if someone likes my work, great. If they don’t, oh well. So the point is the creative process isn’t always linear and it gets finished when it gets finished. If he didn’t feel that dedication to art for art’s sake, he’d have caved to the pressure a long time ago and just put out any old thing.

  103. Joey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    babar: “For us readers” are the key words here. We aren’t the majority of viewers.

    dont you think that show fans would love to see young Ned, Robert, Tywin, etc. kicking ass all over westeros. And Mad King Arys would be really fun to see portrayed on screen. If the Show wont do Flashbacks this is a way to get the info the show watchers arent getting

  104. Joan Català
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I still think that when Boardwalk Empire is cancelled it would be a good opportunity to gain six months time by moving GOT from Spring to the Fall. Fans would have to wait 18 months instead of 12.

    Filmingwise it would make sense too, since they now film most of the stuff during the summer, but with winter coming to Westeros it would make sense to film during the winter season, especially in Northern Ireland.

  105. Just A Random
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I think ppl who want to slide an extra year in to give martin more time may not realize how difficult that could be logistically. Salary negotiations, the kids growing up, production costs, etc not to mention “lost momentum”. I can’t think of a hit show that basically took a year off then came back. Let alone coming back for one final season and on a premium network no less. Martin has had plenty of time to finish and he hasn’t.

  106. Brightroar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Helllll NO. I would not be ok with the show ending before the books. Me being an avid book reading I feel the books are better than the show, don’t get me wrong the show is incredible but GRRM’s imagination doesn’t have a budget and the sad fact is that the show does. I don’t want D&D skimping on the ending George has in mind, just like they did with the battle of the blackwater and the house of the undying.

  107. Bowl of Brown
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    babar: Why?

    S4- ASOS + some AFFC and ADWD.
    S5- AFFC + ADWD (and probably some TWOW, just to have something major – like a battle – happening in E9).
    S6- TWOW.
    S7- ADOS.

    Seems doable to me.

    Subtle indictments of ADWD nourish my soul.

  108. Dtones520
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    I’d personally read the books first and then watch the show. Plus I don’t think they will catch up. It will be close, but I don’t think the last book will take George incredibly long to write, as all the pieces should be in place and he should just be telling the endgame.

    2014-Season 4 finishing aSoS and George releases tWoW
    2015-Season 5 aFFC/aDWD
    2016 – Season 6 finish aFFC/aDWD possibly start tWoW
    2017- Season 7 tWoW- GRRM finishes and releases aDoS
    2018- Season 8 aDoS

  109. Zack
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Winds of Winter will release in time for them to prepare Game of Thrones season 7. It might even be out by season 5, though that seems unlikely. I expect it to release mid-to-late 2015. And then the final book early to mid-2019 or so. The final book should have fewer characters to deal with (book 6 will be main and secondary character deaths all over the place) and might be a quicker write for him as a result.

    Given that, yeah, the show is going to finish before A Dream of Spring is done. I expect the show to get 8 seasons, wouldn’t be surprised at 7 though, with a very small outside chance at 9 that I think would be overkill. I don’t think there will be a break, I don’t think they will do any prequel series, and I don’t expect any filming on Dunk & Egg to make any difference in filming the main series. They’re not going to use Dunk & Egg as a placeholder, because of kids aging, actor contracts, and everything else.

    But you know what? I’m okay with experiencing the saga ending on television ahead of the books. It would be kind of a fun role reversal, getting to be an Unsullied for a stretch of the program. I’d read the books when they release anyway, and I know what it’s like to read first. I think I would enjoy watching first.

  110. Just A Random
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    gosensgo:
    are the spoilers in this article? i havent read it yet andim unsullied

    If you’re referring to the Hibbert article, no, I don’t believe so. I’m Unsullied as well and as far as I can remember nothing came up about show substance.

    *edit* just reread to be sure, no spoilers. It’s all about show logistics, same vein of conversation as the original post.

  111. Ed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    This right here. No big deal. I’ll watch and enjoy the show, then read and LOVE the books.

    Winter Is Coming: It is my opinion that they are going to catch up to the books and we will see the end of the series on TV before reading about it in the books. It seems HBO and the writers are in a bit of denial over that likelihood. Would you be okay with that? Or would you try to avoid the show so as not to spoil the books? Personally, I’d rather read about it first, but if the show catches up, so be it. I will watch it and enjoy it and then read the books when they come out to get a slightly longer, more in-depth and, maybe even different, ending.

  112. Endless Giraffe
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Personally I have said for a long time that March 2015 would see the release of TWOW and sometime in 2018 will be the release of ADOS. I still hold to those predictions.

  113. Jake Umber
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Not sure how some of you are thinking this show will go for 9, 10, or 11 seasons. There literally is a 0% chance of that happening. Bran would be 24 years old filming the 10th season. It would be near impossible to keep the same cast for that long, with contract negotiations, and I’m sure some of them would get sick of it. There is no precedent for a show of this magnitude lasting more than 6 or 7 seasons.

    My prediction (based on the producer’s words and Lena Headey’s newest comments) is that this show will last 7 seasons.

    Breakdown:
    2011 (season 1): aGoT
    2012 (season 2): aCoK
    2013 (season 3): aSoS pt 1
    2014 (season 4): aSoS, and some parts of aFFC/aDWD depending on storylines
    ====>tWoW release late 2014 or early 2015
    2015 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD
    2016 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD/tWoW
    2017 (season 6): tWoW/aDoS
    2018 (season 7): aDoS (maybe some tWoW)

    This gives George between 3 to 4 years to write and publish a Dream of Spring. I think it will be close but it is definitely possible.
    Mark my words!

  114. jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    Hey fire, here’s some wood:
    http://youtu.be/BUp_RtzYMhk?t=1m
    EDIT: To be clearer, he’s a quarter done :(

    I’ll just go ahead and requote myself since I wasn’t clear in the original post. By the time I edited it, it was above a sea of new comments. So here: GEORGE HAS FINISHED AROUND A QUARTER AS OF APRIL 2013.

  115. LordStarkington
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I would probably prefer the books end the story first, just having started with them all those years ago, but I’d be surprised if GRRM beat the show to it. It’s not something that particularly bothers me, though, and it’s not like he hasn’t had plenty of time.

  116. Joey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    babar: babar

    With this logic someone could of made this argument for why the show shouldnt take three season for books 1 through half of 3.
    Come on 3 seasons of Jon pouting in the snow. Three seasons of Bran pouting about his legs. Three season of Dany pouting about ships. Three Season of jamie walking and in a cell. Three seasons of catelyn crying about ned. Three seasons of cercsie making Kiera Knightly face. Three season of tyrion drinking and being awsome(just kidding a think everyone can agree that would be awesome.)
    Come one AGOT ACOC ASOS 1.5 seasons max

  117. John W
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    What happens?

    “…human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”

  118. NewJeffCT
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I think Mr. Martin had unusual problems with A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. He had started to write them with a five year gap after ASOS, but then ditched that idea and started all over again when he realized the 5 year gap wasn’t working.

    He’s also a former TV writer, so does know how to write with deadlines involved. So, I’m hoping by Christmas 2014, we can get Winds of Winter.

    This is my thoughts:
    Season 4 in 2014 is the remainder of ASOS, with bits of Feast and Dance
    Christmas 2014 is Winds of Winter
    Season 5 in 2015 is the remainder of FfC and DwD.
    Season 6 in 2016 is the Winds of Winter
    Season 7 in 2017 is The Tales of Dunk & Egg prequels. A Dream of Spring released in 2017
    Season 8 in 2018 is an extended 13 episode season of A Dream of Spring

    I could also see them extending DwD into 2016, and then finishing up season 6 with the start of Winds of Winter (if Winds is delayed to 2015). That would put the remainder of Winds into 2017, Dunk & Egg into 2018 and A Dream of Spring into 2019.

  119. Just A Random
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    WiC should put up a poll, do you want the show to catch up / pass the books? Are you sullied or Unsullied?

    It’d be interesting to see what the community wants.

  120. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I won da GwD pubquiz,
    This isn’t mathematics.

    I’ll just repeat myself:

    Three seasons of Tyrion travelling through Essos? Three seasons of Daenerys ruling a city at the other end of the world? Three seasons of Jon making preparations for the arrival of the WW (“we promise you, they ARE coming”)? Three seasons of Brienne walking around Westeros? Three seasons of Bran sitting in a cave? Three seasons of Arya training on another continent?…

    Just replace “three” with “two”. My point still remains.

    I won da GwD pubquiz: #2 – While it is true that AFFC in particular can be trimmed of some fat, in AFFC and ADWD it feels like we have more and more locations and characters than ever before, which will require substantially more show resources/production teams.

    Exactly. That’s why they’ll have to cut a lot of stuff (and since some of it is just well written filler, it won’t be missed anyway).

  121. Joey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Theres basically one person you have to worry about aging. Bran but since Branmight be a tree for the rest of the books it wont matter

  122. mariamb
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    shywalker: I can’t see the show going past seven or eight seasons, and I can’t see them stretching AFFC/ADWD into more than 1.5 of those seasons (beginning with mixing in some of those books into the back half of season 4). My bet would be on GRRM beating them (just barely) with TWOW before they both cross the finish line together for ADOS.

    I agree. The show will last a total of 7 or 8 seasons, regardless of whether or not GRRM has finished writing. I imagine that everyone involved in this production will want to move on to other endeavors since this seems to be an all-consuming project for many of them.

    If I had to guess, I would say that the show will finish ahead of the books. I think that the odds of GRRM finishing both books by 2018 – only 5 years from now – are slim.

    Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying that this is an ideal scenario. I’m not sure what the ideal scenario actually is. I certainly don’t want the show to “take a break” to enable the books to catch up. HBO will continue moving forward with this show; they aren’t waiting for anyone. GRRM will continue to write at his pace…as he feels comfortable. I doubt that both will end together. We can only wait and see.

    Personally, I would watch the show “finish” the story and wait for the book to come later.

  123. King Tommen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ:
    The Young Wolf,

    I don’t think he will because he has been so adamant that the story takes as long as it takes.He’s dealt with that question by now probably thousands of times and he is sticking to that answer.He seems to be a true artist, meaning that he writes because he feels compelled to tell stories and his first goal is to please himself.But different stories get into his head and come to the forefront at different times.For example, I do a lot of artwork but I will stop in the middle of one work and work on another because there was something that compelled me to do so.And in the end, if someone likes my work, great.If they don’t, oh well.So the point is the creative process isn’t always linear and it gets finished when it gets finished.If he didn’t feel that dedication to art for art’s sake, he’d have caved to the pressure a long time ago and just put out any old thing.

    At the same time, it does appear as if Martin took on the whole HBO project in part to give him a motivating factor to help him finish his books. He definitely wants to have his books out prior to the end of the series so I think him simply saying “they’ll be done when they’re done” is not entirely accurate. He’s trying to push himself to finish within a given timeframe.

  124. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Joey: dont you think that show fans would love to see young Ned, Robert, Tywin, etc. kicking ass all over westeros. And Mad King Arys would be really fun to see portrayed on screen.

    No, I don’t think they would.

    They already know how that story ends: Jaime kills Aerys, Robert wins the war. What they want to know is how the story they’ve already been following for years ends.

  125. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    I agree. Some purists will probably be so angry at the show for spoiling the ending for them. It’s not like D&D stole the story. GRRM sold them the rights and told them the end. It’s up to him to finish the books in time.
    Whichever comes first, I will eagerly devour both.

  126. G_Lee
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I believe George will move his ass and finish the books just before the show catches up. The series are his life and he doesn’t want it to be finished by anyone else but him. I know he always said he’s been busy and writing as fast as he can but I just don’t believe it’s true. If you are really pushed – and George is pushed at the moment – you can always do faster. Faster doesn’t mean better though so while I believe George will be done before the show I also believe that it will slightly diminish the quality of his books. Nevermind I want them out.
    Even if the show finishes first I’ll wait watching the show until the books are ready.

  127. MUGger
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my suggestion (GRRM, are you reading?): pull a Charles Dickens and serialize the remaining two books into multiple books. 20 chapters done? Put them out as “Winds of Winter – The North (or “Mereen”. or “Kings Landing” — whatever).

    Readers don’t bitch, you stay ahead of the show, and you take smaller bites of the larger problem. Hey, it worked for Dickens – the only drawback is that you can’t change your mind and rewrite chapters. Oh -wait…

  128. jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: ts will

    The thing is, even if D&D refuse to go on HBO will just find new writers, and they will surely do it worse than D&D. I think they have both come to terms with the fact that if the show will outpace the books they will keep writing it. What they can do is change the story completely- and I think they should make that decision next year.

  129. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m in agreement with some other posters that there could be an ongoing business factor in play. This series has an opportunity to make a lot of people lots of money. GRRM is purposefully being very coy with any TWoW news and is probably further ahead than many believe. I would like to know what the real delay was for AFfC and ADwD. Five years for each, when much of both were written simultaneously? Meereenese knot or not, he probably had a contractual arrangement with HBO to time ADwD’s release with the advertisement of the GoT series.

    In any case, I would not want to see the GoT series arrive before the books, with D&D going in their own direction. The books are filled which such good dialogue and descriptions that have been abundantly displayed in the series. These are GRRM’s brilliant ideas that make the show’s visualizations so wonderful. Although D&D are talented adaptors of the novels, with some interesting independent scenes and characters, they would probably get lost within the series without good text to work with. Maybe GRRM could feed them tidbits but it wouldn’t be the same.

    Books first, then film.

  130. Bard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Joey: With this logic someone could of made this argument for why the show shouldnt take three season for books 1 through half of 3.Come on 3 seasons of Jon pouting in the snow. Three seasons of Bran pouting about his legs. Three season of Dany pouting about ships. Three Season of jamie walking and in a cell. Three seasons of catelyn crying about ned. Three seasons of cercsie making Kiera Knightly face. Three season of tyrion drinking and being awsome(just kidding a think everyone can agree that would be awesome.)Come one AGOT ACOC ASOS 1.5 seasons max

    Well, there’s a lot more stuff happening in AGOT, ACOK and ASOS compared to AFFC and ADWD. Please tell me, if those books cover 2 or 3 seasons, which season finales are we going to get in season 5 and 6 (or even 7)?

  131. Jared
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    sCor:
    8 Seasons seems to be the be the perfect number for the show.

    Season 4: Remaning 1/3 of ASOS with some storylines advancing into AFFC/ADWD

    Season 5: AFFC/ADWD

    Season 6: TWOW

    Season 7: TWOW/ADOS

    Season 8: ADOS

    I don’t think they will catch up, before he releases the 6th book. He hasalready finished 50% of the book. But they will almost certainly catch up for the final book.

    This would be my ideal structure for the rest of the series as well. I think that 8 seasons would be the perfect number creatively (although I recognize that the contract renegotiations would be difficult). I think that they can do it in seven if it’s practically necessary and they are efficiency in streaming and culling the more unwieldy aspects of the post-ASOS novels. Nine seasons is more than a little unrealistic. Ten or more is pure fantasy.

    I agree that GRRM will have completed The Winds of Winter before Benioff and Weiss need to start filming material from that point in the story (maybe the book itself won’t have been released before they start filming, but they’ll get to read it early, and then the book will be released around the time that the season airs). However, it’s a virtual certainty that the TV series will wrap up before A Dream of Spring is out in print.

    And yes, when that happens I will continue to watch the TV series as it surpasses the books and concludes before them. My enjoyment of the books will not be lessened to the slightest degree by knowing some of what’s coming based on the show. It’s always been my opinion that when it comes to great storytelling, it’s much more about the journey than the destination, which is one of the reasons that I never really care if I get spoiled (even if I don’t actively seek spoilers out). If I find the story to be rich enough, then even if I know exactly what’s coming, I can still be riveted by the choices that the writer makes as he or she guides me to that moment, and by what the characters are thinking and feeling as they live out their destiny.

    Some of the greatest enjoyment I’ve gotten from watching the TV series is anticipating the moments that I know are coming from reading the book, and seeing how those moments play out on screen. I expect that I will experience a similar level of anticipation when the roles exchanged. Indeed, I think it will be an interesting change of pace, and ultimately I expect that the ending will be different in some form, even if the broad principles and character fates are similar.

    I can understand GRRM’s complicated feelings about the issue, because it is ultimately his story … but he’s in control of his own writing pace. Furthermore, I understand and appreciate the economic and practical realities of a major television production of this scale cannot be altered, and I don’t want them to compromise on the quality of the production just so they can be stringently faithful to the books. GRRM gave Benioff and Weiss permission to start telling his unfinished story on television, knowing that it was unfinished, and knowing that this outcome was a possibility, even if he didn’t expect it or want it to play out that way. D&D have told his story quite brilliantly, with the help of an exceptional cast of actors. I want to see the story end on television, just as brilliantly, with that same cast, in a timely but realistic fashion. If that means I have to start the last book knowing in broad strokes the fates of most of the characters … so be it.

  132. Peter
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    They must slow down with the series. There is still much to tell. Lets see more epic battles and fightscenes and there you have much screentime and still excitement in the storytelling. The heroes can also live longer. Forget the ages of the kids. They must grow up. That cannot be the problem!!! Don’t be afraid to do 12 seasons!!!!

  133. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James:
    GeekFurious,

    Actors in successful shows usually seek to renegotiate their contracts well before season 6 – often around season 4 in fact. See the much-publicized negotiation battles for the Sopranos and Modern Family, for instance.

    In recent years HBO has a good track record of managing these negotiations quietly – but point is, it’s likely the show is going to get significantly more expensive by next year (if not before).

    This just isn’t accurate. The issue with SOPRANOS occurred due to HBO not signing the talent up for extra seasons. Studios and networks have learned their lesson now.

    The MODERN FAMILY issue was about the cast threatening to not sign extensions past their 7-year contracts. They were leveraging the show’s popularity to get increased salaries BEFORE their current contracts were up. They then sued and refused to show up for a table read to hammer that point home (the studio could have sued them right back but instead negotiated terms to satisfy everyone involved).

    The vast majority of actors sign AT LEAST six year contracts now. That’s to avoid these problems. HBO might feel the need to sign a few of the actors up for extensions now (as happened with MODERN FAMILY) but without knowing how long each character might stay on the show and how long those contracts would need to be extended, the issue I mentioned is amplified.

  134. Listen 2 Ghost!
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I can tell you exactly what will happen. There will be fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes, and the dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!

  135. Balerion
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    I think GRRM has that all written out in his contract with HBO. Don”t think GRRM will have HBO tell his ending before the books end.

  136. gisizzlah
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I would hate to think that the show will catch up with the books… though it seems likely…
    However, I think we can easily get 8 seasons up to TWOW and a feature film or 2 for ADOS…without wearing out the novelty of the show…

    if Sex and the City did it so can Game of Thrones….

    I know GRRM is a not a fast writer… but i love the lengths that he goes to with little details… the way he can make you taste the food or smell the air as if you are a part of the world of Westros and Essos… and i think everyone wont be too pleased if the reading experience for the last 2 books feels rushed because of these ‘deadlines’

    So let the man do his thing ya’ll… but D&D dont spoil the books!!

  137. VARGOAT
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    If they going to catch up i hope they will produce the last season and will wait (a year or so) until martin is done with his book and release it afterward.

  138. Selmy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I think that DWD and FFC could be done in a single season. They are big books but not nearly as much happens in them. FFC especially is internal thoughts, (Cersei and Brienne especially). Think about the big events in them – FFC… erm… erm… literally none.
    DWD -
    Daznak’s Pit
    Ramsay’s wedding and the whole plot at Winterfell involving Roose, Wyman, Reek, Mance etc
    Jon’s death
    Stannis’ campaign

    I just think that the character arcs will be way too stretched out if they’re across more than 1 season. Take Jon for example -

    He is elected Lord Commander in the season 4 finale. He spends season 5 being Lord Commander, making difficult decisions, executing Janos, allowing the wildlings through the wall etc then he’s betrayed and knifed in the season 5 finale. It would just be too dragged out if it went over a season I think.

  139. Balerion
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    When HBO catches up, they should make a season about the war of the usurper.

  140. Morgan King
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    For dozens of business reasons, there’s little chance the narrative of the show will pass the narrative of the books, it might leave us with a somewhat rushed conclusion, but given GRRM’s love of intricately detailing the world he created, perhaps a bit of a rush – if the major story points are already well formed – might not be such a bad thing.

    I’m guessing we see the release of Book 7 alongside the release of Season 7 for maximum zeitgeist.

  141. Nikola S
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The way I see it is:

    Second half of book three is season 4 – 2014
    First half of book four and five is season 5 – 2015 (since I heard that 4 & 5 take place at the same time)
    Second half of four and five is season 6 – 2016

    So George has until then to turn out the next book, but then he will have a maximum of 1,5 years before the show gets ahead of him. Since book six could be at the most two seasons if its like book three. After that they are ahead of him. So there is a very big risk of them getting ahead of him because he is so slow at writing the books.

    But if he gets the sixth book out by the end of 2014, then he will have 3-4 years to write the last book. So he better step on it, any slower then a 2014 release of book 6 and he will be in a lot of trouble.

    Unsullied here, so no spoilers please

  142. Horry
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The only one with THE correct answer is George himself and he will not share it with us anyway. Therefore all speculation, altough enjoyable is actually groping in the dark like a white walker in Florida….
    I know for sure that neither D&D, nor HBO nor George ever expected that the show would be such a huge success. If they would have they would never ever increased the age of the Stark children in the beginning. And let’s face it: can you imagine another actor / actress replacing Isaac or Maisie because they would be too old in a couple of seasons to be believable? Heck, they already grew a lot since the very first episode.

  143. telobsidion
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I feel a bit ridiculous saying this, but I’d stop watching the show until after I’d read the books. I want the books to be my first experience.

  144. John
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    Hey fire, here’s some wood:
    http://youtu.be/BUp_RtzYMhk?t=1m
    EDIT: To be clearer, he’s a quarter done :(

    Some more wood:
    “I’ve already written 400 pages of my sixth book. However, of these 400 pages, only 200 are really finished because I still have to revise the other 200 pages, which are in a rough version and I still have to work on them a lot. But you have to keep in mind that the last book, Dance with Dragons, was 1.500 pages long and this one will be more or less the same extension, so I have a lot of work. I hope after this tour I can go back home in order to write as a possessed man. But the sixth volume won’t be released in 2012 or in 2013. I really look forward to publishing it in 2014, but I am really bad for predictions, you may know it. And then, there is another fact: when I finish this saga I will be judged for the quality of the books, not for the speed of my writing.”
    GRRM about half a year ago
    Source: http://www.adriasnews.com/2012/10/george-r-r-martin-interview.html?spref=tw
    The interview is worth to read. Spoilers for the books (even for book 1) are by default hidden.

    To summarise:
    In October 2012 he had 200 pages done and in March 2013 a quarter (about 400 pages?) done..
    Edit: But as he said, he was on a tour in october, so no time for writing much and now he already has finished the script for his episode in season 4 and all the tour stuff for season 3 was in the beginning of 2013.

    Ending on a fun fact:
    On the German Amazon page you can preorder “The Winds of Winter” for 10€ as a paperback version. Amazon can also give you the total count of pages: 704. :D
    http://www.amazon.de/b%C3%BCcher/dp/000648610X

  145. el
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The number of pages in a book does not dictate how many seasons it gets. It is about content and what pushes the narrative forward. ASOS has lots of content. AFFC and ADWD, although they are large books, have lots of filler that will not translate well to tv. I could see HBO maybe getting 1.5 to 2 seasons out of them collectively.

  146. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Joey: Come on 3 seasons of Jon pouting in the snow. Three seasons of Bran pouting about his legs. Three season of Dany pouting about ships. Three Season of jamie walking and in a cell. Three seasons of catelyn crying about ned. Three seasons of cercsie making Kiera Knightly face. Three season of tyrion drinking and being awsome(just kidding a think everyone can agree that would be awesome.)
    Come one AGOT ACOC ASOS 1.5 seasons max

    Ok.

    So, Bran. He has 18 chapters in AGOT, ACOK and ASOS combined… and 3 in ADWD (2 of which will probably be covered next season.. how do you manage to stretch out 1 chapter over 3 seasons?).

    Tyrion. 30 chapters at this point in the books, all of them freaking interesting, since they’re directly connected to the Game of Thrones. In ADWD, he has 12 chapters… 12 chapters of travelling on another continent entirely. How do you manage to stretch this out over 3 seasons without having your audience start losing patience?

    Jon and Daenerys. There’s no mistaking it: everyone in the audience knows that they’re bound to become a big deal by the end of the series. The Game of Thrones will mean nothing once Daenerys and the WW invade Westeros… as a result they’re already starting to lose patience: “Yeah they’re all coming,” they say, “but when exactly?”

    Do you really suggest that the answer to that is supposed to be “not before.. SEASON 8?” That’s 5 years from now. Just how long do you think they can keep teasing the invasion of Westeros from the North and the East before TV viewers start to think that it might just be BS in the end?

  147. Tar Kidho
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    What happens when Game of Thrones catches up to the books?

    Well, obviously this would leed to a fatal space-time discontinuity causing the Universe to implode, followed by the next (or previous?) Big Bang!

  148. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    Good points. I wonder if recurring roles are ever factored in, as some characters
    take a hiatus . It would certainly free them up for other projects.

