Editorial Speculation

Guest Post: Adapting season 5 and beyond

A Song of Ice and Fire

Adapting A Song of Ice and Fire into a coherent and accessible TV series was thought to be an impossible task. Yet writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (with the help of Bryan Cogman and George R. R. Martin) have managed to do it. But their task gets even harder in the coming years. Martin himself recently noted the difficulties that will arise in future seasons.

With Martin’s comments as a backdrop, it seems like a good time to dive in-depth into the issue of adapting future seasons and, in particular, the challenge awaiting the writers with books 4 and 5, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Here to talk about those issues in a special guest post is frequent WiCnet reader and commenter, Greatjon of Slumber.

SPOILERS! This post will discuss in detail the events of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Only read on if you have read those books. You’ve been warned!

Greatjon of Slumber: Hello! First off, a big thanks to WiC for letting me opine on this – some of you know me as Greatjon of Slumber, and I’ve been commenting here for more than a year. This post should basically be considered a storm of spoilers, so for the Unsullied, this is about the time to leave and go somewhere else.

Game of Thrones as a show has presented a huge challenge to its adapters but there’s no doubt that they will be even more challenged as the show reaches what appears to be the middle – and transitory – entries in the book series. These two books, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, have their detractors who see them as largely inferior to the third towering entry, A Storm of Swords, and to the other books as well. While I share some of the misgivings about the two books, I largely see them as strong entries to the series, particularly on a second reading of each, which I’ve done since the show went on hiatus after the finale in early June. They do present their problems, though, and so this post details some of the issues the showrunners are likely to face in Seasons 4 and 5, and a bit of 6 as well, with the thorniest issues at the top, and those of lesser concerns later.

First, though, we have to set up a few assumptions here. One major question, of course, is how much time the two books should occupy. Given that HBO executives have said the show can run as long as there are stories to tell, but D&D have stated that they wouldn’t want to go for 10 seasons and “kill the golden goose.” Let’s assume that A) the show won’t be cancelled and B) our beloved George R.R. Martin finishes the series (when is another matter). With those thoughts in mind, these two books are likely to be truncated somewhat sharply, with plenty of secondary characters eliminated, with ruminative passages cut back, with a subplot or two – even for the most important members of the show’s cast – excised entirely. If these things are done, and GRRM can get The Winds of Winter released by late 2014 or so, they should be on track to handle the show in 8 seasons – 9 if the last two books are truly gigantic – but really, 8 feels like the sweet spot.

With that parameter, AFfC and ADwD and the plot developments within are probably best handled if most of the two books form the entire basis for season 5, with a couple of smaller plotlines moved into Season 4, and some of the latter chapters of ADwD moved into season 6. This presents the best opportunity to structure a thematic arc for the major characters in the fifth season, it builds in plenty of big, crowd-pleasing moments, and allows the story to make similar points that GRRM is making without bogging things down. As said, there are plenty of challenges, so let’s start with the one most frequently mentioned:

A Feast for Crows

Readers often speak of their disappointment with A Feast for Crows, and I admit to being one of those on first reading as well; but after a second reading I found it richer and more compelling, though it does lack for the big events that made A Storm of Swords the pinnacle of the series. However, there’s no doubt that GRRM hardly invites his long-time readers into the picture at its beginning. After chapter upon chapter of Stark, Lannister and Baratheon, the prologue concerns a handful of characters we’ve never heard of in The Citadel. That’s followed by a score of new characters either unseen entirely in the previous three books (Areo Hotah, captain of the guard in Dorne) or little-seen (Aeron Greyjoy, the Drowned Priest), and these characters for the most part open windows in places where there isn’t a previous POV character to lean on. In past books, newly introduced POV characters were often a key part of the scenery in other POV chapters – Theon Greyjoy, for instance. With the additions comes a natural resistance from readers – “Why should I care about this person? Where the hell are the Starks, anyway? Where is Tyrion? WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?”

The primary characters we identify with as being on a “journey” of some kind – Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Danaerys Targaryen – do not appear at all. In addition, much of it is ruminative, involving long journeys and internal dialogues with the characters of Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister as they make slow progress toward their goals. Brienne’s arc is particularly difficult– introducing people who make little difference to the plot (Ser Illifer the Penniless? Nimble Dick Crabbe?), and provide little insight into Brienne’s psyche (not all of them – Elder Brother and Hyle Hunt are noted exceptions.) One could argue her travels give a window into the despair of the common folk of Westeros and the horrors of war. In that case, that’s easily accomplished by taking Septon Meribald, a minor character who should be kept, and perhaps combining him with Elder Brother, making him a man who travels the villages periodically and returns to the Quiet Isle with Brienne. It’s an easy combination, and takes two similar, though compelling, characters, and makes them one. Then keep her meeting with the High Sparrow, her heated confrontation with Randyll Tarly, and whatever people she kills on the way, and lose the entire digression to Cracklaw Point.

This book has some worthy material – particularly Aeron and Victarion Greyjoy, the Dornish plotting, Arya in Braavos, and Sam and Gilly’s journey with Maester Aemon. Notably, though, if Brienne’s plot is reduced – or moved in part to Season 4, where it seems to be going judging by reports from the set – most of the other plots (along with Sansa) involve very little time at all, so the show can feel free to concentrate on the meatiest stuff in this book – Cersei Lannister and Margaery Tyrell, the King’s Landing political intrigue. Cersei really comes into form in this book, and there’s plenty of strong stuff to draw on here.

The Meereenese Knot

The weakest portion of the two books and often unremarked upon is the last quarter of A Dance With Dragons — almost everything that follows after Daenerys flees Meereen on Drogon’s back. Some of the stuff involving Barristan Selmy will eventually be important – but given that her flight is such a strong way to stop for a TV season, the Barristan coup in Meereen is best saved for Season 6. Tyrion’s appearance in Meereen can also be halted here, leaving his signing on with the Second Sons (regardless of how he arrives there) for an early Season 6 development. Those events represent a new beginning of a sort, and so are best left for later on.

A refrain heard from many readers, and one that I can’t entirely disagree with, is that the books strand Dany in Meereen for a long time. And if the show evolves as I’d expect, we’ll see her conquer Meereen in Season 4 and in her words, stay and rule as a queen in Season 5. The motivation here, of course, is to do right by her citizens after her failures in Yunkai and Astapor. To me, though, the true difficulty will be her plot in Season 4, which is going to seem somewhat repetitive after Season 3 unless they concentrate on her betrayal by Jorah Mormont instead, which would form a stronger emotional spine than the conquest of the city of Meereen. Either way, the expectation should be that Season 5 and thereon are likely to be uniformly strong seasons of material for Emilia Clarke, but this one may suffer a bit.

For Season 5, however, no such problem exists – the growing pains associated with her new rule in Meereen dovetail with Jon’s experience as a new Lord Commander and as Cersei presides as Queen Regent in King’s Landing, and tying those three threads together represents an exciting way of plotting out a fifth year in this show, and it’s one of the reasons to be most confident that the fifth season, while not containing anything on the level of the Red Wedding, is not going to be the disappointment that some already expect. If the justifications for staying in Meereen are the corpses on the road and the death of children at the dragon’s flame, it will work well enough.

Reducing Unneeded Characters and Subplots

That said: the only way to do this properly is that subplots and minor characters who inform on the actions of the “secondary” major characters (the Tyrells, Greyjoys and Martells) will have to be largely cut out. Even though there are compelling characters in Doran Martell, Victarion, Aeron and Euron Greyjoy, Arianne Martell, Obara and Ellaria Sand, et cetera, they – like the Starks – have friends and advisors, and those folks are likely to be truncated to walk-ons or not mentioned at all. GRRM has already set up many – Doran, Victarion and Arianne especially – with major importance to the plot. I don’t expect they’ll be eliminated, but they will be secondary at best.

But when it comes to new characters, it’s time to think ruthlessly: Do they advance the plot in some kind of way that cannot be easily handled by an existing character? Are they so important in their own right that to do without them would be difficult? Will we need them later? Are they easily distinguishable by their appearance? Do they, in some way, enlighten us about the condition of Westeros or illuminate us on the psyche of a major character in particular?  If the answer to any, but hopefully at least two or three of these questions is “yes,” it’s likely a character that can be kept, be they major (Victarion, Euron) or minor (Septon Meribald, Elder Brother, Moqorro, Randyll Tarly, Gyles Rosby). Of those, Meribald and Elder Brother could be combined, but they’re illuminating to the viewer; Moqorro is important to the plot and passes based on his appearance. Rosby, too, has a notable character trait, his terrible coughing, and Tarly as Sam’s father will be familiar.

Further, the producers have already shown that they’re willing to sacrifice tertiary characters if it A) does the viewer the favor by putting two other interesting people together to have fun conversations and B) ignore the amount of time needed for traveling long distances (Littlefinger’s jetpack that gets him from the Storm Lands to Harrenhall in short order, which he later loans out to Melisandre to bring her from the Riverlands to Blackwater Bay in one episode).

On the chopping block, then, among others: Harys Swyft (make Mace Tyrell the Hand of the King early), Aurane Waters, any Umber not named Greatjon, the Quiet Man of Braavos (sub in Jaqen H’ghar), the Kettleblacks (use the already established Meryn Trant), all of Arianne Martell’s companions save Darkstar, and cut back the Sand Snakes to a recognizable two. Lose almost everyone on Tyrion’s boat ride save Jon Connington, Young Griff, Septa Lemore and keep Varys there for a few episodes, too, just for familiarity. In addition, after a brief intro of Connington, keep him out of the show until they invade the Storm Lands in Season 6 – and eliminate Harry Strickland, too. In Meereen, Hizdhar zo Loraq is already cast, but what about the rest? Keep Ben Plumm and perhaps the Shavepate, but dump Yurkhaz zo Yunzak, Reznak mo Reznak, and Galazza Galare.

Our favorite Lannister, Tyrion, is also ripe for cutting. His entire digression with Nurse and Yezzan may have to be sacrificed; it would seem to make sense to have Tyrion end his arc of Season 5 electing to sign himself up with the Second Sons with the intention of trying to sway them to Dany’s side. Sure, we’ll lose his adventures as a traveling dwarf act with Penny, but something has to give here. Alternatively, his arc is slowed substantially, and we close Season 5 with a very VERY brief introduction of Yezzan, and then Tyrion, Penny and Jorah Mormont are present for Drogon’s appearance and Daenerys’s flight, leaving the bloody flux and Second Sons plot to Season 6, if at all.

The Shae “Problem”

Technically this problem is a Season 4 issue, and not related to the 4th or 5th books, but just the same, it needs addressing. There’s speculation that the producers won’t have the heart to have Tyrion kill off Shae, or for her to be revealed as a betrayer of Tyrion, instead having her hung by Tywin Lannister, perhaps using the golden chain she was given as a gift. And it’s true that the relationship between Tyrion and Shae is dramatically altered than in the book, where she seemed content to more or less be the happy hooker and even rejected the possibility of love. The show’s conception of Shae is much different, portrayed by Sibel Kekilli is a jealous, resentful creature, having developed more attachment and something of a sense of entitlement as it pertains to Tyrion. It’s also true that Tyrion is somewhat less of a grey character than in the books, though the show has done well to portray most of its characters with a lot of shading, particularly difficult people like Stannis, Cersei and Jaime, and certainly have an opportunity to shade things this way with Tyrion.

The expectation that the producers will “chicken out” is probably unfounded – not one major character whose number was up in the books so far has been spared. Viewers have already been given significant clues here – Shae’s growing jealousy as Tyrion is forced to marry Sansa Stark; the vocalization of her predicament to Tyrion: “I am your whore, and when you are tired of fucking me, I will be nothing,” and most importantly, the scene with Varys in “Myhsa,” where Varys, perhaps of his own accord, tries to buy her off, which only enrages her further. D&D have laid the foundation pretty well on this one – and while the journey to the endpoint will mine a different path than in A Storm of Swords, the end result is likely to be the same.

Tying the timelines together effectively

A unique challenge presented by the books, of course, is that events unfold in various places that cannot easily be placed in the timeline – sometimes the Iron Islands seems to be running about parallel with late Book 3 events, Arianne Martell’s first narration is in mid-book 4, her narration from late Book 5 appears to be a week later at most, despite 900-1000 pages of story in between. And in addition, the show will need to contend with 15 distinct stories: Jon/The Wall, Sam, Arya, Sansa/Petyr/The Vale, Jaime, Brienne, Cersei/Margaery/King’s Landing, Daenerys, Tyrion/Jorah, the Dornish, the Iron Islands, Stannis, Ramsey/Theon/Roose, Bran/Rickon, and Davos. That’s just ridiculous.

Some of these, thankfully, will take a backseat. But that pattern has already been established. In Season 1, the most important stories, in order, were probably as such: Eddard (incl. Arya/Sansa/Robert), Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon Snow, pretty much in that order.

Season 2 was this: Tyrion, Theon, Stannis/Davos, Arya, Cersei/Sansa, then Jon, then Daenerys.

Season 3 goes another direction, in that it has about 8 plots, all equally important, with Daenerys, Jaime/Brienne, Cersei/Tyrion/Tywin (King’s Landing) and then Jon/Wildings and Robb/Cat. The producers did a good job cutting developing thematic ties and concentrating not one, but two episodes on a limited set of characters – Episode 8’s “Second Sons”, and Episode 9’s “Rains of Castamere”. They’ve already said that this may happen again, and if so, it’s a good thing. Season 4 promises to be a showcase year for Tyrion and Jon Snow, likely followed by Arya, Brienne and Cersei. Thankfully Sam and Jon occupy the same space, so that reduces one plot.

But Season 5 would do best if it builds its spine out of three stories that connect to each other thematically, as Jon Snow struggles with his new position as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Daenerys becomes a queen in Meereen, and Cersei sees her rule spin out of control in King’s Landing. After those three, the only other plot that occupies the same level of importance is Tyrion, and that’s largely the result of Tyrion being a GRRM favorite and because of Peter Dinklage. But if the producers are smart (and they are), these three storylines will dominate the action in the fifth season because they hit on a favorite theme of Martin’s – who is qualified to hold power, and dealing with the messy realities of acting as ruler, not just the lead-in to claiming a leadership role. What does that mean for other characters? It means Sansa, Arya, Brienne, the Iron Islands and Dorne will all hopefully occupy some space, but most of their plots should be executed within a few episodes (say, visit Dorne in Episode 1, 3, and 7 only), to keep the plot focused. Even the Vale ties into the theme – but again, it’s where it would seem wise to have Sophie Turner and Aiden Gillen take a step back.

Big-Deal Moments

Reading A Storm of Swords sometimes feels like watching fireworks – Omigod! Omigod! Wait, wait, OMIGOD! So there is of course a desire to think about climactic moments for the end of Season 5 (the coming season will have no issues), given that many of them are shocking but without the kind of kinetic violence that defined “Blackwater” and “The Rains of Castamere”. Fear not – imagine a final two episodes that includes Daenerys taking off on her dragon after narrowly missing being poisoned, Cersei’s walk of shame through all of King’s Landing, the stabbing of Jon Snow, Arya’s first kill as an assassin, Theon’s attempt at an escape from Winterfell, and Victarion Greyjoy coming on shore at the Shield Islands, cutting people in half with his axe. Intersperse throughout the year the harrowing scene on the Rhoyne with the Stone Men (the best moment of horror in all of the books), Brienne’s encounter with Rorge and Biter, the escape by the Blackfish (yet again, at least for the show), the execution of prisoners at Moat Cailin, Jon’s beheading of Janos Slynt, and Arya’s killing of Dareon, and there’s plenty of action here. Be not afeared.

Bronn, We Hardly Knew Ye

Lastly – there’s a real issue that comes with the introduction of so many characters, and that’s the matter of doing something with the ones that don’t seem to have a role going forward. For the likes of Ros, it was easy – she didn’t exist in the books, so D&D could jettison the character when they saw fit. And of course, all those marked for death already are likely to meet their end.

Until now, though, we haven’t seen the death of anyone who matters so much down the road that they couldn’t be filled with someone else’s part – Mago comes to mind. That may change. Gendry largely fades away in AFfC, but now that Davos has given him a chance to go to King’s Landing again, the producers clearly have other plans in mind.

Jerome Flynn has been a real delight in the show’s first three seasons, and he played a key role in Season 2 (particularly in “Blackwater”), but his role diminished a bit in the third season. And when there’s discussion of someone being on the chopping block, it’s naturally him, given his last major act is to refuse Tyrion’s request to fight for him against Gregor Clegane. Cersei secures his marriage to Lollys Stokeworth, but later foils an assassination attempt.

That plot is likely to be left aside (Lollys wasn’t at the riot of King’s Landing, her most notable appearance), leaving a few options:

1 – Stick with the books. Bronn fades into the background, and this may end up being the choice given GRRM may have a role for him in the 6th and 7th books.

2 – Send him to Dorne and replace Areo Hotah. This might work – the biggest problem, though, is that Doran Martell is considered the most cautious man in Westeros. Making a sellsword his personal bodyguard seems out of character.

3 – Have him replace one of the Kettleblacks. Somewhat intriguing – but while Bronn is a sellsword, being drawn into Cersei’s schemes seems out of character for him. The same can be said for Cersei, too, who is unlikely to trust anyone that close to Tyrion. It wouldn’t work.

4 – Have him go on the road with Jaime in place of Ilyn Payne. Probably the most intriguing option. One of GoT’s greatest strengths is its “Let’s put these two people in a room and let them talk” tendencies, and Flynn paired with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would be a hoot, particularly if he accompanies him to break the siege at Riverrun, opening the tantalizing possibility of a Bronn-Blackfish conversation, too. The fear, of course, is that someone else knows Jaime cannot fight, which was the point of using the mute Ilyn Payne. But that’s a minor issue.

5 – Kill him off. Yeah, it has to be considered, and not just for him, but Gendry as well. In this case, though, I’m leaning to option 4 as the most interesting one, followed by option 1, then this one.

Conclusion

I’ve gone on a long time here. I look forward to several more seasons of the show, and while they present thorny problems to tackle, they’re not unsolvable. For the Sullied, it opens possibilities; frequent postings by Unsullied often remind those of us who have read the books that we miss the ability to see things anew – so any surprises are often welcome ones.

664 Comments

  • Not a bad post. I would’ve liked if it were better-organized, but you brought up some interesting points. I especially like your argument that there will be plenty of action, though I believe they’re more likely to spread books 4 and 5 out over 2 seasons rather than trying to cram them into a season and a half.

    And importantly, you’re wrong about Jaqen H’ghar. There’s 0% chance that he’ll be in Arya’s Braavos storyline — it’s widely accepted that he is currently in Oldtown, and it’s much more likely that he’ll have a run-in with Sam. There’s absolutely no reason to transport him back to Braavos just to have a familiar face, especially since he doesn’t strike me (or anyone else, I’d assume) as the “teaching-Arya-how-to-be-an-assassin” type. He’s much more just the “assassin” type.

  • I think you make a lot of great points and this is about how much screen space I envision these two books taking up, but…

    Really? You think the Stone Men were the best moment of horror in the series? I think that’s the weakest scene in the books so far. The idea that there’s this clan of infected madmen camped out over a major waterway that is poisonous in one spot but nowhere downstream of it just doesn’t fit into the rest of Martin’s universe at all. The scene feels like a desperate attempt to inject an exciting moment into an otherwise slow section of the story.