    Most of them have had movie or theatre projects. I hope this continues to appeal
    to whomever staying on or new cast entrees.

  149. Jim Cross
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    funny thought….
    I would like to think that I would wait to read the final book before watching the last season. What would be very amusing though is the role reversal. Suddenly the Unsullied would be the ones holding all of the spoilers and the book readers would be the ones all worried about accidentally hearing something.

  150. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    I’m in agreement with some other posters that there could be an ongoing business factor in play. This series has an opportunity to make a lot of people lots of money.GRRM is purposefully being very coy with any TWoW news and is probably further ahead than many believe. I would like to know what the real delay was for AFfC and ADwD. Five years for each, when much of both were written simultaneously? Meereenese knot or not, he probably had a contractual arrangement with HBO to time ADwD’s release with the advertisement of the GoT series.

    In any case, I would not want to see the GoT series arrive before the books, with D&D going in their own direction. The books are filled which such good dialogue and descriptions that have been abundantly displayed in the series. These are GRRM’s brilliant ideas that make the show’s visualizations so wonderful. Although D&D are talented adaptors of the novels, with some interesting independent scenes and characters, they would probably get lost within the series without good text to work with. Maybe GRRM could feed them tidbits but it wouldn’t be the same.

    Books first, then film.

    I agree, whole heartedly . I’m recollecting Adam Whitehead’s subject post about
    this topic as well. Much is brewing in tinseltown about this. Helps too that
    Benioff & Weiss have been privy to certain facts that readers don’t yet know.

  151. Liz B.
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    bleh,

    I didn’t realize conspiracy theorists hung out on WiC…odd.

  152. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Jim Cross,

    Not likely. The ” sullied ” have had nearly a decade to speculate on the subject (:

  153. Maxwell James
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough – I’m not saying GoT will suddenly have a contract dispute like the Sopranos or Modern Family. I’m saying that quiet negotiation occurs throughout an actor’s six-year contract, and that we’re now at a point to start expecting some significant bumps. Whether those are the result of open negotiations or just options built into the original contract is immaterial.

    Look: in 2010, True Blood was at the apex of its popularity, and Anna Paquin was making $75,000/episode. Two seasons later she and her co-stars were making $200,000/episode. TB is often quoted as having a budget of $3 million per episode, but based on the stars’ contracts alone I’m pretty sure it’s much higher than that by now.

    While no one on GoT will ever be paid so much for the show, it’s also a much larger cast, so the aggregate increase in compensation is still likely to be huge. You’re right of course that should there be a seventh and/or eighth season, the cost will skyrocket even more.

  154. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness the days of TrueBlood series are numbered, GoT could use
    the funding .

  155. Darquemode
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I think D&D have had a tentative and vague “8 year plan” from the very beginning.. and hopes of the series going that long. This did not take into account kids ages or locking actors down for the series though. Things will be in a fluid state with various factors making them adjust.

    I think they started out thinking:
    Season 1 – AGOT (100%)
    Season 2 – ACOK (100%)
    Season 3 – ASOS (the first 60%)
    Season 4 – ASOS (second 40% + AFFC (Iron Islands and Dorne chapters)
    Season 5 – AFFC/ ADWD (the first 60% with mixes arcs and new scenes)
    Season 6 – AFFC/ ADWD (the second 40% with mixes arcs and new scenes)/ TWOW (details to fill out arcs)
    Season 7 – TWOW
    Season 8 – ADOS
    Season 9 – Would only happen if TWOW and ADOS were story packed and long enough to provide 3 seasons between the 2 books.

    By that schedule if GRRM releases TWOW next year he can have 3 years to write ADOS. Feasible, but maybe unlikely.

    I think D&D are trying o figure out how to add one more year to that schedule not shrink it! . HBO and D&D have mentioned prequels and I would suspect that is one option of extending the timeline they are considering. a switch to a Summer start date could give them some extra months, but that comes with another set of issues of course.

    Honestly, at this point D&D can stay on their original plan (as I see it) without any adjustments. Season 4 will be the conclusion of ASOS with the Iron Island chapters. After next year and 2 years of AFFC/ADWD (yes there is absolutely 2 years of material) they will have a good idea of how far GRRM has progressed and how they will have to structure the final 2-4 seasons.

    As I see it, the series will not be 7 seasons or shorter. Period.
    By my schedule above that allows a possibility that GRRM could complete ASOIAF on time. Considering how badly he and D&D want that to happen I see that as the most likely outcome honestly.

    Regardless, there is no reason to worry about it at this point. Check back in 2 or 3 years once Season 6 concludes and D&D/ HBO know how GRRM is progressing. At that point it will be make or break for GRRM and the direction of the series.

  156. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Voice of reason.

  157. novichaso
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Dan,

    I don’t think they will sort out the books like that… AFFC and ADWD will take 3 seasons at least .. TWoW will be another 2 seasons as well as ADoS. They have to stretch it out a little more and this next book is gonna be pretty big… they kind of have to do it anyways.

    season 4: aSoS (part2) and maybe a little of FFC and DWD in last episode.

    season 5: AFFC + ADWD (part1)

    season 6: AFFC + ADWD (part2)

    season 7: AFFC+ADWD (PART 3) + TWOW (part 1)

    season 8: TWOW (part 2)

    season 9: TWOW (part 3) + ADOS (part 1)

    Season 10: ADOS (part 2)

    Season 11: ADOS (part 3)

  158. jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    John: Some more wood:
    “I’ve already written 400 pages of my sixth book. However, of these 400 pages, only 200 are really finished because I still have to revise the other 200 pages, which are in a rough version and I still have to work on them a lot. But you have to keep in mind that the last book, Dance with Dragons, was 1.500 pages long and this one will be more or less the same extension, so I have a lot of work. I hope after this tour I can go back home in order to write as a possessed man. But the sixth volume won’t be released in 2012 or in 2013. I really look forward to publishing it in 2014, but I am really bad for predictions, you may know it. And then, there is another fact: when I finish this saga I will be judged for the quality of the books, not for the speed of my writing.”
    GRRM about half a year ago
    Source: http://www.adriasnews.com/2012/10/george-r-r-martin-interview.html?spref=tw
    The interview is worth to read. Spoilers for the books (even for book 1) are by default hidden.

    To summarise:
    In October 2012 he had 200 pages done and in March 2013 a quarter (about 400 pages?) done..
    Edit: But as he said, he was on a tour in october, so no time for writing much and now he already has finished the script for his episode in season 4 and all the tour stuff for season 3 was in the beginning of 2013.

    Ending on a fun fact:
    On the German Amazon page you can preorder “The Winds of Winter” for 10€ as a paperback version. Amazon can also give you the total count of pages: 704. :D
    http://www.amazon.de/b%C3%BCcher/dp/000648610X

    So basically, he has managed to edit those two hundred pages he had before, and assuming he’s still two hundred pages ahead of his editing pace, that’s 600 pages written down. Which is still not much.

  159. Lou Reed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    It would depend alot on if we are talking years or months. If the final season started april, and book 7 was announced for juli, we would wait. (the show would likely wait too tho).

    But if the book were no where in sight, guess we would have to watch the show, but not without alot of regret.

  160. Summer Is Coming
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I guess the show can really be made in 8 seasons. If ASoS was made into 2 seasons, than affc/adwd can do that too. asos and adwd are similar in page count. cutting the unnecessary from adwd and adding the important stuff from affc = 2 seasons.

    S4 means 2014. If Grrm gets twow out by next year will be more than fine, since S5 and S6 will be aired in 2015, 2016; twow being made one season, that means 2017. that means 3 whole years for Grrm to write ados. and there will be an entire year for D&D to adapt the book, and to be less inclined to write stuff themselves that might be far from the source.

    If Grrm delays for one year twow, meaning a release year for 2015, than that year for D&D will be lost; and there will be a concomitant release year (2018) for both the final book and the final season. Of course, if Grrm will end the book by then….

  161. Jake
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Ryan,

    I have that feeling too. Everytime I see an update from Westeros.org on my Facebook feed I’m 1/2 expecting to see “The Winds of Winter IS DONE!!!”

  162. Ben
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    One thing the TV show could do if they needed to give GRRM more time is put Game of Thrones on hiatus for a year and make a Robert’s Rebellion miniseries in the show’s place. Basically gives Martin an entire extra year to finish/have the book edited and released.

  163. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode: After next year and 2 years of AFFC/ADWD (yes there is absolutely 2 years of material)

    Absolutely?

    What would be the climax of the first year of AFFC/ADWD, then? And what would be the characters’ arcs throughout the two seasons? How do you end your first half?

    Those are serious questions. I’m really wondering.. and since you seem to already have the answers, I’d gladly read them.

  164. jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming:
    I guess the show can really be made in 8 seasons. If ASoS was made into 2 seasons, than affc/adwd can do that too. asos and adwd are similar in page count. cutting the unnecessary from adwd and adding the important stuff from affc = 2 seasons.

    S4 means 2014. If Grrm gets twow out by next year will be more than fine, since S5 and S6 will be aired in 2015, 2016; twow being made one season, that means 2017. that means 3 whole years for Grrm to write ados. and there will be an entire year for D&D to adapt the book, and to be less inclined to write stuff themselves that might be far from the source.

    If Grrm delays for one year twow, meaning a release year for 2015, than that year for D&D will be lost; and there will be a concomitant release year (2018) for both the final book and the final season. Of course, if Grrm will end the book by then….

    If he releases TWOW next year, our doubts will be soothed since he will have proved that he can write a book in 3 years which means he can do the same with ADOS. And honestly, I’d rather have him rush TWOW than ADOS anyway. He should also go more to the point with his plots and not going into too much detail (he didn’t finish what he intended in ADWD). He can do it, but he’ll have to outGRRM himself.

  165. Bard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    novichaso: Dan,

    I don’t think they will sort out the books like that… AFFC and ADWD will take 3 seasons at least .. TWoW will be another 2 seasons as well as ADoS. They have to stretch it out a little more and this next book is gonna be pretty big… they kind of have to do it anyways.

    season 4: aSoS (part2) and maybe a little of FFC and DWD in last episode.

    season 5: AFFC + ADWD (part1)

    season 6: AFFC + ADWD (part2)

    season 7: AFFC+ADWD (PART 3) + TWOW (part 1)

    season 8: TWOW (part 2)

    season 9: TWOW (part 3) + ADOS (part 1)

    Season 10: ADOS (part 2)

    Season 11: ADOS (part 3)

    Sorry, but this is never never never never going to happen that way. It’s more likely that hell freezes over, to be exact. 11 seasons? Completely unrealistic. 3 seasons for AFFC/ADWD? Please read babars comments above. That would kill the show.

  166. shyone274
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Joey,

    You have to worry about Sansa and Arya as well. I think it drastically changes their characters if they are in their 20s as opposed to being kids still. Sansa already looks way older than her character is supposed to (she was not believably 14 this season)

  167. Lord Of Lite
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Allow me to be personal. I have enjoyed both written and screened versions of SOI&F. I’m in my 60s. I do not want GRRM to finish his magnus opus being rushed in any way. I also don’t want him conflicted about the D&D adaptation wrapping up in 6 maybe 7 cable seasons or possibly one or two more big screen adaptions. I just want it wrapped up before the next decade on the small or big screen using GRRM’s outline for my benefit. I just don’t see the series holding the non-book readers interest past 6 or 7 seasons. I want to live long enough to see both candles burn out with integrity. But, I’ll be satisfied if I see just one concluded in my lifetime. Here’s to you and me seeing them both completed. But, on the other hand?

  168. Kate
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I know it changes from reader to reader, but for me, being spoiled takes away a huge part of the pleasure. The show is also great and it also provides me great enjoyment, but it just does not compare.

    Given that in the internet era it would be impossible to remain unspoiled even if I decided not to watch the series, and reading asoiaf it’s one of my greatest passions, If the show menaces to advance the book I’m going to actively sabotage the production: I’m going to try to burn down the Paint Hall, or call the police with fake bomb alerts while they film in location.

    Well, not really, but I’m really going to pray for the show’s cancellation.

  169. Mark
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Dan:
    I don’t see how they can finish the series in 7 seasons ahead of GRRM, although I completely understand their reluctance to go 10 seasons (has any major HBO show gone 10 seasons?)

    Some back-of-the-napkin estimates:

    2011 (season 1): aGoT
    2012 (season 2): aCoK
    2013 (season 3): aSoS pt 1
    =-=-=
    2014 (season 4): aSoS pt 2 (and probably bits of aFFC/aDWD)
    2015 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD
    2016 (season 5): aDWD (and probably bits of aFFC/tWoW)
    2017 (season 6): tWoW
    2018 (season 7): tWoW/A Dream of Spring????

    So, if GRRM comes out with Winds of Winter in 2015 (or maybe even 2016), things can stay on track.But that’s about where the track ends…There is no way he is getting out Dream of Spring before 2018.

    I mostly agree with this. Making AFfC and ADwD three seasons makes the most sense to me. There’s not enough material for four, but more than enough for two, even trimming some of the fat, and that would stretch the show a bit without over-extending it. I also think we could then see TWoW and ADoS done in three seasons as well, making the show eight toal and running through 2019. I also do think it’s reasonable that GRRM could get ADoS out by then. Through ASoS, he averaged roughly three years per book, and then everything blew up with AFfC and ADwD. While part of this is due to his schedule and noteriety, part of it is that he had to completely restructure AFfC and ADwD. He started out skipping this period of time for the most part then went back and restarted from scratch, covering a time period he never really intended to cover. Thus, it’s possible that he has a much better roadmap already in place for TWoW and especially ADoS, which serve as a sort of third act (or, perhaps better put, third set of acts) and probably include many more of the significant plot points he had in mind from the beginning. I wouldn’t be shocked to see TWoW in 2014 or 2015, and then ADoS in 2018 or 2019, which would presumably be as the show wraps up.

  170. Mark
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Also, maybe it’s just me being overly optimsitic, but he’s really reduced his blog posts over the last month or two. My wishcast is that he’s starting to see the light at the end of TWoW tunnel, smelling the finish line, and that he may be closer than we’re all assuming. Remember, he had a bunch of it done before ADwD came out, and it’s been a while since he was talking about writing about the Dothraki. He’s been pretty mum on progress since then. Hopefully, he’s around the 1,000 manuscript page mark. I don’t think that’s overly optimistic, and that’d be roughly 2/3 of the way done theoretically, making a 2014 release pretty plausible.

  171. Eneile
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    I really do not care either, I’ll read AND watch the show in whatever order they come out. Though I could see them shooting the last season like expected and not showing it right away, like delay it of a few months… But since lots say here they were disappointed by the last two books, I wonder if the right strategy would be to show a bit of the last book on tv to encourage people to read the book -everyone knows the end is coming on tv, so lots of us could be tempted to just wait for hbo and read something else instead. Am I making sense and does anyone agree?

    And I agree with Alex D. and the others: no more than 1 season of book 4 and 5, or they lose their viewers! I do believe they will expand everyone else’s storyline, slow some down and speed some up. They may put a bit of both books ahead in S4 and later S6 but not much.

    Fan rambling: I hope Aegon will stay out of the tv show. That’s just too much, even in the context of this amazing story grrm has made. Especially on tv. Pleeeease no. Direct Tyrion to Essos to Jorah to the fighting pits. Anyone else agree? If they do that, they definitely can do the 2 books in 1 season.

  172. King Tommen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    It comes down to this: there is nothing in Martin’s life currently that is stopping him from completing his final two books in a reasonable time frame (other than things he is choosing to take on by his own volition). He is rich enough and at a stage in his life that he controls the ability to devote the necessary amount of time to putting the books out in a timely manner.

    He is also the one who has chosen to set this train in motion and was fully aware of what this meant in terms of timelines when it started.

    So if the books aren’t done by the time the show catches up, then he has no one to blame but himself. It’s entirely within his control and has been since the start. Pretending like this is a problem that has suddenly been foisted upon him that he now will have to endure is silly. He signed on the dotted line for exactly these circumstances…

    Write your books in a timely manner or don’t complain when the tv show beats you to the punch. Your choice.

  173. Wun-Wun
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    For me I would have preferred to read it before I see it on screen, but realistically I cant see George getting the books out in time. Saying that though, if/when the TV overtakes books I can imagine George stepping forward a bit more to ensure that the show matches the story he’s got planned out. Either way I can’t wait for the next instalment, mainly because Dany’s story needs to move to Westeros as Meereen got boring a LONG time ago…

  174. Zack
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    The show is going to end even before Martin releases WOW. Its been two years since DWD has been released. A month ago, Martin said that he is a only a quarter done with the WOW. Do the math.

    I think Martin is headed for quite a fall. The show did a decent job of adapting his books, but i don’t quite have faith in D&D writing 3 seasons worth of material and a satisfactory conclusion to the series on their own – even with them having the general knowledge how the books are supposed to end. I predict media backlash in 2-3 years.

  175. Summer Is Coming
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    This is the important character arcs for S5 and 6 (affc/adwd) {I’m a supporter of 2 seasons for the 2 books}:

    Tyrion: S5 -> from Pentos, his journey, the mistery (identity) of Young Griff (that is perfect mystery for a season arc in any show), more backstory for the nods to be connected in the final season, Tyrion and Co. fighting the stone men, ending in cliffhanger when Jorah kidnapps him to deliver him to the Queen! (maybe some Unsullied will believe is truly Cersei he is talking about, if that story is properly handled)
    S6 -> his journey with Jorah in Volantis (maybe some story of Talisa parents wanting revenge on Lannisters from Westeros; maybe making her dad a Triarch), theyr whole voyage, enslavement, the pits for Tyrion (finally connecting his story with Dany’s) and ending a bit into the beginning of twow with one of the battles GRRM talked about.

  176. Phyllis Ashley
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Within a reasonable time-frame, of course, I would probably avoid the show altogether until the books were finished. I encourage the show producers and GRRM to consider the fans in this, because it’s apparent they do not want the show to catch up with and overtake the books – it’s not what they want, it’s not what the book fans want, and there would be a severe injustice to the books if it were to happen.

  177. Darquemode
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    Well first, I’m no writer so I am the wrong person to ask!! XD
    I may try to plot it out this summer, but I never have before.

    They will definitely need to shift some events around and create end points. You’re absolutely right! They created Robb arcs and Theon arcs. I do not see why they would not be capable of adding material either mentioned in the books “off-page” or creating new scenes.

    Once TWOW comes out it will be easier to plot out I think. Rumors being what they are, one major battle from TWOW would be moved forward to Season 6 for starters.

    Knowing that D&D and GRRM want to have the books released first before the series ends… When doing it in two seasons leaves the possibility of GRRM finishing all the books in time, to me, it makes no sense to combine AFFC and ADWD into 1 season virtually eliminating any possibility of the books being out first.

    I do not think D&D would make it impossible for their desired goal to happen. Now, if they decide after next season that they do not think it is possible for GRRM to be done and they want complete the series in 7 years or less, then I can see them combining them into one season. That of course drastically changes the story though and D&D would be better off creating their own ending IMO.

  178. Arthur
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I think a mini series prequel, like Spartacus did will be the only solution…

    And why not? I wouldn’t mind that at all and I doubt anyone else would either. The only tricky part is retaining the actors and workers involved on the show.

    As far as the kids getting older, I think that’s a bonus of the show. Who doesn’t want to see Arya grow up to become a badass ninja assassin? So what if the TV kids get older then the book kids. I actually like that idea.

    So yeah I’m guessing a mini series season of The Hedge Nights… Only thing is D&D and HBO have to figure that out soon and get to work on it…

  179. Zack
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Mark: Making AFfC and ADwD three seasons makes the most sense to me.

    Haha. The audience is going to go crazy if in season 6 Danny is still stuck in Mereen and Tyrion is traveling with a dog and a pig.

  180. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    babar: No, I don’t think they would.

    They already know how that story ends: Jaime kills Aerys, Robert wins the war. What they want to know is how the story they’ve already been following for years ends.

    We all wanted to see how the Clone Wars worked out too. And what did we get? We got Jar-Jar Binks, some guys with really racist Asian patois, and a break between the 2nd and 3rd movies where the Clone Wars actually occurred. No, I don’t need to see what happened.

  181. Azazel
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I really would love to hear how people think we can get 30 hours worth of show material from AFFC and ADWD combined… especially considering that they pretty much happen at the same time.

    At most, I can see a season and a half… 15 episodes… worth of material between the books. They’ll probably add some filler/development scenes to make it to two full seasons, but they’ll definitely have to bring in TWOW scenes earlier than most people are expecting.

    There are several story arcs already dangerously close to ADWD territory… Bran off the top of my head… Going forwards, they are going to have to treat his scenes much like Theon’s this past season. Otherwise, he’ll reach his ADWD point as early as the end of next season.

  182. Lord Snark
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    As someone who watched the first season before reading all the books, I had the best experience when I wasn’t spoiled. That goes for both books and TV. However, while ASoIaF is a decent fantasy tale, the show is arguably one of the best TV shows ever made, and for me nothing has matched watching the first season, unspoiled. If I could unread what I’ve read, I would. For this reason, I would have no problem with the show moving past the published books – I might actually enjoy it more.

  183. hinka
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    OMG… in the interview he said he had a quarter done… and this was only march ’13….
    He had 400 (200 done, 200 needs to be edited) in 2011 and in march he said he had 1/4 of the book… what is if you say 1600 pages (would be the longest) only 400 anyway… so he pretty much got nothing done.
    Okay, he had a lot of work to do… but I expected about 700-900 pages… not only 1/4 of a book… on the other hand… he might have lied… hope so.

  184. Bard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming: babar,

    This is the important character arcs for S5 and 6 (affc/adwd) {I’m a supporter of 2 seasons for the 2 books}:

    Tyrion: S5 -> from Pentos, his journey, the mistery (identity) of Young Griff (that is perfect mystery for a season arc in any show), more backstory for the nods to be connected in the final season, Tyrion and Co. fighting the stone men, ending in cliffhanger when Jorah kidnapps him to deliver him to the Queen! (maybe some Unsullied will believe is truly Cersei he is talking about, if that story is properly handled)S6 -> his journey with Jorah in Volantis (maybe some story of Talisa parents wanting revenge on Lannisters from Westeros; maybe making her dad a Triarch), theyr whole voyage, enslavement, the pits for Tyrion (finally connecting his story with Dany’s) and ending a bit into the beginning of twow with one of the battles GRRM talked about.

    Ok, so that’s Tyrion, traveling for two seasons without meeting Dany at the end of it. What about Daenerys? She will spent three years in Meereen (season4,5 and 6). I bet the audience will love that. What about Jon at the wall? Oh, and we don’t have enough material for Sansa to fill two seasons. What about Bran? We only have 3 chapters in ADWD, 2 of them will probably used for season 4. We will have 2 seasons with Arya training in Braavos. I could go on…

  185. Lord Snark
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Azazel:

    I really would love to hear how people think we can get 30 hours worth of show material from AFFC and ADWD combined… especially considering that they pretty much happen at the same time.

    I could see how it could be stretched out like that if you go page-by-page, but it would be the surest way to get the show cancelled.

  186. Macha
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming:
    If ASoS was made into 2 seasons, than affc/adwd can do that too. asos and adwd are similar in page count.

    Hmm. I really doubt that the page count was the reason for them splitting ASoS; wanting to do the book justice in this case had more to do with spacing out a series of jaw-dropping events, which AFfC/ADwD lack. And no matter how much time we’d like to spend with some characters, page count alone amounts to nothing if it doesn’t advance the plot. IMO, there is absolutely no way – but more importantly, no reason – for AFfC/ADwD to take up more than one season, one season and a half at most. And this is taking into account various changes from the books and added storylines.

    So what will happen when the show catches up with the books? It’ll happen that the show will carry on and I’ll be one happy bunny to be offered some resolution. GRRM can’t keep up with his own work? Aw, that must really suck.

  187. sjwenings
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    If GRRM ever finishes the series, it will take maybe 8 years – if there is to be two more books, not three. Thats my guestimate.

    The guy just seems a bit tired and doesn’t care as much about the story anymore. He’s starting to enjoy his hollidaytrips a bit too much to speed it up, and probably feels less inspired than before.

    The show will catch up to him in three seasons. (S4-second half of ASOS, S5 AFFC/ADWD part 1, S6 AFFC/ADWD part 2)

    TWOW will be close to finished by then, and thus, they can make a pretty truthful 7th season based on it. Season 8 will be loosely based on ADOS, from what info George can give them at that time, but still be a good one, since D&D and the others are pretty capable writers, and theres no “but that didn’t happen in the books!”-whining to be had. The last book will probably be pretty darn exiting, so the broad strokes given by George should be enough to satisfy most viewers.

  188. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Watch the spoilers, folks. As you can see by reading through the comments, we have quite a few Unsullied here among us. Thanks!

  189. Cary Storm
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Here come Miss Cleo’s predictions:

    Show ratings will lag a bit in Season 4 due to the huge success of Season 3 being hard to surpass. That will scare HBO a bit, who demands that GRRM get his next book out pronto and out in time to coincide with Season 5 opening / Spring 2015.

    They’ll lock him in a house, a la Misery or something. But TWOW will be released around March 15, 2015.

    It is known.

  190. Govnor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    It’s not if, it’s when. That is clear. GRRM would have to change his lifestyle over the next few years to beat them and I just don’t see it in him. I don’t blame him either, he’s loving it!

    I think ASOS was a special case. It’s a special book with lots of huge events. The idea of them splitting any other books seems remote IMO. Still, never say never I guess. Maybe the next one will shock me and need 2 seasons. I’m not sure that would matter though anyway. I just can’t see them needing any more than 2 seasons for 4+5….there is not enough there.

  191. Jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Summer Is Coming:
    babar,

    This is the important character arcs for S5 and 6 (affc/adwd) {I’m a supporter of 2 seasons for the 2 books}:

    Tyrion: S5 -> from Pentos, his journey, the mistery (identity) of Young Griff (that is perfect mystery for a season arc in any show), more backstory for the nods to be connected in the final season, Tyrion and Co. fighting the stone men, ending in cliffhanger when Jorah kidnapps him to deliver him to the Queen! (maybe some Unsullied will believe is truly Cersei he is talking about, if that story is properly handled)S6 -> his journey with Jorah in Volantis (maybe some story of Talisa parents wanting revenge on Lannisters from Westeros; maybe making her dad a Triarch), theyr whole voyage, enslavement, the pits for Tyrion (finally connecting his story with Dany’s) and ending a bit into the beginning of twow with one of the battles GRRM talked about.

    Tyrion can work with little help from TWOW, but there are plenty other characters. By the end of your scripting it will all have a “and we’ll take a chunk of TWOW to finish it up” and by the end of it you’ll have a season and a half of AFFC/ADWD. Which IMO is totally the same as two seasons since it will only take the first quarter or so from the book, which will leave enough TWOW for another season. Then the problem begins- TWOW will undoubtedly release before the show catches up, but will ADOS? Will the show go on a hiatus? Will they just film the stuff (using internal notes from GRRM) and hold out on it till the book releases? They won’t take more than a one year hiatus, that’s for sure. So we can guess the show will wrap up at the most in 2019 (which is a very extreme and unlikely situation). That is six years for GRRM to write and edit a book and a half (though closer to two thirds than a half). If he takes any longer than that he brought it on himself.

  192. hodor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Ryan,

    I love your optimism.

  193. queenofthorns
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    The only possible ways the show won’t catch up:

    1) D&D streeeeeeeetch things out so much the show becomes a snoozer and is cancelled

    2) They put back in a 5 year gap. Let the kids age, and skip most of ADWD and AFFC.

    Otherwise the show will finish first. Which, to be honest, I am totally fine with.

  194. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    To me, this show, ideally, is an 8-season run. D&D at one point did say something about telling this story in 80 episodes (allowing for my wish-list fan-boy “last season of 12 episodes” kind of thing).

    The material in AFfC and ADwD really does not lend itself to more than the latter half of Season 4 and most of Season 5. And as stated, you do need to find satisfying arcs and relatively decent “stop” points to deal with those arcs. So I plan it out like this:

    Season 4: ASoS (rest), AFfC (mostly Brienne’s journeys), ADwD (Danys journey to Meereen)
    Season 5: AFfC (rest of it), ADwD (the rest, leaving aside Griff/Young Griff after they get separated from Tyrion, particularly his invasion of Griffin’s Roost, which is saved for Season 6)
    Season 6: ADwD (Griff invasion of Westeros), TWoW
    Season 7: TWoW/ADoS
    Season 8: ADoS

    There will not be 10 seasons. They’ve said they don’t want to “kill the goose,” and I believe them. Seven still strikes me as too short, but I can see it being made workable – you essentially have to use Season 4-5 for the rest of SoS and the other 2 books and then it goes back to being 1 season per book. The Meereen intrigue is good, but not great, and can be trimmed. Brienne’s journeys are in serious need of trimming, but you can save most of the good stuff — meeting up with the High Sparrow, taking out Rorge and Biter, and hell, let’s have her kill Locke, too — in Season 5. So you send her out late in Season 4, and she first ends up (with Pod) on the Quiet Isle.

    So the climax/pauses/character beats that end Seasons 4 and 5 go like this:

    Season 4:
    –Brienne ends at the Quiet Isle learning that Sandor Clegane is “at rest”
    –Arya boards a ship to Braavos
    –Bran – Enters the cave, meets the Greenseer. “My legs are broken…can you fix them?”
    –Sansa – In the Eyrie, stuck with Sweetrobin and Baelish
    –Danys — Takes charge of Meereen, dragons growing, last seen on her throne, when a sad old man brings her bones of a small child, his child
    –Rickon/Osha — Board a ship to Skagos after evading Ramsey/Theon
    –Stannis/Davos — Successfully invade and beat back the Wildings, Davos sent out to head for White Harbor
    –Jon — Named Lord Commander of the Watch, or perhaps in jail at Castle Black
    –Theon/Ramsey — more torture for the former, then they set out for Moat Cailin
    –Yara – Misses her chance at Theon, heads back to Iron Islands for Kingsmoot
    –Tyrion — Smuggled out of KL across Narrow Sea with Varys
    –Jaime — Leaves with Bronn for the Riverlands, his relationship with Cersei forever damaged
    –Balon dead. Word of Kingsmoot.
    –Dorne: Ellaria goes back with body of Oberyn
    –Blackfish still on the run, Edmure hostage, but now in Riverrun

    Season 5 end:
    –Danys, in the Dothraki Sea, with Drogon, as Khal Pono advances
    –Jon: “For the watch.”
    –Bran: Now seeing, as a Greenseer.
    –Sansa: I guess they’re still in the Eyrie.
    –Arya: Well along in her training as a Faceless Man
    –Sam: Arriving in Oldtown with Aemon’s bones
    –Cersei: Walk of Shame after restoring the Faith Militant and the rise of the High Sparrow (Love that character); Margaery in jail, Loras seriously injured
    –Tyrion/Barristan/Jorah — All in Meereen, with the departed Danys nowhere to be seen
    –Victarion/Moqorro — On the way to attack Meereen
    –Jaime — Meets up with Brienne who says she knows where Sansa is
    –Theon – Escapes in the snow with “Arya Stark”
    –Stannis – Caught in the snow, meets the Iron Bank’s representative
    –Dorne — Kind of unclear. May not be a real ‘closing’ beat here.

  195. Jimmy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The series is already moving away from the books and will continue to do so. Lots of the new characters from the last books won’t be introduced and they will keep it within the current story lines and wrap it up nicely in 6 seasons. The final book will have an alternative ending, although very similar and come out mid way through s6. Bring it on.

  196. Jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    hodor:
    Ryan,

    Hodor

    I fixed your post, Hodor.

  197. King Tommen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    It should also be noted that starting next season, book readers will start having a lot of things spoiled for them by the show regardless of what’s going on with the books.

    Much has been made of a meeting with Martin that D&D and Cogman had a couple of months ago where a more in depth discussion was held around many of the future arcs of the stories and characters. While George had provided the broad strokes to D&D previously regarding where things would end up, this meeting was to fill in more of the details and outlines of Martin’s final two books. This was to ensure that the writing that was taking place on the show was addressing these arcs and not omitting necessary information.

    The timing of the meeting coincided with the writing process for Season 4 (which was just getting started at that point) so anything on the show from next season on out will come with the knowledge of what is to come (for the most part).

    Fan theories involving the importance of minor characters in the future or plot points that could lead to bigger things will be debunked or confirmed based on what you see on the show. There will of course still be adaptation changes which will deviate from the book plots but the important stuff will be there and conclusions will certainly be able to be drawn from what we see on the screen.

    So, really you’re going to get spoiled anyways book readers. It’s just a matter of to what degree.

  198. queenofthorns
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Kate: in the internet era it would be impossible to remain unspoiled even if I decided not to watch the series

    Not really… think about all the super popular shows out there that you DON’T watch. Do you know how they ended last season? Probably not, right? It’s surprisingly easy to avoid being spoiled if you stay away from places specifically concerned with that content.

  199. Turncloak
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Assuming season 4 ends book 3. Then books 4 and 5 can give you 2 seasons max. The Battle of Fire and Battle of Ice which will be released in the ADWD paperbacks can be the episode 9 and 10 for seasons 6. I have no idea what would make a satisfying episode 9 for season 5

  200. Bryon
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    simply put, I want to read it first.

    If we can get Winds next year there will be chance of an even finish.

  201. Bard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber: To me, this show, ideally, is an 8-season run. D&D at one point did say something about telling this story in 80 episodes (allowing for my wish-list fan-boy “last season of 12 episodes” kind of thing).

    The material in AFfC and ADwD really does not lend itself to more than the latter half of Season 4 and most of Season 5. And as stated, you do need to find satisfying arcs and relatively decent “stop” points to deal with those arcs. So I plan it out like this:

    Season 4: ASoS (rest), AFfC (mostly Brienne’s journeys), ADwD (Danys journey to Meereen)Season 5: AFfC (rest of it), ADwD (the rest, leaving aside Griff/Young Griff after they get separated from Tyrion, particularly his invasion of Griffin’s Roost, which is saved for Season 6)Season 6: ADwD (Griff invasion of Westeros), TWoWSeason 7: TWoW/ADoSSeason 8: ADoS

    There will not be 10 seasons. They’ve said they don’t want to “kill the goose,” and I believe them. Seven still strikes me as too short, but I can see it being made workable – you essentially have to use Season 4-5 for the rest of SoS and the other 2 books and then it goes back to being 1 season per book. The Meereen intrigue is good, but not great, and can be trimmed. Brienne’s journeys are in serious need of trimming, but you can save most of the good stuff — meeting up with the High Sparrow, taking out Rorge and Biter, and hell, let’s have her kill Locke, too — in Season 5. So you send her out late in Season 4, and she first ends up (with Pod) on the Quiet Isle.

    So the climax/pauses/character beats that end Seasons 4 and 5 go like this:

    Season 4:–Brienne ends at the Quiet Isle learning that Sandor Clegane is “at rest”–Arya boards a ship to Braavos–Bran – Enters the cave, meets the Greenseer. “My legs are broken…can you fix them?”–Sansa – In the Eyrie, stuck with Sweetrobin and Baelish–Danys — Takes charge of Meereen, dragons growing, last seen on her throne, when a sad old man brings her bones of a small child, his child–Rickon/Osha — Board a ship to Skagos after evading Ramsey/Theon–Stannis/Davos — Successfully invade and beat back the Wildings, Davos sent out to head for White Harbor–Jon — Named Lord Commander of the Watch, or perhaps in jail at Castle Black–Theon/Ramsey — more torture for the former, then they set out for Moat Cailin–Yara – Misses her chance at Theon, heads back to Iron Islands for Kingsmoot–Tyrion — Smuggled out of KL across Narrow Sea with Varys–Jaime — Leaves with Bronn for the Riverlands, his relationship with Cersei forever damaged–Balon dead. Word of Kingsmoot.–Dorne: Ellaria goes back with body of Oberyn–Blackfish still on the run, Edmure hostage, but now in Riverrun

    Season 5 end:–Danys, in the Dothraki Sea, with Drogon, as Khal Pono advances–Jon: “For the watch.”–Bran: Now seeing, as a Greenseer.–Sansa: I guess they’re still in the Eyrie.–Arya: Well along in her training as a Faceless Man–Sam: Arriving in Oldtown with Aemon’s bones–Cersei: Walk of Shame after restoring the Faith Militant and the rise of the High Sparrow (Love that character); Margaery in jail, Loras seriously injured–Tyrion/Barristan/Jorah — All in Meereen, with the departed Danys nowhere to be seen–Victarion/Moqorro — On the way to attack Meereen–Jaime — Meets up with Brienne who says she knows where Sansa is–Theon – Escapes in the snow with “Arya Stark”–Stannis – Caught in the snow, meets the Iron Bank’s representative–Dorne — Kind of unclear. May not be a real ‘closing’ beat here.

    I agree with many of your ideas, though I fear that there are too many storylines. And you forgot about Davos, Quentin, Aeron Greyjoy and Yara. Some things have to be cut or drastically shortened.

  202. Seonaidh Ceanneidigh
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully GRRM uses the looming deadlines of the TV show as an opportunity to feel the burn – he may be able to write faster and more efficiently if he feels something breathing down his neck. He may realise he will need to economise his writing. He should have known that he would need to work harder on his novels once he signed a deal with HBO. Pr’haps he’s much further on with TWOW than he’s letting on, and I hope that’s the case (from what I understand, TWOW utilises some unused material from ADWD). Best case scenario: ADOS comes out one spring, and the final season soon after, with GRRM and D&D having compared notes as both were being finalised in the writing stages.

  203. Jake Umber
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Jimmy,

    Except, there is no indication of only 6 seasons. All evidence points to at least 7 or 8 seasons.

  204. Bowl of Brown
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    People seem concerned about the lack of source material for Bran’s arc, and probably rightly so. Elsewhere someone suggested that he could come under the tutelage of Varamyr before meeting Coldhands. I don’t think that’s too far out of left field, considering that Bran’s warging doesn’t seem as developed in the show, compared to what they were at this point in the books.

    Now, I’m kind of spitballing here, but could you take it further? Could Tormund and Ygritte, coming back over the Wall, actually apprehend Bran and take him to Mance? Could Mance win Bran to his cause, thus revealing the true reason the Wildings are so desperate to escape south? What if it’s Bran warging the eagle Melisandre burns? There’s a lot of potential there, given the fact that the audience is much more invested in Bran than they ever will be with Varamyr (if he’s even introduced at all).

    Of course, if the show rigidly adapts Jon’s arc, then that all but guarantees he and Bran would run into each other. How would that work? Terribly? Terrifically? I’d be willing to give D&D the benefit of the doubt.

  205. Maxwell James
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    One thing I don’t get: why so many people are bothered by the prospect of the kids growing up. Time passes in the books two – maybe not as fast as in the show, but fast enough. And the seasons are screwed up anyway, so who knows how old people really are?

    Plus, movies & TV have a long, proud history of casting adult actors as teenagers. Haven’t you people seen the (later) Harry Potter movies? Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The Breakfast Club?

    If anyone who’s concerned about this topic could offer an explanation, I’d appreciate it.

  206. Dan Spicer
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    HBO is going to do what is best for HBO, and that means this show won’t go on for more than 8 seasons. I could also see them trying to get it done in 7. They will cut some scope, and I see that happening with the Iron Islands. The show will focus on Yar-asha going after Theon and cut out the Kingsmoot line entirely. Perhaps they will have A Greyjoy Uncle racing to Mereen to get Dany before Yara finds Theon. I don’t see it being any deeper than that. I also don’t see them digging too deep in Dorne. I also would like to see the Blackfish kill Walder Frey.

  207. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    I don’t get: why so many people are bothered by the prospect of the kids growing up.

    Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same thing. They aged them on the show, so age them as the show ages. I mean, it’s very, very clear in this world that a lot of very adult things start way sooner than in our world, that’s okay (I mean so long as they don’t have to violate any FCC rules/laws to make plot points). I don’t see why it’s a problem either.

  208. Ser Bro
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s pretty important that we understand that none of us have a clue as to how deep into TWoW George actually is.

    If he was 200-ish pages in as of mid-2012, and considering that he’s probably been writing his ass off at every available opportunity, I think it’s safe to say that he’s creeping up on 1,000 pages. The end of ADwD made it pretty clear that he already has a plan for a majority of the characters, so TWoW is all a matter of continuing those storylines . If I were to make a prediction, I’d say mid-to-late 2014. I could absolutely be wrong, but I don’t think I’m completely baseless in that guess.

    As for ADoS, I can’t help but think that TWoW will be chock full of death and doom for a ton of secondary characters and probably a few that we won’t necessarily expect. This won’t necessarily make the creative process quicker, but it will give George less secondary storyline to worry about. 2017? 2018? It’s hard to say without knowing where the narrative is at the end of TWoW.

    I dunno, man. I just wanna know how it ends.

  209. Trilambdas
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    AA,

    I caught that ‘slip’ on Conan that it sounded like George was almost if not already done with Winds as he talked about the length of it in the past tense. I actually have a firm belief that George is further along than he says, and is on the final book, but tidying up chapters in Winds after edits but there is something in his contract with either HBO or his publisher and that he can’t speak to it as they want to do cross promotion work with the show. I wouldn’t be surprised that when all is said and done that Dance is release either the Christmas before or immediately before the seasons which it covers. I think this is all to generate fan buzz, because the seasons over and now we get an abundant amount of speculation about the books being caught up with…which also means that this show is going to go that long ;-) so after that run on, it’s all good news in the end!

  210. mariamb
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Dan Spicer: HBO is going to do what is best for HBO, and that means this show won’t go on for more than 8 seasons. I could also see them trying to get it done in 7.

    Absolutely. It really comes down to dollars.

    Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same thing. They aged them on the show, so age them as the show ages. I mean, it’s very, very clear in this world that a lot of very adult things start way sooner than in our world, that’s okay (I mean so long as they don’t have to violate any FCC rules/laws to make plot points). I don’t see why it’s a problem either.

    Agree – don’t see that as a problem. The fact that the kids are growing up should not influence/change storytelling. It is what it is. Let us continue with these wonderful performers and not focus on how they actually are vs. how old they are “supposed” to be.

  211. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Ser Bro,

    I guess you missed jentario’s link? http://youtu.be/BUp_RtzYMhk?t=1m

  212. The Hand of Jaime
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen rumors of them possibly doing a movie over Robert’s Rebellion to help bridge the timeline but I don’t think said rumor has any legs. I’m a little upset that the show will catch up but at the same time, I’m much more concerned with having the product GRRM intends us to have versus having a rushed final product.

    Now having said that, who do I need to talk to about cancelling GRRM’s press tour/promotions and getting him into writing mode? :)

  213. sunspear
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    I think Martin could fairly easily do TWOW by December 2014 and ADOS by March 2018. That would be enough to stop the show catching up with the books.

    My plan has always been to have Feast/Dance wrapped up by the later episodes of season 6, with the Battles of Ice and Fire from Winds included so there aren’t as many cliffhangers. Then Winds would be finished in 2017 and ADOS in 2018.

    For the Final season, I think they could film the whole thing with Martin’s notes, then just wait to release it until after he finishes the book (half a years delay max). If they delay the final season until fall, they would have enough time to film a couple extra episodes.

  214. Jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I hope GRRM doesn’t write an episode for season 5. They should just give another one to BCog (which is still a very close adapter!) and let GRRM continue writing without stopping the flow.

  215. Pirate
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I was very worried about this topic a long time. Now I nearly don’t care anymore. She show is great, but the books are a thousand times more important to me. So by now I have faith they will end the show as good as it is done until now, no matter what.

    However, I will immediately stop watching the series until the books catch up.

  216. John W
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Just for comparison, here some of the longest running shows (not including sports and documentaries) in HBO’s history:

    Curb Your Enthusiasm – 8 seasons
    Tales from the Crypt – 7 seasons
    Sex and the City – 6 seasons
    The Sopranos – 6 seaons
    True Blood – 6 seasons
    The Larry Sanders Show – 6 seasons
    Oz – 6 seasons
    Six Feet Under – 5 seasons

  217. Charles
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    if it does end up catching up, i will drop the TV series in heartbeat. Books come first for me, and the show is not going to ruin them.

  218. Iron Born
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Ok I’m no genius but I have a few ideas to toss around make your writers directors and cast work year round and film more than one season a year they can add material as they go if they need to slow down the story a bit ASOIAF has characters to spare that would pit more info onto the tv series from the book and keep us from noticing the kids aging if they age before our eyes you tend not to notice as much at their ages a year is very noticeable .. And a feature film about the early years and the two rebellions with Sean bean and mark addy would be great for on between seasons and would be a smash hit making the parties involved countless millions and millions.

  219. Roose Bolton's BFF
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I HOPE the show goes their own way with the story line. Book 4..wasn’t bad…not good..like 3 day left over pizza. Book 5 just plain sucked B@@@s. It so ruined “ASOFAI” that I really couldn’t care less about TWOW. The TV show is exciting, well acted and enjoyable to watch. If it turns out to be completely different then the books, doesn’t matter as long as the writing and acting maintains this high quality.

  220. rikon
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I love AFFC and ADWD and have little patience with those who call this books boring and their content “filler” but I do agree that action-wise they can be easily condenced into 1 – 1.5 seasons,

    So – I fully agree with the 8 season breakdown:
    Filmed in 2010, aired in 2011 (season 1): aGoT
    Filmed in 2011 (season 2): aCoK
    Filmed in 2012 (season 3): aSoS pt 1
    Filmed in 2013 (season 4): aSoS, and some parts of aFFC/aDWD depending on storylines
    Filmed in 2014 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD
    Filmed in 2015 (season 6): aFFC/aDWD/tWoW
    Filmed in 2016 (season 7): tWoW/aDoS
    Filmed in 2017 aired in 2018 (season 8): aDoS (maybe some tWoW)

    A question now is – when GRRM gonna publish next 2 (3?) books?
    Let’s not forget that first books had pretty short 2 year gaps, and it became problematic only later during AFFC/ADWD stage, that can be partly attributed to Mereneese Knot+aborted 5 year gap plan and partly to George being preoccupied with other things.

    Now the Mereneese knot has been solved and with all the success and attention to TV series George has many incentives to pay more time to Ice and Fire Series. + he has so many pro-active people asking questions, giving advice, expressing their anticipation that all this would definitely help him in “creative brainstorming”.
    I think publishing next books with just 2 year gaps is not guaranteed but still is totally possible.

    I expect TWOW to be published in 2014. By that time George will be already working on ADOS.

    The show will need incorporate some early ADOS content in Season 7 to be filmed in 2016 – George does not even need to have a final book by then – just more or less finalised early parts that he can share with the showrunners. He will finalise ADOS by early 2017, show can be filmed based on the unpubluished but mostly finalised book.

    In 2018 the last season and the last book will appear almost simultaneously – all as a part of a single big promotion campaign. This means that everything can be fine even if there is 4 year gap between the TWOW and ADOS

  221. Joey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    it think you can get 2-2.5 seasons out of books 4-5D&D can add things to brans chapters. We can have Added Rickon and Stoneheart Plotlines. there not affraid to go off book.Tyrion goes through the most important part of his jouney in this act of the story. Hes at an all time low and want to die then realized he has something to live for. I dont know why you say they just walk here to there. they are doing plenty of things that is charcter building in these book. If D&D want to make it more interesting they can add some things to Brienne and Branyou can easily end season 5 on queenmaker, cat of canals, kingsmoot, danys dragon eating the kid. jon realizing who mance really is. brienne at the quite isles with the hound, theon with fake arya. davos at whiteharbor. Show watchers barely even realize the threat of the WW they are all thinking the show is about who sits the iron throne. so if you end season 6 with a bigger realization that theres a bigger threat for all of westeros that would be good for watchers. Dany and Jon are important but im not going to assume there the end all. expecially dany. Her dragons should be a big deal againd the WW but remember the last book was origanally suposed to be call a time for wolfs. More then just Jon will be a big deal. All remaining starks willSorry i would loke to see my favorite book series depected like it should be on screen and that means more seasons. I realize that probably wont be the case but i can hope. Even if this gets done in 7-8 season. I feel like GRRM can get it done.

  222. 50 Shades of Red
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    As a non-purist book reader, I don’t mind at all if the show passes George.

    For me, I figure it’s like this: I watch with Unsullied, and they’re loving the show. I’m still loving the show, but minus a few surprises here and there, I know where the big storylines are going, up to the end of Dance.

    So I’ll have watched 1/2 the show with knowledge of things to come…honestly, I think it’d be fun to watch the second 1/2 the other way around, and be completely thrilled by the show, then catch up with the novels.

  223. Matt
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    The Young Wolf,

    It’s better getting him to rush rather than allowing him to take his sweet time. He’ll have better focus this way. The first three books came out within a year or two of each other and were nothing short of masterpieces. Martin took years writing the last two books and they’ve been panned by fans and critics alike. He spent more time developing his prose than he did with his storylines. NOT GOOD.

  224. sunaeryn
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Slim to no chance of the show lasting 10 seasons. 7? Certainly. 8? Perhaps. But not 9, and defo not 10… not if they intend to maintain quality and want to go out on a high, at any rate.

    The show will conclude before the books, and to my mind that is a good thing. I would like have an ending to this story, I’ll take it anyway I can get it.

  225. NoOne
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    This is a positive situation for book readers GRRM needs to focus in finishing the series and not doing another “projects”. Writing in a leisurely manner hasn’t helped the books too much, and a majority of fans will agree with that. As for the show finally catching the books, it will be a hard decision to watch first or wait till ADOS, it will be weird to be all unsullied.

  226. Marcin
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    First of all, I hope that tWoW will be published before the show catches up.
    Secondly, I regret that GRRM revealed major plot points to the producers. Otherwise, we could have the final season and the final book written in parallel by different people and compare (hopefully) different endings.

  227. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James:
    GeekFurious,

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough – I’m not saying GoT will suddenly have a contract dispute like the Sopranos or Modern Family. I’m saying that quiet negotiation occurs throughout an actor’s six-year contract, and that we’re now at a point to start expecting some significant bumps. Whether those are the result of open negotiations or just options built into the original contract is immaterial.