  • For Bronn I so hope they go with option #4. That would be so much fun, possibly more fun than Jaime/Brienne.

  • Making Mace Tyrell the Hand of the King would completely change the idea of Cersei trying to get rid of the Tyrell influence at court, and it would make Cersei’s plans make even less sense, if the Tyrell army is already in King’s Landing while she’s executing her scheme.

  • I like what you have done here… however I have 1 major issue…

    You seem to be pushing most of AFFC/ADWD into season 6… With the exception of the Dany/Jon/Tyrion arcs, there isn’t enough there to stretch everyone else out that long. What is the finale for S5 if you spread these 2 books over 2 seasons? And not just the big season finale for the show… what about for each character? Brienne, Jaime, Cersei, Arya, Sansa, Bran…. their arcs are much better suited to be 1 season.

    Now lets look at each of the characters with long arcs.

    Tyrion… needs cutting… But he will intertwine with Dany…

    Dany – They can start unfolding some of her Mereen story this season…. And having her story bleed a little into S6 is probably doable… But I see them using material from Winds for her (in S6).

    Jon – His adventures can be scaled back and mostly be fit into S5. Keeping him on track. Less Hardhome.

    Assuming the show runs for 8 seasons, which I think is the only responsible way to look at this since no one at HBO/GoT has even really suggested that they are going longer. What this also does is allow the show to focus 3 seasons on the last 2 books. Which should be the most action packed for the show. Allow the TV show to get this part right.

  • Watson,

    Really? I loved the Stone Men chapter, in fact it is one of my favorite Tyrion chapters in the entire series! And it fits in with the series fine in my opinion. They aren’t any harder to except than White Walkers, Coldhands, Smoke Babies and the Doom of Valyria anyway. And greyscale was certainly mentioned before in the series, so it didn’t really come out of nowhere. I also love the imagery in that chapter with the sunken city. It is kind of sad to think about this entire culture that was lost to a sickness. Oh well, differing opinions i guess.

  • Good stuff, well done

    Although Jaqen H’gar can’t really be in Braavos if he’s in Oldtown for the entirety of aFfC, also in the sense of being ruthless I think Rosby can be cut, to the viewer he’d just be someone with a cough made master of coin, who dies of a cough a few episodes later after doing nothing.

    But yeah season 5 will be intriguing and exciting

  • One More Possibility for Bronn is have him replace “Sir Hyle Hunt” on Brienne’s quest to find Sansa after the PW, along with Pod. I think that one makes sense…

  • BeatleFloydZeppelin,

    I agree. The Sorrows was a lot better than the previous chapter which climaxed with Septa Lemore seeing a giant turtle…

    I just think the drama/suspense of the chapter is dulled and thwarted by knowing that there is no suspense because Tyrion can’t die

  • Bravo, Greatjon. I agree with almost every single point you’ve made. I don’t envy Benioff & Weiss their task going forward, but this would be a damn fine way of going about it. As a longtime reader, I’m fully prepared for ENORMOUS pruning and streamlining of plot and character in season 5-onward. And I hope others will be, too.

  • This is probably the greatest post in wic history! Great piece of work! Hope we get another post from u in the future

  • I do not think Mace Tyrell will be named hand. I think that if they get Kevan Lannister back that he will accept hand on the condition that Mace Tyrell gets a bigger position in the council. At which stuff goes wrong, we will have no more hand for the rest of the season with Cersei seeking a new hand. Ultimately Cersei gets imprisoned and Kevan assumes the role of Lord Regent.

  • Turncloak:
    This is probably the greatest post in wic history! Great piece of work! Hope we get another post from u in the future

    Self gratification perhaps?

  • A-Gone:
    http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2013/10/game-of-thrones-emilia-clarke-secret-brain-aneurysm-revealed.html

    Please tell me this is a most disgusting lie.

    Watson:
    I think you make a lot of great points and this is about how much screen space I envision these two books taking up, but…

    Really? You think the Stone Men were the best moment of horror in the series? I think that’s the weakest scene in the books so far. The idea that there’s this clan of infected madmen camped out over a major waterway that is poisonous in one spot but nowhere downstream of it just doesn’t fit into the rest of Martin’s universe at all. The scene feels like a desperate attempt to inject an exciting moment into an otherwise slow section of the story.

    I simply loved that chapter. All the mist and the horror on Young Griff’s face. It will be awesome on the series.

  • ShadowStalker:
    I like what you have done here… however I have 1 major issue…

    You seem to be pushing most of AFFC/ADWD into season 6… With the exception of the Dany/Jon/Tyrion arcs, there isn’t enough there to stretch everyone else out that long. What is the finale for S5 if you spread these 2 books over 2 seasons? And not just the big season finale for the show… what about for each character? Brienne, Jaime, Cersei, Arya, Sansa, Bran…. their arcs are much better suited to be 1 season.

    Now lets look at each of the characters with long arcs.

    Tyrion… needs cutting… But he will intertwine with Dany…

    Dany – They can start unfolding some of her Mereen story this season…. And having her story bleed a little into S6 is probably doable… But I see them using material from Winds for her (in S6).

    Jon – His adventures can be scaled back and mostly be fit into S5. Keeping him on track. Less Hardhome.

    Assuming the show runs for 8 seasons, which I think is the only responsible way to look at this since no one at HBO/GoT has even really suggested that they are going longer. What this also does is allow the show to focus 3 seasons on the last 2 books. Which should be the most action packed for the show. Allow the TV show to get this part right.

    D&D could not and will not combine AFFC and ADWD into one season. Period. This assumption is among the most ridiculous delusions that certain fans suffer from.

  • erin:
    For Bronn I so hope they go with option #4.That would be so much fun, possibly more fun than Jaime/Brienne.

    Bronn, Jaime, and the Blackfish would be gold!

  • I don’t know why but I get the feeling that Gendry and Podrick will be going with Brienne to find Sansa/ Arya. I actually have enormous faith that Gwendoline Christie can carry that storyline, and as long as you give her people to interact with it should be fine. I don’t mind them cutting Meribald, but I will definitely be upset if they cut out his epic monologue, one of the best in the entire series.

  • Folks – thanks for the great comments so far. Going to address a few issues as people keep commenting, and I really appreciate those of you who took the time to read it. Here goes:

    ACatLover: And importantly, you’re wrong about Jaqen H’ghar. There’s 0% chance that he’ll be in Arya’s Braavos storyline — it’s widely accepted that he is currently in Oldtown, and it’s much more likely that he’ll have a run-in with Sam.

    –Possibly you’re correct, and again, this is where GoT’s magic jetpack comes in. I’m fine with that. If I’m wrong, and they do cast the Quiet Man, please just let it be Ian McDiarmid (or make him Elder Brother)

    Watson: Really? You think the Stone Men were the best moment of horror in the series? I think that’s the weakest scene in the books so far.

    Another decent point in that they’re collected oddly in one spot. Maybe they’re not allowed to enter the city on either side. All I can say is this: that scene FREAKED ME THE HELL OUT. Imagine it as a visual?

    ShadowStalker: You seem to be pushing most of AFFC/ADWD into season 6… With the exception of the Dany/Jon/Tyrion arcs, there isn’t enough there to stretch everyone else out that long.

    Actually, no, quite the opposite. I’m compressing most of those two books into Season 5. With this blueprint I envision the following:

    –Season 5 finale is the mutiny against Jon Snow, Cersei’s walk of Shame, and Dany taking off on her dragons. Bran would presumably still be in the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven, Sansa still in the Eyrie, Arya makes her first kill in Braavos, Jaime runs into Brienne. What I see being left for Season 6 would be: the coup in Meereen led by Selmy and the Shavepate, Tyrion joining the Second Sons, perhaps the Quentin plot, and the raid of the Stormlands. All extraneous stuff that would clutter Season 5, but lead off well in Season 6.

    Sean C.: Making Mace Tyrell the Hand of the King would completely change the idea of Cersei trying to get rid of the Tyrell influence at court,

    This part is true, yes, but you could see it being a decision forced upon her. I just feel like Gyles Rosby and Harys Swyft add very, very little to the proceedings, and when you’re trying to focus on important primary and secondary characters, these two clutter things up badly, when you can have the oafish Mace stand in for the non-entity that is Harys Swyft.

  • I haven’t read the whole post as I am only up to the end of “A Storm of Swords” book-wise. A lot of other people must be trying to read the books after watching the show because since June I have been unable to get either the physical book or the audio-book of AFFC from my local library. Times are tough so I’m only paying for absolutely essential things at present. I would say that on the whole I have liked what I have read/listened to, but at times I would have liked a few less minor characters (It’s not just GRRM I feel that way about – I feel that way about Charles Dickens). I certainly preferred book Jeyne to TV Talisa, though I have seen Oona Chaplin in other shows and liked her acting there. But I can’t really say anything about Book 4 and 5 material as I haven’t read them yet. I thought the original plan was to have Season 4 cover the latter half of “A Storm of Swords”, though I realise that now Mark Gattiss’s character has been revealed the show’s makers can’t be adhering rigidly to that idea.

  • Maddy: I don’t mind them cutting Meribald, but I will definitely be upset if they cut out his epic monologue, one of the best in the entire series.

    Were it me for that, I’d combine him with Elder Brother, and give that monologue to him. And you’re right – Meribald’s monologue is one of those great soliloquies that has really built out a minor character, same as Aemon Targaryen’s in Season 1, and Old Nan’s “My sweet summer child,” and others.

  • ACatLover,

    Really? The show is going to be 8 seasons until someone besides a wishful thinking fan says otherwise. If the Feast/Dance get stretched into 2 seasons what are the finales/character arcs for each season? You need to create way too much filler, slowing the shows momentum. Not everything will get compressed into S5. Some will bleed in both directions S4 and S6.

    So really the show is best suited to hack apart Feast/Dance, compress it mostly for 1 season.

    I don’t want the TV show to try to fit the last 2 books into 2 seasons. You want to talk about stuff getting cut out… that will lead to massive cuts. So if the choice is lots of cutting in Feast/Dance or lots of cutting in Winds/Dream… I will take the latter every time.

  • All you’ve done are raise unnecessary fears – I don’t see any real problem in the story of “Feast for Crows” being “boring” — the Alpha Plot is as always, the intrigues at King’s Landing….consider that Cersei barely appeared in Season 3, but Season 5 will be her season.

    I see no problem with the MATERIAL from books 4 and 5 not being “exciting”.

    One minor problem with Bronn is that his rise to power only takes up about one chapter in the books (narrated in flashback). HOWEVER, if you think about it, if they’re planning on doing that and marrying Lollys, that would come up in Season 4 before Tyrion’s trial – Cersei bribing him off with a marriage into the minor nobility. So we *should* see coming if they’re cutting parts of Bronn’s plotline out.

    Some latched onto an idea of him training with Jaime – I don’t know if he’ll follow Jaime *on the road*, but when they’re in KL, I’d see no problem in such a scene.

    As even you point out, it seems improbable that the TV producers are reluctant to kill off Shae given that they’ve never been reluctant to before, and, she just doesn’t have an established storyline to follow after this. I’m mildly annoyed that they’re trying to build up Sansa jealously as why she does what she does, but then again, even book readers are still confused about what her exact motivations were (other than that book-Shae is a prostitute who honestly was never very loyal to Tyrion in the first place, and he just pretended not to notice).

    *****Overall, though, the only “problem” I see is what even Benioff has said: adapting Season 5 gives him “nightmares” because it will stop at the midpoint of books 4 and 5 — because they’re intercutting between books 4 and 5, which happen simultaneously.

    And the natural problem arising from this is that there is simply no clear stopping point right in the middle of those books! With Season 3 they could at least use the Red Wedding as a stopping point – even though it comes in the middle of the book. I feel some of the shock value was lost by putting it in the pivotal Episode 9 slot – I wanted it to be like Renly’s death, in the fifth episode of a season and thus a complete shock. But I do sympathize with their situation that otherwise they had no clear climax for Season 3.

  • GreatJon of Slumber,

    I pretty much agree with you then on that line of thinking. I have seen way too many fans try and make these outlines and be way too hopeful that everything is getting put into the show. And my biggest complaint has always been that Feast/Dance being spread over 2 seasons.

    What would you think of the Iron Islands scenes being cut completely. And have it still happen but happen offscreen. We hear of reports that Balon dies… and his brother takes Euron takes the throne…. and all that. But we don’t see it. Then in say S6 we meet Victarion… out at sea. On his way to Mereen. We get some exposition about the tension between the Victarion and Euron…. And everything stays roughly on course there.

  • Good post. I myself find that the best way to adapt books 4 & 5 would be to spread them across a season and a half, with season 6 occupying the second half of ADWD and however much TWOW content is necessary to fill up a season (likely between a quarter and a third of the book, across multiple characters). Jon’s ADWD stuff would last the whole two seasons while Sansa’s will barely last one season, but in terms of rough screentime- my ideal season 6 will be 50% ADWD and 50% TWOW.

    I have to say there is one major problem you have not touched on: Bran. I think his story should be very sparse in the season. He should be given one big episode where he gets multiple scenes (visions, tutoring by Bloodraven and conversations with Hodor/Meera/Jojen) and for most of the rest of the season we should just see ravens watching other characters across Westeros (implying that Bran is warging them and watching). He could appear in raven form at the very least in Theon, Jon, Stannis and Davos storylines after the raven thing is set up. All in all, he should be in about 3 episodes in human form (maybe less) as there would literally be 1 chapter left to adapt by the time season 5 begins (going by the fact that Bloodraven was cast for season 4).

    Another thing I’d like to touch on is Hardhome. The show is in dire need of real White Walker action. They missed their opportunity in season 3 (the battle at the Fist), and now there is a threat that the White Walkers will just fade into the background. That shouldn’t happen. Also, the chances we’ll get a Cotter Pyke are… Small at best. So, alternatively, I suggest that the battle of Hardhome should be expanded and Jon should go there with a small group of NW members in a desperate attempt to save Tormund and his Wildlings.

    This would offer a huge set piece that should take a page from the Walking Dead book, and would etch the White Walkers into our memories for a long time, until they become important again. It would also make for a great episode 9, with scenes cutting between Jon’s suicide mission (losing many) and other plot lines such as the High Sparrow finally confronting Cersei and Brienne being brought before Stoneheart. That would make a perfect episode 9, and season 6 will then have the battle of Meereen (which is bound to be the biggest battle in the series so far, maybe ever).

    I agree that there will be no issue in terms of the quality of the seasons, but D&D are in for a real hard time writing it down first. I wish them the best of luck!

  • On the one hand I think Jon’s assassination would be a useful climax for season 5, on the other hand I doubt very much that they’ll be able to condense his storyline into one season.

    1. It could very well be that the Lord Commander chosing gets postponed to season 5 (as probably the only part of ASOS), since Stannis will probably arrive late at the wall during season 4 (episode 9 most likely), so there’s little time for that at the end of season 4.

    2. Jon gets assassinated after reading the pink letter from Ramsay (?) and therefore most likely after the Battle of the Ice, which is material from TWOW and therefore probably not used for season 5. Plus, he needs to send Mance to Winterfell before that , where he and the spearwives meet Theon, Theon escapes with Jeyne etc. Too much stuff.

  • Okay, this was a very strange post…

    1) Jaqen in Braavos? Never.Going.To.Happen.
    2) the last quarter of ADWD boring? Hell no, the only bad parts about that book were Dany’s 50 shade’s of Daario in the beginning and Tyrion’s travel with Penny. The show has already attempted to make Daario less campy and I firmly believe that Penny will be cut in favor of more Tyrion and Jorah interaction.
    3) No way they are killing of Bronn. He’s a fan favorite, he’s alive in the books and since Illyn Payne isn’t coming back, Jaime and Bronn are a perfect match.
    4) Why on earth would they keep Giles Rosby? And why wouldn’t they keep for instance the Dusky Woman? Someone has to kill Big Vic.
    5) Brienne’s chapters in AFFC are awesome. Especially, on a reread. I don’t think we’ll see Nimble Dick on screen, but he did offer a valuable insight in Brienne’s head.
    6) It’s a dumb idea to sent Varys away with Tyrion. They have Illyrio for that.
    7) I don’t think it would be a good idea to cut the Green Grace. And when we are cutting sandsnakes you have to specify which one (Tyene or Nym and Sarella should not be cut).

  • Maddy,

    My crazy idea/dream for Gendry is that since he’s the only available (for made-up content) character in the south, he can go to Oldtown (since KL is dangerous) and meet a young apprentice from the citadel and see his old pal Jaqen murder him (maybe Jaqen puts on his old face when Gendry sees him, and Gendry backs away)

  • ShadowStalker: What would you think of the Iron Islands scenes being cut completely. And have it still happen but happen offscreen. We hear of reports that Balon dies… and his brother takes Euron takes the throne…. and all that. But we don’t see it. T

    They’ve gone to some length to make Balon a character, so I think we’ll see his death. They’ve done a lot with Asha (Yara), so that’s why I’d think (and am hopeful) we’ll see the Kingsmoot. But I think the Iron Islands will be substantially truncated – every hanger-on not named Greyjoy reduced to almost nothing, perhaps losing Aeron, keeping just Euron (he’s so friggin WEIRD it’s hard to exclude him, and it plays into the whole “Boy, these Greyjoys are nuts”), and Victarion, just b/c of the typical GoT strength of 2 differing people in a room talking – in this case, Moqorro and Victarion.

    But Rodrik Harlaw? Gone. Tristifer Botley? Gone. And yes, if they elected to skip the Kingsmoot and just have Euron take over, and then have Victarion show up in Season 6 with Moqorro in the East, that might work too.

    Jentario: Another thing I’d like to touch on is Hardhome. The show is in dire need of real White Walker action. They missed their opportunity in season 3 (the battle at the Fist), and now there is a threat that the White Walkers will just fade into the background. That shouldn’t happen.

    A good point, and yes, would fill in some blanks, and meet the goal of strengthening primary relationships, in this case, Jon Snow and Tormund.

    Veltigar: 4) Why on earth would they keep Giles Rosby? And why wouldn’t they keep for instance the Dusky Woman? Someone has to kill Big Vic.

    Just because I didn’t mention him doesn’t mean I don’t think he should be cut. He should. He’s completely unimportant and distracting.

    Veltigar: 7) I don’t think it would be a good idea to cut the Green Grace. And when we are cutting sandsnakes you have to specify which one (Tyene or Nym and Sarella should not be cut).

    On the Green Grace, sure, she might be worth keeping. But given the nature of Hizdhar, why do we need Reznak? As for the Sand Snakes, I think you keep two of three, not including Sarella, and I wonder if the Oldtown plot, whatever it may be, won’t really start until Season 6, assuming Sam, Aemon and the Cinnamon Wind become a Season 5 story.

  • These changes they are making is what vexes me. I have always been biased toward the series. I always knew and understood that some changes will have to be made in order to adapt the novels on televison.
    I like the show, but I am starting to notice that in every season they make, there are more and more things that differ from the books. I stopped enjoying the show quite awhile ago. I still watch it, but I look at the show as an independant work, not related to original source. I treat the show as a fan-fiction of sorts. As an idea of how the series should look in the minds of D&D.
    To illustrate, when Robb’s wife in show, Talisa died, I was ecstatic. Not because of the Red Wedding actually taking place, and certainly not because she died, which is not what happens with Jeyne Westerling in the books. The real Robb’s wife. I was glad, because this “impostor” was finally removed.
    I knew very well, that in show there will never be Jeyne Westrling, but it was a solace of sorts, that if Jeyne cannot be there, neither will this Talisa invented by D&D.
    And as I see it, the strength of ASoIaF does not come from the main characters. Even if they are stong characters. It comes from the those little obscure pebbles, that with simply existing can move whole mountains and make avalanche out of nothing.