    Look: in 2010, True Blood was at the apex of its popularity, and Anna Paquin was making $75,000/episode. Two seasons later she and her co-stars were making $200,000/episode. TB is often quoted as having a budget of $3 million per episode, but based on the stars’ contracts alone I’m pretty sure it’s much higher than that by now.

    While no one on GoT will ever be paid so much for the show, it’s also a much larger cast, so the aggregate increase in compensation is still likely to be huge. You’re right of course that should there be a seventh and/or eighth season, the cost will skyrocket even more.

    Right, which is why HBO must have an idea of how many seasons they can get out of the cast before they have to shut the show down. Seven seasons is what the producers and executives seem to be hinting at. Now, this could be one of those passive aggressive Hollywood games where they publicly say seven seasons just to get an actor’s management to back off a bit on their demands, or they have had these serious discussions about where they will stand after season 7.

    But we will never know about that stuff. It is extremely rare that something like MODERN FAMILY happens where the ugly stuff leaks. Ugly stuff happens all the time on productions. I could tell you stories.

    Well, I could but I won’t or I’d have to kill you because that stuff is more secret than NSA files. ;)

  228. King DBC
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    This is what I hope:

    2011- Season 1 (AGOT)
    2012- Season 2 (ACOK)
    2013- Season 3 (ASOS )
    2014- Season 4 (ASOS + some AFFC & ADWD)
    2015- Season 5 (AFFC & ADWD)
    2016- Season 6 (TWOW)
    2017- Season 7 (TWOW & ADOS)
    2018- Season 8 (ADOS), mostly a build up season to end with
    late 2019- Game of Thrones: The Movie.

    That way the budget would be huge for anything epic…

  229. Iron Born
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    A two part major motion picture of Roberts rebellion and the greyjoy rebellion we can bring back Ned and Robert and learn why Jamie is such a badass and see barriston selmy paint a few “red paintings” we can see and learn more about the characters we love and love to hate

  230. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    John W:
    Just for comparison, here some of the longest running shows (not including sports and documentaries) in HBO’s history:

    Curb Your Enthusiasm – 8 seasons
    Tales from the Crypt – 7 seasons
    Sex and the City – 6 seasons
    The Sopranos – 6 seaons
    True Blood – 6 seasons
    The Larry Sanders Show – 6 seasons
    Oz – 6 seasons
    Six Feet Under – 5 seasons

    It is not a good idea to compare anything but TRUE BLOOD to whatever will happen now since those other shows were all under the old regime.

  231. sunspear
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    To all the people saying that AFFC and ADWD can be condensed into less than two seasons, please identify 800 pages worth of filler from those books. Then I will take you seriously.

  232. NoOne
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    King DBC,

    It might be a dream of spring fellow commenter but I too have this fantasy of the endgame being adapted into a big budget movie, epic!

  233. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Where does the notion that TWOW will be 1500 pages come from. Did GRRM explicitly say that? I don’t mean hints or guesses. Did he say that for sure? Just curious as I see that number thrown around a lot.
    The hardcover ADWD is 959 pages excluding the appendix
    Paperback ASOS is 1128 pages.
    If 400 pages of TWOW are finished and it will be around the same length as ADWD as many believe, then he is about 40% finished not a quarter.
    That would make a late 2014 release date very possible.
    It seems like GRRM is coy every time someone asks him when the book will be out. I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. We don’t know how many chapters are finished, how many exist in a rough form or long the book will actually be.

  234. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    sunspear:
    To all the people saying that AFFC and ADWD can be condensed into less than two seasons, please identify 800 pages worth of filler from those books. Then I will take you seriously.

    People tend to assume a storyline is filler if it hasn’t paid off yet. Since there are books to come I don’t know why so many people have leapt to the conclusion that the Dorne, Iron Islands and Oldtown plots are leading nowhere and won’t impact the rest of the story.

  235. Roger König
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I think its quite senseless to ask myself, IF i’m going to watch the show IF they overtake GRRM. Who knows what happends until then. Maybe George does even need an 8th book.

  236. Jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    sunspear:
    To all the people saying that AFFC and ADWD can be condensed into less than two seasons, please identify 800 pages worth of filler from those books. Then I will take you seriously.

    It’s not 800 pages of filler, it’s that the story is spread across 22 POV characters each with their own thing going on and most of which have an arc sufficient for one season (see Jon, Sansa, Sam, Dorne, Davos, Bran…). Making that into two seasons would mean nothing will happen to these characters in the first season and it would end completely anticlimactically. This issue can be avoided for season 6 with the help of a quarter of TWOW. Without it you’re left with two seasons spread so thin that no one would bare them. No viewer, no audience, no show.

    Honestly, D&D would probably rather put the show on hiatus than make more than two seasons of ADWDFFC.

  237. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Listen 2 Ghost!,

    At last, Fenrir will swallow the sun!

  238. Yarya
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ll say it again, you guys need to visualize this:

    George never finishes the books. TWoW is delayed for years and years and just never comes. Maybe we have a few chapters, and from ADoS.

    D&D/HBO get into some kind of dispute, show runs 6 seasons then ends without conclusion when the actor contracts expire.

    We never know how the story ends…maybe D&D eventually do an interview where they reveal some of the broad strokes of the ending(s), but there are sooo many unresolved questions left. And we live with that, for the rest of our lives.

    SO…if you can make peace with this, then you won’t be upset with whatever actually happens.

  239. NomadicDirewolf
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    2014season 4 2nd half of asos
    2015 season 5 aFfC aDwD first half
    2016 season 6 aFfC aDwD second half
    2017 season 7 tWoW
    2018 season 8 aDoS
    Thats the pattern i believe they will follow for the show, although they might split the last two books if they’re splitting aSoS too, although that would result in ten seasons, which as the article mentions is considered to many. So they’d probably have to add on a 2-4 episodes in the last few seasons to get everything in.
    That means that it will be 2018 when the final season comes out, but more importantly that means we’re looking at a script written in 2017, so aDoS would have to be finished by then, something i find unlikely given the fact that i think that it will be 2015 by the time we get to see tWoW, and GRRM would never write a book in two years.
    so in my mind they have to give an extra year minimum to write it, so they might have to stretch out tWoW to two seasons, 9 seasons is not ideal, and it might seem slightly weird giving two seasons to the penultimate book but only one to the final one. Still, this is probably the best option they have, as it probably wont seem stretched either, as tWoW looks to be all action from the start.

  240. Jentario
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    Where does the notion that TWOW will be 1500 pages come from.Did GRRM explicitly say that?I don’t mean hints or guesses.Did he say that for sure?Just curious as I see that number thrown around a lot. The hardcover ADWD is 959 pages excluding the appendix Paperback ASOS is 1128 pages.
    If 400 pages of TWOW are finished and it will be around the same length as ADWD as many believe, then he is about 40% finished not a quarter.
    That would make a late 2014 release date very possible.
    It seems like GRRM is coy every time someone asks him when the book will be out.I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. We don’t know how many chapters are finished, how many exist in a rough form or long the book will actually be.

    1500 manuscript pages will translate (after heavy editing and font size changes) to around 1000 pages. Both ASOS and ADWD were around 1500 manuscript pages. As stated by GRRM.

  241. Kyrenna
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what to think of GRRM anymore. Fame has kinda changed the way he talks about things. Way more commonplaces, way more guarded. One thing I do know: the AFFC/ADWD/Meereenese knot thing, where he promised fans a book would be out soon but then had to admit to an immense writers’ block, has forever shut him down on the topic of saying anything resembling promises on release dates. He just doesn’t want another fan backlash like that. So I’m not speculating anymore, just hoping he’ll post on his blog he has sent WoW to his publisher before the series catches up.

    Because, as much as I want to read the books first, and will try not to get spoiled if the series catches up…I know I will. Like someone said above, GoT is now so much part of pop culture, there will be no avoiding it. And since D&D are fans of the books, GRRM is involved…the show will not get a radically different ending from the books, any alternative ending will be on minor plot parts only, I think. Reading the books afterwards, then, it will feel like I’ve looked at the last page already. Takes away a lot of my reading pleasure.

    So if the show catches up, I will probably not read the books anymore. That will probably make me very sad, indeed. Not so sad I’d want the show to take a hiatus (actor problems) or create too many extra filler plotlines just to stretch out the seasons, though. God, please, no. What makes it so brilliant is that it’s capable of telling an entire story, painting an entire character, in one well-shot scene. As much as I love the books, as long as I waited for next installments to come out…do not kill this beautiful show for bookworm me.

  242. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    John W:
    Just for comparison, here some of the longest running shows (not including sports and documentaries) in HBO’s history:

    Curb Your Enthusiasm – 8 seasons
    Tales from the Crypt – 7 seasons
    Sex and the City – 6 seasons
    The Sopranos – 6 seaons
    True Blood – 6 seasons
    The Larry Sanders Show – 6 seasons
    Oz – 6 seasons
    Six Feet Under – 5 seasons

    How long did Entourage run ?

  243. The mighty hodor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I am absolutely against the tv show catching up with books.

    I think people should have more faith in GRRM. It’s clear he doesn’t want that to happen and I think he will get it done.

    And judging from the number of chapters from the next book floating around I would assume he is half way through with the next book.

    Have some faith!

  244. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Agree. Well put.

  245. sunspear
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    babar: Absolutely?

    What would be the climax of the first year of AFFC/ADWD, then? And what would be the characters’ arcs throughout the two seasons? How do you end your first half?

    Those are serious questions. I’m really wondering.. and since you seem to already have the answers, I’d gladly read them.

    AFFC ends around the halfway point of ADWD, so:

    Cercei getting locked up by the High Sparrow
    Jaime refuses to help her
    Brienne fights Rorge and Biter
    Arya goes blind.
    Ramsay marries Farya
    Tyrion gets captured by slavers

  246. David The Grey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger: It seems like GRRM is coy every time someone asks him when the book will be out. I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. We don’t know how many chapters are finished, how many exist in a rough form or long the book will actually be.

    And doesn’t he write some chapters from future books in advance? I think I recall that while we were all waiting for ADOD to be published, he’d already written several chapters of the 6th book. So by now, it may be that he’s further along than anyone knows, even if book 6 is not finished yet. And maybe he’s further along in a pivotal way, as far as the show is concerned? (But gods, what kind of coordination nightmare that might be if the show has to determine the narratives it wants to pursue, send that over to GRRM, and hope that he’s either completed those portions or can complete those portions by the time the show needs to get working on scripts. Let alone what kind of writer, writing for his own pleasure, would want to enter into such a horrendous nightmare?)

    This is a fairly distressing subject to me. I will always support GRRM as a writer, so if he NEVER finishes the books, then that is his perogative. Though, I sure do hope that GRRM kicks it into high gear whilst writing what he wants to write in the way that he wants to, but timely so that we can avoid doomsday scenarios altogether.

    Most of all, if we do get to that point, I hope that GRRM and HBO and the producers and everyone involved can somehow produce a viable solution without becoming bitter enemies. I would hate more than anything to have this project that we love turn into that kind of project.

    When I think “Well damn, they should’ve waited until all the books were in the can”, I realize that would’ve meant we probably would have a lot of different actors portraying these characters. I’m happy with the actors we have, thank you very much – the kids and the adults have all done a wonderful job of creating this world, I couldn’t be happier and I can’t imagine it with anyone else. What a pickle! So I’ll be grateful for what we do get from the TV show, even if it means it never gets completed or turns into a cluster fiasco (please no!).

  247. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    8 seasons, but they had varying length and very wildly varying quality (1-5 were generally good, 6-7 were awful, 8 was OK). I think there even was one season that was split between two years.

  248. fuelpagan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to the show passing the books. GRRM can spend all his time writing Wild Cards for all I care.

    Bonus being Elio can’t endlessly compare the books to the show.

  249. outdoorcats
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    I have a funny feeling the show won’t stop or slow itself down for the books. That said, it doesn’t seem impossible that the show and books will finish around the same time – Martin has said before he hopes that the last book will be published shortly before the last season begins. And never underestimate the power of a good deadline. Anyway, as tight-lipped as he’s been, we haven’t really seen any indication one way or the other that Book 6 WON’T be published in 2014–just fan pessimism. I’m not saying to have faith it will be, as long as it took the last two books, just that there’s a perfectly good chance, especially when the problems that slowed down those books (rewriting the entire thing without a three-year gap, the Meerenese Knot, etc.) are documented. Surely it’s easier to write closer to the end game.

    Not to mention that if Books 6 and 7 are as big as he said they would be (Storm of Swords-sized) then they’ll take 1.5 seasons each, or three seasons between them at the very least, to adapt.

  250. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Joey,

    Tyrion. Yes, his character development in ADWD is important. I never said that they shouldn’t include it at all in the show.. I just said that there was no way you could stretch that out over 2-3 seasons.

    Brienne. Her quest is completely pointless to begin with (cause, well, we all know where Sansa is). Yeah, it was nice in the books to see the ravages of the war.. but I have a hard time seeing how you can stretch that over 2-3 seasons.

    Bran. How could they add anything? He’s not in KL, but in a cave only surrounded by Meera, Jojen, Hodor and some Children of the Forest. The possibilities of his storyline are kinda limited.

    As for your S5 ending: Theon with fake Arya and Davos in White Harbor means that those 2 POV won’t have any material left from ADWD after S5. What do you do next for S6 and S7?

    And are you suggesting that Arya only begins to follow her assassin’s training by the end of S5? What is she supposed to do in S4 and S5 then?

    As for the rest.. do you really think those things would make for a great climax? How is that supposed to compete with Ned’s death, the Battle of Blackwater, the Red Wedding and (probably) the Battle at the Wall? What a lackluster season that would be.

    Oh, and how wrong you are when you say:

    Show watchers barely even realize the threat of the WW they are all thinking the show is about who sits the iron throne.

    Do you even read non-readers” reactions?

  251. sunspear
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Arthur:
    I think a mini series prequel, like Spartacus did will be the only solution… And why not?

    Because Game of Thrones is not a schlocky gorefest like Spartacus (thank the Old, New, Red, Many-faced, and Drowned Gods)

    Because unless you use the same actors, it does nothing about the fact that contract negotiations would become impossible to do. And having the same actors play their seventeen-years-younger counterparts would look incredibly stupid.

    Because prequels are inherently undramatic because you know in advance which characters are going to die, when they will die, and how they will die.

    Because doing a Robert’s Rebellion prequel would require a Blackwater sized Battle every other episode, which Game of Thrones cannot afford to make.

    And finally, because they couldn’t due it without showing what really happened with Lyanna and Rhaegar.

  252. David The Grey
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Yarya: SO…if you can make peace with this, then you won’t be upset with whatever actually happens.

    As much as I don’t want that to happen, I can make peace with it. Simply put, I don’t believe anybody owes us fans anything, whether it be the author of the books or the folks involved in the show. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t, it is not the end of the world.

    I had to learn that lesson with Firefly. It really hit home when they had their 10 year reunion get-together, it really made me realize that even if it did come back, it would NEVER be the same. So enjoy what you do get while it lasts, because nothing ever lasts.

    Or, drink beer. Lots and lots of beer. (and I’m not even fond of beer)

  253. Kate
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns: think about all the super popular shows out there that you DON’T watch. Do you know how they ended last season? Probably not, right? It’s surprisingly easy to avoid being spoiled if you stay away from places specifically concerned with that content.

    During the week after the Rains of Castamere aired, my twitter and facebook feed were full of posts about the Red Wedding. At work, people commented it and you could get spoiled just overhearing conversations. And the world is full of trolls who enjoy spoiling other people’s fun.

    And it’s more than that. I like being able to theorize whether Jon is alive or not, or who’ll end sitting in the Iron Throne. I’d hate to be discussing some topic in a group of friends or in a forum, and then have a smartass saying something like: “I don’t want to spoil you, but I’ll just let you know that your prediction is far off…”

  254. John W
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    8 seasons.

  255. Lina
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Ughhh. I fear this will happen but I really don’t want it to. If the last book isn’t out before the final season of the show, I would want to hold off on watching until I could read. But since GOT has become so embedded in the zeitgeist, that would be impossible. You’d literally have to cut off all communications for a while!

    I’m hoping, wishing, praying for TWOW either in Spring/Summer 2014, and ADOS/last book in early 2017, so we can all lock ourselves in our rooms and read without stopping and be caught up. :)

    Most of all I want them to be good books, so if that’s going to take GRRM more time, he shouldn’t just publish whatever he has. It would just be really, really sad I think if this masterful series is sort of hijacked in the final act by the TV show (which is brilliant, but like any book-to-screen adaptation, just not the same).

  256. We do not Hodor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I would really hope GRRM finishes the books before the show, but in the likely event he doesn’t, I will watch the ending on TV because I am not sure I can wait for the ending in print. If book 6 is out in 2014 and book 7 makes it in 2016-17, then fine, but the likelihood that it’s more like 2016 and 2021 seems to be growing. I don’t want to have to avoid any Game of Thrones sites, conversations, or places where they make pop-culture references for 8 years. HBO does a great job making the story into a series, so I think I would be “ok” with that as my ending. It would be very disappointing to me to not have Martin reveal the twists, turns and finale, though.

  257. John W
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    True but both the Sopranos and Sex and The City were similar to GoT in that they were critically well received, received Emmy attention, and were “water cooler” type shows that generated a lot of buzz. So there are comparisons to be made.

  258. Bran S.
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    The best solution would be 8 seasons. D&D should make new things up, and change some stories from book 4 and 5 and then the show will be more different then book 6 and 7 (main stories being same) and finish before the books. Book readers wont be spoiled so much. But the very end of the show should be the same as the books.
    I believe D&D can do that. Tv shows more then 8 season loose quality. And a hiatus isnt doable in tv genre… Sorry for my english ;)

  259. AngryGoTFan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  260. El Beto
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    Unfornately you are right…
    Yet I still think RR Martin has more power than Weiss/Benioff

  261. Ser Bro
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    Sure did.

    WAMP WAMP WAAAAAAAAAAAAAMP

  262. Rhys
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    In an interview with Simon Boyce at the S3 premiere, GRRM said he was about “a quarter” finished Winds.

  263. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see any possibility of AFfC & ADwD getting two seasons. Unlike the third book, there just isn’t a good point to split the story lines for (m)any of the characters. One extended season is my guess.

    It’s been discussed that True Blood would be ending with its seventh season, and I think that’s probably how it’s going to play out. An additional season would mean that every actor who has been around since the first season (which is most of them) would be eligible to have their contracts re-negotiated completely. And it seems like the plot itself is positioning for the end-game, based on the first three episodes of this current season.

    That would leave the summer scheduling spot open in 2015 for Game of Thrones; free from the NBA play-offs, broadcast shows, and some major players on other cable channels. More importantly, it would allow for an additional 2-3 episodes of the show to be produced (since each episode takes approximately 18 days to shoot). After that point, the production schedule settles back into a time frame that allows for the regular ten episodes per season.

    Because, while I agree that the last two novels might not be able to work as one ten episode season, 12-13 episodes seems just about perfect, and would make sense considering this would be the only time they’re actually combining books to form a single season of television. That would also give Martin just a smidgen more time to finish the last book (which will likely go into production with or without the last novel ready for release, using the manuscript pages George has finished).

    I’m banking on 8 seasons, myself, with the final season also being extended (and perhaps delayed [the airing, not the production] to coincide with the release of the final book – if Martin can finish it in time, that is).

  264. dodge
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    shywalker,

    totally agree with u the reason we dont see coldhands is as ive always imaged benjin stark when reading [ d & d could delay this and make it ned] and please tell is jon dead?

  265. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    sunspear: AFFC ends around the halfway point of ADWD, so:

    Cercei getting locked up by the High Sparrow
    Jaime refuses to help her
    Brienne fights Rorge and Biter
    Arya goes blind.
    Ramsay marries Farya
    Tyrion gets captured by slavers

    Cersei. And then you have 2 chapters left for S6. TWOW material needed for S6.

    Jaime. 1 chapter left. TWOW material needed for S6.

    Brienne. 1 chapter left. TWOW material needed for S6.

    Arya. 2 chapters left (and what the hell is she going to do during S5 if she doesn’t experience blindness before the very end of the season?). TWOW material needed for S6.

    Theon. 3 chapters left + Asha’s. The problem is: What will they do with Theon/Ramsay/Roose in S4? They’ve just established the Boltons as the new villains.. they need to show them next year somehow. My bet is that they’ll start to use some ADWD material.

    Tyrion. 3 chapters left. TWOW material needed for S6.

    So, do we actually agree?

  266. GeekFurious
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    John W:
    GeekFurious,

    True but both the Sopranos and Sex and The City were similar to GoT in that they were critically well received, received Emmy attention, and were “water cooler” type shows that generated a lot of buzz. So there are comparisons to be made.

    Sure but it is like comparing apples to oranges. HBO has changed dramatically in the last few years. They are actually MORE willing to put a show on the air even if cost is high and the process difficult. They care about prestige as much as subs. So it is difficult to predict what they are going to do based on what they did even four years ago.

    Oh and I said this earlier but I’m sure people skipped right over it:

    I am willing to bet hard cash on HBO ordering TWENTY EPISODES for at least one if not two seasons of GOT to head off the extended contract issues. They could do it for seasons 5 and 6, then split those seasons into two 9 month breaks, thereby getting four years out of the final two contract seasons.

    I mention it again because it can (and likely will) happen. And when you guys are predicting these things, I recommend considering it in your analysis of the future.

  267. Neil
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Season 4 is not just going to be the rest of A Storm of Swords. Why do so many people keep saying that in their predictions? They will have to move on into books 4 or 5 for several of the storylines.

    The only storylines that have a substantial amount left to adapt from book 3 are the King’s Landing and Night’s Watch threads.

    Bran’s Storm of Swords story is over.

    There are four Daenerys chapters in book 3 and they have adapted three of them.

    The Davos/Stannis storyline is largely finished, as is Jamie and Brienne’s, though the show has them in King’s Landing earlier than they were in the book.

    Arya’s story is 85% finished. All that remains is for the Hound to be wounded and for her to board the ship to Braavos

    They’ve already told us what happened to Theon — are they going to have him being tortured for another entire season before his Dance of Dragons material begins?

    So season 4 is going to be far more than just the rest of book 3.

  268. 大黑鸡
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    El Beto:

    I just said that what they did in Spartacus they could do it here. It would be great for us readers to actually see the Rebellion or the Targaryens or the early Starks or some other story.

    Why do you assume all “us readers” think the same way you do?

    We might see Dunk & Egg in some form, allowing for backstory, but not the Rebellion. The key reason is that Robert’s Rebellion contains potential spoilers… There is no way they’d show a key moment like the Tower of Joy before the correct moment to reveal the information has been confirmed in the books.

    So please stop saying “we” all the time. “We” don’t all agree with “you”.

  269. Arriba
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know. But is even worse for none english readers xD, because I watch the series the next day but for example the last book a dance with dragons took almost a year to get translated, so…

    Hopefully, I expect/hope that the last book won’t take George so much time to write since he already know the ending and probably just the sight of ending the saga after so many years encourages him to finish it faster

  270. Jon Blackfyre
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    Branneeds to learn more about warging they can make up story line for that. I would love to see what happens I’m all of briennes chapters because of not only the glimple at how war affects the small folk but also to see pod and probably gendty characters build along with hers. And to see the way she starts to gain confidense in her womanhood while at the same time being a warrior. Theon has more stuff that happens. With as little of scenes Davis had you can easily split him in two season expecially with all the great exposition. I mean seriously combine the two books the way Shawn t collins did reread them and tell me how you couldn’t write 2 seasons with that material. The show has concentrated more on character building and suspense not action and moving plot at exponential rates. There plenty of that left. And yes I have red non book readers
    comments that’s why I said that. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying they are going to do it in 9 or 10
    seasons or that it will be shity if its done in 7. I’m
    saying I think there’s enough there to do more
    seasons.

  271. Set Dingleberry
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    El Beto,

    Not with HBO he doesn’t. The show will go on regardless of where GRRM’s at in his writing. As long as the show’s popularity remains high.

  272. Zack
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Neil,

    Which of course should bring to mind that there will be a domino effect, in that Bran and Dany will surely move into DwD territory next season (unless the plan is for them to have next to no material from the book) which of course means later seasons will have less DwD material to work with since it’ll already have been adapted…

    This show can certainly end in 7 seasons.

  273. sunspear
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    Not exactly. The two seasons of AFFC/ADWD will be spread out, so you will get 4 episodes worth of AFFC/ADWD in Season 4, all ten episodes of Season 5, and 6 episodes in Season 6. Twenty episodes of AFFC/ADWD, count on it.

    And to answer the ‘what will they do for the rest of the season’ question you keep asking, here’s the answer: They’ll focus on those characters less, and spend some time in the other 15 plotlines these books have.

  274. Michael
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    They’ll pass him by Season 6, unless GRRM starts writing like Kerouac. In terms of actual narrative, there really isn’t a lot going on in AFFC and ADWD. It’s not enough story to carry 2 full seasons. By Season 4, we’ll be done with ASOS and likely some elements of the other books, Season 5 will likely wrap up most of the AFFC and ADWD storylines.

    GOT is a bonafide hit for HBO, rising as other shows (True Blood I’m looking at you!) are fading. Best hope is that GRRM releases TWOW in 2015 before Season 5 ends and it’s got so much going on that they have to split it into 20 episodes. But that would still only give GRRM 3 years to finish the series…IF he’s actually going to finish the series with a book 7.