  • Veltigar,

    Nymeria Sand is almost assuredly cut from the TV series.
    They already used the book character’s back story (and frankly her appearance as well) for Talisa and the series avoids duplicate names like the plague.

    Plus, I think with the relatively high profile casting of Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand they have maybe hinted their hand. They can have Ellaria take the Dornish seat on the Small Council and then fold any actions of Nymeria’s they deem important enough to make the series into Ellaria’s character fairly easily with only minor tweaking.

  • I definitely think that Ellaria Sand will be staying in KL. It makes a lot of sense especially considering the people that won’t be there come season 5. On that note I am going to make a prediction that Varys does not disappear after helping Tyrion escape but instead remains in the city as well.

  • We should all keep in mind that D&D know MUCH more than we do. They know better than us which characters are truly necessary and which should/could be cut with little effect. Maybe Aeron just dies without affecting the story? He can be cut. Maybe characters like Justin Massey become extremely important and D&D are actually motivated to include them (for god’a sakes, look at Tycho Nestories- this is already happening). It will be a much easier task for them than it is for us because they have the knowledge of hindsight. But it will still be unimaginably hard- we all think everything we say works, but it only does in theory. We don’t really judge budgetary concerns and other logistic issues that will most definitely mold D&D into making their final decisions.

    To sum it up, we don’t know shit, but they do and they will make the best decisions they can make in this complex situation. If a favorite character gets cut, we should forgive. If a scene we were waiting for (like the stone men or *shudders* the Kingsmoot) gets cut, we should forgive. We should all just look on the bright side and enjoy what actually makes it in, and I’m sure the final product will be top notch, no matter how much it differs from the source material.

  • I think GRRM is keeping Arya as a major game changer yet to be announced. Her experience in Braavos, is one of deep introspection and acceptance. So how do the HBO series producers present her relatively unexciting journey, yet keep it relative to the climax that Jon, Sanza, Bran, and Arya surely must play a role?

  • Kudos to WiC for letting the GreatJon summarize the major points of many discussions on this site over the past six months or so. I agree that GoT S4 will start to delve into post ASoS stuff for some threads, S5 will be dedicated to books 4&5, and S6 will serve as the major transition to as-of-yet unknown territory of TWoW. I’m fine with that schedule and it will be quite a ride.

    I also agree that the vast amount of threads to explore will be daunting. Sooner to combine and accelerate some threads than others. To me, that is the cool point that has been made in this post and associated discussions: speculating the difference in thread immersion and combinations from what was stipulated in the books. There are also many more side threads to explore, especially regarding Stannis and Mance, LS & BwB, Bran’s training and storyline past the cave (which looks like an S5 thing), Oldtown/Citadel plotting, the Highgarden switch-up (as implied by GRRM last weekend), among others.

    Even though it’s obvious, I’ll simply mention that the frenzy surrounding this series, and the speculation regarding where GRRM is directing TWoW, is building quickly. I can feel it.

    Thanks, GreatJon, for taking the time to write this.

  • Personally, I feel they should get through Feast and Dance by the middle of the fifth season and get straight into new material. End the season with the battles of Fire and Ice (winterfell and mereen). Start season 6 off with new material, and finish the show in season 7. Yeah, they’ll go beyond the books, but I don’t expect any more of those, so it’s likely up to D&D to provide the end to this story. Even if GRRM does finish the books he won’t have the end ready before the show.

    But for seasons 4 and 5, cut the iron islands down to just Euron and Victarion, Dorne to just Doran, Arriane and a couple of sand snakes, Mereen to Hizhdar and some extras and cut most of Tyrion’s travels and the entire Oldtown plot by sending Sam to Braavos or keeping him at the wall.

  • Jentario,

    Exactly.
    That’s why I am just not sure if D&D will cut Oldtown and the characters that visit there.

    If the Citadel, the Maesters, or their knowledge play a part in the endgame of the series (which it very well could) then Sam going there is important and why not include Sarella/ Alleras and Marwyn as well since he will need someone to interact with.

  • One of the moments in looking forward to most in book 5 is Jon Snow’s interaction with Melisandre “I see daggers in the dark Jon Snow”. I also can’t wait to see Doran. I’m really hoping we get Giancarlo Esposito to play him. Last, I want to see what happened at Hardome

  • Jentario,

    This. I agree we don’t know shit and it’s ridiculous that we try and tell D&D what to do as they and GRRM are the only ones that know the end game

  • Great post Great Jon!
    RE: Jaime using Ilyn Payne.
    I always got the impression that pretty much everyone already knows that Jaime can’t fight left handed anyways. It was just all in his head that he had to put up a front that he could still kick everyone’s ass. I think it would be a good use for Bronn, unless that marriage to Lollys turns out to be important. However we would miss the awesomeness of him naming his bastard son Tyrion to spite Cersei.

  • Haven’t the cut enough Dornish material already? No more cuts for Dorne >:( They’re maligned enough as it is.

    And if they lose Septon Meribald’s speech from FfC, I will seriously cut a b!*ch

  • I disagree with a fair bit of this, but a very good summary Greatjon! Mainly I think your pushing to much of AffC and ADWD into the fifth season, and I want them spread out more.

    My plan would be:
    -Get through all of AFFC except the prologue, Sams last chapter, and Brienne’s last chapter in Season 5, along with about half of ADWD, cutoff when Dany gets married.

    -Use Cersei being captured by the Septons, Alliser fighting the White Walkers, Arya killing Dareon (or the character who replaces Dareon), and Tyrion’s capture by slavers as climaxes for season 5.

    -Keep one of the Sandsnakes, replace another with Ellaria Sand, and cut the rest except for Sarella.

  • Season 4 predictions:

    Ep1 – SoS pt 2
    Ep2 – SoS pt 2
    Ep3 – SoS pt 2
    Ep4 – SoS pt 2
    Ep5 – SoS pt 2
    Ep6 – SoS pt 2
    Ep7 – FfC + DWD pt 1
    Ep8 – DwD pt 2
    Ep9 – DwD pt 2
    Ep10 – beginning of tWoW

    What, a man can dream can’t he?

  • One of the best WiC.net articles of the ‘offseason’. Not only does it stay on topic & get right to the point for each scenario… GoS clearly has quite a good understanding of what the important processes are in constructing an adaptation.

    Never heard the idea to replace Ilyn Payne with Bronn – it’s brilliant. Really hope D&D consider & elect to go this route because the wit-factor of a Jaime-Bronn road trip would be off the charts.

  • I think we should be prepared for them starting to combine and/or cut characters to a greater extent than they have so far once we get into Feast/ Dance territory. I’m pretty sympathetic to the need to do this really, especially when it comes to Dorne and the Greyjoys – I can definitely see them combining Euron/ Victarion, and maybe not even including Aeron, and maybe only having 3 sandsnakes at most. People who are really into Dorne are going to complain but it just makes sense. I think they’ve made it pretty clear that they’re not being as strict anymore about the seasons equalling a particular book.

    And I don’t understand all the people who think Tyrion isn’t killing Shae? That is definitely happening – GRRM introduced that gold necklace for a reason. Tyrion killing Shae and Tywin is SO important to his character development – it might not happen in exactly the same way as the books but it is definitely happening, and in some ways it might even be better.

    I’m pretty confused about what the hell they’re going to do with Theon and Yara next season though.

  • Dany’s first flight on Drogon should be the finale of season 5 for her part, I agree. But is Dany unknowingly saving Tyrions life in the fighting pit any more than just a little bit of Alanis-Morisette-style irony? Is it really that necessary for Tyrion to reach Meereen while Dany is still there?

    I think Tyrion’s arc for season 5 should end with him and Jorah being captured by the slavers. That would be more of a cliffhanger than signing up for the Second Sons, and would give enough time to get to know Illyrio, Connington and “Young Griff”.

    BTW, when it comes to the by now obligatory Finale-Dragon-Moment-of-Epicness, what will that be for season 4? I can only think of the capturing and incarceration of the dragons from early ADWD.

  • Darquemode:
    Plus, I think with the relatively high profile casting of Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand they have maybe hinted their hand.They can have Ellaria take the Dornish seat on the Small Council and then fold any actions of Nymeria’s they deem important enough to make the series into Ellaria’s character fairly easily with only minor tweaking.

    While I agree that it’s quite possible that a lot of the Sand Snake material is going to be shifted to Ellaria, that would not constitute a “minor tweaking” — Ellaria is defined by her pacificism, the Sand Snakes are revenge-obsessed, and Lady Nym is most likely going to be up for some child-murdering in the next book.

    The show already did that with Catelyn, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they do it again.

  • Jentario:
    We should all keep in mind that D&D know MUCH more than we do. They know better than us which characters are truly necessary and which should/could be cut with little effect.

    I hope so…but sometimes I wonder. There are folks on this site, Westeros and TotH who would blow their knowledge of ASoI&F intricacies and dependancies out of the water. Just this past week, it seems that GRRM tossed a grenade into the mix with the Garlan and Willis plot points. I have no doubt that GRRM knows and has conveyed the endgame to D&D but he might still be struggling with how to pave the road to get there. By this time next year, D&D will have to commit to certain post ADwD storylines for the S6 scripts. Will a book (or detailed notes) be available for them to reference?

    Furthermore, from my perspective, the supernatural/mystical/prophetic element of Westeros and Essos needs to come forward in the coming seasons. The approaching winter is not just a meteorological event, it is a battle of the natural vs the unnatural, pitting human against non-human forces. I agree with others in that we should see the horrors along the Rhoyne, evidence of the Doom surrounding Valyria, Hardhome, dragon chaos…these sights will imply what could happen based on what happened before. There is also the unsettling snow falling in KL, odd little trinkets in Oldtown, maester evil, R’hlorr magic, maybe a few newly discovered dragon eggs…little things that represent the impending supernatural chaos that many in Westeros are taking for granted. The dragons, direwolves, warging, shadow babies and LS start that ball rolling, but at some point, matter/anti-matter will clash and they will “cross the streams”.

    In addition to the vast storylines, I hope they find time for these tidbits…which is why I have come to appreciate the introduction of BR (and hopefully CH) during S4.

  • Sean C.,

    Anything regarding any of the Sand Snakes by definition is a minor tweaking. They are minor characters. Changing them hardly changes the plot or the direction of the series…

  • I really like Bronn going with Jaime option. It keeps him around, and it provides chances for really interesting dialogue.

  • archieopteryx,

    They’ve kind of switched off each season between ending with fire and ice. Dany got 1 and 3, so I would think season 4 will end with a scene at the wall– maybe Jon’s election to LC?

  • Astalnar,

    That’s exactly how you’re supposed to view it. It was written to be unfilmable. George says the books are his and this is theirs. Get it?

  • I think you got a lot of stuff right. Also, a lot of stuff wrong. Regardless, I applaud your effort.

  • I really hope they do the Reek chapters justice. I imagine they’ll probably start them late into S4, and then S5 will probably be when the storyline really begins.

  • GreatJon of Slumber:

    –Season 5 finale is the mutiny against Jon Snow, Cersei’s walk of Shame, and Dany taking off on her dragons.

    I had a proposal a while ago that the show should include Daznak’s Pit as the end of Season 4 (yes, Four!)

    I know it’s not gonna happen, but think about it. It’s very important not to spend too much time on AFFC/ADWD because otherwise:
    1. there’s a risk of the show going on too long and/or forced to rush through the final books;
    2. characters with minor plots will have drawn-out arcs encompassing multiple seasons without nearly enough material(Arya, Sansa, Brienne, Sam in particular)

    So, my admittedly somewhat crazy idea was to totally cut Meereen as a “conquerable” city; essentially, Yunkai would take Meereen’s role on the show which, as we know, Dany already liberated in Season 3. Season 4 would then cover ADWD’s Dany plot until Daznak’s Pit in Ep10. Around that same time Tyrion would also head to Essos (yeah, he wouldn’t be at Daznak’s but so what?), while Euron would spring his own plan.

    After traveling for a big chunk of S5, they’d both arrive in Yunkai in time for the Battle. Dany would presumably also be finished with whatever she’s doing with the Dothraki. This way, the Battle of Yunkai would be finished by the end of Season 5 with Dany ready to finally come over to Westeros in Season 6.

    Yeah, maybe an overly ambitious (and unsustainable) proposal, but I kinda like it.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: Thanks, GreatJon, for taking the time to write this.

    Thanks, appreciate the sentiment. Was fun to think about.

    Sean: One of the best WiC.net articles of the ‘offseason’. Not only does it stay on topic & get right to the point for each scenario… GoS clearly has quite a good understanding of what the important processes are in constructing an adaptation.

    Never heard the idea to replace Ilyn Payne with Bronn – it’s brilliant. Really hope D&D consider & elect to go this route because the wit-factor of a Jaime-Bronn road trip would be off the charts.

    Appreciate it. Thanks v much. Hope the debate keeps going (Ser Tahu hasn’t even shown up yet)

  • Sean C.,

    True, I guess it could be somewhat major character tweaking, but not major plot tweaking IMO. That is what I meant.

    Instead of sending a Sand Snake to the vacant seat on the Small Council they use Ellaria who is already there. Then instead of having three Sand Snakes pleading to Doran for revenge we get only one Sand Snake, maybe two.

    I’m not even sure Ellaria’s personality would need to change honestly, although if they go down the darker road like you suggest it would be a 180 degree change to her character…

  • So here are my thoughts on how D&D could adapt AffC and ADwD:

    Tyrions Storyline could end with him being captured by Jorah. I think his POV gives enough material to convert into one Season. He could spend two episodes in Pentos, maybe accompanied by Varys, so they don’t have to do a whole Season without Conleth Hill at all. His meeting with JonCon and Aegon could be in Episode 3 or 4 and the rest of the Season he travels with them, slowly winning their respect and learning about Aegons true identity (Maybe in Episode 7 or 8), before visiting that brothel in Episode 10, where he is captured by Jorah. I think this would make a good final scene for him. And of course they could cut plenty of characters. There is no real need for Illyrio to reappear. Even though i really like him, there are already plenty of characters, and Illyrio hasn’t been seen since Season 1. Reintroducing him at this point would confuse the Viewers who haven’t read the books. Illyrios role could be easily given to Varys. Of course every character Tyrion interacts with during his travel, except JonCon and Aegon should be cut. Also, there wouldn’t be any need to introduce Moqorro before Season 6.

    Separating Danys Storyline is a bit harder. One possible ending would be her marriage with Hizdhar, which would leave plenty of stuff for Season 6. Another, probably more epic conclusion for her Season 5 Storyline would be her fleeing on Drogons back, which would leave her with just one POV for Season 6. In this case they have to move some of her stuff from TWoW into Season 6, which would reduce her Screentime in Season 7. Or they come up with some stuff for her to do after her escape from Mereen and before her being captured by Khal Jaqo. If the use the former attempt, they could save Quentyn for Season 6. The role of the Tattered Prince could be merged with Brown Ben. They could easily cut Reznak mo Reznak and some of the minor Yunkish, which i don’t even remember by name. Instead they should make one Yunkish who gets all the stuff. Razdal mo Eraz from Season 3 could fit, since he is already a slightly familiar face. They should however keep Shavepate, who I strongly suspect being the Harpy, even though his introduction can be moved forward into Season 4, together with Hizdhar.

    Jon probably has the hardest Storyline to cut, given that there is only one real climax in ADwD, which HAS to be at the end of Season 6. The rest is more or less boring. One possible way to give him a climax (also a great final scene for Season 5 imo) would be Mel revealing Mances survival to him. There are plenty of Brothers (Septon Whats-his-Name, Satin etc.) and Knights to cut and they could merge Bowen Marsh with Locke or Thorne.

    Theons Escape from Winterfell should be saved for Season 6. Instead his Season 5 storyline should be slowly regaining his sanity (sort of). Saying his real name out loud could be a great way to resolve this Season. Except for Wyman Manderly and MAYBE Barbrey Ryswell everybody new northern lord could be cut.

    Sansa needs additional material, given that her whole “Storyline” from AffC is pretty short and pretty boring. They could make a real big deal out of the Lords Declarant, stretching this little rebellion for a whole Season. There are no new characters to be cast, since Bronze Yohn and Lady Waynwood have been casted already.

    Aryas storyline in Braavos could cover roughly half of her POV. After arriving in Braavos in Episode 2, she could pay the Faceless Men a visit and begin her training. Her Storyline could end with her commiting her first murder (Could be Dareon). New characters for her Storyline should be the Kindly Man and maybe few minor ones.

    Sams Storyline gives quite a bit of Material. He could start his journey in Episode 1, staying a few episodes in Braavos before Maester Aemon dies in one of the later episodes. The whole Oldtown stuff and the bunch of new characters could be saved for Season 6. The only new character D&D really need to cast is Dareon.

    Brans Storyline is a bit difficult, since it seems that he reaches the 3-eyed Raven in Season 4. They could expand his Storyline with some additional material, though i have no idea what this could be about. On a positive note, they don’t need to introduce new characters, since the Children of the Forest probably appear in Season 4.

    A similar problem occurs with Davos. He has 3 Chapters for 2 whole books. While his storyline for Season 5 should cover his POV from ADwD, his role in Season 6 will probably include Material from TWoW.

    Jaime will have at least something to do during both Seasons, even though i fear it wouldn’t be that exciting. His role in Season 5 could conclude with the taking of Riverrun, which leaves some Material for Season 6. There are plenty of characters who could be cut, namely his whole entourage. Bronn could take the role of Ilyn Payne, which i would favor.

    Brienne won’t have that many to do in both Seasons. It seems that some of her stuff is moved into Season 4, which would reduce her Screentime in Season 5 and 6. A possible solution is to end Season 5 with her meeting UnCat. Gendry could accompany her and possibly replace Hyle Hunt, even though i liked this Character.

    And then Cersei. She has one of the richest storylines in AffC, even though i despise her. There is plenty of material for her in Season 5 and 6 and i think a good conclusion for her Storyline in Season 5 would be her arrest at the Orders of the High Sparrow. There are some new characters that need to be introduced, for example the High Sparrow, but most of the other roles could be filled in by already excisting characters: Kevan, Mace, Qyburn, Meryn Trant.

    The Iron Islands Storyline is an easy one. There is only one way it should end in Season 5: EURON KING! This gives Euron the chance to make an appereance in Season 6, sending Victarion on his mission. Ashas POV from ADwD could be moved into Season 6 and her group of friends could be greatly reduced. Damphair could be with her, just because he needs something to do after the Kingsmoot.

    They should cut the entire Dorne Storyline from Season 5 and move it onto Season 6. Since the Dornish had no real interaction with the other Storylines from AffC it wouldn’t be a problem. Ariannes and Hotahs POV’s simply haven’t enough material to stretch into two Seasons. In order to reduce characters, they could cut Hotah, who has no real role, except for standing there, while Doran and Arianne are plotting. With cutting him, they could give much needed screentime to Doran and Arianne. Also, reducing the Sand Snakes (except maybe two important ones) and Ariannes friends (Except that guy who is of the night)

    So, those are just my thoughts. Sorry for the long text and shitty grammar ;)

  • Anything regarding any of the Sand Snakes by definition is a minor tweaking. They are minor characters. Changing them hardly changes the plot or the direction of the series…

    Yes, if Ellaria becomes obsessed with revenge and takes the place of the Sand Snakes in doing whatever they will do in TWOW she will be a very different character, like the TV Shae who has spent two seasons genuinely loving Tyrion and Sansa, but though I like Ellaria I can’t honestly say that it would change things: the more important plot role, a Dornish woman who mourns Oberyn scheming against the Lannisters, would still be filled by a Dornish woman who mourns Oberyn. The absence of Book Ellaria’s wish for peace would mean losing a bit of complexity, but how much time can the show afford to spend on Dorne? Whether it would work or not depends on the execution.

    In general, I’m prepared for a lot of characters to go down the road of TV Shae or this speculated pacifist Ellaria/wannabe child-killing Sand Snakes combination. If the character is minor, what they do is more important than who they are. Actions over motivations: over three seasons GOT has been established as an exciting violent fantasy soap, not a character drama. If a minor character who is already present can be combined with another book character who would need to be introduced and take up the screentime that’s going to be needed desperately in the AFFC/ADWD seasons where existing major/semi-major characters are scattered into separate plots, it’s practical. A TV show can’t have as much detail as the books. So I expect there will be some combinations, like Ellaria/Sand Snakes if it happens, that will pretty much get rid of the book personality in favour of the bigger plot’s requirements, and others that will combine plots but still make a reasonable amount of sense from a character point of view, like the proposed Bronn/Ilyn combination.

  • Watson,

    I am in agreement with you regarding the Stone Men. It felt like upscaled filler to me. I was surprised to see it described as otherwise.

    Bronn subbing for Payne is a brilliant notion.

  • Great post! A lot of this makes sense and I could definitely see the next couple of seasons playing out they way you think they will. The scene where Dany flies off on Drogon would be a great ending for season 5.

    That Stark boy: Please tell me this is a most disgusting lie.

    After I saw that I looked it up, there were only 2 other sources and none of them are credible news outlets. So right now I’m not going to believe it.

  • I gotta disagree with this article.
    Here is the solution:

    Focus on the nuance. Focus on the subtle parts of the book. Show don’t tell. Stop making a “mini movie” and start making a tv series (see: breaking bad).

    The show currently does none of this.

    These books are rich in subplot and nuance, why not use it?

    Unfortunately, this is what is likely to happen: Once HBO runs out of published story, we get fan fiction with a mix of GRR Martin’s “notes” and it spoils and alters it to the point that it stops truly being ASIAF altogether.

    I’m most likely going to not watch next season just because it’s starting to tarnish the memory of the books for me and will probably ruin the future ones.

    When is the last time a character did anything that showed us what was on their mind instead of just out and out speaking it to the camera for us? Give us a scene where we just witness things instead of having to hear paragraphs of script and you’ve found a way to prolong the show with REAL character development. The book is about the characters, let’s see some true character development already.

  • No mention of Lady Stoneheart? I’m interested to see the D&D even bother with this plotline. But if they do, I’m also curious whether they’ll get Michelle Fairley to return for it .

  • I enjoyed reading this post, however there’s quite a few issues I disagree with. Not going to bother with Spoiler Tags as this entire article is spoilers.

    A few sentences into “The Shae Problem”, I decided to skip it. I seriously don’t believe they’ll change it that much, if at all. I strongly feel it’s going to end very similar to the book. It’s true the show has painted Tyrion in the best light compared to his book counterpart, but I feel this particular event will be his “turn” into darker characterization. Similar to what they’ve done with Arya, holding off her vicious killing until after the events of the Red Wedding.

    Victarion Greyjoy coming on shore at the Shield Islands, cutting people in half with his axe.

    Did you mean to say Euron? You list this with Jon’s assassination and Theon’s escape from Winterfell. By this time, Victarion is in Slaver’s Bay not the Shield Islands.

    Regarding the possibility of Bronn going to Dorne, I’d say having him replace Sir Arys Oakheart rather than Aero Hotah makes much more sense for the character but I don’t see this option happening either way.

    And I agree with everyone else who said there is no way Jaqen H’ghar will replace the Kindly Old Man in Braavos. He’s currently busy elsewhere, namely the Citadel in Oldtown. You suggest the jetpack idea but we (the readers) don’t even know the extent of his intentions in the Reach to consider his work is even done, and will allow him to move back and forth between locations.

  • This is a very thought provoking post, and the discussion is good as well.

    When we are looking at the adaptation of upcoming material, we need to keep in mind the changes already made. Brienne’s chapters were a real drag the first time I read AFFC, because there is so much internal monologue for such a naive character. However, on the show she’s much more mature. I think that they can keep a lot of her chapters intact, just externalize the conflicts. I don’t think one encounter with Randyll Tarly will be enough, that seems like something they can expand upon.

    Alternately, Jon is underdeveloped on the show as someone who thinks for himself, perhaps he might help develop Sam’s plot more knowingly.

  • I’m not sure how to respond to this post. It’s quite lengthy and while it raises some important points, it kinda lacks precision and information on what its actual argument is. While many of the points on what character may do what and turn up where are interesting, there’s no actual round-up at the end done. I guess that’s intentional since one can’t really do that right now with our fan information. The argument that the producers will take a machete and a instant glue to the story does need repetition though, that’s for sure.

    In summary, some interesting ideas and some I disagree heavily with, but okay :)

  • I’m really wondering where all this worry for Bronn and Gendry is coming from. If Gendry wasn’t important, they would have killed him off in the middle of Season 3 to make Arya’s life even worse, and there is no way they are killing off Bronn, unless higher powers conspire against them. I think it’s also pretty obvious they really like these two actors, and both characters are still very much alive in the books and for both GRRM has said they’ll be back in future books. I get killing off characters that are basically extras (Mago) or cutting out people who are not there yet, but people that are around and popular and work? No way.

    That said, while I would love Bronn to join Jaime as some sort of snarky trainer, the best option I can imagine I haven’t heard yet – have him join Brienne as a substitute for Hyle Hunt. That would be epic.

  • Folks, correction from earlier – I’d suggested that I hadn’t mentioned Rosby, but now see that I did, and said he could be kept just because of his unique condition – the coughing. I think I can go either way. He can be easily eliminated, or kept, and take the role of Harys Swyft (just with a cough). Either way, yes, he’s pointless.

  • jom:
    No mention of Lady Stoneheart?I’m interested to see the D&D even bother with this plotline.But if they do, I’m also curious whether they’ll get Michelle Fairley to return for it .

    I think she’ll be kept. I didn’t even consider the idea that it wouldn’t.

    hertolo: In summary, some interesting ideas and some I disagree heavily with, but okay :)

    Thanks? :)

    argilac’s antler: A few sentences into “The Shae Problem”, I decided to skip it. I seriously don’t believe they’ll change it that much, if at all. I strongly feel it’s going to end very similar to the book.

    You may be right. But there have been enough people who A) think they’ll chicken out or B) heard some rumor about some actress surviving or something that they think it’ll result in A. I think it’ll play out as we expect.

    argilac’s antler: Did you mean to say Euron? You list this with Jon’s assassination and Theon’s escape from Winterfell. By this time, Victarion is in Slaver’s Bay not the Shield Islands.

    I think Victarion can be kept in Westeros and arrive in Slaver’s Bay a bit later, is all. But that could happen at any time. I just like Victarion, expecting a Ray Stevenson type to play him and hope he doesn’t get the axe (pun intended.)

    argilac’s antler: I’d say having him replace Sir Arys Oakheart rather than Aero Hotah makes much more sense for the character but I don’t see this option happening either way.

    It makes a bit more sense, but Arys Oakheart is a romantic naif and a rube, and Bronn isn’t.

    argilac’s antler: And I agree with everyone else who said there is no way Jaqen H’ghar will replace the Kindly Old Man in Braavos. He’s currently busy elsewhere, namely the Citadel in Oldtown. You suggest the jetpack idea but we (the readers) don’t even know the extent of his intentions in the Reach to consider his work is even done, and will allow him to move back and forth between locations.

    This is true. But we also don’t know about what he’ll do in Oldtown at all anyway, and if it will make the transition. So I was thinking economy of character. Of course, I could be wrong about everything!!

    Thanks for responding, reading.

  • GreatJon of Slumber:
    Folks, correction from earlier – I’d suggested that I hadn’t mentioned Rosby, but now see that I did, and said he could be kept just because of his unique condition – the coughing. I think I can go either way. He can be easily eliminated, or kept, and take the role of Harys Swyft (just with a cough). Either way, yes, he’s pointless.

    Well, they could give the coughing to Pycelle. For example. It’s not like Julian Glover really gets to do much otherwise.

  • jom,

    there is no way they don’t have her under contract for this. Another thing people need to stop worrying about: they won’t supplant UnCat through UnTalisa. TPTB may have had their trouble to service Catelyn appropriately, but a vengeful zombie lady should be easier to manage, and while Oona Chaplin is lovely, and will only grow stronger as an actress, Michelle Fairley is the bomb right now. They do know that, too.

  • I believe Randall Tarly will become a much more important person in the coming books.

    i have this feeling about him

  • Thanks for this, the subject post is nicely comprehensive with concerns very much
    in sync with many ASOIAF readers. I’d wager this discussion thread to be a
    much commented upon, one. I’m going to re-read your insights, GreatJon of
    Slumber, and consider some questions to form or comment on. Thoughtful read *>*

  • Jentario:
    We should all keep in mind that D&D know MUCH more than we do. They know better than us which characters are truly necessary and which should/could be cut with little effect… We don’t really judge budgetary concerns and other logistic issues that will most definitely mold D&D into making their final decisions.

    To sum it up, we don’t know shit, but they do and they will make the best decisions they can make in this complex situation… we should forgive… no matter how much it differs from the source material.

    YES! The biggest thing that will impact the story cutting is budget, and we cannot know (unless we are Hollywood professionals) what the salary or FX demands will be. Particularly the FX piece, since it may come down to decisions like, “Stone men fight or Battle of Fire set up shots?” or “Doom of Valyria shots or Drogon in flight shots?” The parts of the story that D & D deem to merit the extra time/money in any given season drive the final production as much as the timeline and major vs minor characters (fight at the Fist is a perfect example).

    That said, I still love reading these extensive speculations, and applaud GoS for this one. Well done, Ser! It certainly gives one food for thought in these long months of waiting. Can’t wait to see how D & D jump these hurdles, and am looking forward to lots of surprises!

  • OldeCrone: I haven’t read the whole post as I am only up to the end of “A Storm of Swords” book-wise

    You are one brave…. person..venturing here, despite the risk of ruining secrets…..LOL.
    No worries, knit together your own perspective and clarify everything as you read
    from the source. At least GreatJon of Slumber warned you and others with an
    disclaimer of spoiler content. Your posts are usually well versed, so I’m sure you
    can handle what anxieties you might experience, without going apeshit like some *>*

  • Thanks for responding, reading.

    No problem. Aside from the issues I listed, I really enjoyed the article and the amount of reasonable thought you put into it. I can’t tell you how many speculations about future seasons I’ve read from fans that seem absolutely preposterous. =D

  • The Dragon Demands: *****Overall, though, the only “problem” I see is what even Benioff has said: adapting Season 5 gives him “nightmares” because it will stop at the midpoint of books 4 and 5 — because they’re intercutting between books 4 and 5, which happen simultaneously.

    And the natural problem arising from this is that there is simply no clear stopping point right in the middle of those books! With Season 3 they could at least use the Red Wedding as a stopping point – even though it comes in the middle of the book. I feel some of the shock value was lost by putting it in the pivotal Episode 9 slot – I wanted it to be like Renly’s death, in the fifth episode of a season and thus a complete shock. But I do sympathize with their situation that otherwise they had no clear climax for Season 3.

    Yes, and very true. I still get goosebumps just considering the direction from hereon.
    Speculating aside, whether ASOIAF experienced or newbie viewer, as fans we’re
    all being taken on an interesting trip that by only experiencing it, are we able to
    comprehend the outcome. Let’s hope the simultaneous journey doesn’t upset the
    applecart that Roz once rode in, figuratively speaking.

  • OMG, I really hope Tyrion kills Shae, that was one of the best parts.
    They can’t cut that, right?

  • I think it’ll be easier to speculate about season 5 once we see season 4 since it appears that some of AFFC is in it. But what the hell? It’s fun.

    I do think Ellaria can take on the role of one of the Sand Snakes. It isn’t really important that she be more cautious and less vengeful because we have Doran for that. It would be cool for her to replace Nymeria so we can see Indira Varma in some small council scenes.

    Bran’s storyline scares me. It’s so sparse. Maybe he’ll get a large number of chapters in TWOW and they can start in season 5.

    No way are they going to change the story and not have Tyrion kill Shae. They were willing to show pregnant Talisa stabbed in the stomach so it’s save to say D & D aren’t squeamish about dark and violent deaths.

    I wonder if they will show Theon at Moat Cailin? It strikes me as important for Theon’s character, it’s an opportunity to show Bolton shenanigans and it establishes that the Euron Greyjoy dream of conquering and holding Westeros is completely unrealistic.

    The Stonemen and the Sorrows are important as well as spooky IMO. There are hints that Greyscale will become important. Jon Con brought an active strain to Westeros. Val is freaked out by Shireen. The scene at Sorrows hints that there might be a supernatural aspect to the infection which means GRRM is free to go break the rules and make it scarier than a real life epidemic.

  • Excellent post GreatJon, I agree with a great deal of it. However:

    The Varys idea is interesting but if they can find a way to keep him visible in Kings Landing by pinning Tyrion’s escape on someone else that would perhaps be better. I would love to see Illyrio from Season 1 reprise his role and would not mind Varys joining him as an alternative. Just as long as Conleth Hill is still on our screens!

    All in all, linking up the time periods is going to be very challenging with so many diverse plotlines. Playing around with te speeds is absolutely necessary but D&D are going to have to be very careful lest they encounter something like the Meereeneese knot themselves.

  • I believe the two books should got from late s4 for some story lines to late s6 for I feel that Feast/Dance are the foundation of what happens in the last 2 or 3 books. The series will run 8 or 9 seasons depending on how many books or if certian things need to be expanded.

    1. Crackclaw and the rest show the suffering and devistation that the war has brought upon the little/low folks call it their red/purple wedding, its a must to see the broken men and women that parallel what is going on in slavers bay.

    2. Dorne needs to be expanded upon to show just how different and the same they are with Dorn being a different kind of snake than his brother and contrast them with Highgarden, the boltons, lancesters and cersai. They are the Starks of the South who have suffered at the hands of Roberts Rebellion and the Lancesters. Lords of Sand and Lords of Snow ICE and Sun.

    3. The 3 struggling ruler paralleled trying to do what they think best yet all fail and fall.

    4. I think the Tarleys Father and SOn are rather important to the later books, there is a reason Hagar and Sam were sent there. I do feel that Father and Son will have a meeting of the minds and Sam wont cower but might ever heal his father. His jounry will be a good break from all the rest of the chaos going on at the wall the east and kings landing.

    5. Brann and Bronn they will be expanded on to fit the seasons, Brann of course will get added matterial his bother will only be mentioned by Davos. Brann will be in training and interacting with the pass and present in several different ways. Bronn will go with Jamie that is just too good to pass up and the scenes between the two will ground Jamie a bit as Bronn becomes an important fast rising lord in his one right.

    6. Tyrion oh he shall will give insight to the green blood and the rhonish and how much different it and he is, Penny should be cut she might only be in a few episodes but it does show him moving on a bit. S5 ends with the bear.

    7. Greyjoy i get the feeling that they have a huge impact on what happens later, we will see Balon die by mysterious means. The Kingsmoot is too good not to show, the dragonhorn and Valeria journey. Damphair mirrors the High Septon for the ISLE restoring the faith in their god and old ways. Crows Eye and Vic no way you cut or join them, Euron I see as a Pirate Magi King a little outthere but driven plus the hate with Vic will be like super sharp cedder strong and tasty! Vic is a brute I see him as the skull cracker.

    Kings landing save for Cersai and the little Queen stops being the center of things as the world pivots to the north, south and east. Till it all crashed down back to the center.

  • Veltigar:
    Okay, this was a very strange post…

    1) Jaqen in Braavos? Never.Going.To.Happen.
    2) the last quarter of ADWD boring? Hell no, the only bad parts about that book were Dany’s 50 shade’s of Daario in the beginning and Tyrion’s travel with Penny. The show has already attempted to make Daario less campy and I firmly believe that Penny will be cut in favor of more Tyrion and Jorah interaction.
    3) No way they are killing of Bronn. He’s a fan favorite, he’s alive in the books and since Illyn Payne isn’t coming back, Jaime and Bronn are a perfect match.
    4) Why on earth would they keep Giles Rosby? And why wouldn’t they keep for instance the Dusky Woman? Someone has to kill Big Vic.
    5) Brienne’s chapters in AFFC are awesome. Especially, on a reread. I don’t think we’ll see Nimble Dick on screen, but he did offer a valuable insight in Brienne’s head.
    6) It’s a dumb idea to sent Varys away with Tyrion. They have Illyrio for that.
    7) I don’t think it would be a good idea to cut the Green Grace. And when we are cutting sandsnakes you have to specify which one (Tyene or Nym and Sarella should not be cut).

    Thoughtful points, and I agree with most of your points. I really hope the production
    team never considers # 6 or 7, that seems unwise unless the only purpose is to
    bolster more bromance between Varys & Tyrion. Absence of the Green Grace would
    cause some long suffering disappointment on my end, who then would negotiate
    on behalf of her people and Danerys in general ?
    I’m fine with Bronn taking
    a lesser role, even as Lolly is not mentioned as his betrothed as in in the
    books, but still in existence to bugger Cersei in the future. Still, the actor might
    be compelled to star in other on GoT roles other than his BBC -Ripper Street
    .

    No Way is ADWD boring, ludicrous talk, unless the complaint concerns wasted
    prose on Daario, as you stated. ( :

    Darquemode: Small Counci

    I considered this too, Ellaria’s representation as a Dorne council member
    and suiting purpose to Doran’s evolving events which include Oberyn’s
    daughter (s)
    . The actress in question could handle this role quite handily.

    Why do you suppose the Greyjoy or Castle Black newshas been under
    tight wraps ?

  • TheBlackFlame: The National Enquirer published a story claiming Clarke was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm earlier in 2013 after she finished her run on Broadway in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

    I wouldn’t worry.

    Yeah, I’m solidly in the skeptics column about this. For some reason she attracts fear mongering. Remember when there was that rumor she was quitting after season 3?

  • I forgot to add OLDTOWN will be our view into the reach and highgarden.

    Plus I cant wait to see the Garden Gardens and Sunspear.

  • I agree with the discussion that making Jaqen the Kindly Man is off base… but I don’t really think that the TV show is going to show Jaqen again period. All of this conjecture that he can’t be because he is in Old Town is missing the point. Jaqen played his part in the main part of the story and most likely it is over. He is a fan favorite… and being so he has a part in alot of pet fan theories…

  • If Daenerys storyline ends with her riding the Dragon, as the Greatjon and several other posters suggested, this has of course an impact on other storylines as well (just to remind you):

    1. Tyrions storyline from ADWD needs to be completely covered in Season 5. Which means they will cut large parts from it (maybe even to its benefit).