  275. FictionIsntReal
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Alan Sepinwall recently discussed the possibility of filming seasons based on material George has told D&D about, but hasn’t published yet. But just because it’s filmed in time for the actors to still appear young and not complicate their contracts, doesn’t mean it has to be aired right away before the book is published. But HBO won’t want to do that because it’s such a popular series and they don’t want it to lose momentum. If they aired some “Dunk and Egg” in between, that could be something of a stop-gap.

  276. Ron
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Some of you people are delusional :)

    There is no way the show DOESN’T catch up and pass the books. George took six years to write the last one. The next one is a minimum of two if not three years away (again, those of you predicting 2014 are out of your minds, at best Winds of Winter will be out in 2015, more likely 2016 or later. If George was going to finish and have it on the shelves next year, he’d be nearly done at this point [because a book even when it's done needs several months for editing and production, the final Thomas Convenant book by Stephen Donaldson has been finished for quite some time and it doesn't come out until the end of this year], and if that was the case, he’d tell us so rather than say things like “I’ve given up on answering that question”).

    That means the show will go through another two seasons before we see Winds, at least with the material we have. By that time we will be well into the filiming fourth book, if not done with it. Once Winds is published, that gives us another possible two seasons worth of material, maybe (bringing us up to seven total, which is already stretching the show pretty thin).

    And the final book will take just as long (four to six years). How are you going to stretch the fifth book into four years worth of TV? You can’t. The producers have already stated they won’t go that long.

    The very best you can hope for is George finishes the series in 2019. That is 6 years from now. And I think that is wildly optimistic. I’m more expecting another 10 years wait for the final book (if indeed it is the final book and if indeed George ends up finishing it at all [not to be morbid, but the guy is not exactly young]).

    The show will go for seven or maybe eight years in total. So another 5 years at most. Versus the (at best) six year wait before the final book. Those are best case scenarios, and in all honesty I don’t see them happening.

    I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom, but I think you have to face reality. All of us are going to see the end of this story through the TV show, not through the books. That is just how the math works out.

  277. babar
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    You know, maybe you should read the whole conversation before you chose to intervene next time. These people I was responding to were claiming that we won’t get into TWOW territory before S7.

    That’s what I was in disagreement with.

    And, no, you don’t get 6 episodes out of 1-2 chapters per characters.

    sunspear: They’ll focus on those characters less, and spend some time in the other 15 plotlines these books have.

    So you really think they will include the 20 something plotlines from the books? Hilarious.

  278. Neil
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I just read the Dunk and Egg stories. They are entertaining but modest. I don’t think they would really cut it as a replacement for the main show.

    Though it was nice to see that George can in fact write a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

  279. msd
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    shywalker,

    I agree with you about Coldhands.

    I also suspect that the first time we’re going to get a “book spoiler” is when we see Joseph Mawle come back as Benjen/Coldhands.

    As for the TV show finishing first… I’m okay with that. Watching the show when all of us are “unsullied” would be quite an experience! I’d still read the books because there would still be surprises. It won’t play out in precisely the same way. I get different things from the book and the TV and I’m sure I’d still be able to enjoy both.

  280. Sareeta
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I think everyone should accept the fact that the show is going to pass the books. I definitely do not want to see the show stall in order for the books to come out. I’m hoping David and Dan keep writing the series, using the knowledge of how it ends, and start seriously thinking about how they are going to plan the seasons for which there are no books. If nothing else, I think it’ll put a fire under GRRM’s ass and make him take this whole writing thing seriously.

    Also, I get the feeling from that EW interview that HBO doesn’t want Game of Thrones for 10 seasons. I think it is very expensive to produce, and the salaries of the actors are going to increase as this stretches on. Plus, I don’t get the feeling that the return on investment is as great as some of us like to think. 7 seasons would be a minimum requirement; 8 would give some leeway.

  281. Anon
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I know its gonna happen, but I don’t want it to. I want to experience the end the way it was meant to, from GRRM’s writing. I would like to say I won’t watch the show, but then I would have to stay within my room for years in order to avoid spoilers.

  282. Porky
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be surprise to see the show take a two-year hiatus. You could also see an HBO films prequel regarding Robert’s Rebellion during that hiatus period. Perhaps I’m being too optimistic, but I think it’ll all work out for the best.

  283. Eleanor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    *deep breath*

    My name is Eleanor, and I prefer the show to the books.
    (yes, even though I read them all before the show began.)

  284. Lundy
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I fully expect the show to finish the story before GRRM. I’ve been a book fan since the first one came out in 1996 and those interminable years between stories has convinced me it will happen. So if I’m wrong, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Don’t particularly care if the show finishes the story at this point, just so I get to witness a conclusion.
    I will still purchase and read the books whenever they come out. Assuming the world hasn’t come to a screeching halt by whatever decade they’re finished.

  285. Alex
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    they should do a prequel season, where they show everything that took place during the rebellion against the mad king

  286. John W
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    I hope you’re right.

  287. sunspear
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    babar,

    You know, maybe you should try reading comments before you respond to them. I’ve only said on this thread that AFFC/ADWD will take up two seasons. If you’re going to respond to me, you should respond to what I say, not what other people have been saying.

    And yes, you can get 6 episodes with those 2 chapters because they aren’t the only characters in the books. Dany, Jon, Tyrion, Barristan, Theon, Arya, Victarion, and all the other characters all have stuff to do during this time, and they can focus on them.

    And yes, I think they are going to include the Iron Islands, Dorne, Quentyn, and Brienne, and the show will still be a good hit. Because this show isn’t just about plot. It’s about character development, which is something AFFC/ADWD have no lack of.

  288. Sim
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    They should do a season or two with earlier events. The same purpose of a prequel. Just look at the histories. The story is all there.

  289. jax
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m a book reader and I definitely want the books to finish before the show does. For all Harry Potter book readers, remember how fun it was to wait in anticipation for the next book and to go to the midnight parties to read it all night? (That’s what we did)…Anyway, the books are much better than the HBO series. If the series catches up to the books, I will not watch the TV show because I don’t want to ruin the excitement of reading the last book. Hopefully, GRRM is writing away. I would hope that he is considering his legacy at this point, because the books should come first. I can’t imagine he would be happy with HBO revealing the ending of the series he was worked on and planned for years.

  290. Neil
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Sareeta:
    Also, I get the feeling from that EW interview that HBO doesn’t want Game of Thrones for 10 seasons.I think it is very expensive to produce, and the salaries of the actors are going to increase as this stretches on.Plus, I don’t get the feeling that the return on investment is as great as some of us like to think.7 seasons would be a minimum requirement; 8 would give some leeway.

    I don’t quite understand why people think HBO wouldn’t want it to continue past 7 or 8 years, if it is still a success. Networks like successful shows. If it’s profitable in season 8, why stop it?

  291. haltwhogoesthere
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I think that what they probably talked to GRRM about is if his old pace would be something he’d be okay with aiming for. Maybe this 7 season thing they were talking about is because if he returns to the pace at which the first three were released, starting from now he would finish right around the time the last season airs. I would imagine that writing the last book is in some ways the easiest, but I don’t know. If I was an executive I would be trying to negotiate into the split of season 3, two year pace deal. It’s really the best for both parties. The team is allowed to devote more time to all the craziness that is A Storm of Swords, and you’re not really rushing him because you know he’s able to write that fast. Keeps the contract lengths shorter, minimizes spoiling, everyone’s happy.

  292. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    One thing that everyone expects is that many of the substantial number of active storylines at the the end of ADwD will need to come together or disappear during TWoW and ADoS. You know what that means in the GRRM-verse….A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE! Come prepared with hankee in hand.

    Given that, during those clandestine meetings in the NM desert a few months back, don’t you believe that GRRM told D&D and the Cogman who died and who was still alive at the very end? Hence, D&D could start killing off threads and characters in their own way as the world anxiously awaits the books. I agree with others that even as soon as late S4/early S5, we could be seeing thread endings that will spoil the last two books substantially. This is a problem especially for the Sullied. Yikes!

    (Chanting) Books first, then film. Books first, then film….

  293. Neil
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Martin published the first three books at two year intervals, but I doubt it took him only two years to write each one. If you look at his publishing history there was a decade long gap between his previous books and “A Game of Thrones” — he obviously spent several years getting the first three books ready.

  294. Kim
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Are those advocating for more than 1.5 seasons (with some in season 4) for FFC and DWD at least conceding that we have to get into Winds of Winter material in season 6? Surely you can’t leave WOW until season 7 when the final two books are likely to have as much incident, likely more, as Storm of Swords. We won’t get more than 8 seasons (7 is even more likely). Wouldn’t you rather have as much of that screentime on the third act epic conclusion of the saga instead of the marking time middle act?

  295. XDarkAngelX
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    The show will pass the books unless GRRM has some sort of miraculous epiphany and gets us WoW in 2014 and ADoS in 2016. I think your realistic best case scenario is Winds of Winter published before it gets made into the show, and even then I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Season 4 is probably half ASoS and half Feast/Dance.

    Season 5 will finish Feast/Dance, maybe leaving some of the chapters from Dance that come after the events of Feast to be used for Season 6, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Season 6 will definitely include at least some of Winds of Winter, and I expect in fact will be entirely Winds of Winter with some of Dance and Dream mixed in to fill up some plotlines.

    I expect them to try and press Winds and Dream for enough juice that the show lasts 8 seasons.

    This means elements of Winds starting in Season 6 at the latest. That’s 2016, but they’ll be working on the show during 2015 so you really want the book to be out before (they could still use unpublished manuscripts to make the show though). Then you *really* want Dream to be out by 2016, or they overtake him at that point instead.

  296. natehilk
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    I love the books and the show equally. I don’t mind which we get first, as long as I get to see the story conclude. I have to know how it all ends, regardless of format.

  297. natehilk
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    *deep breath*

    My name is Eleanor, and I prefer the show to the books.
    (yes, even though I read them all before the show began.)

    I love your honesty, and there have been times when I’ve thought the same.

  298. Fani
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I believe the showrunners said in an interview a while back that they ‘ve already decided how to end the series.They will need mr Martin’s input on how the storylines will play out in the books,so that they’ll know how to use the events for the show but that’s it.I’m not a book reader so I’m not worried about the show catching up to the books,but in my opinion it’s not that the show and the book series’endgame possibly being the same that would make the book readers stop watching the show or stop reading the books.If we were concerned solely for the endgame,we would only watch the series finale or the last page of the final book;but we watch and read for the journey,for the stuff leading up to the big finish. I believe that if the showrunners handle the storylines the way mr Martin is planning to do it for the book series,a few developments will be spoiled and that may force the readers to make a choice:book or show.The show is handling the storylines in its own way so far sure,but it can’t change everything.

  299. Eleanor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    natehilk:
    Eleanor,

    I love your honesty, and there have been times when I’ve thought the same.

    You know when people say that they enjoy Liam Cunningham’s Davos much more than they enjoy reading Davos in the books? I have that for so many characters and so many plotlines. Charles Dance as Tywin. Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran. Richard Madden as Robb, certainly! Oh, and Jerome Flynn as Bronn! I love Sansa and Arya to bits, especially Sansa, and the show makes me love them even more. And in terms of plotlines: Dragonstone. Cersei vs. the Tyrells. Oh, and the visuals! Jon and the wildlings climbing the wall in SoS is nothing compared to the terror and thrill as shown in “The Climb”. Then we have added scenes. Robert and Cersei in S1. Balon and Yara receiving Ramsay’s message in S3. Nothing immediate comes to mind for S2 so instead I’ll say: how existing Cersei and Sansa dialogue was incorporated faithfully and brilliantly into the show in Blackwater.

    Yes, they’ve whitewashed Tyrion and done Cat wrong, and pretty much everybody agrees the Qhorin Halfhand bit was clumsily done. But for me these are outweighed by all the ways in which the show equals or surpasses the books.

  300. WildSeed
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Neil:
    I just read the Dunk and Egg stories. They are entertaining but modest. I don’t think they would really cut it as a replacement for the main show.

    Though it was nice to see that George can in fact write a story with a beginning, middle, and end.

    More Tales are being written, as many as 10.

  301. The Red Viper
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Dont rush the genius! Let the man write his books, they ve been great so far and i would be very sad if the last two turn out to be like Rowlings final volume.

  302. lost northern
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I dont know for you guys but i would rather like to see the show stop for a while and then do a come back when all the books are out…it would be safer but i know that tv isnt like it’s always ”it MUST come out right now whether the books are out or not.” well at least as far as the experience that i got.

  303. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    I’d hold off on watching the show if passes the book. I love the show, and would hate to wait, but I really have no desire to find out how the story ends on tv. Thankfully, it looks like I’d only have to hold off watching one or two seasons. It seems inconceivable that GRRM doesn’t get the next book out before season 6. I’m also betting that he’ll be writing with reckless abandon to prevent D&D from telling how the story ends before he does, so I’m still confident he’ll finish the series before them.

  304. Brendan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    You know what would be funny, and maybe not all that unlikely? The show finishes first, with a happy and satisfying ending. George later releases the last book. It follows the show closely until the last few chapters, at which point George randomly kills off most of the remaining characters and concludes with a tragic ending.

  305. Tori Targaryen
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    The Red Viper:
    Dont rush the genius! Let the man write his books, they ve been great so far and i would be very sad if the last two turn out to be like Rowlings final volume.

    This.

    I hope GRRM takes his sweet time. Quality is the priority here

  306. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor: You know when people say that they enjoy Liam Cunningham’s Davos much more than they enjoy reading Davos in the books? I have that for so many characters and so many plotlines. Charles Dance as Tywin. Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran. Richard Madden as Robb, certainly! Oh, and Jerome Flynn as Bronn! I love Sansa and Arya to bits, especially Sansa, and the show makes me love them even more. And in terms of plotlines: Dragonstone. Cersei vs. the Tyrells. Oh, and the visuals! Jon and the wildlings climbing the wall in SoS is nothing compared to the terror and thrill as shown in “The Climb”. Then we have added scenes. Robert and Cersei in S1. Balon and Yara receiving Ramsay’s message in S3. Nothing immediate comes to mind for S2 so instead I’ll say: how existing Cersei and Sansa dialogue was incorporated faithfully and brilliantly into the show in Blackwater.

    Yes, they’ve whitewashed Tyrion and done Cat wrong, and pretty much everybody agrees the Qhorin Halfhand bit was clumsily done. But for me these are outweighed by all the ways in which the show equals or surpasses the books.

    It’s hard for me to say. I saw Season 1 before reading, then came to read the books. And so I was interested first because there was this new fantasy-Lord of the Rings-type thing with, whaddya know, Sean Bean, and figured I’d have to give it a shot. And I was rolling along, enjoying it quite a bit, thinking Peter Dinklage was having a great time, liking a lot of the actors, and then Viserys gets a giant molten pot of gold on his HEAD. And then I’m like, “Ok, shit’s gettin REAL, now.” And from there, it just got better. And of course I devoured the books, and love them, too. But I really do think the show is excellent.

    I really don’t see the “whitewashing” of Tyrion so much. Yes, if certain things in Season 4 do not happen, then yes, that criticism will be valid. (He didn’t kill the singer in Season what, 2, 3? But remember it’s a minor plot point, ripe for editing out.) I thought Cat was really nicely done. Qhorin Halfhand was a bit clumsy, agreed. But there’s so much epic sweep to this show — it’s even gotten me to the point where I’d rather watch TV dramas than movies these days. And that’s saying something, because up until 10 yrs ago, TV drama (including cable) was the friggin’ dark ages. Sure, there were exceptions – Homicide: Life on the Streets, which these days really just reads like a rough draft of The Wire, and there was Oz, and then eventually Sopranos, and the rest is history.

    Some of the characters fit what I thought I’d see (I read books 2 and on first, so I can confidently opine on Mance, Brienne, Tormund, Qhorin, Davos, et al)…Davos is amazing. Liam Cunningham turns that character into magic. I cannot BELIEVE how great Gwendoline Christie is as Brienne – it’s almost criminal, how well she embodies that part. Natalie Dormer is killing it as Marge, and I love Lena Headey’s slow burning Cersei. Some think we’re not getting “evil crazy Cersei” or something, but let’s be patient – we’ve got a long way to go.

    And Eleanor, for added scenes in Season 2, I’d go with these:
    –Edd and Grenn discussing how his mother farted loudly when she died. “We were having a serious conversation,” when Sam interrupts them.
    –The way they changed the wildfire attack, giving Bronn a great bad-ass moment for him to nock and shoot that arrow that lights the entire damned sea on fire.
    –All of the Arya/Tywin scenes.
    –The great soliloquy by Yoren: “And I put an axe so far into his skull they had to bury him with it.” Great character beat for that guy, yet another tough SOB who has led Arya to where she is now.
    –Changing it so Theon beheads Ser Rodrik. “Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost.”

  307. Chickenduck
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor: You know when people say that they enjoy Liam Cunningham’s Davos much more than they enjoy reading Davos in the books? I have that for so many characters and so many plotlines. Charles Dance as Tywin. Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran. Richard Madden as Robb, certainly! Oh, and Jerome Flynn as Bronn! I love Sansa and Arya to bits, especially Sansa, and the show makes me love them even more.

    I agree, I prefer the show versions of a lot of the characters more than the book ones. Davos, Robb and Stannis in particular (I know many will violently disagree with the last bit). Also Sansa, Arya and Tywin. What you said.

    I’m going to risk getting stabbed and say again – I’m not all that amazed with GRRM’s characterisations. His Westerosi characters are fine, but I’ve never found them as brilliant or complex as everyone else seems to. His Essoan characters range from ok to cardboard.

    What I REALLY, REALLY like in GRRM’s writing is the detailed history and world-building. Although again, it’s uneven. Westeros has a great deal of detail with the Houses, history, the sigils etc etc etc. In Slaver’s Bay for example though, the people are savages whose complexity seems to extend to slaving, pyramids, wearing togas and eating dogs. In Qarth, they’re mysterious creatures who walk around with one breast out.

    I understand that Essos is almost always seen through the eyes of Westerosis, but seriously, it is made to be sooooooo much more 2-dimensional than Westeros is.

  308. tysnow
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t read the posts yet but my thinking is the following, since GRRM will get Winds out by 2015 but Spring not till 2019.

    2011-GoT
    2012-CoK
    2013-SoS pt 1
    2014-SoS pt 2 and parts of FfC/DwD
    2015-FfC/DwD (major adjustments) (GRRM WoW released)
    2016-Season 6 pt. 1 Remnants of FfC/DwD, WoW
    2017-Season 6 pt. 2 WoW
    Because DoS not released HBO has to renegotiate for two seasons.
    2018-Season 7 WoW/DoS
    2019-Season 8 DoS (GRRM releases DoS)

    I have no problem with Maisie, Issac or Art being adults, and Rickon will be 13 next year, and due for a growth spurt by season 5. I think it will be cool for Rickon to be 18 by the end, perfect and more believable as the Lord of Winterfell. Arya as a 20-21 yr. old ninja bad ass.

    My feeling is GoT reaches its peak 2016/2017 a perfect time for production of spin offs, Robert’s would work better as a trilogy, HBO theatrical movie release. Dunk and Egg as a 3 season limited series. even the possibility of a GoT/Dorne spin off.

  309. Eleanor
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber:
    –Changing it so Theon beheads Ser Rodrik. “Gods help you, Theon Greyjoy. Now you are truly lost.”

    I totally forgot that wasn’t how it played out in the book! Then yes, best added scene in S2 that elevates the book. (Arya and Tywin was great but I didn’t enjoy them MORE than I enjoyed Arya’s Harrenhal journey in the book.)

    With Tyrion’s whitewashing it’s not that there’s any Major Villain Moment they cut out or any Major Hero Moment they added. It’s far more subtle. He’s just more CONSIDERATE, all the way through. Little selfless actions that get added, little selfish actions that get removed… it adds up.

  310. dudestoneheart
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Why are the nonbook readers here? This pertains to the readers more so than to the non readers?

  311. blahblah
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Why are the nonbook readers here? This pertains to the readers more so than to the non readers?

  312. Cadeyrn
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Do some spinoffs, work the other angles.

  313. loco73
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I will say this again, there is no way this show will last 10 seasons (not that I don’t want it too), but HBO will NOT make a such a huge financial committement that might come at the expense of developing new shows.

    If we are lucky we will get a 7 to 8 seasons run, which would still be a record for an HBO show of this size.

    I would venture to guess that should the show approach the novels and catch -up to the story, they might take a hiatus like “The Sopranos” did. From a few months to one full year I would guess. That seems more reasonable…

  314. Turncloak
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink
  315. loco73
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    As a fan of the show, I don’t want this to happen of course, but as a fan of the books, I want George to have the needed time to put out the best work he feels he can do. After all the show’s source material are the novels…

  316. Chickenduck
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    loco73:
    I will say this again, there is no way this show will last 10 seasons (not that I don’t want it too), but HBO will NOT make a such a huge financial committement that might come at the expense of developing new shows.

    If we are lucky we will get a 7 to 8 seasons run, which would still be a record for an HBO show of this size.

    I reckon you’re totally correct.

    We’ve got to be realistic here:

    1. They won’t go past 7 or 8 seasons. D&D probably want 8, with 7 as a contingency. They have to keep the momentum up. MAYBE it’ll be 7-8 seasons and a film. That could be freaking awesome. The (unconfirmed but probable) climactic battle of Ice vs Fire on the big screen :)

    2. HBO can’t afford to make more than 10 episodes per season. The budget it stretched as is, the cast is huge and fantasy is expensive to make well. It’d be awesome, but it isn’t feasible.

    3. HBO can’t afford to take a break. Actors take other jobs. Contracts expire. Audience interest wanes.

    New chant. 8 SEASONS AND A MOVIE!!!!

  317. Chickenduck
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious

    I am willing to bet hard cash on HBO ordering TWENTY EPISODES for at least one if not two seasons of GOT to head off the extended contract issues. They could do it for seasons 5 and 6, then split those seasons into two 9 month breaks, thereby getting four years out of the final two contract seasons.

    I mention it again because it can (and likely will) happen. And when you guys are predicting these things, I recommend considering it in your analysis of the future.

    What’s your source/precedent on that? What makes it likely? Have they done that on any other shows?

    Not saying you’re definitely wrong, just curious as to your reasoning.

  318. loco73
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    HBO is pretty much in a league of its own when it comes to the current line-up of shows it has on offer. The closest competition is AMC. Showtime just cancelled “The Borgias” so it doesn’t have a period piece to boast anymore…new management, new priorities, but they do have “Ray Donovan” and “The Vatican” coming up… And “Starz”, well its “Starz”, after the end of “Spartacus”….”Da Vinci’s Demons”….lol…FX is getting back on the horse with some new shows in the pipeline.

    So HBO is still the top rung in the business, but it can’t be complacent, and developing new shows is still their trade and craft, bread and butter…besides I want to see the HBO adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” (as a miniseries) which is in the hands of Garry Goetzman, Tom Hanks and their PlayTone company (one with a proven pedigree, “Band Of Brothers”, “John Adams” and “The Pacific”) as far as I know. And who knows, maybe Stephen King will come to his senses and push “The Dark Tower” series to HBO for an adaptation….

    So “Game Of Thrones” has a lot of breathing room yet, but lets keep in mind all the other stuff…

  319. Eleanor
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Chickenduck: What’s your source/precedent on that?What makes it likely?Have they done that on any other shows?

    Not saying you’re definitely wrong, just curious as to your reasoning.

    I’m not the poster, but a HBO precedent would be OZ Season 3, which was twice as long as any other season of the show.

  320. Ser Bug
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    For some reason, I get upset seeing the book readers say they’re ok with the show finishing first and/or that the series should be 7 or 8 seasons.

    We do not even know any big event happening in TWOW or ADOS (except one certain battle so far) yet some think the show runners can squeeze the remaining books in 4 or 5 seasons?

    To me, the show did a pretty bad job at adapting ONE HALF of ASOS and that’s considering they have less characters than they will have in AFFC/ADWD.

  321. Turncloak
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Ser Bug,

    Season 3 was great season 4 will be even better

  322. We do not Hodor
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Eleanor: You know when people say that they enjoy Liam Cunningham’s Davos much more than they enjoy reading Davos in the books? I have that for so many characters and so many plotlines. Charles Dance as Tywin. Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran. Richard Madden as Robb, certainly! Oh, and Jerome Flynn as Bronn! I love Sansa and Arya to bits, especially Sansa, and the show makes me love them even more. And in terms of plotlines: Dragonstone. Cersei vs. the Tyrells. Oh, and the visuals! Jon and the wildlings climbing the wall in SoS is nothing compared to the terror and thrill as shown in “The Climb”. Then we have added scenes. Robert and Cersei in S1. Balon and Yara receiving Ramsay’s message in S3. Nothing immediate comes to mind for S2 so instead I’ll say: how existing Cersei and Sansa dialogue was incorporated faithfully and brilliantly into the show in Blackwater.

    Yes, they’ve whitewashed Tyrion and done Cat wrong, and pretty much everybody agrees the Qhorin Halfhand bit was clumsily done. But for me these are outweighed by all the ways in which the show equals or surpasses the books.