    2. Victarion and his Ironfleet need to be close to Meereen at the end of season 5/beginning of season 6. So the Kingsmoot has to happen early in season 5 (no Greyjoys have been cast so far, so we’ll probably get none of it in season 4).

    3. Quentin has to arrive before Danys departure, so the whole storyline in Dorne needs to be covered before that too.

  • A decent article to catalyse discussion on all the right things:-

    A few stray observations:-

    1. Like Jentario, I would love to see the relief of Hardhome all up there on the screen;
    2. I’m really looking forward to Tyrion’s Rhoyne Journey and especially the encounter with the Stone Men;
    3. I’d always assumed up to now that Septon Meribald and the High Sparrow were the same guy. Are they not?

  • Nick Larter,

    RE your last question, I saw someone comment about that a while back and I don’t think the two are the same, and wondered why some people think they are.

    While the two are both part of a populist movement, as I understand it:

    Septon Meribald= Nice guy who preaches a message of love

    HIgh Sparrow= Religious fanatic who likes torturing people.

    I suppose power corrupts, but the two seem to have diametrically opposed personalities.

  • I also really like the idea that Varys comes with Tyrion to Pentose. In the books he disappears completely for a long time. This at least is a way for the TV show to keep Varys active in the show for a couple episodes in S5. Where he might otherwise be completely absent. Just have him for the first 1 or 2 episodes in S5 in Pentose… then have him reappear in the finale killing Kevan.

    I don’t understand some people getting annoyed with this idea.

  • Bard,

    Regarding Quentyn and Dorne in general…

    My thought when viewing these 2 things are to view them as the same arc.

    The first half of S5 show a trimmed down simpler arc having Arianne stealing Myrcella away and having Doran catch her. With the reveal that he has sent Quentyn to Dany in Ep 5 or 6… then having Quentyn get turned down (the show would cut all of Quentyn’s journey to Meereen) … Dany Flies off in Episode 9. Episode 10 we get a Crispy Quent…. or maybe they do it is Ep 2 or 3 of S6.

    It compresses everything but yet doesn’t change the overall plot.

  • Nick Larter,

    I do not think that the identity of the High Sparrow has ever been stated. Or I should say, his identity before he became the current High Septon. Tall and thin, a lined face, black feet like tree roots, often traveled to small villages to do his work etc..

    But outside of the height and slight build, most of the few details we know would most likely fit any number of Septons. Those details fit Septon Meribald for the most part, at least physically. Personality wise they appear to be different to me though.

    Personally I do not think the High Sparrow is Septon Meribald, but I do not think GRRM has ruled it out beyond any doubt as far as I have read..

  • These kinds of posts are a big reason I come to this site.

    I feel like if allowed to bloat out, the seasons associated with those two books could be really terrible, but if they make every moment count and pretty much have material from the Winds of Winter already coming up onscreen by the end of season 6, there is a lot of potential there. Martin will surely let the writers know which characters cannot be cut. That’s good enough.

    I’d give the show no more than 8 seasons. I don’t expect A Dream of Spring to bee too difficult to adapt, it should basically be sweeping up the pieces and tying things together.

  • Greatjon of Slumber

    “One could argue her [Brienne’s] travels give a window into the despair of the common folk of Westeros and the horrors of war.”

    And one would be correct. I remember hearing an interview with GRRM that that was precisely the point of that storyline–to show how war was ravaging the common folk and how they are getting tired of it. He did not say it but I interpreted that assumed he did this in order to demonstrate the populace’s desperation, which will help to make their acceptance of a savior from across the sea (Dany) more plausible.

    “Littlefinger’s jetpack that gets him from the Storm Lands to Harrenhall in short order”

    The jetpack joke is annoying because the show never gives clues as to how much time passes from scene to scene…so it’s plausible that there had been enough time for people to travel from point A to point B. Plus, where is our suspension of disbelief. We are talking about a fantasy story, aren’t we?

    “Sure, we’ll lose his adventures as a traveling dwarf act with Penny”

    We’ve had discussions before as to whether Dinklage would be willing to perform that storyline–of course, they would have asked him about it a few years back when they first recruited him for the role. I am VERY interested to see how they work that out. From a story telling perspective I think it is VERY important that Tyrion go through that…it serves to show him that in Westeros, alone of all places, he has stature (pardon the pun) because of his family and the rest of the world treats his kind much worse than he experienced before. This reality might be one of his motivations for wanting to return to Westeros…to resume his life in a position of power, safe from the cruel life of an anonymous dwarf overseas. It also strengthens his empathy for the downtrodden, which still needed some improvement. It also makes all that more desperate to get in Dany’s good graces in order to get home.

    BrendanSnow,
    Bronn going with Brienne and Pod….That’s an interesting idea!

    Davy,
    Agree….Kevan should be made Hand.

    The Dragon Demands,

    “I’m mildly annoyed that they’re trying to build up Sansa jealously as why she does what she does”

    Well, they made show Shae appear to truly care about Tyrion, so in that case, they need something plausible and jealousy is one of the few emotions that could motivate a lover to betray another. Why does it annoy you? Just curious.

  • I agree with most of the article.
    However, leaving both the Battle of Winterfel and the Battle of Meereen for the beginning of season 6 can be a problem budgetwise.
    Just a quick note: according to what Bryan Cogman said about the process of scripting the seasons, he has already begun work on Season 5 (making summaries of all the chapters to be covered) and as soon as shooting is over (next month) the writers will map the season.
    In less than a year, they will be doing the same with season 6, which will largely be based on a book that hasn’t been writen.

  • Myk Lonmouth,

    Oh, I get it. And in a certain way, I admire them for trying to make it work on TV. Because I know, that when I got the first book in my hands, and that was years before there was any talk of TV series, my thoughs were, there will never come LotR out of this series. But I still think they are doing it wrong. And I guess this comes just from not knowing what they have in store for us, or how they make their decisions. My whole oppinion stands on the premise that that they are distancing their work from the books. Which is understandable, since this is a different medium, but I wonder, if my perspective would be different if I knew their criterium for what makes the cut and what does not.

  • Nick Larter:

    3. I’d always assumed up to now that Septon Meribald and the High Sparrow were the same guy.Are they not?

    I don’t think that makes any sense if you compare their personalities. Not only does Meribald have a different philosophy on life, he is the opposite of a character grabbing for power. Martin more or less has two types of religious characters: people who believe, but have come there through a life lived, hardship, doubt, and yes, humility, and who value both life and people; and religious zealots who know no doubt and believe violence is a means to an end. Meribald represents the one extreme of this, the High Septon the other; at the same time, the High Septon is a travesty of the “Sparrow” concept, while Meribald embodies it.

    The Elder Brother, now, he is pretty similar to Meribald, which is why I agree with those who think they might be combined. I can even see the monologue be given to Thoros, because he’s also pretty similar to these two.

  • oierem,

    I’m definitely sympathetic of the viewpoint that one of the battles should make it into the end of season 6. But realistically, it may not be possible without doing the story an injustice.

    Jon Snow’s stabbing, Daenerys dragon-riding, Tyrion joining the Second Sons (wonder how they’re going to do that?) and Varys’ Aegon reveal may have to be enough. Perhaps they could fit in Cersei’s trial too, depending on what happens in tWoW.

  • Ashara D,

    I love speculating, I do it all the time. I was just saying that a lot of people in the comments are probably setting themselves up for disappointment- me included :P- and whatever happens in the end will probably be for the best. D&D know better than we do. They’re part of the process, they know the end in a fairly detailed manner. They know what they’re doing, even if it seems for a moment that they really don’t. I can’t wait to see what they do with these books :)

  • I think Gendry will play a part in Briennes storyline. It makes sense. She has to search for the Stark Girls, but hasnt seen any of them. Gendry knows Arya and Pod knows Sansa. I think thats the reason why Gendry was sent to KL by D&D.

    I am still not sure why they brought Jamie back this early. So he wont attend the PW? Why would he do that?

  • ShadowStalker,

    I agree. They can introduce Doran and Arianne earlier in the season. Later on in the season Daario can come back with news that some Windblown sellswords have deflected to Dany’s cause. Then have the scene where Doran reveals his plan to Arianne followed immediately by Dany at court, being introduced to Quintyn & co. and finding out who he really is. Would cut a lot of unnecessary filler of the Dornish journey to Meereen but still make sense/show importance to viewers.

  • Family, Duty, Hodor,

    One of them should. Preferably the battle of Meereen, since it will give Dany’s meandering arc in Meereen some much needed payoff. Also, the Battle of Winterfell should not be in the same season as the Pink Letter. The whole point is that we don’t really know what happened to Stannis at that point, and we all know Jon’s stabbing is season finale material and not some mid-season thing. Also, there is no way the show could handle two big battles in one season. One would likely suffer the Fist of the First Men’s fate if this were to happen, and that would be a shame.

    Also, there is absolutely no point in spoiler coding. Any Unsullied that comes close to this post is spoiling himself on purpose.

  • I’m more concerned with how they’ll introduce Connington and Company. Other than Thoros’s comment to the Hound I can’t remember one mention of anyone associated with this group. My hope is the Viper does this along with info about the sack (Dorne’s hate) and S5 opens with them similar to the Dragonstone crew. That’s not even getting into speculation about whether one them is aBlackfyre which opens up another can of worms.

    It seems like people are underestimating the Sand Snakes role going forward. I’m with people about Ellaria taking Nym’s place. But Tyene and Sarella seem placed to make major plays in the story. Tyene with the High Septon to screw with Cersei and possibly Margery. Sarella with Samwell and maybe Jaqen.

    In general I think a lot of the problems going forward with the show was the decision to basically ignore almost all references to events before the events of the books. I understand why is was done the show is bloated with characters as is but a lot of past events and characters play major roles in story now. For show viewers tons of new characters seemingly come out of nowhere while the books we got offhand mentions of who they were and their importance.

    Like others have said Meriblad being cut would be a shame his speech about Broken Men is one of best in the series and it would kill my pet theory he married Rhaegar and Lyanna.

  • Nick Larter,

    Your memory got confused, unless you actually thought the High Sparrow can be at two places at the same time (or teleport). Be careful not to get that near Westeros.org or someone out there will make a crackpot theory out of it.

    And yeah, Hardhome would be awesome. That is some true episode 9 material.

  • The Blue Grace,

    And then there’s the fact that Meribald is in Brienne’s arc at the same time the High Sparrow is in Cercei’s, so this theory makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Family, Duty, Hodor:
    oierem,

    I’m definitely sympathetic of the viewpoint that one of the battles should make it into the end of season 6. But realistically, it may not be possible without doing the story an injustice.

    You mean season 5?

  • Having just recently re-read the 5 books AND then listened to the audio books, I find the negativity FROM A FEW VOCAL MEMBERS OF THE TINIEST MINORITY ON THE PLANET to be mostly without merit. Books 4 and 5 are very entertaining and a fine build-up to the next phase of a story that had its first major climax in book 3.

    Judging books 4 and 5 based on what happened in the final few hundred pages of book 3 is something I would expect from Harry Potter fans, not GRRM readers.

  • Bittersteel,

    I feel the same way about the Sand Snakes.
    After being introduced, many characters seemed to be of minor importance…. until the story revealed they were more important.

    I have a feeling that Oldtown/ The Citadel will play a much more important role in the endgame of the series than many assume, and we all know King’s Landing is integral to the story. There is a reason the Sand Snakes were sent to those two specific locations and it was not to be forgotten as minor players. I would not even argue against Obara being sent after the Darkstar being a sign of his importance in the endgame.

  • Does anybody know what time of year it was last year when they had finished casting everybody?
    I really hope we aren’t done yet (I still hope for Euron)

  • Bard,

    Sorry yeah, I mean Season 5. It’s been a long day.

    jentario,

    Yeah, and the thing is, we have no idea what Ramsay’s going on about, so its significance and how it all fits in is still out in the open.

    If the battle of Meereen resolves itself quickly, I think it’s a decent candidate to end season 5. But the writers will have to contend with the Meereenese knot (although as far as I can make out, GRRM over-exaggerated the problems it poses)

  • Darquemode,

    One thing that can be done about Oldtown is to have it all happen off screen. If I’ll be honest, most of Sam’s journey in book 4 bored me to death. I’d rather have him disappear until his little meet up with Arya in Braavos and then disappear again when he finds a ship, with Aemon dying in Braavos.

    We might never see the Citadel on screen. Building a whole big set for a minor sub plot in a season already jam-packed with new sets and locations seems like a bit of a stretch. I think it’s entirely possible that all of Sam’s AFFC story will be had at the Wall and at Braavos.

    Seeing the Citadel in season 6, though, is not out of the question- especially if events there are actually important. If they aren’t important enough and interesting enough, I think most of Sam’s journey will just happen off screen.

    Again, this is where D&D’s knowledge of the future events really helps.

  • House Mormont,

    We won’t get Euron this year. I think we’re largely done with casting, aside from maybe a few small roles. Maybe Dany’s story will yield a few casting reveals, since I really doubt the only new character in that storyline will be Hizdahr. They’re introducing a whole new city here, it would make sense to have at least two or three major players revealed off the bat.

  • Before season 3 started, I had two ideas for the future of show!Bronn.

    1. He takes Ser Lothor Brune’s spot in the future Sansa scenes

    or

    2. Somehow he goes on the road with Brienne and Podrick

    I don’t see the point in him going on the road with Jaime as a Ilyn replacement. It doesn’t work right in my head (compared my idea of him replacing Lothor Brune).

  • Roger König:
    I think Gendry will play a part in Briennes storyline. It makes sense. She has to search for the Stark Girls, but hasnt seen any of them. Gendry knows Arya and Pod knows Sansa. I think thats the reason why Gendry was sent to KL by D&D.

    I am still not sure why they brought Jamie back this early. So he wont attend the PW? Why would he do that?

    Brienne could still meet Sansa of course, but Pod going with her makes sense from another point of view: Sansa knows him reasonably well and might trust him more easily than Brienne. Not to mention that Pod needs to get out of King’s Landing as someone who is really close to Tyrion.

    I don’t necessarily think Gendry will only be in King’s Landing to interact with Brienne; there is a whole handful of characters he could meet. And look at it from his point of view, why should he trust Brienne or tell her about Arya? For all intends and purposes, she works for the Lannisters. And she won’t ask some random kid if he knows Arya Stark, even if he happens to look like a Baratheon.

    As for which storyline he might join: In the books, he mostly seems to be with the BWB to be parked until a POV character comes along to pick him up – he’s already quite jaded with their new policies judging from the few scenes he has in AFFC and he’s pretty well-positioned to meet up with someone else, namely Jaime. Since the show has already sped up Gendry getting disillusioned with the Brotherhood, they can also have him tag along to the Riverlands with Jaime’s group. Everyone needs smiths, after all, and putting Gendry with Jaime has much more potential for loaded character interactions than Brienne and Gendry, much as I would love to see them interact.

    As for why Jaime got back early: more interactions with the people in K-L, especially his family, and even more especially with Cersei.

  • Darquemode,

    Completely agree about Oldtown and The Citadel. So many important players and plots could meet there.

    The Maesters possible involvement in the death of dragons and maybe the reason Jaqen is there. Samwell, Marwyn and the rebirth of magic which ties into the Wall and White Walkers. The youngest Hightower is off to recruit sellsails to fight the Ironborn with help from his sister who’s Jorah’s ex wife. Could this drag Dany and Vic into that story? Could be a perfect spot to land for her and we know how much Vic hates Euron. So many possibilities.

  • Jentario,

    I guess I can dream. But if she doesn’t meet/get boarded by Euron, I don’t know what YarAsha’s going to do this season on her little boat-trip across the continent.
    We know on her journey to Theon she has to get turned around somehow and get to her Queensmoot

  • House Mormont:
    Jentario,

    I guess I can dream. But if she doesn’t meet/get boarded by Euron, I don’t know what YarAsha’s going to do this season on her little boat-trip across the continent.
    We know on her journey to Theon she has to get turned around somehow and get to her Queensmoot

    I’m guessing a sea battle is too expensive, or they could have her get entangled with Stannis really early on.

  • Nice article. But i disagree with making Jaqen H’ghar the kindly man in braavos. He is currently disguised as Pate in the Citadel and obviously has something up his sleeve that is probably important. So i dont see them switchin that at all.

  • The Blue Grace,

    her becoming Stannis’ prize this season would be interesting :)
    If they decide to take out the Kingsmoot (please no) then I’d be pretty pleased with that

  • WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    The Stonemen and the Sorrows are important as well as spooky IMO. There are hints that Greyscale will become important. Jon Con brought an active strain to Westeros. Val is freaked out by Shireen. The scene at Sorrows hints that there might be a supernatural aspect to the infection which means GRRM is free to go break the rules and make it scarier than a real life epidemic.

    A supernatural aspect to greyscale? Possible association with the Sorrows, maybe even the Doom? That is amazing to ponder, especially with the Shireen and JonCon vectors in play.

  • […] Guest Post: Adapting season 5 and beyond: Adapting A Song of Ice and Fire into a coherent and accessible TV series was thought to be an impossible task. Yet writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (with the help of Bryan Cogman and George R. R. Martin) have managed to do it. But their task gets even harder in the coming years. Martin himself recently noted the difficulties that will arise in future seasons. With Martin’s comments as a backdrop, it seems like a good time to dive in-depth into the issue of adapting future seasons and, in particular, the challenge awaiting the writers with books 4 and 5, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Here to talk about those issues in a special guest post is frequent WiCnet reader and commenter, Greatjon of Slumber. *SPOILERS!* This post will discuss in detail the events of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. Only read on if you have read those books. You’ve been warned!  […] […]

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    Indeed.
    And of course some people have speculated the “waking dragons from stone” prophecy could be a reference to greyscale. I have never put a lot of stock in that, but with JonCon having it and being close with Aegon and at least one other theorized Targ bastard… and the possibility of various Targs traveling through the Sorrows….

  • Anyone notice that Take The Black Stout is available already? I only was able to snag one today…

  • Very good article. Especially like how you started with some basic assumptions that trip up discussions like this (particularly the number of seasons this has left), and then breaking down the article with subtitles. Discussion of Bran was probably an oversight, since he’s amongst the toughest arcs to adapt. Otherwise, though, very comprehensive article that I very much appreciated, and largely agreed with.

    I think the big question is not so much what CHARACTERS will be cut (though that’s relevant and interesting), but what STORIES will be cut. I share your appreciation of Season 3 focusing on three or four storylines in an episode. But doing something similar, while keeping the number of storylines intact, would mean long breaks between seeing characters, including favorites like Arya and Tyrion.

    I don’t know what stories to cut, though. I’d hate to miss the Euron vs Victarion rivalry, and I loved Manderly and his pies. I don’t care for Dorne, but they seem like they’ll be vaguely important. I hate that the maesters of all people are suddenly very crucial to the endgame, and hope D&D can find a way around that. Maybe they can keep characters like Davos and Sam stick with the character’s they are usually with, at least for the time being? That might mess with the overarching story too much, though.

    Oh well. D&D aren’t perfect, but they’ve been overall excellent adapters so far, so I leave it to them. Again, appreciated the article.

  • Has anyone thought that we would see some of the relevant Oldtown/maester conspiracy stuff not through the perspective of Sam, but of Arya? The Many-Faced God assassins seem to be getting involved there anyway, and it helps to cut out one storyline (Sam’s treck to Oldtown) and adds meat to one that desperately needs it (Arya’s).