    I support this post! The actors in this series are fantastic. Gods be good I thought “Mark Addy??? Really???” and what do you know? He brings Robert Baratheon to life. Charles Dance, Peter Dinklage, Leana Heady, NCW, and so many of the actors really do such an outstanding job with their characters. All my rereads are bent so I picture them. Thank God for Steven Dillane. Can you imagine if they got someone else for that role? And yet, he’s nothing like book Stannis.

  323. We do not Hodor
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Ser Bug,

    We are “ok” with it only because we have accepted the inevitable. Martin cannot beat the show to the finish line. No amount of wailing and cursing will change that, so we accept our fate and move on.

  324. Ser Bug
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I also find it weird that a lot of people have no faith in the writers when it comes to STRETCHING out the EXISTING material (AFFC/ADWD) and having it be enjoyable… yet some people have faith that they can CREATE ENTIRELY NEW material that will be on par with the previous seasons and give everyone a satisfying ending.

    So, just make AFFC/ADWD 2 or 2.5 seasons… there’s enough characters and plots to fill the time. And the writers can easily surprise the writers by adding in different events or deaths. And depending on when they introduce certain characters, it can easily have season cliffhangers.

    PS: Regarding Dany… so what? Show fans should know by now to not expect anything (especially anything that might be moving towards a happy ending), so why should we rush her outta her kingdom to satisfy their expectations? Let her chill in her floppy ears. It’s gonna make what’s to come in TWOW that much more exciting (based off the sample POVs)

  325. Zack
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Chickenduck,

    I want this! I would love to be able to go to an IMAX and see Game of Thrones.Humongous movie budget and everything. I would go see it six times and buy the Blu-ray.

    It is a perfect series to show in cinemas. Get Neil Marshall to direct it.

    I need new pants.

  326. Squash
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Still skeptical that George will even be able to finish the series in 2 books. Way way too broad right now to bring together in 2 books neatly.

  327. fuelpagan
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Ser Bug,

    Many of us voiced this concern back when they started filming the pilot. With GRRM’s slow writing speed and his inability to limit himself to a couple of side projects, we saw this coming and have come to accept it. Sure I’d rather have the books before the show, but not at the expense of hurting the show because GRRM spent months writing fake history for his book with Elio instead of working on WoW.

    This actually works out pretty well. GRRM isn’t our bitch and can write as slow as he wants, and we don’t have to wait 10 years to get the end of the story.

    If the show passes the books, the only one to blame is GRRM.

  328. Jentario
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    I just had a great idea on a climax for season 5. The battle of Hardhome, as altered from the books.

  329. Richard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    What you should worry about is GRRM panicking or feeling the pressure and rushing to get the books finished “on time” (before the TV series ends) and they suffer in quality. But maybe that’s what he needs. For creative types, especially those with writer’s block or who tend to procrastinate, they need pressure like that to get on with it. Being a non-book reader, I guess it doesn’t matter to me as long as there is a proper ending to the TV series and not a rushed ending like ROME or no ending like DEADWOOD.

  330. Richard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    Oh, and HODDOOORRRR (Hoddooorrrr…. hoddooorrr…..) *down the well*

  331. Nathan Z.
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t think people are being rather realistic with their fan predictions. Sure, who wouldn’t love more history being filmed, like Robert’s Rebellion, but what purpose would that serve HBO and D&D? It’s back-story that stalls the momentum of a hit show. Like it or not, HBO and D&D are concerned about their own show first and crafting the best show, not fealty to Martin’s writing timetable. Just as Martin has expressed he is most concerned with his series’ legacy (time demands be damned!), HBO and D&D are concerned about their own show’s legacy (time extensions be damned!). No HBO drama has lasted longer than six seasons (granted Sopranos had its sixth season split into two halves airing a year apart, much like the concluding 16 episodes of Breaking Bad). GoT will max out at 7-8 seasons, anything longer would just be too costly for HBO and try the patience of most of the viewing public, which is who GoT ultimately values more than book readers.

    For those arguing, “well it’s a hit and wouldn’t HBO want to push that as long as possible,” yeah, it’s a hit NOW… but will those ratings stay so high if FfC and DwD is stretched to three seasons? Three seasons of Dany in Meereen, Tyrion traveling to find her, Brienne wandering Westeros. There just aren’t three seasons worth of actionable material there; there’s plenty of world building, history, and table-setting, but a TV show needs forward progress and not overwhelmed digression. True Blood was a big hit for HBO but has started to drop down. Just because something is a hit doesn’t mean it will continue to hold an increasing number of viewership loyalty every year. There is a lot of pruning to be done for TV, and part of what needs to happen is seasonal arcs, which makes it doubtful that stuff like Jon’s time as Lord Commander would be stretched to two seasons. And there’s no way that HBO would film a season just to sit on it. That’s a bad investment on their part. they’re not in this business to help capitalize on Martin’s timetable, they’re here to make money on their own timetable.

    I think this is the most practical outline of what’s to come:

    Season 4/2014 – rest of SoS and some of FfC and DwD
    Season 5/2015 – conclusion of FfC and DwD (maybe some of WoW)
    Season 6/2016 – WoW
    Season 7/2017 – DoS

    There’s a possibility that WoW and DoS could, combined, take up three seasons since we all expect there to be plenty of eventful moments as the series draws down. But there’s no way that FfC/DwD goes beyond season 5. Viewers would revolt. That’s what D&D mean when they talk about “killing the golden goose,” stretching a TV show out beyond its shelf life. And right now, D&D and HBO are thinking show first.

    The books will be overtaken. MAYBE Martin squeezes out WoW before the majority of its material airs (presumably in 2016 in my estimation) but there’s no way this series concludes before the TV show spoils it for us. Good luck if you plan on trying to remain Unsullied.

  332. Watchman
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    You cannot compare seasons, episodes, and/or number of years. The Soprano’s were six seasons, eighty -six episodes, and took eight and a half years to broadcast all. The series will end before the seventh book. HBO fans / ratings come first. They will throw enough money at GRRM to outline the conclusion. I wonder if there will ever truly be a seventh book anyway. Expectations would be too much, and GRRM is not a young man. Valar Marghulis.

  333. Omar Brown
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    babar: Three seasons of ADWD and AFFC?

    Three seasons of Tyrion travelling through Essos? Three seasons of Daenerys ruling a city at the other end of the world? Three seasons of Jon making preparations for the arrival of the WW (“we promise you, they ARE coming”)? Three seasons of Brienne walking around Westeros? Three seasons of Bran sitting in a cave? Three seasons of Arya training on another continent?…

    Come on. AFFC and ADWD will cover 1.5 seasons maximum.

    Thank you Ser, it is KNOWN. People who say AFFC/ADWD can make for anything other than 2 seasons ( MAX!) are….to be polite….incorrect.

  334. OhManymous
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    I’m going to be frank – GRRM needs to pull the finger out.
    He should have understood the responsibility about accepting to make ASOIAF into a TV show and this is one of the eventualities. By doing the tv show he has now set on himself deadlines for the books. If he can’t meet those deadlines, he shouldn’t get angry at the show runners for overtaking him, or angry at the producers for grilling him for info, or angry at anyone – but himself.

    He never had a responsibility to get the books out on a timely manner, but he does now. If he doesn’t – he jeopardises the tv show’s success AND his own success in the books. What would book readers feel about finding out new info from the tv show before the books? That’s an interesting question.

    I would like to see the tv shows overtake simply because it would set a precedent, and I’d love to see how people would react to that. Show watchers would actually become more ‘superior’ to book readers in terms of series knowledge lol.

  335. Darquemode
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    While I agree with those saying HBO will most likely not have a series over 7 or 8 seasons, I think HBO is in a sort of evolution right now with the way media is being watched. If Game of Thrones is bringing in subscriptions, DVD money, and press I can see them making Game of Thrones their anchor series and having a run longer than any previous show on the network.

    Most series on premium cable are original programming and do not have pre-existing source material that outlines the series. GOT is different in that regard and I think HBO knew that going in. The story will not be running in circles or have run its natural course by 5 or 6 seasons like most premium cable series. If the series stays HBO’s highest rated program I can see HBO letting it run its natural course of 8 years… or much more unlikely 9 if GRRM finishes the final books on schedule and they are huge and packed with material.

    If D&D wanted to make the series 6 or 7 seasons they could have done Storm of Swords in one season. I do not think their plan was to rush through the source material to be certain the series would be completed.

    I know people worry about the kids, but seriously, what difference would one year make? They were older at the start and will continue to be older no matter if the series runs 6 or 7 or 9 seasons.

    Now contracts and locking down actors I think is the most serious issue…. However, HBO has rather short shooting schedules for most roles. Taking part in the series leaves a great deal of time for the actors to still make multiple movies or do other series on TV. It is not as all-consuming as a 20 episode series that runs for 9 months. With the way so many characters are introduced and killed it cuts down the number of roles needed locked down for the final 2 or 3 seasons. The leads could by flies in the ointment and demand more money/ too much money on their contract extensions, but that is not a sure thing.

    Even though I agree with many and lean towards shorter (7 or 8 seasons) rather than longer (most likely no more than 8), I guess I’m just not sure Game of Thrones fits the past patterns well enough to be so certain like some people are that it will not run longer than 7 seasons or the contracts will be too expensive to continue past 7 seasons, etc.

    Maybe it is just my naiveté or my desire for the series to run longer than 7 years…. I think Game of Thrones is unique from most past series in many ways and that there are enough contributing factors that will lead to the series running its natural course and not being cut short by a season or two.

  336. Turncloak
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    OhManymous,

    This. GRRM has no one to blame but himself if and when the show overtakes him. It will also feel like justice to see some smug book readers spoiled by the show

  337. Dougie
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I say this now, and may change my mind…. but I doubt it. I have loved this book series so much, and enjoyed the characters thoughts and the depth of the books… That I don’t think there is anyway I will watch the show if it catches up. I will cut myself off and avoid face book if I have to when the show is going on. I want to read about this series ending, and then watch it. Not the other way around.

  338. WildSeed
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Ed:
    This right here.No big deal.I’ll watch and enjoy the show, then read and LOVE the books.

    Ah…. the pragmaticist . This is good reasoning I can support…… savouring the book
    passages for later……..if it comes to that.

    John W:
    What happens?

    “…human sacrifices, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!”

    Or this happens, and all hell brakes loose *>*

  339. msd
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:27 am | Permalink

    And remember, George hasn’t (gulp) totally, absolutely ruled out an 8th book …

  340. Darquemode
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    msd,

    Ha! XD
    I know right? I was thinking about that every time I commented!

    IF Books 1-3 are Act I, and Books 4 & 5 are Act II (or the bulk of Act II), I can see Book 6 finalizing Act II and moving into Act III. That leaves at most 2 books for the final act of the saga. Is a book and a half or two books really enough for GRRM to deal with Act III?

  341. Trearu
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I completely trust D & D with making a great ending. They have already made so many improvements to the books.
    I would actually welcome an alternative ending by them.

  342. sunaeryn
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    Nathan Z.:
    There’s a possibility that WoW and DoS could, combined, take up three seasons since we all expect there to be plenty of eventful moments as the series draws down. But there’s no way that FfC/DwD goes beyond season 5. Viewers would revolt. That’s what D&D mean when they talk about “killing the golden goose,” stretching a TV show out beyond its shelf life. And right now, D&D and HBO are thinking show first.

    The books will be overtaken. MAYBE Martin squeezes out WoW before the majority of its material airs (presumably in 2016 in my estimation) but there’s no way this series concludes before the TV show spoils it for us. Good luck if you plan on trying to remain Unsullied.

    Spot on. I fully agree. Absolute max series life is 8 seasons, with elements of TWOW filtering in S5 and fully adapted in S6.

  343. Trearu
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Squash
    Seasons 5 – 7: assorted material from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, perhaps touching on a little material from The Winds Of Winter.
    ,

    Impossible “Feast” and “Dance” are filled with filler.

  344. Marcin
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    I agree that Feast and Dance will have to be concluded roughly by the end of season 5. I assume that Winds will be ready by this time so the the show can easily go into season 6.
    For the 7th one, I really wish GRRM didn’t reveal future plot for the producers. I would prefer some talented writers to make their own ending and letting GRRM finish the book. That would be a hell of a discussion about who made a better ending.
    I think 7 would be the best number of seasons. The cast can’t be on HBO leash forever and they might be tempted to go for a movie career especially since some of the actors are in their best age.

  345. Asha Karina
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Tori Targaryen: What

    Cute …

  346. DarkRavenous
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    I doubt we will see a prequel about Robert’s rebellion until after the show and books are finished. There are some interesting and unanswered questions/theories about Lyanna and Rhaegar, Were they in love? What promise did Ned make to Lyanna? What happened at the Tower of Joy? Some of these cannot be shown on screen until George lets us know the answers in his next two books.

    If George has TWOW finished by the end of 2014, and strives to work at a quick pace I do believe there is a chance that the show and final book could both come out a few months apart. George could give enough knowledge to D&D that would allow them to start filming the last season even if the last book hadn’t come out yet.

  347. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Sim: Geek

    Prequels tend to receive an automatic knee-jerk response by critics and fans. I don’t think the prequel buffer is a good idea. And I certainly don’t imagine it will be necessary except in the worst-case scenario.

    I think a more likely scenario is the one I mentioned a couple of times. One or more 20 episode seasons broken up into two different years each.

    As for the “kids are getting older” argument… why would TV viewers care about that? They have no idea how old the kids are in the books. Time passes on the show. We never know how much time. So there is nothing to say they couldn’t write in time passing. Hell, if they are that worried about the kids getting older, then it is already too late.

  348. Ailvara
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Don’t you think it would be sort of interesting to finally watch the series without knowing, what’s going to happen? :P

    Still, I want the books in my hands ASAP.

  349. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Chickenduck: Geek

    BREAKING BAD just did it.

    8th episode of season 5 was September 2nd 2012. 9th episode with be out August 11th 2013.

    Done purely to avoid increased costs in a 6th season.

  350. Sor Duncan, the Tall
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Ryan:
    I would like to believe the books will come first. Perhaps GRRM is further along than we all think

    yea that would be cool!!!!!!!!!!

  351. barak
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Nathan Z.,

    I agree. People, especially book readers, seem to lose their sense of reality – many seem to assume that just because they, as hardcore fans, care passionately about this story casual viewers will also care as much. But they won’t.

    GOT is big NOW. But it’s been three seasons, and sense of novelty is wearing off. The Red Wedding grabbed people’s attention like nothing since Ned’s beheading and the birth of Dany’s dragons, and that guarantees viewers for another season. But how long will that attention last? How long will casual viewers, who kept watching because of the exciting plot and the teases for great and badass events stick with the show when they realize that Dany isn’t getting any closer to Westeros, that the WWs are still nowhere near attacking, that the remaining Starks are basically not doing anything particularly intense or immediately plot-relevant, that the storylines and characters they’re watching the show for don’t seem to be converging/doing anything very interesting anytime soon? From their comments in that interview, D&D seem to be very much aware of this.

    A TV series, especially with a budget this size, can’t afford to be as meandering and spreading its story as thin as the books. Some show-only viewers are already complaining about the plotlines going nowhere. Unless D&D start trimming the fat with a chainsaw, stitching, merging, streamlining like crazy, the show will start losing its audience and it won’t even last 7 seasons, never mind 8 or 10 like some people are hoping.

    And in the meantime, new TV shows are getting released, and there’s nothing that guarantees that there won’t come anything, from HBO or anywhere else, that will grab people’s attention and lead them away from GOT.

    People demand that the show be faithful to the books, and that they should respect the books over everything else, but that would mean the death of GOT.

  352. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    That’s because AMC is run by idiots, very cheap ones.
    They have 3 critically acclaimed series – Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. Mad Men had won the Best Drama Emmy several times, BB had won Lead and Supporting Actor Emmys several times (3 times for Bryan Cranston and 2 for Aaron Paul, IIRC). TWD brings ratings that almost any network show would kill for.

    The problem is that Mad Men’s showrunner had renegotiated the contracts for his show at some point after S4 (delaying S5 by almost 1.5 years) and apparently the big bulk of AMC’s budget goes towards MM now, not leaving much for the other shows. AMC heads actually demanded a budget cut to TWD after critical and ratings success of S1, it was one of the reasons Frank Darabont left the show. Some unhealthy hijinks still happen on that show, which lead to Glen Mazzara’s departure after 2 years and after almost doubling the ratings of S1. The show will be with the 3rd showrunner starting S4. All of this doesn’t look like a very professional business practices.

    Breaking Bad also had its 4th season delayed for several months and at some point it was almost cancelled. The 5th season was divided into two parts because AMC doesn’t want to pay the necessary costs for calling it S6 and because they wanted to stretch the show as much as possible. They simply have nothing better to air. They even uncancelled The Killing, which I didn’t watch, but heard very few good things about.

    I wouldn’t want other channels to start to follow AMCs practices.

  353. Pau Soriano
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Ok I’m gonna say the same that I’ve been saying in the last years everytime this discussion has come up :P

    1- There will 8 or 9 seasons
    2- The final book and the final season will come out the within a year of each other at most.
    3- Books 4&5 will take more than 1.3 seasons to complete (between 1.5-2).

    My personal bet is that:
    2014 (season 4): aSoS pt 2 ( bits of aFFC/aDWD)
    2015 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD

    Ok by this time tWoW will (probably) be out. It would have taken Martin 4 years to write the book. People cannot say that is not possible, at least.

    2016 (season 5): aFFC/aDWD (ending with a battle from tWoW)
    2017 (season 6): tWoW

    Ok we’re at 2017 now and D&D are writing season 7, wich will have to incude details from aDoS. That open up 2 scenarios:

    Scenario A: -they will work that out with Martin, wich may even write the 7th book with the series in mind and put a WTF moment in there around a third into it.
    Scenario B- They don’t work that out with Martin and chose a WTF moment (for S07E09) from what Martin has told them it would happen at the end, or make one up

    Whatever the scenario, we reach:
    2018 (season 7): tWoW/aDoS

    We are at 2018 now. Martin has been writing aDoS for 3 years, and will know if it will be done by 2019 (4 years after the last release, again totally possible), or would need more time. If more time is needed and we are in Scenario A (good terms with the author), HBO can delay the last season 6 months as people has suggested before. (Heck, they could even delay it 6 months in 2016-7 (arrival of winter) and again 6 months in 2019 (ending it again in spring), although I don’t think that would happen).

    So again, with Scenario A they would coordinate the last season+book release, wich will have the same ending (more or less) and all will live happyly everafter dayadaya.

    If we are in Scenario B though things could get ugly. I see Martin releasing the 7th book after the 8th season, but no more than a year after, and with a totally different ending, rendering the show moot (at least in the eyes of some fans). As I think both sides are great bussiness people I don’t think this very likely (but still possible)

    Whatever the scenario,
    2019 (season 8): aDoS

    again, with the 7th book coming out during 2019, early 2020 at the most (thats 4-4.5 years after the 6th)

    So I’m not saying that is what will happen, only that is perfectly possible, so all this people saying that theres no way the show won’t catch up with the books, are wrong because there is a way, and a very likely one at that.

    I just hope we are all here to see it ;)

  354. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    GeekFurious,

    That’s because AMC is run by idiots, very cheap ones.

    The problem is that Mad Men’s showrunner had renegotiated the contracts for his show at some point after S4 (delaying S5 by almost 1.5 years) and apparently the big bulk of AMC’s budget goes towards MM now, not leaving much for the other shows. AMC heads actually demanded a budget cut to TWD after critical and ratings success of S1, it was one of the reasons Frank Darabont left the show. Some unhealthy hijinks still happen on that show, which lead to Glen Mazzara’s departure after 2 years and after almost doubling the ratings of S1. The show will be with the 3rd showrunner starting S4. All of this doesn’t look like a very professional business practices.

    I wouldn’t want other channels to start to follow AMCs practices.

    AMC is run by idiots?

    Perhaps you mean jerks. That would be more accurate. You can’t be considered an idiot if you are also highly successful in a very short time.

    And you may not want other networks to borrow from AMC’s methods, but if they feel there is no other option for them (when backed into a corner in negotiations), then that’s what they will do.

    Consider this HBO’s nuclear option. Or any network’s nuclear option.

    Do something once and get away with it, and it becomes an option for your peers.

  355. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Jerks can be idiots and vice versa :)

    I wouldn’t consider it a smart move to prefer one of your shows to all the others, especially if you have to cut the budgets of your other successful shows just because you caved in to someone’s demands. I have nothing against Mad Men or its showrunner, but I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to work. I don’t think HBO came to Boardwalk Empire or True Blood people and demanded their budgets cut because they agreed to give extra money for the Blackwater episode.

    AMC is successful now, but BB is ending this year and Mad Men will end the next, unless its last season will also be stretched to two years. They have nothing to replace those shows at the moment, AFAIK.

  356. A Man Grown
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Voiceareason,

    Seemed to me the difficulty with the Meerenese knot was that there weren’t *enough* characters there, not that there were too many. If all the POV’s start coming together in the last two books it might make it easier for him, for all we know.

  357. Ron E.
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The last 2 books were disappointing compared to the first 3. I expect the final however many books to suffer from many of the same flaws. There’s a strong possibility the remaining seasons of the show will be far superior to the books they are based on and that could be true too of the final seasons if they are released before the final books. I’m going to read and watch them all regardless of the sequence they are released. However it happens won’t be a problem for me.

  358. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    GeekFurious,

    I wouldn’t consider it a smart move to prefer one of your shows to all the others

    Prestige is extremely important to network executives. Especially when you are on basic cable and are receiving free money from those base subscription fees. Ad revenue is a bonus at that point.

    Emmy nominations and wins are worth a lot to AMC. That’s why MAD MEN was put on the front burner during those negotiations. Wins.

  359. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Ron E.:
    The last 2 books were disappointing compared to the first 3. I expect the final however many books to suffer from many of the same flaws.

    I love the 5th and enjoy most of the 4th. I wasn’t disappointed. Just not as blown away.

    I don’t see how you can expect the next book(s) to suffer in the same way. The last two books have been setting up the madness to come. If anything, I’d expect the next book to be the most explosive in the series.

  360. Shock Me
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    What happens? Daeny stays in Meereen until she is 70 and Barristen Selmy becomes chief of the City Watch and builds a new Watch Barracks on the “Doveyered” which is old Ghiscari for “Hill Street” and before every shift he admonishes his patrollers to “Be careful out there.”

  361. Shock Me
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I agree. My guess, given the amount of money at stake, is that aDoS will be finished when the final season goes into production and then published sometime after episode 1 to maximize hardcover and e-book sales.

  362. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Shock Me:
    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I agree. My guess, given the amount of money at stake, is that aDoS will be finished when the final season goes into production and then published sometime after episode 1 to maximize hardcover and e-book sales.

    Marketing wise, you want the book to precede the show, not the other way around.

  363. Cave Man
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Wait a sec… they don’t want 10 seasons? But the third book is already split into two and there are to be seven books. So we have at least eight seasons unless they do two books in one season (terrible thought). Personally I think the more the better. Actors will grow of course – just write that into the script. Sansa already looks like twenty instead of fourteen (thirteen in the books). I can live with that.

  364. queenofthorns
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Ron E.: The last 2 books were disappointing compared to the first 3. I expect the final however many books to suffer from many of the same flaws. There’s a strong possibility the remaining seasons of the show will be far superior to the books they are based on and that could be true too of the final seasons if they are released before the final books. I’m going to read and watch them all regardless of the sequence they are released. However it happens won’t be a problem for me.

    You read my mind. I’d be totally fine with the show “beating” the books. I don’t expect the books to improve – it seems more likely they will go the way of Jordan – getting longer and longer with less and less happening. Book fanatics can just stay away from the fandom for a few years if they want to remain unspoiled – it’s not that difficult (I still have no idea how LOST ended because I stopped paying attention after I stopped watching after Season 3).

  365. Jentario
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    queenofthorns: You read my mind.I’d be totally fine with the show “beating” the books.I don’t expect the books to improve – it seems more likely they will go the way of Jordan – getting longer and longer with less and less happening.Book fanatics can just stay away from the fandom for a few years if they want to remain unspoiled – it’s not that difficult (I still have no idea how LOST ended because I stopped paying attention after I stopped watching after Season 3).

    You don’t trust the books will improve?! TWOW is said to open with the two big battles that were cut from ADWD and on top of that, EVERY CHARACTER is in an interesting place at the moment. Have some faith in GRRM, he’s a great writer and he only came across problems with the first volume (split into two books) of his second trilogy because of the Meereenese knot and the scrapped five year gap- both of which completely screwed and reorganized everything he had in mind for the series. Now GRRM is back on the right path and I’m sure TWOW is going to be much better… if it releases any time soon, that is :)

  366. queenofthorns
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    My opinion is that GRRM has “lost his edge” at least when it comes to ASOIAF. I’d be happy to be proven wrong but there’s a trend and until I see evidence otherwise, I’m going to assume it will continue. I had great hopes for ADWD but it ended up (IMO) being a bloated, badly edited mess. I don’t see any reason why we are not going to be seeing even more bloated messes in the future (his publishers no longer have any incentive to edit him – all that does is slow the release of books which are cash cows for them).

    I actually think that the TV series will improve upon AFFC / ADWD by cutting a lot of the stuff that should have been cut before publication.