  • Darquemode:
    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Indeed.
    And of course some people have speculated the “waking dragons from stone” prophecy could be a reference to greyscale. I have never put a lot of stock in that, but with JonCon having it and being close with Aegon and at least one other theorized Targ bastard… and the possibility of various Targs traveling through the Sorrows….

    …that gives me goosebumps…where are those 5-6 missing Targaryen dragon eggs? (including the ones that were supposedly owned by Aemon (!) and Egg)

  • Zack:
    These kinds of posts are a big reason I come to this site.

    Agreed. This one come as a breath of timely fresh air…., it’s been a long hiatus.

  • Hodor Targaryen,

    WildSeed,

    Without doubt this topic thread will spurn 300+ comments , mostly a study of
    true anticipation of the series as a whole, and less crackpot or extraneous babble.

    I’m gaining valuable insights from speculation of this kind *>*

  • archieopteryx,

    It is my opinion that the season four finale will close with possibly another WW moment. D&D have established odd seasons as fire (Dany) cliffhangers and season 2 had an ice (WW) cliffhanger, therefore I am expecting the closing scene to involve either WW or something to do with the Wall.

    Count me in for the Jaime/Bronn bandwagon.

    I love Sibel to much to see her go, she is talented and beautiful to boot. have always had a pet theory she is Dornish (tv adaption only), undercover Snake, the mysterious way she is presented in the first season, her giving clues to having a higher birth and loves her parents jealously. Last season when Ros spoke to Shae about their commoner status, Shae responded with a facial expression that spoke, you might be but not me. I have been pondering that she could even play Arianne (she has the look); have her and Oberyn have a few meetings, then when things go sideways she disappears, only to appear again in Dorne in season 5. Have Doran scold her for going off on one of her crazy adventures and confining her to Sunspear. She is the heir has responsibilities, blah ,blah. she counters with Quentyn and that Doran plans on giving him the chair, etc.
    To me this would be a great way of showcasing the Dornish skills of espionage, especially the roles their women play and how independent and dangerous they are. We keep Sibel and don’t have to develop and introduce a new character.

  • LordNoga1981,

    He is currently disguised as Pate in the Citadel and obviously has something up his sleeve that is probably important.

    Yes, in the book, but it isn’t established in the tv adaption, D&D might change things around to streamline the story.

  • Personally, I never saw “A Feast For Crows” and “A Dance With Dragons” inferior in any way shape or form to the first three books. I for one appreciated the change of pace, the introduction of new characters, and the expansion of the world of ASOIF through the overall move away from a Westeros centric storyline.
    It was good to read about other people and other places, to me as a reader the two books only enriched the world George RR Martin created, they gave more depth and authenticity. While in the first three books you only hear some places mentioned, in these two novels you get to actually be there.
    I also appreciated the change in pace of the novels. Frankly, had the whole of the story remained one centred only in the set-up and execution of “high – points” a la the Red Wedding for example, I would have found it too jarring and frankly formulaic and ultimately boring. Life, as these too novels, has a lot of downtime when nothing terribly exciting happens, then when we become complacent and take things for granted we are mercilessly jolted back to reality. I much prefer that for the narrative of ASOIF than keeping the same pace as in the first 3 novels.
    One last thing, these two books, but especially “A Feast For Crows”, have the unenviable task of being the transitional ones in the ASOIF cycle. Those are always the hardest to write. Think of Tolkien and how “The Two Towers” was for “The Lord Of The Rings” trilogy or how “The Wise Man’s Fear” (which I’m reading right now) is for Patrick Rotfuss’s “The Kingkilller Chronicle” trilogy.
    Though different mediums, in some ways I guess that will also apply to the way GoT will be adapted on-screen and how the story will unfold from here on.
    I see nothing wrong with that, nor as I said do I see anything wrong or inferior with “A Feast For Crows” or “A Dance With Dragons”.
    That’s just my two cents…

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    I love the prophecies! XD

    I wonder some about other eggs turning up, but not too much. Five books in and Dany’s dragons are just now powerful enough to be possible game changers. I’m not sure any new eggs/ newly hatched dragons would make a difference in the endgame.

    Waking stone dragons though, the mystical element could be a game changer… but I have never had a solid feeling on what that means unless it is the easiest explanation: Dany hatched her eggs.

    The only stone dragon or stone beast theory I do feel strongly about is Dany’s vision in the House of the undying.
    “From a stone tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire”

    “Great stone beast took wing” to me reads as a griffin with greyscale = Connington
    “Breaths shadow fire” reads as Blackfyre = Aegon the pretender.

    I know others read it differently, but that has been my interpretation from the moment Old Griff and Young Griff appeared.

    I really hope they start to introduce more of the prophecies into the series.

  • loco73,

    Agree completely!
    AFFC and ADWD are basically Act II of the ASOIAF play. They are the transitional periods that our ‘heroes’ go through transforming them into the people they need to be for the endgame of Act III to come.

  • CRAZY IDEA:
    Quentyn doesn’t exist. Varys goes to Dorne in Episode 1 of Season 5 and meets with Doran, and lets him in on the Varys-Illyrio-Aegon plot. Instead of having two Dornish failure children plots of Quentyn going to Meereen and Arianne trying to crown Marcella, have just a successful Arianne plot, who travels to Volantis and meets Aegon and Jon Connington with the Golden Company with a letter of support and marriage proposal from Doran.
    This only works if that’s what ends up happening anyways in Book 6 with Arianne going to Storm’s End. But seriously, if there are not drastic changes made to the whole Dornish shindig, every single time (of the three times) Dorne tries to insert itself into the primary plot and swing of the action they will be cut off and spurned: Oberyn in King’s Landing, Arianne’s little party in the desert, and Quentyn’s little dance with dragons. That is not how you introduce major players into the swing of things. If Arianne is going to marry Aegon anyways, why not just fastforward through it all?

  • Cast the Greyjoys. The Ironborn Kingsmoot is an essential scene. The dragon horn is an essential item. Every POV character from the book has been a significant person on the show; the Greyjoy Bros Vic & Aeron have bunches between them. Euron & the Iron fleet’s role in Mereen & aftermath are plot important

    At this point the show’s popularity is established, it’s not all about 4 characters for the next 5 seasons. New characters will be focused on.

  • tysnow,

    I suppose a possible White Walker season finale end scene could be a beefed up version of Bran’s struggle outside the cave. Maybe white walkers are in there too, with an army of wights and it ends with Bran face down in the snow as Leaf goes on a murder spree. It’s probably not a possibility if we already meet Bloodraven before the season ends but it’d be good.

    loco73,

    Agree 100%. I found aSoS, while amazing, a bit too fast. Like in one chapter Sansa would go from trying on a dress and ending up married and then the next chapter would have an entire battle on the wall. I was looking forward to a return to a slower-pace in aFfC, and I loved seeing new characters and locations, getting inside the heads of different people is always interesting, even pious figures like Aeron and Melisandre.

  • Using Jaqen in place of The Kindly Man sits badly with me apart from the Oldtown storyline simply because “Jaqen” does not exist. In the show, Arya’s Faceless Man friend stated “Jaqen is dead,” and in the books when Arya arrives at the temple asking about Jaqen, TKM replies that he “[does] not know this man.” Having him play a significant further role on the show (beyond maybe whoa this creepy Alchemist guy seems vaguely familiar…) I feel would seriously cheapen the fact that to become a Faceless Man, you become NO ONE. This isn’t book purism for the sake of it, this is Arya’s major running theme – loss of herself, her moral compass, etc. I seem to be in a minority in the fandom in that I’m much more attached to Arya’s narrative arc than to the various colorful characters who play a part in it.

    I was among those initially critical of ADWD, but I don’t think I’m alone in that I’ve since come around. I have to thank:

    – Sean T. Collins’s combined reading order
    – a great new perspective on Dany’s rule in Meereen
    – TWOW preview chapters giving a sense of where ADWD truly left us off
    – and some time to reflect and discuss some of the truly outrageous stuff (BRAN oh dear bran…)

    I think the massive combined “Feastdance” is on-par with ASOS and I think the potential is there to make truly excellent TV out of it.

  • Thanks for the article. very thought provoking

    I put AFFC in one bathroom and DWD in the other…. so now instead of trying to read them as one lonnnnnng book, I read snippets… and have a lot more respect for the books and the various things that happen – its amazing how much is foretold.

    I think D&D have written a time line – not of chapters, but of happenings.. that’s why we got to see many of the back stories – even if we really didn’t get much written about it…. I think much of the Asha storyline will be similar – things she THINKS she’s going to do, and things that really happen when life’s happenings get in the way.

    the timelines are no longer when someone else HEARS about something happening, but when they actually DO happen to the specific person….

    I think far more of the books will get into the show than people seem to expect.

    oh and I too loved the sorrows section…. stone zombies are CREEPY

  • Darquemode:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    I love the prophecies! XD
    I wonder some about other eggs turning up, but not too much. Five books in and Dany’s dragons are just now powerful enough to be possible game changers. I’m not sure any new eggs/ newly hatched dragons would make a difference in the endgame.
    Waking stone dragons though, the mystical element could be a game changer… but I have never had a solid feeling on what that means unless it is the easiest explanation: Dany hatched her eggs.
    The only stone dragon or stone beast theory I do feel strongly about is Dany’s vision in the House of the undying.
    “From a stone tower, a great stone beast took wing, breathing shadow fire”
    “Great stone beast took wing” to me reads as a griffin with greyscale = Connington
    “Breaths shadow fire” reads as Blackfyre = Aegon the pretender.
    I know others read it differently, but that has been my interpretation from the moment Old Griff and Young Griff appeared.
    I really hope they start to introduce more of the prophecies into the series.

    Yeah, I agree about the eggs…they don’t really make a difference during the ASoI&F timeline…just a hedge bet for the endgame if Dany wins. Heck, Dany’s 3 eggs could have been the others’ eggs at some point…making everything moot.

    Regarding prophesy, I hope your comments regarding greyscale, griffins and pretenders have weight in TWoW. Since the showrunners went in such a vastly different direction with the HotU in S2, the prophesy element has been minimized and may be significantly reworked. I could be missing something, but in GoT, Quaithe is the only mechanism in Slaver’s Bay through which prophesies can be communicated. The Warlocks just want to kill her, not serve as soothsayers.

    Lots of exposition (and prophesy stuff) is possible during Tyrion’s trip down the Rhoyne….building up the inevitable meeting between him and Dany.

    If Aegon does prove to be another Blackfyre pretender, are we facing a “Third” Blackfyre Rebellion in our future, given the armies he seems to be amassing (including foolish Arienne)? If not, and he is actually a Targaryen, then as mentioned before, we potentially have another Dance of the Dragons on our hands. Regardless of that scenario, the whole Westerosian conflict ahead will involve a mass clusterfuck of the natural vs the supernatural. Crazy!

  • I really enjoyed this post. It is obvious you put a lot of thought into this. I love the idea of the contrasting arcs for Cersei, Dany and Jon in Season 5.

  • Freoduwebbe:

    …the timelines are no longer when someone else HEARS about something happening, but when they actually DO happen to the specific person….
    I think far more of the books will get into the show than people seem to expect.

    Damn straight! LS resurrection by S4 episode 3!

    Your bathroom idea is great…but you must spend an awful lot of time in there!
    “Son, what are you doing in there?”
    “Going blind….reading ASoI&F!”

  • This article is all assuming that the Tyrells, Greyjoys and Martells are secondary characters. These families may be moving to the forefront in future books so they can not be just discounted and cut unless GRRM says so.

  • ESK:
    Using Jaqen in place of The Kindly Man sits badly with me apart from the Oldtown storyline simply because “Jaqen” does not exist. In the show, Arya’s Faceless Man friend stated “Jaqen is dead,” and in the books when Arya arrives at the temple asking about Jaqen, TKM replies that he “[does] not know this man.” Having him play a significant further role on the show (beyond maybe whoa this creepy Alchemist guy seems vaguely familiar…) I feel would seriously cheapen the fact that to become a Faceless Man, you become NO ONE. This isn’t book purism for the sake of it, this is Arya’s major running theme – loss of herself, her moral compass, etc. I seem to be in a minority in the fandom in that I’m much more attached to Arya’s narrative arc than to the various colorful characters who play a part in it.

    I think the massive combined “Feastdance” is on-par with ASOS and I think the potential is there to make truly excellent TV out of it.

    Enjoyed the way you described TKM’s response to Arya’s Jaqen question and the FM decree. Arya’s transformation after her adventures with the Hound captivated me but I am concerned how they will adapt her Braavos storyline for GoT, especially her blindness sequences. Throughout her stay in Braavos, I think she’ll hear things regarding Jon/NW and other major players through Dareon, Sam and others she sells to or kills. I wouldn’t mind if her training/transformation lasts all of S5 and into S6, but like you, I’m probably in the minority. (Go Maisie Williams!)

  • Ms. D. Ranged in AZ: And one would be correct. I remember hearing an interview with GRRM that that was precisely the point of that storyline–to show how war was ravaging the common folk and how they are getting tired of it. He did not say it but I interpreted that assumed he did this in order to demonstrate the populace’s desperation, which will help to make their acceptance of a savior from across the sea (Dany) more plausible.

    Yep. Thanks. To me you can still shelve Nimble Dick. As for your other point – about Tyrion being treated as a dwarf in Essos, that’s a fair point too. I think Season 5, which would explore the trials and trevails of Cersei, Jon and Danys as they try to rule, would contrast nicely if we consider Tyrion’s journey like a “Heart of Darkness” situation.

    Bittersteel: Like others have said Meriblad being cut would be a shame his speech about Broken Men is one of best in the series and it would kill my pet theory he married Rhaegar and Lyanna.

    Agreed. Just that he and Elder Brother are both so similar that one can easily see him serving both roles, and getting 2 powerful scenes, one of the monologue, one where he urges Brienne to go home, and she breaks down.

    Hodor Targaryen: Very good article. Especially like how you started with some basic assumptions that trip up discussions like this (particularly the number of seasons this has left), and then breaking down the article with subtitles. Discussion of Bran was probably an oversight, since he’s amongst the toughest arcs to adapt. Otherwise, though, very comprehensive article that I very much appreciated, and largely agreed with.

    Thanks very much. Bran was a tough one to crack, and even I don’t know where it goes from here. So I stayed away. As for stories to cut, I think we’ll have to see some chopped out. I don’t know that we’re going to get much of Taena Merryweather, for instance. I think Tyrion’s capture by the slavers, the bloody flux and his escape are bound to be severely truncated. It’s interesting stuff, but feels like way too much. I think the Kingsmoot will be either cut or chopped down dramatically, even though it’s fun, and I don’t think the Arianne decision to take Myrcella will be more than an episode or two. And I think Quentyn Martell could go entirely. So there are a few stories that could get axed. What about you?

    MJW: At this point the show’s popularity is established, it’s not all about 4 characters for the next 5 seasons. New characters will be focused on.

    Yes, I agree. We’ve seen enough casting threads to know we’re getting a lot of new ones this year, if not on the scale of Season 3. If you delay the Greyjoys to Season 5, then you really only need to cast 6-7 significant types for most of the rest of the show that are essential: Euron Crow’s Eye, Victarion, Moqorro, Doran, Arianne, Darkstar, and the Shavepate, and not much else.

    Blackeyedlily:
    I really enjoyed this post. It is obvious you put a lot of thought into this. I love the idea of the contrasting arcs for Cersei, Dany and Jon in Season 5.

    Thanks!!!

  • All these comments and hardly anyone’s brought up Quentin Martell. As a long-time lurker I have to jump in. Cant cut him, he does impotant things as is a memorable tragic figure. He can be cast in S6, with Arienne and Doran talking about him in S5. Now, if S5 ends Dany’s storyline with the dragonride, he will have to be intoduced earlier because he needs to witness it to free the dragons. If S5 ends with Dany’s marriage, it can work out easier. Put dragonride mid-season 6 and there is plenty of time for Tyrion and Quentyn to be where they need to be. S5 can focus on Arienne/Oakhart/Marcella plot.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: You have put in a full day, oh SmallFred of Insomnia!
    (I absolutely love it when folks give a shit. You have brought out the best in us!)

    I’m glad! It’s rare we get to engage in such wide-ranging discussions, and it’s fun to try to suss out what D&D are going to do. I’m glad to also see that so many believe there’s much to love about AFFC and ADwD.

  • Great post, Greatjon of Slumber! Now here’s where I disagree :P. (WARNING: WALL OF TEXT INCOMING)

    The Meereenese knot… the weakest part of the books? I would consider it one of the most compelling sections of the entire series, let alone the last two books. From the arrival of Quentyn in Meereen onwards, I would consider Daenerys’ story to be the strongest it’s ever been (aside from the birth of the dragons, the house of the undying and the sacking of Astapor).

    I am very against cutting the Kindly Man in favour of Jaqen H’Ghar, simply because he is bound to have an impact on Sam’s story, and likely Euron’s as well. There are three characters in Braavos that should be cast: The Kindly Man, Brusco and Izembaro (season 6).

    I personally would prefer to see Haldon Halfmaester cast instead of Lemore, because I found him to be a far more interesting character. However, I know that if they were to just cast one of Aegon and JonCon’s companions it would be Lemore because nudity.

    I am very much in support of them casting Brown Ben, but that is looking increasingly unlikely each day. I currently think that they will combine him the Tattered Prince (which is a shame, because out of all 5 sellsword captains in the books – Daario, Brown Ben, Vargo, Tattered Prince and Harry Strickland – Brown Ben and the Tattered Prince were, by far, the most interesting).

    On the topic of Quentyn, I actually want him to be expanded on, maybe appearing in 5 scenes/episodes. In the words of joachim over on Westeros.org: “Quentyn’s story is a tragic one, full of pathos. Rather than cutting it, I would be eager to see it expanded. Cast someone likeable in the role, give him even more exposition (yes, maybe even some sexposition), and make the viewers root for him. From the moment he’s introduced, create the expectation that he’ll end up winning Dany’s heart. That way, his fate will be even more of a gut-punch.”