    As for “every character is in an interesting place” that was the case at the end of ASOS as well. Everyone was set up for some cool shit to go down. But then, we got AFFC. And 5 years later ADWD. And we are still waiting for that cool shit to happen. Maybe it never will happen unless it is filmed and shown on TV.

  367. Michael274
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Martin is a great storyteller not writer . His prose is awful and he describe way too many things for pages on long . Also,the last two books sucked ass except a few storylines so another thing that proves he’s not a great writer. What did he do while sitting on his fat lazy ass for 10 years while writing this crappy books ?

  368. Shock Me
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Tori Targaryen: This.

    I hope GRRM takes his sweet time. Quality is the priority here

    I don’t think time has done GRRM any favors giben how aDwD came out. Given how much the books have expanded the number of POV characters, I also don’t see how George can even satisfactorily finish the series in just two books (unless they are both 3000 pages long). I suspect there are at least three or four more to come.

    Write like the wind GRRM.

  369. ANiceChianti
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I have a probably stupid question, as I don’t remember the details from when I read.

    IF Coldhands is Benjen, wouldn’t Bran or Hodor have recognized him?

  370. Voiceareason
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    ANiceChianti,

    If I remember correctly, he never shows his face?

  371. WinWolf
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    ANiceChianti,

    Any1 who believes in that theory is stupid anyway.. there is no evidence what so ever. only because he got lost behind the wall? LOL

  372. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    ANiceChianti,

    One of the Children of the Forest (Leaf) mentions that Coldhands “was killed long ago”. Probably not Benjen.

  373. Bard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Coldhands was killed “long ago”, according to Leaf. So I don’t think he’s Benjen Stark.

    Edit: As Hodor’s Bastard said.

  374. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Bard & ANiceChianti,

    Although I should point out that GoT has every right to change things up and realign threads. The B = C theory could very well play out in the show.

  375. Bard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I think they consulted GRRM about this. We’ll see (or maybe we won’t and Coldhands will be cut from the show).

  376. Daniel
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    What I REALLY don’t want is for the books to be rushed because of this and ending up being a piece of shit product.

  377. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Open question(s) to all:

    Perhaps I have missed something in the books or past blog threads, but I recall that Coldhands and the White Walkers could not travel south past the Wall because of the magical spell that Branden the Builder placed on the wall when he constructed it 7000 Westerosi years ago. It is the combination of massive height and magical spells that keeps them from invading the Stark Northlands, right? Given that, can someone enlighten me on how the WWs are a threat to the south? Must they tear down/melt the wall to destroy the spell? Could they swim around it? Have they lost the ability to climb, swim and build boats?

    I am not trying to be glib and silly but I would like to know just what about the WWs are a threat south of the wall? Wights, on the other hand, can resurrect south of the wall (as long as they die north of the wall), as described (sort of) in the books and show.

    Can you see my conundrum?

  378. Ade Grant
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    If the show ends before the books, I hope GRR Martin uses the opportunity to explore a different ending than the one he intends to in the books. Quite often a storyteller will have multiple possibilities in mind as to where to take the plot and has to kill off all but one. This is a rare opportunity to explore to different endings, one more appropriate for the show, one for the books. I wouldn’t be too offended by that, as long as it’s GRR Martin calling the shots and exploring ideas he has rather than anyone else’s.

  379. GDG
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I agree with those who’ve said flashbacks would be a great way to buy a little more time on the show (maybe an episode or two, at least). I’d LOVE to see young Eddard, Robert, the Mad King, etc.

    I also think the show has the benefit of having all these great actors who’ve made us fall in love with characters who were barely even a blip on our radar in the books. They could easily invent and write new sub-plots that – while they may not directly affect the ultimate endgame storyline – could be lots of fun to watch and add a lot of extra character development.

    Hell, they could even add on to existing stories with major characters — maybe give Arya & the Hound some extra adventures together, to give one random example.

    As for GRRM…
    I certainly do worry how long we’ll have to wait for the next book(s). I’m sure he’s under tremendous pressure to get it done and to make it GOOD, and I’m sure the stress of it all is only hurting his progress.

    Personally, I wish he’d just release shorter books. I mean, hell, why does the next book have to be 1,500 pages? For the sake of the fans and the TV show, release it as two 750-page books! I doubt anyone would have a problem with that… in fact, I think that solution would sit well with EVERYONE.

  380. SerKenjiGerrard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    My hope is that George is trolling us all and TWOW will be out this Christmas…

  381. Al Swearengen
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    IF they catch up HBO would be wise to delay further seasons and shoot Robert’s Rebellion.

  382. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    I know this has been stated before but would any sort of “prequel” or GoT side story cause more work for GRRM? That is exactly what we fans don’t want , right? We would like GRRM to be focused and comfortable…..or maybe this is all a “game.”

  383. DH87
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    hinka: Martin announced on Apr. 27th, 2011 that “Kong” is dead (DwD finished) … then he started copyediting and proofing. And on July 12, 2011 the book was released… even if you could get the book in some places in germany 1 week earlier.
    So it was about 2,5 mouths… reason why should be clear… tomany people were waiting for it so the book got highest priority for printing.

    That kind of schedule is virtually unprecedented. I recall that GRRM had released all but the last few chapters of DwD to the publisher as they were finished for editing and copyediting so only a small amount of text remained to get through the editorial process. This is both risky and inefficient. One of the main tasks of a copyeditor is checking for continuity. That requires a complete manuscript for maximum efficiency and quality. A manuscript delivered piecemeal requires a great deal of rechecking for continuity. (And, technically, an author doesn’t “copyedit” or “proofread”: everything he does to the manuscript prior to delivering it to the publisher counts as author’s edits/creative changes. Only a professional third-party copyeditor copyedits, and a professional proofreader reads proofs against the original copyedited manuscript.)

    That said, if that is SOP for me, GRRM could release the first half of the last book to D&D as much as a year prior to final manuscript delivery (in the contractual definition) in order for them to create a season’s “half a book” story arc. Not ideal, not tidy, but doable.

  384. Ms. D. Ranged in AZ
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    With Tyrion’s whitewashing it’s not that there’s any Major Villain Moment they cut out or any Major Hero Moment they added. It’s far more subtle. He’s just more CONSIDERATE, all the way through. Little selfless actions that get added, little selfish actions that get removed… it adds up.

    I’ve been re-reading the books and have been really paying attention to Tyrion’s POV. I’ve been kind of critical of the “whitewashing” but after the re-read, I think that maybe D&D made the right decision and here’s why. In the book we get all the inner monologue and in that Tyrion shows a great deal of compassion and consideration. His reaction to Bran and Rickon’s death, to the Red Wedding, to Sansa’s repeated abuse, etc even though his actions may not have been as kind and generous. However, on the show we can’t see him mentally cringing, worrying about other’s welfare, etc, so how were D&D to show that? If show Tyrion simply behaved like book Tyrion, we wouldn’t have the complete picture and the only way to show his kindness is through his acts.

    There’s an interesting irony here too. I just re-read the chapters for the before, during and aftermath of the Battle of Blackwater last night. When we see Tyrion preparing for the battle it’s very clear that many people feel that Tyrion is just as bad if not worse than his family members including the majority of the people in court and in KL. The irony is if D&D had chosen to have Tyrion act only as he did in the books, the TV audience would have no different view of him than the court and people of KL. They too couldn’t see what was really going on inside of him and the small private acts of kindness he does that no one else knows about EXCEPT us readers from our God-like POV. So what could D&D have done otherwise? Just let him seem evil when he isn’t truly by only showing his actions but not his motivations? And not showing the small acts of kindness or his good intentions?

    Furthermore, the importance of Tyrion’s character MUST be pivotal to the endgame as many readers have surmised. And I can’t imagine that they’d let such an important character be a completely hated person. That’s why I’ve changed my stance on the whitewashing of Tyrion. They had to show his compassion somehow.

  385. Burg0s
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    In the end we will all be one giant mass of Unsullied staring at TV/Computer screens watching the last battles of a great war come to a close.

    Hodor’s Bastard, that hasn’t been touched on in the books yet, but one possibility is Mance had Jorumonds(spelling) horn north of the wall and it was supposed to be able to destroy the wall, he didn’t use it since the wall would be needed for the white walkers but who’s to say a wight, a wildling, a queensman, a kingsman, a brother of the nights watch, etc, etc doesn’t get drunk and decide to play around and blow the horn thus destroying the wall. Maybe the White Walkers can jump to the top, none of that has really been gone into.

  386. DH87
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    GDG: does the next book have to be 1,500 pages? For the sake of the fans and the TV show, release it as two 750-page books! I

    Most likely because GRRM doesn’t want to “lock in” what happens in the first 750 pages before completing the second 750 pages. If he could deliver his creative product that way, after all these years, he would have done so. Every writer finds the way that works for him creatively. Some write methodically, some wait until the absolute final moment, then write in a 24/7 frenzy. You don’t really have a choice. What works for you, works for you.

    Genius (Michael Fassbender’s upcoming film), based on the life/work of Thomas Wolfe, should give insight into how an author like GRRM can work (not to say GRRM works this way). Wolfe delivered mountains of manuscript to editor Maxwell Perkins, then let Perkins cut, hone, rearrange, to craft the final work. Once word got out that Perkins was the man behind the scenes doing the heavy lifting, Wolfe became embarrassed and angry. He moved to a different publisher and the two men were estranged for the rest of their lives.

  387. The Golden Hand
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If the show ends before the books, as it likely might, I am stating right here and now that I will be the first to complain ad nauseam about all the tiny little deviations the books make from the series. Stick to the source material George!!!

    Ok, just kidding.

    …or am I?

    Either way, as a sullied, I am counting down the days til I can be an unsullied again. The books are amazing, but the show has created a fever pitch of a cultural phenomenon that will only last through it’s running. Therefore I am more excited about seeing the show play out than the books, there was never a time when 5+ million of us were all reading the same chapters of the same books on the same nights at the same time. The experience the show creates is one of a kind, and that is where I’ve sworn my sword. I hope they do wrap it in 7 seasons, I hope they do cut a bunch of the excess, and I can’t wait to see it all go down.

  388. Garlan NAITS
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    The problem with a Robert’s Rebellion prequel is that the story of that prequel is largely known and revealed. There’s not much ‘new ground’ to cover. In fact, Jaime gave up what would be the climax in pretty explicit detail (his killing of the king). We know when and where Rheagar dies. We know the Lannisters betray the Targaryens. And by the end of next season of the show, we’ll know what “happened” during the sack of King’s Landing. What’s more, those portions of the story that may be new ground for a prequel, like the Tower of Joy, or Jon’s parentage for example, will probably by necessity be handled by the storyline of the books or show, so moving them to a prequel will affect the power of the third act.

    Shows with prequels have new stories to tell (sometimes bad, sometimes good), because they are handling the unrevealed pasts of the complete characters involved. Star Wars prequels – we knew Darth Vader was Anakin but we didn’t know how he turned, and we only had about two lines of backstory for Obi Wan Kenobi. In the Spartacus series, we really only knew that about 4 or 5 characters would survive, but we knew nothing about their background or how they got to beginning of the Spartacus show.

    Martin’s story has to reveal the interesting parts of the past in the course of his main story, or he’s essentially leaving a bunch of open-ended mysteries, which doesn’t seem to be a satisfying course of action.

  389. Darquemode
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    Agreed on the most recent books.
    I found them compelling, as compelling as the first3 books, but in a different way.

    To me the first books were Act I of the saga and Books 4 & 5 are the second act. Act II is rarely as explosive as Act I or Act III. Act II is about character evolution, the needed transformation of heroes to be able to deal with the needed plot elements in Act III. I thought both of the last 2 books were absolutely packed with character development.

  390. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Burg0s,

    Ah! Merci, mon ami…The J-horn is the key? I thought it could wake the giants (and maybe the children of the forest) but I did not comprehend its direct relevance to the wall.

    Not that I am an Amazon/Apple advertiser, but the X-ray and search mechanism on my Kindle is an amazingly helpful addition to the ASoI&F e-book reading experience. GRRM books are so complex and layered that a character or event or object tracker is an essential tool for those of us with congested and convoluted brains. :-)

  391. Nic
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Agree with Garlan NAITS above regarding Robert’s rebellion. We already know about it. Wouldn’t be great television IMO.

    However I actually think the tales of Dunk & Egg would make for terrific television. The central relationship between the two characters is charming, and we get a great glimpse into the family politics of the Targaryens and the whole Blackfyre fallout.

  392. Arristan The Old
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Robert: I’ll echo some of the others here… if they catch up, I stop watching. I will get the DVDs, sock them away, and then watch them some day down the road after I’ve read all the books.

    >
    What he said, plus I’ll probably have to quit the internet until the books are all out too, just to stay as spoiler-free as possible. It’s gonna suck, and I’d actually rather not think about it anymore until I have to.

    On a far less depressing note, the annual rib-fest has come back to Ottawa!

  393. hornhillbilly
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Anything more than 1.5 seasons for AFFC and DwD will see the viewers leave in droves.

  394. NYI
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    hornhillbilly:
    Anything more than 1.5 seasons for AFFC and DwD will see the viewers leave in droves.

    Giving a whole new meaning to Aeron’s creaking door.

  395. GeekFurious
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    queenofthorns:
    Jentario,

    My opinion is that GRRM has “lost his edge” at least when it comes to ASOIAF

    You have to be trolling. This is so ridiculous. This is GRRM not George Lucas.

  396. shyone274
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    I think it changes the way viewers relate to the characters. Arya is a major badass, but a big part of that is because she is a stone cold killer at 12. Sansa is naive, which is acceptable because she is 14 and not too old to think that courtly love and romance are realistic. When the actors start looking a lot older their motivations and personalities seem different. For example, I think if they do theFlorian and Jonquil thing and Sophie Turner looks a year older than she does now even, she will seem like a gullible idiot and I worry that viewers will hate her rather than having some sympathy.

    All told it isn’t a major concern, but it is something to think about. I think the Stark kids being kids, and growing up with this major upheaval, is a huge part of their likability.

  397. sunspear
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    hornhillbilly,

    I would say their is plenty of plot in AFFC and ADWD to last two seasons.

  398. I am comics (Ismael)
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I think the tv series is going to end first. I would like to see D&D own take on the end of the story and a few years later, GRRM’s version.

  399. Al Swearengen
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Eh not really there’s enough material in the books to cover the Rebellion.

  400. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Al Swearengen,

    I don’t quite follow your comment. How could they do a prequel without GRRM’s involvement? Contractually, I doubt they would be able to muck with his GRRM-verse without his involvement. We don’t want that…we want GRRM to be focused and energized toward TWoW/ADoS, right?

    Books first, then film (repeat after me)…

    {Follow-up} Oh, sorry…I was thrown off by the lack of punctuation…I understand your comment now. Really, you believe there is enough backstory there? Hmmm. In any case, the Robert-Lyanna-Cersei story would be interesting to observe…

  401. fuelpagan
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    On NaB George stated the only projects left on his plate are Kong and Wild Cards once an Old Venus rewrite is received.

    Now if the Giants and Jets tank this year and avoid making the playoffs, George might just finish in time before the show ends the story.

    But you won’t see me holding my breath.

  402. Roose Bolton's BFF
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    GeekFurious,

    ..not Yet

  403. Shan
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Braincandy:
    I think it would be interesting to suddenly become an Unsullied. I’d like to see if I can pick out clues in the show that I found in the published books.

    Personally, I do not think GRRM will finish any time soon and the show will catch up. HBO is already making TV history with the adaptation, I think this will be another news worthy event. Publicity is good, right?

    I am looking forward to a conclusion, be it from reading or TV.

    Yeah, I’m actually with you on this. I have no self-control whatsoever with books or shows. If I had WoW, I’d finish it off in one sitting right now. It would actually be pretty cool to get it only an episode at a time, once a week — to actually force myself to take it slow and enjoy that Unsullied feeling.

    The books and the show are so much their own entities at this point, really, that it doesn’t bother me to see the show first. I know the book is going to be significantly different anyway.

  404. Shan
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Also, I want to point out that not finishing and publishing the novel is not the same thing as not having written it. The TV show tends to glean the best bits from the novel word-for-word and rewrite everything else. There’s no reason why GRRM couldn’t have the best bits of ADOS done a long time before he goes back and fills in the dull parts about getting from Point A to Point B. We already know that he writes his books out of order sometimes (since, for example, the Red Wedding was the last part of ASOS that he wrote, even though it happens in the middle).

    So, even if ADOS isn’t *published* by the time the relevant season comes out, the parts that the show would actually borrow from the book could easily be *written* by that point — and be just as GRRM-y as we could hope for.

  405. CT Wahoo
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    I have to disagree with this. I think one compelling TV season can be made out of the AFFC/ADWD material, but anything beyond that is going to be severely watered down. Consider the individual character arcs over the span of those two books and then imagine them being stretched out over two years of TV shows:

    Bran spends two years becoming a greenseer and a tree?
    Arya spends two years training in the House of Black and White?
    Sansa spends two years being privvy to Littlefinger’s scheming in the Vale?
    Brienne spends two years searching the countryside for the Stark girls?
    Jaime spends two years coming to grips with his shoddy legacy as a Kingsguard and ending the last siege in the Riverlands?

    I could certainly go on. IMHO, books 4/5 are all about the positioning of the chess pieces following the aftermath of the War of Five Kings toward the ultimate ending. There is a seriously low body count because it’s so much more about political maneuvering. It just doesn’t make for great TV if you spread all of that out over two full seasons.

    I also think this is all going to come to a head sooner than many realize. By next January/February, they’re going to have to start sketching out the storylines for Season 5. They’ll have to decide then if they are going to spread the remaining available content out over one season or two. If TWOW isn’t in sight by that time and they decide to spread it out over two seasons, I’m quite concerned that the quality of the TV shows is going to suffer.

  406. Jay
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    They have to start showing some flashbacks and new storylines. FAST. As many have pointed out, They’re already nearly caught up with Bran’s storyline and behind in others, such as the Greyjoys.

  407. Josh
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    I just think a lot of people are being unrealistic…This is television. Look at all the complaints we got about this season dragging, what do you think will happen if they stretch out the show to 11 seasons? HBO is going to do what’s best for HBO and the show, they don’t want their legacy of this show to about how great it use to be…And sadly, a lot of people, when talking about the books, say that it is dragging..so it’s better that the show cuts and picks up the pace.

    Hopefully Martin will pick up the pace.

  408. Chickenduck
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Jay:
    They have to start showing some flashbacks and new storylines.FAST.As many have pointed out, They’re already nearly caught up with Bran’s storyline and behind in others, such as the Greyjoys.

    They’ve said many times that they have two basic rules: No flashbacks, and nobody dreams on camera except Bran.

    The reason why they don’t want flashbacks is that it can become a crutch for exposition (which I totally agree on). Similar for dreams.

    Essentially, they’re doing it the Shakespearean way – which is to say at various points in the narrative, characters just stand around and tell stories. The problem with that is you need excellent writing and excellent actors to pull it off (and sometimes they’ve cheated and used sexposition to keep things rolling, e.g. Littlefinger).

    ALTHOUGH – they have broken the ‘no dreams/flashbacks’ rule once already – Sansa dreaming in flashback form to nearly getting raped (just before she got her period).

  409. Chickenduck
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Also, a key thing a lot here don’t seem to remember:

    They write the show anything up to A YEAR BEFORE IT APPEARS ON SCREEN.

    So really, you all need to subtract a year from predictions. Even if TWOW comes out before the material from it appears on TV, the episodes still may have been written before the writers had read the book.

    Unless GRRM just gives them the unpublished manuscript. Which is possible.

  410. Addie
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    just seeing if I figured out the spoiler tag thing

    I think Martin will pick up the writing pace, although he doesn’t seem to thrive under pressure due to his frustration of when he gets asked “how long till the next book”. He has state that he wouldn’t be happy if she show overtook his writing. And having a history and current relationship with television production he knows that he’s given himself a fixed deadline now of how hard he needs to pen these books. In a sense he’s put himself in a lifelike meereneese knot! Sort of.
    That being said he has a good idea of where the story is headed now, he knows where all the pieces are on the board and where he wants them.
    So his writing should increase to a speed as it was in the beginning of the trilogy because he has the gameplan.
    With his success and notoriety of the franchise, I’m hoping this will bolster his efforts. Even if he does cons, talk shows, interviews, he needs downtime yet he’s still immersed in ASOIAF one way or another.

    All that being said, he has a long way to go in achieving this, and I hope that because of this one medium doesn’t detract from the other.
    D&D have had the source material this far for years, I hope that if they do have twow and ados gameplan, that not having martins complete vision to work from isn’t going to lesson the quality of the show.

  411. Ser Bro
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Michael274: Michael274

    Oh look, another one of these guys….

  412. Chickenduck
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Michael274:
    Jentario,

    Martin is a great storyteller not writer . His prose is awful and he describe way too many things for pages on long . Also,the last two books sucked ass except a few storylines so another thing that proves he’s not a great writer. What did he do while sitting on his fat lazy ass for 10 years while writing this crappy books ?

    That’s… a bit harsh.

    I agree that Martin’s skills are as a storyteller more than as a writer per se, but the rest of your comment goes way too far.

    4&5 didn’t “suck ass”, they just weren’t as action-packed as the first three. They had some great worldbuilding in them… I actually quite enjoyed the travelogues etc that people complain about.

  413. smcwills
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I know I’m not the only one but I could see GRRM passing prior to finishing the books let alone not beating the timeline for the show…for the love of god please eat a salad

  414. Bloodraven
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    I think all the hype is giving him the kick-in-the-ass he (& the series) sorely needs! Imo it will only improve the writing quality.

  415. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    An important point in all these page counts that are flying around. GRRM always gives the page count for completed, rewritten, final draft material. He always has a lot more than that in drafts, fragments and rough chapters. At the moment it looks like he has 400 manuscript pages (more or less) but that’s just what is ‘done’. He has a lot more than that in rough material. The reason he doesn’t count that stuff is because he doesn’t know how much work needs to be done on it: some rough chapters are polished up and ‘finished’ quite quickly, others are completely rewritten from scratch three or four times over.

    “I’ve already written 400 pages of my sixth book. However, of these 400 pages, only 200 are really finished because I still have to revise the other 200 pages, which are in a rough version and I still have to work on them a lot. But you have to keep in mind that the last book, Dance with Dragons, was 1.500 pages long and this one will be more or less the same extension, so I have a lot of work. I hope after this tour I can go back home in order to write as a possessed man. But the sixth volume won’t be released in 2012 or in 2013. I really look forward to publishing it in 2014, but I am really bad for predictions, you may know it. And then, there is another fact: when I finish this saga I will be judged for the quality of the books, not for the speed of my writing.”
    GRRM about half a year ago
    Source: http://www.adriasnews.com/2012/10/george-r-r-martin-interview.html?spref=tw

    The Adriasnews source has sadly been discredited: the interviewer misquoted GRRM and later admitted that GRRM had not given any hard figures at all.

    WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    Where does the notion that TWOW will be 1500 pages come from.Did GRRM explicitly say that?I don’t mean hints or guesses.Did he say that for sure?Just curious as I see that number thrown around a lot. The hardcover ADWD is 959 pages excluding the appendix Paperback ASOS is 1128 pages.
    If 400 pages of TWOW are finished and it will be around the same length as ADWD as many believe, then he is about 40% finished not a quarter.
    That would make a late 2014 release date very possible.
    It seems like GRRM is coy every time someone asks him when the book will be out.I’m taking everything with a grain of salt. We don’t know how many chapters are finished, how many exist in a rough form or long the book will actually be.

    GRRM refers to ‘manuscript pages’, which is how long the book appears to be on his computer. MS pages have less info on them than book pages. So A GAME OF THRONES was 1,088 MS pages, A CLASH OF KINGS was about 1,150, A STORM OF SWORDS was 1,521, A FEAST FOR CROWS was 1,100 and A DANCE WITH DRAGONS was 1,510.

    So if THE WINDS OF WINTER is 1,500 MS pages, that will translate to about 900-1,000 pages in hardcover and around 1,200 in paperback.

    If George was going to finish and have it on the shelves next year, he’d be nearly done at this point [because a book even when it's done needs several months for editing and production, the final Thomas Convenant book by Stephen Donaldson has been finished for quite some time and it doesn't come out until the end of this year], and if that was the case, he’d tell us so rather than say things like “I’ve given up on answering that question”

    Not quite. GRRM delivered the final manuscript of ADWD about two months ahead of it hitting the shelves. So if TWoW comes out in, say, October 2015, he could be working on it as late as early August 2015. The turn-around on a guaranteed mega-seller can be incredibly short.

    I don’t quite understand why people think HBO wouldn’t want it to continue past 7 or 8 years, if it is still a success. Networks like successful shows. If it’s profitable in season 8, why stop it?

    Because HBO know that a completed product will sell very well for them for years. THE WIRE has sold way, way more DVDs since it was completed and the complete box set came out then it ever did when it was on the air. Same for THE SOPRANOS (and, slightly morbidly, they’re probably going to sell a ton more after today’s sad news). HBO know that every show has its lifespan of being popular and critically-acclaimed and it’s usually a lot less than nine seasons. In addition, even with massive cast pay rises, the show will likely still be profitable in Season 8 but it won’t be as profitable. The percentages will decrease, possibly quite rapidly, and HBO will start looking at another new show they can fire up which may be as successful as GoT – and maybe more – but cost them a lot less.

    Martin published the first three books at two year intervals, but I doubt it took him only two years to write each one. If you look at his publishing history there was a decade long gap between his previous books and “A Game of Thrones” — he obviously spent several years getting the first three books ready.

    Martin started writing A GAME OF THRONES in the summer of 1991. After an indeterminate amount of time, he took a year off to work on a TV pilot and came back to resume work on the book in late 1993 or early 1994 (the date varies by interview). In late 1995 the book had grown to about 1,400 MS pages, so he cut off around 1,088 with some great climaxes and delivered that as AGoT. The other 400 MS pages he held back for ACoK. He wrote an enormous amount more, including all of ACoK-as-published and very large chunks of ASoS (including Tyrion’s complete ASoS storyline), before cutting off ACoK and publishing that in late 1998. He then finished off ASoS – which may have been the longest book but he also got quite a long way ahead on it whils writing ACoK – in early 2000 to be published in July of that year.

    Aside from being younger, he was able to write those books a lot faster because he did have an outline – albeit a very rough one – that he’d put together whilst working on ACoK. He’d also always envisaged AGoT-ACoK-ASoS as one novel and effectively written them as that, split only for length.

    What’s your source/precedent on that? What makes it likely? Have they done that on any other shows?

    THE SOPRANOS and OZ both had double-length seasons, both filmed as one season but split in half for transmission as two effectively normal-sized seasons.

    TWOW is said to open with the two big battles that were cut from ADWD

    Three. GRRM has confirmed that we will see the battles at Meereen, Winterfell and Storm’s End.

    That kind of schedule is virtually unprecedented.

    Not at all. For bestsellers, that’s pretty standard. With HARRY POTTER, WHEEL OF TIME and Brandon Sanderson’s books, they all turn in manuscripts and they’re on the shelves 3-4 months later at an outside. ADWD was unusually fast at 2 months but that’s because they had working and edited (but incomplete) manuscripts to work from beforehand.

    How could they do a prequel without GRRM’s involvement? Contractually, I doubt they would be able to muck with his GRRM-verse without his involvement.

    They can’t. GRRM’s contract explicitly states that HBO cannot do a prequel series, even on Robert’s Rebellion, without his consent and negotiating a new deal. They can use what’s in the books and do flashbacks to the Trident or the tower of joy based on what’s in the novels, but no more than that, and they do not have permission to create a whole TV series based on it even with other people working on it. GRRM has also said on his blog that he sees no point to doing the Rebellion as a story in its own right (either as a book or a TV show) and doesn’t want to do it. The chances of it happening in the near future are zero, and at all are very close to zero.

  416. Unbowd UnbentUnHodor
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    wow! how do you know so much about this stuff? haha

  417. Chris
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Actually it seems like it should be pretty simple to keep the series going… assuming 10 seasons is okay for HBO.
    Think about all the important plot points the series has so superficially rushed through.
    For all the excitement “Blackwater” got for devoting “an entire episode” to the Battle of the Blackwater, why was it… ONLY ONE episode?
    Could easily have been two. I wasn’t one of the readers dying to see the Antler Men fly but think about exploring that whole conspiracy subplot… gone. Could have been one or two barely named characters with a couple of lines plus a half a dozen extras.
    The slow, tense, buildup of the mysterious fighting apparently within Stannis’ ranks (actually Tywin attacking from behind)… gone.
    Why was the fight between Jamie and the Lannister guard versus Ned and the Stark guard a measly… what… 60 seconds?
    Why was the climactic battle between Yoren and the Night Watch recruits and the gold cloaks… again… what… a minute and a half?
    Daenerys trip through the House of the Undying… Oh it was creatively done, but talk about a bum’s rush.
    And the Battle of the Fist? We never saw that one at all!
    Jon warging…. gone.
    Arya warging…. gone.

    Bran warging… mostly gone. (and those stories would have been CHEAP to explore. Just a Steadicam and an occasional shot of a couple of the wolves in California.)
    How about the search party closing in on Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie only to be eaten by Nymeria and her crew? Riveting but easy and cheap (see Steadicam.)
    And to delve back into history with flashbacks, something the show still avoids after three seasons…. how simple is that?
    In hindsight, AGOT could easily have been at least a season and a half.
    ACOK, likewise. Perhaps two.
    With a multitude of riveting twists, turns and action, ASOS could… should… be THREE seasons instead of two! Imagine the BIG TWIST everyone talks about hitting in the middle of the second.
    For all its marvelous explorations of these characters, the whole series has sometimes felt like the Cliff Notes for the actual events of the books…. and now we’re worried about running out of events?!
    We could spend an entire season in which the characters revisit all the stuff we skipped. Maybe Sam flashing back to the Fist or Barristan taking us through the Mad King and Robert’s Rebellion. There’s certainly still a chance for the Reeds to give us a decent look at the fateful “Tournament That Started It All.”
    At this rate, Martin may have to live to be 100 to finish the books but the answer for the showrunners is simple.
    Slow Down!
    The storylines barely touched on in the books, Littlefinger & Varys, Renly & Loras, Barristan & Robert, have been marvelously opened up. Stop compressing or throwing out the storylines you actually already have!

  418. Bard
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Good news! Apparently George got (mostly) rid of all those other projects he was working on besides TWOW (or the “son of Kong”, as he calls it): http://grrm.livejournal.com/325946.html?page=4#comments. (Comments on “Back From L.A.”, June 19th)

    “I happened to see your post last June about the monkeys remaining on your back. I was glad to see that it looks like you’ve got almost all of them off! (In addition to The Winds of Winter, just Old Venus, the Poul Anderson story, and The World of Ice and Fire are left?) Congratulations on your progress, I wish you luck with what remains!”

    GRRM: “OLD VENUS is almost done. Waiting for one last rewrite to come in. The Poul Anderson folks have decided to move ahead without me (I don’t blame them, they were amazingly patient). WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE is coming together as well, at least as regards the text; still a ton of art to come in. That will leave only Kong and the new Wild Cards, HIGH STAKES. ((Fingers crossed))”

  419. Clambake
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I will read the books first no matter when they are released. The show already ruined the books for me and the hell if I’m going to let them ruin the ending for me too.

  420. K26dp
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I think TWoW will come out autumn of 2014.

    For the show that leaves:
    Season 4 (2014): 2nd half of Storm of Swords, some early parts of Feast/Dragons.
    Season 5 (2015): The Rest of Feast/Dragons, maybe first bits of TWOW
    Season 6 (2016): The rest of the TWOW
    Then the show takes a slightly longer hiatus… maybe an extra 6 months, filming starting in November 2016 and Season 7 starting in @10/1/17. The book ADoS comes out spring/summer 2017, close to three years after TWOW.
    Season 7 (2017-18): A Dream of Spring

  421. Julie
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    pntrlqst,

    J26dp, I’m not sure where you’re coming from other than just general cynicism. I think GRRM has been very transparent about his writing and publication schedule, and the fact that as the story gets more complicated, it takes him longer to write a book. Are you confusing the TV tie-in books with the “real books”? Yes, the TV tie-in books were published in conjunction with the TV series seasons, but those books were actually first published years earlier.
    Bottom line: I don’t want him to rush as he seemed to with Feast for Crow, IMHO the weakest of the bunch. George, take your time and give us quality books to finish out the series.

  422. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Julie,

    You believe GRRM “rushed” AFfC? He worked it for 4-5 years, as far as we know, then decided to split the AFfC/ADwD storylines (IMHO, a big mistake) before publishing it. For whatever reason (professional distractions, soul-searching, Meereenese knots, etc), he has slowed down and (it seems) that he has not really been subject to the critical advice of an assertive editor. Hopefully, these past two books have staged the numerous threads appropriately and will be dealt with efficiently in the next books.

    Maybe there is a profit incentive for the path this story has taken recently (with HBO in the mix), but to re-use a phrase from another genre….”with great power comes great responsibility.” With his vivid imagination and writing skill, GRRM has seen his power/wealth rise and now he has a vast amount of folks eagerly anticipating his next ASoI&F step. His responsibility is to complete this tale and provide some sense of closure for his fans.

  423. asp msfcas
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    they are gonna put fillers

  424. Norbert
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    pntrlqst:
    This is a non-issue.

    GRRM had ADWD finished YEARS before its publication. It was released to coincide with the end of the first season to maximize profits. TWOW is probably done, and he’s probably begun ADOS. They know when to release each to maximize profits.

    how do you know that?

  425. WildSeed
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    Thank you for posting this, Adam.

  426. LordNoga1981
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    So after season 4, i think they can make three seasons of books 4-5 and a small part of 6. If 6 is out. Hell is better be next yr. then is book 7 is stilll needed a flashbac season of the war of the usurper should be made. They have already talked about it so i see it happening. I see this being a 9-10 seasons show. As long as people keep watching we are all good.

  427. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Unbowd UnbentUnHodor:
    Adam Whitehead,
    wow! how do you know so much about this stuff?haha

    Moderator on Westeros.org for eight years, including every second of the wait for ADWD. I also followed the writing of AFFC closely for another five years before that. GRRM’s writing modus operandi is something those of us who’ve done this (and not gone completely insane as a result) are quite familiar with.

    assuming 10 seasons is okay for HBO.

    It isn’t. They’ve ruled it out. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have explicitly said that the show will not last for 10 seasons.

    how do you know that?

    He doesn’t. It’s an old, long-discredited conspiracy theory based on the fact ADWD came out almost immediately after GoT Season 1 finished on TV. It was briefly popular because some people wanted a logical, rational reason – however cynical – for the timing, and the simple fact it was a coincidence seemed unlikely to them. However, it was just a coincidence, at least as far as completion went: the publishers may have rushed the release moreso than normal to capitalise on the TV show, but no more than that.

    They have already talked about it so i see it happening. I see this being a 9-10 seasons show.

    They have talked about it to completely, 100% rule it out, just as they also ruled out the show lasting 10 seasons.

  428. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    Ok…I’m taking my ball and going home now…. (sigh….deflated….)

  429. Jordan Healey
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    I am probably not going to watch the series from Season 4 onwards. It’s B-grade in terms of writing quality compared to the likes of The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Homeland etc

    Sure I’m opening a can of worms on probably the most GoT fanboy-centric site on the internet but so be it.

    I agree that the show will catch up to George’s writing pace and I’m sure that won’t bother the showrunners at all because they seem keen enough to go in their own direction anyway.

  430. jaison.biaginii
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    If you think about it he has 3 years to finish the next book and two more to finish it.

  431. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    I am probably not going to watch the series from Season 4 onwards. It’s B-grade in terms of writing quality compared to the likes of The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Homeland etc

    It’s certainly nowhere near as good as THE WIRE (but what is?). I haven’t watched BREAKING BAD. MAD MEN seemed potentially interesting, but the episode I watched seemed rather dull. Might have been unlucky though.

    HOMELAND is really overrated, and certainly not as good or as well-written as GoT. I caught about half the first season and found it only slightly less implausible and histrionic than 24. I tuned in for another ep during Season 2 and found it pretty much the same. Most of the actors in it are pretty good, but Claire Danes (whom I’ve liked in other projects) was seriously annoying in this.

    I think it is disappointing that GoT isn’t better than it is, given HBO’s heritage, but I also don’t think GoT is a disaster by any means. It’s easily the best SF or Fantasy series on air at the moment, and one of the best dramas on television at the moment (even if there’s a couple that are arguably better), despite its flaws.

  432. sunaeryn
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    I am probably not going to watch the series from Season 4 onwards. It’s B-grade in terms of writing quality compared to the likes of The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Homeland etc

    You have every right to stop watching the show whenever you wish, and I’m certainly not going to argue with your reasons. I even agree with you when it comes to The Wire, Mad Men, and I’d even add Justified, Deadwood and BSG, but Homeland?! You must be joking. Homeland is about as well written as your standard network TV action drivel. The only differences are it has bigger budget and a superior cast.
    Adam Whitehead is right. It’s nothing but 24 in a new, more expensive, grownup cable suit.

  433. NukeDorne
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Julie,

    The only book that GRRM “rushed”, was Storm of Swords, which he finished in one year! Tell me that book isn’t quality throughout.

  434. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    It’s an old, long-discredited conspiracy theory based on the fact ADWD came out almost immediately after GoT Season 1 finished on TV. It was briefly popular because some people wanted a logical, rational reason – however cynical – for the timing, and the simple fact it was a coincidence seemed unlikely to them. However, it was just a coincidence, at least as far as completion went: the publishers may have rushed the release moreso than normal to capitalise on the TV show, but no more than that.

    I do believe the publishers somewhat rushed him to finish ADWD in order to time it with the show. The final product definitely looked to me like something that was rushed and not edited properly (or at all) and the book felt simply unfinished.

    It’s certainly nowhere near as good as THE WIRE (but what is?). I haven’t watched BREAKING BAD. MAD MEN seemed potentially interesting, but the episode I watched seemed rather dull. Might have been unlucky though.

    HOMELAND is really overrated, and certainly not as good or as well-written as GoT. I caught about half the first season and found it only slightly less implausible and histrionic than 24. I tuned in for another ep during Season 2 and found it pretty much the same. Most of the actors in it are pretty good, but Claire Danes (whom I’ve liked in other projects) was seriously annoying in this.

    Breaking Bad is the best show I’ve ever seen, you should definitely watch it. It will air its last 8 episodes starting on August 11th, so you might want to wait until it finishes and just watch all of it.

    Mad Men is a good drama, much slower than the others mentioned here. I don’t think it’s the BESTEST THING EVAR like the Emmy people and many critics seem to think, but it’s worth your time. Start at the beginning, though, watching random episodes of it will definitely give you the feeling of boredom.

    Homeland is indeed just an updated version of 24, which is not surprising considering the showrunners – people who did 24. It is based on Israeli drama, but the similarities between those shows don’t go beyond the basic premise of POW returning after many years in captivity. I enjoy Homeland just as I thoroughly enjoyed the complete insanity of 24 , but it’s not on the level of other shows mentioned here.

  435. Red Hound
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Jordan Healey:
    I am probably not going to watch the series from Season 4 onwards. It’s B-grade in terms of writing quality compared to the likes of The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Homeland etc

    Sure I’m opening a can of worms on probably the most GoT fanboy-centric site on the internet but so be it.

    I agree that the show will catch up to George’s writing pace and I’m sure that won’t bother the showrunners at all because they seem keen enough to go in their own direction anyway.

    I haven’t seen the others, but, Homeland? Season 2 was filled with plotholes, cringeworthy conversations and anti-climatic situations, including the ending.

    I really enjoyed the first season of Homeland. I liked it so much, that I got through the 12 episodes of the second season wondering why I was still watching it.

    I wonder why you are in this website if you don’t like the TV show though, but using Homeland as an example of good writing…
    If you excuse me, I got to recover from being shot down from close-range (I got many bullets in my back). But don’t worry, I’ll be back in a week and fully in action…

  436. KG
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I personally think he let the story get away from him, and he likely needs a new editor to whip him back into shape.

    I don’t think the next book will be out next year, and I see the show catching up – with disastrous results for both. There’s no “good” way out of that if it happens.

  437. Ron
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead:
    Not quite. GRRM delivered the final manuscript of ADWD about two months ahead of it hitting the shelves. So if TWoW comes out in, say, October 2015, he could be working on it as late as early August 2015. The turn-around on a guaranteed mega-seller can be incredibly short.

    I’m certainly no expert in what goes on behind the scenes in book publishing. But from all that I do know, that is highly atypical. If you look at another well known authors blog site, you can see what I consider a much more typical editing cycle here:

    http://www.stephenrdonaldson.com/fromtheauthor/news.php?Status=current

    Scroll down to the entry dated 2/12/13. Mr. Donaldson completed the what he considers to be a the final manuscript for the final Thomas Covenant book, which he then submitted to the editors for D&A. The expected publication of that book is October, IIRC.

    To me, that is a typical publishing cycle. The fact that George submitted ADWD two months before it was on the shelves tells me there was no editing done whatsoever (other than whatever they had done with an unfinished manuscript, I suppose, but I find that kind of “editing a work that the author is still working on” to be highly suspect. I’ve done work sort of like that myself (not on fiction books, on scientific reports), and it’s impossible to do an adequate job while an author is still writing).

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed ADWD well enough, but I do think it is painfully obvious that it could have used a good editing before it went live. The publisher rushed it out the door without doing their job. A two month turnaround is completely inadequate. I hope they learned something from that and with the next one they do a proper editing job with the Delivery before signing off on the Acceptance.

  438. Atreyu
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    KG:
    … he likely needs a new editor to whip him back into shape.

    GRRM defended ADWD by saying it was the best-reviewed novel of his career, so I don’t see him feeling the need to change things up.

    Looking forward to the adaptions reaching AFFC/ADWD territory just to hear characters utter lines like “Raise the alarum” “I must needs four and twenty neeps” and “nuncle”. Wait, they won’t do that. Because it sounds stupid.

  439. Bran the Builder
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    msd,

    I have a strong feeling that they’ll pad Bran’s story line by altering a few other character’s experiences north of the Wall. Namely, I wouldn’t be surprised if they take Sam’s intro to Coldhands and apply it to Bran’s first encounter. Bran et might be attacked by wights then saved by Coldhands and his birds. It would make sense – if airtime allows – to use Bran as a way to explore the north in ways the show hasn’t been able to. Otherwise, I really don’t think they need to spend too much time with him.

  440. Adam Whitehead
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    NukeDorne,

    He wrote a large chunk of ASoS during the writing of ACoK, including Tyrion’s complete storyline, and some other parts as well. He certainly wrote the book much faster than either AFFC or ADWD, but it wasn’t as fast as it appeared. Somewhere between 2 years and 3 years, although it’s very difficult to tell.

    Breaking Bad is the best show I’ve ever seen, you should definitely watch it. It will air its last 8 episodes starting on August 11th, so you might want to wait until it finishes and just watch all of it.

    Cool. I’ve been a fan of Bryan Cranston ever since I caught him doing a guest spot in an episode of BABYLON 5, so it’ll probably be my next complete-series boxset purchase. Though I’ve got to finish DEADWOOD, FRINGE, THE TUDORS and the TERMINATOR TV series first.

    I’m also regularly informed that “BREAKING BAD is the best show you’ve ever seen, except maybe THE WIRE,” so will definitely be checking it out.

    I’m certainly no expert in what goes on behind the scenes in book publishing. But from all that I do know, that is highly atypical. If you look at another well known authors blog site, you can see what I consider a much more typical editing cycle here:

    Donaldson is not remotely in GRRM’s league as a bestselling author, though. The nine previous THOMAS COVENANT novels have sold 10 million copies in 36 years, as compared to ASoIaF selling 9 million copies in just one year. The degree to which the publishers will go out on a limb for him does not compare to GRRM. This isn’t a qualitative statement, as I like Donaldson and consider his GAP books to be essential SF reading (I’m not so keen on COVENANT, but I can see its huge importance in the history of the genre). But in sales terms, Donaldson-writing-COVENANT is a solid, reliable bet whilst GRRM-writing-ASoIaF is a monstrous juggernaut.

    As for the editing, GRRM’s system is to write chapters, go back and rewrite them, consider them ‘finalised’, and send them in to his editor for editing work. He then does a ‘final’ pass when the whole book is finished to smooth out inconsistencies in tone. You say you didn’t find that this worked for ADWD, but it’s worth noting that ASoS had the same thing: GRRM finished the book in April 2000 and it was on sale (in the UK) in July 2000. That’s 3 months compared to 2, but still not very long at all given the size of the book.

  441. Zack
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Red Hound,

    I’m with you. Homeland S1 was a show I watched over a single weekend, I got that involved in it.

    I was immediately in the camp that thought S2 should probably have never happened. I wanted a different, definitive ending for the show but they have to milk it I guess.

    And then I ended up being right, S2 felt forced, cliched, unrealistic. Shame, really.

  442. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    “Forced” is the key word here. There is no good way to milk this premise for a long time. It can be a good mini-series, not multi-season series. I wonder how deep into 24 territory will they go in S3, considering how S2 ended. They still didn’t explode any nukes in USA.

    I’ll still watch it and probably enjoy it, but it’s definitely not awards material.

  443. Phil
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I think this is mostly a moot point until we know how much of season 4 will be AFFC and ADWD. Becasue there is A TON of stuff left with regards to King’s Landing and the Wall storylines, but they can’t leave Issac out for a whole season, and Arya only has a bit left to do from book 3. Plus they have the show added Theon storyline, and the show spends time with added scenes for Tywin, Varys, and other characters who aren’t POV in the books. So I think that with the exception of Bran and Arya’s storylines, there is certainly enough material to do 10 episodes with mostly stuff from the last third of book 3.

    Season 4 is mostly ASOS with some AFFC/ADWD.
    Season 5 being the majority of the AFFC/ADWD stuff that happens at the same time
    Season 6 is leftover plotlines plus the rest of ADWD.

    Winds has be out before that, I think the show has encouraged GRRM to write faster than he would, plus book sales have probably gone up with people (like me) who picked up the books since the show has come out. No reason GRRM can’t finish Winds before late 2016, considering book 5 came out in 2011. That’ll be 5 years he will have had to write the book.

  444. JC
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    The problem here is that Martin is still completely in denial which is why he *still* doesn’t seem to feel the pressure as much. From the article:

    Martin, for one, isn’t worried. The way the author sees it, producers have plenty of material to keep Thrones rolling. “I think the odds against that happening are very long,” Martin says when asked about the show catching up to his novels. “I still have a lead of several gigantic books. If they include everything in the books, I don’t think they’re going to catch up with me. If they do, we’ll have some interesting discussions.”

    He’s still completely delusional about the timeframes for the show, hearkening back to his hopes that they were going to devote three(!) seasons purely to Feast for Crows/Dance with Dragons. He still thinks they should include everything from his books. If the book readers themselves are suggesting cutbacks to the material from AFFC/ADWD (which, as we can see from this thread, many are), how does he think the casual viewer will react to three seasons of little forward plot movement?

    The book readers here that are still advocating for 10+ seasons are in the same head-in-sand position as Martin is. Show viewers are going to get tired long before then and turn away from the show. People are already complaining and wondering when Daenerys is going to get to Westeros, when the White Walkers are going to become an actual threat, when anything is going to feel like it’s coming closer to a resolution. Now imagine Seasons 5-7 of AFFC/ADWD? The show would destroy its own buzz and more likely plummet in ratings and get cancelled.

    I’m a fan of the book series and while I started off thinking that 10 episodes per book wasn’t enough, I’m starting to think the show would have been better off waiting for the entire book series to be completed, and then actually choosing what was pertinent and adapting it all in a less slavish but more focused manner in maybe 5-6 seasons. I’m pretty sure that would have yielded a better show than what we have now. Because I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the little pieces won’t really matter at the end of everything, and if there are a ton of characters who are just extraneous characters for the sake of having a massive cast.

    So thank the old gods and the new that Benioff and Weiss sound like they understand all this. It’s up to them to not budge on these things and to keep the momentum going. It’s just a shame that it seems all but guaranteed that we’re going to catch up to Martin considering his continued apathy towards deadlines.

  445. Starkey's Machine
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Martin knows how this ends- and aside from him having told D&D how it ends he likely has all the beats laid out- he just hasn’t fleshed any of it out- he has to be in a certain headspace to enter a character’s mind and walk him or her from point so and so to so and so- but D&D and their writing team have put themselves into these characters minds so often now that surely if they overtake Martin they can just take his story beats and flesh them out with dialogue and colour and come pretty close to approximating the real thing. The skeleton is there- D&D are surely capable of slapping some flesh onto it- from a show standpoint there’s likely little to worry about. From a publication standpoint- Martin really has no one to blame but himself- he took the money for the TV deal so he should have prepped himself to write quicker if he wanted the books out first. Really not much of an issue. the show will come out and it will approximate the books whether or not they’re published beforehand, though with perhaps a slightly different ending, again regardless if the books are published beforehand- if anything just to have the show offcially as an altered experience. The books will come out in Martin’s and our lifetimes either somewhat in sync with the show or much after- and some of us will love them and some of us will despise them. As how many seasons this will last- I’d guess 8. Season 4 being the rest of ASOS and some introduction into AFFC and ADWD, Seasons 5 and 6 AFFC and ADWD with some of TWOW introduced in 6, season 7 TWOW with some of ADOS at the end- and season 8 wrapping it all all up with slightly different outcomes for some of the characters than what Martin plans in his books. As for renegotiating contracts- that will happen soon- and HBO can afford it. The show just gets more and more popular and that won’t stop when it reaches the books that some consider questionable as it won’t have the same issues (for instance Tyrion won’t disappear for a whole season and the show won’t spend as much time with the Dornish and Ironborn characters as it will the pre-established characters- you’ll see them probably as much as you see Stannis now in the show- i.e. just enough to carry their stories forward). I also believe that D&D will co-produce (but not be extremely involved in the day to day) Dunk and Egg stand alone telemovies to air in the off seasons of the later seasons of GOT (as opposed to in place of GOT seasons) which will drive Thrones fans even wilder. All is good in the hood.


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