    I also disagree with the focus on the storylines slightly. The way that I think they should do it is:
    Main storylines: {Tyrion, Cersei, Daenerys and Jon} – 8-10 episodes
    Secondary storylines: {Dorne (including Quentyn), Brienne, Sansa, Iron Islands, Arya – 5-7 episodes
    Tertiary storylines: {Sam (not including his stuff with Jon), Bran, Theon, Davos (post leaving the Wall)} – 1-4 episodes
    Unknown – {Rickon}

    And the main place where I disagree; The ending places of the storylines in season 5. My predictions:
    Cersei/King’s Landing – Cersei in prison, her arrest being in episode 9. The story arc: Her rise to, misuse of, and eventual loss of power. Season 6 would then have her walk of shame in episode 2 or 3, and I would think that the return of Varys would be a good scene to close out episode 4.
    Jon – Stannis leaving the Wall. His beheading of Janos being in either episode 9 or the finale. It is looking very likely that the election will be held back to season 5, and with the presence of Locke it looks like they will expand on the scheming against him. If they do expand on it, the beheading of Janos would become quite the “OMG YES!” moment. The story arc: Jon’s rise to power and establishing his rule. We could also get the first hints of the situation at Hardhome for season 6. Season 6 would then focus on treating with the Wildlings and him meddling in the affairs of the realm, leading to his downfall (which I think would be the final scene of the season)
    Daenerys/Meereen: end with her agreeing to marry Hizdahr, thus finally stabilising the city and her rule. The story arc: the shadow war and chaos with the dragons, then Daenerys trying to recover the city from that. The second half would also have some preparation for the Yunkish siege. Season 6 would then have the Meereenese knot (ie from the arrival of Quentyn onwards), and the second half would have the Quentyn and Barristan plots while Daenerys has all of her travels among the Dothraki. I think the battle of Meereen could be in episode 2 of season 7
    Tyrion – Boarding the ship in Volantis, heading for Slaver’s Bay. The story arc: finding out about Aegon, then surprise Jorah. Season 6 would then have the them arrive in episode 4 (with the fighting pits in episode 5), and end with him joining the Stormcrows (or Windblown if Tattered Prince and Brown Ben are combined). Meanwhile, the scene where the Golden Company declares their support for Aegon would fit very well in the S5 finale. Also, just for the record, I think they will have Varys accompany Tyrion to Pentos just to keep the character around in S5.
    Dorne – “Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood.” because that would be an epic scene to end their storyline on in the finale. The story arc: The Queenmaker and the fallout. Season 6 would enter TWoW within the first few episodes.
    Quentyn – arriving in the siege camps of Meereen. If they have that scene immediately after “Vengeance. Justice…” it could be an epic reveal. If they decide to keep Quentyn’s mission ambiguous, and have the audience believe Arianne in thinking he is trying to usurp her, him suddenly arriving in Meereen could be amazing. But then again, they could have the mission stated in episode 1 and have the audience really get behind Quentyn. The story arc: Him getting to Meereen OR him going about his ambiguous mission with the epic reveal at the end. Season 6 would then have the knot, then him trying to take the dragons.
    Brienne – Being hanged by Catelyn. Her vs Rorge would make a good episode 9 scene, I thinl. The story arc: The search for the Stark girls. She could then show up in front of Jaime very early in season 6. And yes, I agree with skipping the entire Nimble Dick detour.
    Jaime – the escape of the Blackfish, depending on when they have him leave King’s Landing. The story arc: dealing with Cersei despite her betrayal. Brienne would then show up in front of him within the first few episodes of season 6. The exact timing would depend on whether they keep the Blackwood-Bracken detour.
    Sansa – the descent OR preparations for the descent. Her discussion with Petyr about Harry the Heir would be very early in season 6. The story arc: The Lords Declarant. It seems as if that story will be expanded on slightly in the show. Season 6 would be in TWoW within a few episodes.
    Iron Islands – Euron giving Victarion his mission in the finale. I think we will see them in the first 3 episode (setup, kingsmoot, fallout/Yara fleeing) then maybe 3 episode after that: them leaving the Islands, the battle of the shield Islands (which could be a nice scene to spice up episode 7 or 8), then the finale. We might get one short scene in the second half to update us on Yara, as well. The story arc: The rise of Euron. Season 6 would mostly just feature Yara and Victarion, with only one or two scene updating us on Euron and Aeron. For Euron and Aeron, any season 6 scenes would likely be invented (unless Euron takes Oldtown early in TWoW, so that might link him into Sam’s stuff), while Yara could enter TWoW material around episode 7 or 8 (with Stannis vs the Boltons in episode 9).
    Arya – killing the Night’s Watchman (who I believe will be Pyp in the show) and returning to the House of Black and White. The story arc: Learning the basics. Season 6 would then have the blindness thing in the early episodes, and then her initial few assassinations. If they want/need to pad out her story it wouldn’t really be much of a problem, GRRM has said that he could write an entire book about her adventures in Braavos. She would enter TWoW material somewhere mid-S6
    Samwell – leaving Braavos. The first half of his season would be at the wall. The story arc: Getting Jon in power, then trying to get passage from Braavos. Season 6 would then have the rest of his journey in the first half. He would enter TWoW material mid-S6.
    Bran – No clue, since we know he reaches the cave in S4. The story arc: I quite like the theory that, along with the early stages of his warg training, S5 will mostly be exposition and that backstory that they have skipped. Season 6 could then have his first time warging into the weirwoods coinciding with the wedding at Winterfell. Aside from the weirwood scene where he sees Theon, I would expect a lot of his stuff to from season 5 onwards to be either TWoW or invented.
    Theon – arriving at Winterfell. The story arc: clearing the way for Roose and getting to Winterfell. Seaosn 6 would then have all of the Winterfell stuff. I think he would show up in Stannis’ camp in episode 6 or 7, then enter TWoW after that.
    Davos – the Skagos reveal in episode 9. The story arc: first half at Castle Black, second half dealing with the Manderlys over, maybe, two episodes (arriving/arrest. release/reveal). Season 6 would then be TWoW right from the start

    Rickon: This is the wildcard in the season. They could be completely absent again, but I think that would be a mistake. The last we heard they were heading to the Last Hearth, so if they were suddenly on an island that the audience has never heard of before it would feel like a really cheap plot device. I would hope for them to appear in two episodes in the season: 1 early on, fleeing from the Last Hearth because the Umbers have betrayed them, then one where they board a ship. The ship captain could then be the one to do the Skagos reveal.

    Other one-off scenes that season 5 could have:
    – Tormund trying to rally the fled Wildlings. It would give him a scene to do, and would setup Hardhome.
    – Loras storming Dragonstone. It would provide a nice, action packed lates season (episode 8?) event.

    Season 5 big scenes:
    Early season (episodes 1-3) – Burning the Tower of the Hand, Lord Commander election, Drogon killing the child, the Kingsmoot.
    Mid season (4-7) – the burning of ‘Mance’, chaining the dragons, the Aegon reveal and the Stone Men, the Queenmaker, Quentyn and co being attacked by pirates in the stepstones, possibly a Sandor cameo (If they keep the quiet isle they could make it a reveal similar to the Sherlock is alive reveal in the season 2 finale of Sherlock), meeting with the Lords Declarant, battle at the Shield Islands, Davos’ arrest.
    Late season (8-10) – The assault of Dragonstone, Cersei’s arrest, Janos’ beheading, Jorah’s return, “Vengeance. Justice…”, Quentyn arriving in Meereen (will be an OMG reveal if they keep the nature of his task a secret from the viewers), Brienne vs Rorge, Brienne meeting Catelyn, the siege of Riverrun, Euron sending out Victarion, Samwell fighting with his sworn brother, Arya killing the Watchman, the Skagos reveal, possibly the descent of the Vale

    Season 6 big moments (an ‘*’ means that the scene is either confirmed to be in TWoW or is very likely to happen):
    Early season (episodes 1-3) – Cersei’s walk of shame, Quentyn in Meereen, Daenerys-Hizdahr wedding, Aegon landing in Westeros, Brienne appearing before Jaime, the descent of the Vale (if it doesn’t happen in S5), Tyrion’s shipwreck, Stannis capturing Yara, Arya being blind, the death of Aemon, Bran talking to Theon through the Weirwood, Ramsay and ‘Arya”s wedding.
    Mid season (4-7) – the return of Varys, the arrest of Cregan Karstark (it is a big moment for Jon), the fighting pits, Aegon taking Griffin’s roost, Victarion finding Moqorro, Arya’s first assassination, Sam meeting Archmaester Marwyn, the return of Jaqen H’Ghar (I think they will show the Pate death in the episode Sam arrives in Oldtown), Theon meeting Mance and escaping Winterfell, Theon arriving in Stannis’ camp.
    Late season (8-10) – Cersei and Margaery’s trials by combat*, possibly the beheading of Margaery*, Jon’s assassination, Tyrion escaping slavery, Barristan arresting Hizdahr, Quentyn unleashing the dragons, Daenerys taking control of the khalasars*, Aegon taking Storm’s End, Arya training with Izembaro*, Ramsay capturing Mance (scene not from the books), Stannis vs the Boltons*.

    Yes, by ending the season earlier in ADwD there would be fewer big events. However, as you can see from that list there would still be plenty of great moments. Also, I would argue that the reduced number of big events would be outweighed by the greatly increased focus of the storylines. A season isn’t made up solely of big events, focus and a well defined story arc (or arcs) are also needed. If a season is too clustered it wouldn’t be as good despite having more big events. The main example where this would be the case is having the fighting pits in season 5. To do that Tyrion and Daenerys’ (and possibly also Quentyn’s) would have to either be rushed and lose focus, OR take too much time away from other storylines. For me it is like all of the people who said that Joffrey’s wedding MUST be in season 3 because it would be a big event to close out the season; yes, it would have been a big event, but it would have caused everything to become clustered and lose focus.

    As for season 6, I would expect that the various storylines would enter TWoW material at different time. Some would be in it from the start of the season (eg Davos), some would have enough material to last until the end of the season (Jon, Meereen), and most would fall enter TWoW between episodes 3 and 7 (including Daenerys and King’s Landing). There isn’t going to be a clear cutoff point between books anymore, as D&D have said multiple times. A diagram of how I think the transition between books would take place can be found here: http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/3829/rprt.png

    ahh, I’m finally free to forget about spoiler coding…

  • Jon Aegon and Dany are the 3 dragons cus they always come in 3s and jon will be be Jon Targengan first of his name bringer of peace and champion of the realms of men!

    I think Arya will be visiting some flayed and twin men….

  • I will just say – budget

    let’s kick-start a project to collect money for battles and area’s storyline… she should be trained properly like a batman

  • Everyone keeps talking about Yara/Asha going back to the Iron Islands after Balon’s death, what a waste of time that would be, she can just continue her quest to save Theon, and the Kingsmoot will still take place, only Yarasha won’t be there and Damphair will be backing up Vic, and Euron will still win.

  • tysnow,

    Season four should end with Stoneheart and nothing else. I don’t get the point of sticking to a formula, and I don’t think that 3 seasons are enough to actually identify one. Season 4 doesn’t have much room for WWs anyway, but season 5 is a whole other beast. If they DO decide to fit all of books 4 & 5 into one season, than Jon’s arc would end with his stabbing but IMO the best way to do it is spreading the plot across a season and a half (roughly) and ending season 5 (well, episode 9) with an on screen battle of Hardhome. The actual final moment of the season could also involve the WWs, seeing all of them gather at Hardhome in a big scene like Dany’s Unsullied in season 3 (and possibly from Bran’s POV) could be a great season ender in my opinion.

    That’s definitely a good, untouched topic though. I wonder how season 6 will end… It’s likely going to be deep into TWOW material by then.

  • House de Laguna,

    But her speech was awesome too :(
    It would be self sabotage to send her on a little quest only to deprive her of one of her best moments in the series. Also, keep in mind that the Kingsmoot will 99% not happen this season. That gives her one whole season to screw around with Theon/Ramsay and return home, leaving the moot for Season 5.

  • I really hope that Jon’s election happens in season 4 episode 10 instead of spending almost all episode 5 on that: as soon as they say there’s going to be an election it’s just OBVIOUS that Jon is going to be elected. It’s such a cliché that they should avoid concentrating on it (the only important bit is Jon refusing Stannis’ offer, which can happen in one episode).

    I mean, when they anounced the Triwizard Champion in Harry Potter 4, did anyone believe that Harry wouldn’t be elected somehow?
    (and please, don’t say that ASOIS doesn’t follow established formulas because it does, and Dany and Jon are a good example of that)

  • @Ser Tahu: Thanks for your efforts, both you and Greatjon of Slumber deserve a reward of merit, that’s for sure. ;)

    I’m starting to agree with you more and more on season 5, at least to a certain point.

    Dany riding Drogon and Jon beeing stabbed could provide great climaxes, as Greatjon of Slumber suggested, but having them at the end of season 5 would probably be too early, because this would affect other storylines in a negative way. (Theon [Mance needs to get to Winterfell!], Asha, maybe Davos on the one hand; Victarion, Tyrion, Quentin/Dorne on the other hand). And I agree with you, the Lord Commander election will take place in season 5. Which probably also means that Samwell won’t get past Braavos in season 5 and therefore reach Oldtown in the first half of season 6.

    Cersei‘s “walk of shame” could take place either at the end of season 5 or at the beginning of season 6, I think. Brienne meeting Lady Stoneheart at the end of season 5 is a no-brainer. I think we’ll need the descent from the Eyrie as a conclusion for Sansa‘s storyline, because there’s not much else happening (yes, they probably will expand the “Lords Declarant” stuff) and it could be an impressive scene, visually and symbolic.

    Jaime lifting the siege of Riverrun fits very well. Tyrion boarding the ship to Meereen would be logical, if the fighting pit scene happens in season 6. Arya making her first kill could be a way to finish her season 5 storyline (though I doubt they’ll replace Dareon with Pyp. He seems to be too much of a descent guy to betray Sam that way).

    Not sure if the Iron Islands stuff will play out that way (and what their plans for Davos and Rickon are). The battle of the Shield Islands however and the assault on Dragonstone could serve as the main action sequenzes of the season.

    Your season 6 proposals feel a bit bloated, to be honest. And we need the Battle of the Ice and/or the Battle of Meereen as a specatacular conclusion. They were meant to be at the end of ADWD, but were postponed at the advice of GRRM’s editor Anne Groell (which was a big mistake I think).

    The most important problem however: 15 storylines (plus maybe Rickon or Asha or Dragonstone)! We had 10 or less in the first three seasons. I fear this could all end up in a clipshow.

  • Ser Tahu,

    Hi there! I agree on most point, but I think you have misinterpreted one thing: the battle in the ice between Stannis and the Bolton armies is not going to be the final battle of Winterfell and it’s not going to decide the fate of the characters that are still INSIDE Winterfell (eg. Roose, Ramsay, Lady Dustin). This first battle should definitely appear in season 5 (while the second and fate-defining battle should be early in season 6), but IMO it should happen mostly off screen. Why? For the Pink Letter to have full effect (as it did in the books), Stannis’ fate should be in question at the time Jon reads the letter. The Pink Letter scene would then be the second-to-last scene of the season, followed by a short shot outside Winterfell that reveals that Stannis is alive and the contents of the letter are false (it would work especially well if inter-cut with Manderly returning to Winterfell with “Stannis”s head and his sword earlier in the season finale).

    I also think the battle of Meereen should not wait for season 7. Meereen needs to be done with as soon as possible, and it shouldn’t take 2 lackluster season-arcs to get to the payoff. The fact that the battle was not in ADWD is the book’s biggest fault, IMO, and ending with the Meereenese Knot events will be very anticlimactic IMO. Also, the battle of Winterfell would serve a much better season opener than Meereen, which is poised to be the biggest battle of the series so far. We don’t want the season o hit its best as early as episode 2, and including Meereen in season 7 definitely rules out another battle from later in TWOW from appearing in the season (or at least being what it should be) because Meereen is bound to cost a HUGE amount of money (more than Blackwater and the Wall combined, I’d wager). We’ve got three fleets (the Iron Fleet, Volantis and Yunkai), a huge city under siege with a pyramid at its center (that’s going to be a lot of CGI), three armies (Yunkai, Meereen and the Ironmen) and let’s not forget two huge (as in, really huge) fire-breathing dragons with the possibility of another dragon and a Dothraki army if Dany gets there on time (to be determined, though I kind of doubt it). If we want to see Meereen done well, it will be the only big battle episode in that season, so putting it alongside an off-screen battle in the ice in season 6 would allow some room for air in season 7.

    That’s my two cents.

  • NOOOOOOOOO!!!! NOOOOOO!!! WHATS IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!!! CUT NOTHING!!!! #CLEARLYACASEOFSTOCKHOLMSYNDROME #NOONEUNDERATAAANDS

  • Ispahan75,

    Yes, it is. Let’s sum up which characters are absolutely needed in season 5 and 6:
    Dany: the Shavepate, the Green Grace, Brown Ben Plum or an adequate replacement as someone that will later get into Tyrion’s story
    Jon: Bowen Marsh (likely going to be recast)
    Tyrion: Moqorro, Vogarro’s Whore as a one-off, Penny (unless she’s cut, which would create a number of changes), a few slavers and slaves as one-offs, Griff and Young Griff (+ a possible Lemore and Halfmaester, but unlikely IMO)
    Sansa: no new castings here, D&D alredy locked things down by casting the Lords Declarant. A very smart move.
    Arya: the Kindly Man, a few one-offs to interact with (+ hopefully the Waif, but unlikely)
    Bran: none, locked down in season 4
    Brienne: a few one-offs, Meribald and Dog, possibly Elder Brother (they could get combined, though)
    Dorne: Arianne, Doran, an extra as Areo (he is not really a character, anyway- just our eyes into Doran), Arys Oakheart (the sex scene was great and his death would be cool too), Darkstar (+ hopefully one or two Sandsnakes)
    Sam: Dareon unless replaced by Pyp or another existing character, what’s-his-face that took Sam & co on his ship, Marwyn, Pate and Sarella (unless this part of the story happens off screen)
    Iron Islands: Euron and Victarion, sorry Aeron- you’re out
    Theon: Lady Dustin and if they become important- Justin Massey and the Mormont who befriends Asha (I don’t know where else to put them)
    Davos: Manderly
    Cersei: Taena Merryweather, the High Sparrow
    Jamie: pre-existing characters, a Frey in Riverrun and possibly his cousin (if RW2.0 is going to happen, it’s best to set that up early)
    Quentin: unless cut entirely (which is possibly, as it could easily be worked around), he’ll only really need one follower. His two budds from the book can be combined, or just one can be picked. Either way, I don’t think he’ll get more than one extra casting.

    So we are looking at around 40 new castings in seasons 5 & 6 (unless whole storylines are cut, which I doubt). A lot of them are small roles (most of them are) so it shouldn’t be THAT frightening a number, but (nonetheless) it will be a bigger expansion to the series than ever before.

  • I guess a few people brought this up already, but Jaqen H’Gar appears to be heading towards a major collision with Sam’s storyline with who knows what results. Throw in a sand snake in drag, a nasty Tyrell cousin and the approaching fleet of Euron Greyjoy and the storyline at the Citadel looks to be explosive for the last two books. So he probably shouldn’t be stuck in Braavos. A man has work that needs to be done.

    Anyway, great article, that’s a pretty great summary of how IDEALLY they could adapt those two books. I agree with just about everything you write. I hope D&D are thinking more along these lines, and not listening to fans saying, ‘oh, they’re going to combine Euron, Victarion and Aeron into one person’ or ‘they’ll just eliminate the whole Dorne storyline altogether, good riddance.’

  • Darquemode:
    loco73,

    Agree completely!
    AFFC and ADWD are basically Act II of the ASOIAF play. They are the transitionalperiods thatour ‘heroes’ go through transforming them into the people they need to be for the endgame of Act III to come.

    Exactly !

    First 3 books were Act I, Storm ending on massive notes !

    Feast and Dance are Act II, we are ready to roll !

    Winds and Dream will be amazing !

  • Bard,
    Thank you for the kind words :D.

    Exactly. Jon and Dany’s stories, alone, would be nice if they ended on those points, but the flow on negative impacts on the pacing of other storylines are the main problem I see with them.

    I must admit that I am a little divided on Cersei’s Walk of shame as well. The only reason that I have for leaning towards it being near the start of season 6 is because the next chapter immediately after it is the epilogue, and that can’t happen until Aegon has landed, which seems to make more sense at the beginning of season 6. But they could always change the order of the events in King’s Landing.

    My reasoning for Pyp replacing Daeron:
    1) he is an already known character
    2) in season 1 it was established that he could sing
    3) in his ‘life is unfair’ rant he mentions that he got sent to the Wall because “A Lord tried to touch my cock” and that as a result “I will never get to touch a woman again”.
    I always took those last two to be D&D leaving open the option of Pyp replacing Daeron. My other (admittedly much more far-fetched) Night’s Watch character swap theory is that Grenn will die fighting a giant, going out like a badass (replacing Donal Noye in that respect), as it would raise the stake of the siege of the Wall. If that happens, it would give Pyp more of a reason for becoming bitter and jaded with the Watch. It also would remove, or simplify the whole “I have to send away my friends so I won’t have to sit in judgement over them” thing from Jon’s storyline which, although important for his character development, could help streamline the plot a bit. Or they could just cast Daeron :P.

    I do, in my prediction, have the battle of ice as the episode 9 of season 6. The only reason that I wouldn’t have the battle of fire in season 6 as well is because they don’t have the budget for it. And do you mean bloated as in too much in there? It would rival season 4 on the big event front, but I don’t think it would be completely unmanageable. It really all depends on how the start of TWoW plays out

    House de Laguna,
    Yeah, that never made sense to me either. RAVENS CAN’T GO TO BOATS, SHE HAS NO WAY OF KNOWING THAT BALON IS DEAD :P. However, I do disagree on the Kingsmoot happening without her. People often act like the Kingsmoot is immediately after Balon’s death, but there was a period of time where Euron crowning himself unopposed. The way I see it playing out is that Balon dies and Euron crowns himself while YarAsha’s detour takes place. She returns to find Balon dead and Euron as king, and setup for the Kingsmoot takes place (Ramsay might even taunt her with the knowledge of Balon’s death, and YarAsha finding out that way, that would be very in character for Ramsay).

    jentario,
    Until we get a sample chapter (or TWoW is released) we don’t know that for sure. I think that Roose will hear of the appalling situation that Stannis is in, and ride out to crush him in the field. You can find my full, ever so slightly crackpot (as is my style :P), theory on the North here: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/98342-winds-of-winter-theory/
    I am the third post. Just search “my North theory” and click on the spoiler tag. If my theory is correct, the battle of ice and the writing of the pink letter would have to be shown, because they would contain a lot of twists, largest among them being the downfall of Stannis. That post contains my full theories for both TWoW and ADoS, but the battle of ice has its own section in my post. My theories contain everything from the standard to the absolutely 100% crackpot.

    If you are right about there being two battles in the North, then I support your prediction 100%… but I don’t think there will be two battles in the North. As for the ‘two lackluster seasons” comment, I agree that her arc in season 5 may not be the best she’s had, but I honestly believe that all of the Meereen stuff from Quentyn’s arrival onwards would translate brilliantly to screen. And I don’t really see a problem with a season having it’s best episode early on. In fact I would argue that the season 3 peaked in episode 4 (the RW be considered by most the best scene, yes, but I would argue that as a whole “And Now His Watch Is Ended” was the best episode. That or “Kissed by Fire”). Also, after 6 seasons of episode 9 climaxes I think it would be nice to throw in one season where that pattern is broken.

  • js,

    The problem is that leaving Quentyn till season six and stretching out a feast for dragons would:
    1) Have Doran give his great fire and blood speech halfway through season 5 and reveal Quentyns mission… who then wouldn’t appear till a season later, the arc would stop halfway through the season and the audience would have to wait a year
    2) It would stretch out Dany’s Meereen storyline, which would make Season 5 all doom and gloom for her character and would lose the interest of the show’s audience

    Ser Tahu,

    Again with Dany, that would result in season 5 being doom and gloom. I think they’ll do what they did for Quarth, doom gloom and dead end politics for a season that ends in a victorious boom a.k.a Daznak’s pit. It’s the only way to keep the audience and have a good arc.

    And isn’t the point of Quentyn (and why some people find him likable) is that he’s very Doran, very average and he has a lot of self-doubt about whether Dany would ever like him and… she doesn’t. So I don’t think you could sell it that Quentyn would snatch her off her feet, especially with her falling into the arms of the new super attractive Daario. And if Season 5 only focused on Arianne/Queenmaker as the main plot it’d be weak… considering it just ends in failure and when considering the wider picture, is just an enjoyable red herring.
    Also Sansa needs more plot, and delaying half of the wall’s content would only work if we have 9 seasons.
    I agree with the rest

  • oierem,

    I agree, I thought I was the only one who thought that Jon being elected could happen in 4×10 along with Stannis’ offer

    I mean they probably aren’t going to cast Denys Mallister and Cotter Pyke and have a talking raven just for that event so it need not take a while. And it would be a great way to end Jon’s season 4 story.

  • Ser Tahu,

    The fact that season 3 peaked so early was bad IMO. If there’s no feeling that the plot is leading up to something, or if that something happens two seasons later… I’d rather see Meereen in season 6. As for Dany’s season 5 being “meh”, there is a simple solution: she should have much less screen time that season. It sure would help other characters that are in need of extra scenes.

  • Ser Tahu: Also, after 6 seasons of episode 9 climaxes I think it would be nice to throw in one season where that pattern is broken.

    By the very definition of the term, the climax happens at the end… and every single TV show/book/movie does that, because that’s the most effective way to tell a story.

  • I agree that for season 5 to be a really good season they will have to bring forward lots of the big moments at the end of DWD to be in the Season 5 finale. Storm of Swords had a perfect finale worthy mid-point with the Red Wedding but AFFC and ADWD don’t until the end of DWD. The perfect season 5 finale for me would be –

    Episode 9 –
    Infighting breaks out at Winterfell between the Freys and Manderlys. Theon makes his escape with Jeyne and is reunited with Yara.
    Dany (having married Hizdahr in ep 8) goes to Daznak’s Pit for the reopening of the fighting pits.
    Tyrion arrives in Meereen and is forced to perform and is unknowingly saved by Dany when she orders that lions not be set on him.
    Drogon arrives, Dany flies off on his back.
    Kevan comes to meet with Cersei and tells her if she wants to get out as soon as possible she’ll have to do the walk of shame.

    Episode 10 –
    Cersei’s walk of shame.
    Barristan dealing with the fallout of Dany’s departure, arresting Hizdahr.
    Quentyn failing to steal the dragons.
    The Battle for Winterfell (Bring this forward from TWOW)
    Dany is Drogon’s cave revealing her to be alive
    Final scene is Jon Snow being stabbed.

    Season 6 would start with the battle of Meereen. Depending on how jam-packed TWOW is (hopefully very) will determine whether there is a mid-point of TWOW that could serve as a season finale or if the book finale will be used as the season finale.

  • I think it’s pretty obvious where to end season 5. I love OP’s look at Jon, Cersei and Dany as three parallels who just gained power, so make it poetic and end with these parallels! End with Jon being stabbed, Cersei arrested and Dany flying away on Drogon! There is no better ending, it even fits thematicly. If these events are too soon for others, then other storylines should adjust their timelines to fit these three major events…

  • Interesting article I found myself agreeing with you on a lot of point there, thing is with this kind of thing its very difficult to know exactly how they showrunners will do it as many of the conclusions of these plotlines haven’t been revealed yet, so we cant judge the importance of one character, or a certain event, and so its harder to know what should be in there and what shouldnt.
    Here’s how i think the plotlines should be organised, condencing it down by saying where each plotline should end each season (by the way i agree with D&D that there should be an extended S5 covering most of aFfC and aDwD)
    Jon
    Season 4:Should be his election as LC, heard they were going to do the battle of the wall in episode 9 but still hoping that they will spread it out around several episodes instead, but if they do was thinking they might have the battle in episode 9, then have stannis offer to Jon in episode 10, but i think it would be a better wrap up to have him made LC at the end of this season as it signals the beginning of a new chapter in his storyline.
    Season 5: Jon’s assassination. Think alot of the stuff in his chapters in aDwD could be cut down, and even if they dont its still about enough to put into one season, besides, Stannis plotline wont be able to have enough for two seasons and the ending of that one needs to coincide with the other. Perhaps they could do it in the penultimate episode, and if he’s coming back have the battle itself in the final episode, and him coming back at the final bit of the season, as i think there should be at least a hint that he may come back to unsullied, as it might lead to many abandoning the show (as i almost did with the books when I read it)
    Sansa
    Season 4: ‘Only Cat’ moment, if they’re going to have the PW episode 2 or 3 of this season, they should make it to the eyrie and have LF and Lysa’s marriage mid season, perhaps develop the Lords Declarant plotline in the later season, but still have Lysa around, and then kill her off at the end of the season. I think its such a strong ending that it cant really be overlooked, and like Jons S4 ending, it signals a new chapter in the story for LF and Sansa.
    S5: Difficult to know, there wasnt even a single Sansa chapter in aDwD, so perhaps they might want to create something to feed into wherever this plotline is going, or make it more detailed than it would be in the books. I think Lords Declarant should be early-mid season, perhaps episode 3, 0r 4, if she really is going to marry Harry the Heir introduce that plotline a couple of episodes later and from then on i’m not sure what it should be as thats tWoW territory
    Arya
    S4 ‘Valar Morghulis’ ending with a ship taking her to Braavos, think that this is a logical ending, especially as they look to be keeping her in Westeros with the Hound for much of S4 in the Vale, in Episode 8 or 9 they could have the fight the Hound is wounded in, Arya getting back Needle then in Episode 9 or 10 they could have her abandoning him (they may want to actually kill him off in the show if he has no further role in the books) and her ending in Episode 10 could be when she boards a ship to Braavos.
    S5: The ending of her aDwD arc, with her killing the man with the coin, and then being sent off to Izembaro. They’re is actually a suprising amount in there for the show to work with, so it should probably last a season.
    Bran
    S4 Depends on when they want to introduce Bloodraven, looks like he’s in at leat two episodes this season so Bran meeting him shouldnt be the ending of his arc. Perhaps something like his first trip into the weirnet, or Bloodraven revealing who he is, or something like that?
    S5 Again difficult to know with this one, they may want to push onwards to a post aDwD point which we dont know about yet, or they may want to have him surfing the weirnet most of the season. Either way they’d probably want to borrow a bit from tWoW in the ending, but have most of the season extended aDwD with Bloodraven training Bran.
    Cersei (Not got her own story arc in books till later on so only S5 here)
    S5 Either her imprisonment by the High Sparrow, or her walk of shame (difficult because of Lena Headey’s contracts lack of nudity clause by the looks of things) They’re is plenty material in aFfC and Dance with Cersei in it to take up an entire season, so I guess it depends on whats going on with her after that, I personally feel walk of shame would be best, because then the death of Kevan Lannister would be an awesome way to end the season with Varys suddenly appearing.
    Jaime
    S4- I think much of Jaime’s post PW stuff should be focused on his relationships with is family (His arguments with Tywin and Cersei, and the other stuff with Tommen and Tyrion) and a bit about his stuff with the Kingsguard, maybe a couple of scenes with Loras. This leaves him with plenty of options in terms of season ending, which should be him breaking Tyrion out, by which points the Cersei and KG subplots should be started but in the next season they could come to a head.
    S5- His abduction by the brotherhood might be a good way to end things, that way they could have Brienne’s intro to Lady Stoneheart in the penultimate episode.
    Tyrion
    S4- Killing his father and escaping to Essos
    S5- Joining up with the second sons, whether they decide to include all the stuff with Penny, Nurse and Yezzan, is up to them, but they’d still have enough stuff to fill season without it.
    Brienne
    S4-No idea, bit difficult to tell, perhaps her teaming up with Podrick?
    S5- Have Septon Meribald stuff early season, mid to late season have her kill Rorge or whoever his equivalent is, meet lady stoneheart penultimate episode, then abduct Jaime one after
    Stannis
    – s4 Pretty similar to the wall plotline, have the election of the new LC, but also could have him tell Davos that he is sending him to White Harbour, or they could do that when he is going south in S5
    – S5 The Battle of Ice, keep it secret all season from unsullied, and it could be brilliant, if they think Stannis has been defeated by having Jon receive the Pink Letter in Episode 9, and its just the show trying to save money, and then next episode turns out he is still going, and then (if Stannis does win) have him defeat the Boltons, they may want to leave the aftermath till next season, idk.
    Theon
    S4- Perhaps what happens in the opening chapter of aDwD with Theon, Ramsay telling him he needs him to come with him to Moat Cailin.
    S5-Escapes Winterfell with fake Arya in the third to last episode, then the Battle of Ice in Episode 10, whether he’ll be dead by that point, i dont know
    Sam
    -S4 Him (and possibly Davos too) winning the LC election for Jon.
    -S5 -Arriving at the Citadel
    Danaerys/Meereen
    -S4- After the taking of Meereen which should be about mid season, they’ll have a while to develop the two subplots of Jorah and Daario, and her Dany getting rid of Jorah, and perhaps sleeping with Daario for the first time, would be the best conclusion they have to a seasons story arc.
    S5- Agree with the article that her and Drogon getting out of Meereen would be a great ending.
    S6- Have Battle of Meereen early Season 6, that way they can have the Battle of Ice as well if they put that in S5.
    Dorne
    -S4 Episode 9 should be Oberyn vs Gregor
    -S5 Revealing Doran’s intentions late seasons, then have him send Sand Snakes off in the final episode.
    S6- Arianne sent off to meet with Aegon and Jon Con, early season 6 should also be Quentyn’s death too
    Iron Islands
    S5- Looks as if they wont have the Kingsmoot this season, they should do it early-mid next season, then have Euron send Victarion off to slavers bay (perhaps skipping shield islands) maybe have a couple of scens with Euron to make it obvious to the viewer he is attacking the Reach, and end Victarions season by having them fish it out Moqorro and Victarion begins following R’hllor
    S6- Attack on Oldtown (if there will be one)
    Aegon
    -Introduced early to mid S5, revealed mid S5, invasion of Westeros late season ending with taking of Griffins Roost and planning the attack on Storms End

  • GreatJon of Slumber:
    Appreciate it. Thanks v much. Hope the debate keeps going (Ser Tahu hasn’t even shown up yet)

    Lol, I just started reading through the (many) posts, and I was starting to wonder if anyone would say “in b4 Ser Tahu” :P. I live in Australia so WiC posts usually come out while I sleep. In this case it got posted literally minutes after I fell asleep so you all had roughly a 9 hour head start.

    jentario,
    I’m going to weigh in here. The characters that I think will be cast:
    Italics means that I think that there is only a chance of seeing them
    Bold means I think they are vital
    Normal means not vital but I think we will see them.

    Season 4 (there is time left for some more characters to be cast):
    Euron
    Aeron (but not necessarily in S4)

    Season 5:
    Victarion
    Bowen Marsh (although there is the theory that his role could be give to Alliser, with Locke replacing Alliser in the scheming)
    Cotter Pyke (he could also end up being a window into Hardhome if they want to show it)
    Wyman Manderly
    Arianne Martell
    Doran Martell
    The Kindly Man
    Quentyn Martell
    Nymeria Sand (combined with Obara)
    Areo Hotah
    Arys Oakheart
    Gerold Dayne
    Randyll Tarly
    Aegon ‘Targaryen’
    Jon Connington
    The Tattered Prince (unfortunately it looks like he will be combined with Brown Ben)
    Septon Meribald (combined with the Elder Brother. I’m going to be honest, I forgot that they were separate characters in the books anyway :P)
    High Sparrow
    Wex (or show equivalent)
    Nestor Royce
    Tyene Sand
    Brusco
    Archibald Yronwood (I think that he will take the role of Cletus Yronwood, though, and die in the stepstones to add drama)
    Gerris Drinkwater
    Barbrey Dustin
    Septa Lemore
    Xhondo
    Val (I am resigned to the fact that we won’t see her this season)
    Harry Strickland
    Lyn Corbray
    Denys Mallister (as an extra)
    Tristifer Botley (combined with Qarl, so that YarAsha has someone to interact with)
    Hyle Hunt
    Skahaz mo Kandaq (If they don’t introduce him I think they will have Grey Worm take his place in the plotting. But if that happens Grey Worm can’t eat the locusts, in which case I hope they will bring back Kovarro)
    Harys Swift (because I find Cersei naming Mace her hand very unlikely)
    Haldon Halfmaester (I would prefer him to Lemore, but Lemore provides nudity so she is sure to get in).

    Season 6:
    Alys Karstark
    Archmaester Marwyn
    Harry Hardyng (assuming he shows up in the first section of TWoW)

    Cregan Karstark
    Balon Swann
    Moqorro
    Izembaro (assuming Arya doesn’t suddenly run away before meeting him)
    Sarella Sand/Alleras
    Pate (only to be instantly killed off and have his identity assumed by Jaqen)
    Arnolf Karstark (just so Stannis has someone to execute :P)
    One of Mance’s girls (the rest as extras)
    Septa Unella (all three in one character)
    Elia Sand

    Notable cuts:
    Reznak
    Penny
    All of the Yunkish Nobles (I actually want them to bring back the Yunkish noble from season 3 to enslave Tyrion)
    Taena Merryweather
    The Kettleblacks
    4-5 of the Sand Snakes (have Sarella in Oldtown, Nymeria/Obara hybrid accompany Balon Swann in the hunt for the Darkstar, Ellaria go to King’s Landing instead of Nymeria, Tyene go to King’s Landing and cast Elia Sand to accompany Arianne in meeting Aegon if she ends up being important).
    The Widow
    The Green Grace
    Aurane Waters
    Donal Noye
    The Waif
    Nimble Dick
    The Waif

    Overall I can see season 5 being on par with season 2, while season 6 could be a contender for best season (depending on the TWoW material)

    EDIT:

    jentario:
    Ser Tahu,
    As for Dany’s season 5 being “meh”, there is a simple solution: she should have much less screen time that season. It sure would help other characters that are in need of extra scenes.

    This^ I just didn’t bother mentioning it. Agreed.

  • Ser Tahu: My reasoning for Pyp replacing Daeron:
    1) he is an already known character
    2) in season 1 it was established that he could sing
    3) in his ‘life is unfair’ rant he mentions that he got sent to the Wall because “A Lord tried to touch my cock” and that as a result “I will never get to touch a woman again”.
    I always took those last two to be D&D leaving open the option of Pyp replacing Daeron.

    It’s not a bad way to use that character, Ser Tahu. It would work relatively well and conforms to the need to keep tertiary characters to a minimum.

    For those who see Jaqen in Braavos as impossible, I get that point. I was also again thinking of economy of character, for one, and that Oldtown really probably doesn’t need to come into play until the beginning of Season 6, and Jaqen can easily leave Braavos in the middle of Season 5 and say he has something to do.

  • Great post, GJ of S.

    I like the Martell storyline but I think it suffers from a lack of narrative focus in the books. Their “reason for being” is vengeance and I think it needs to be presented in a tighter, more condensed way.

    The show can easily eliminate a few characters – 3 Sand Snakes rather than 8, push Hotah to the background, drop most of Arianne’s playmates. Perhaps then Quentyn’s role can capture more interest (particularly if a large portion of his travels are eliminated). Not sure what to do with Arianne’s attempt to “crown” Myrcella.

    I think that the Greyjoy storyline suffers from the same lack of narrative focus. Keep the brothers and lose the zillions of banner men and side stories.

    The Martells and the Greyjoys will play a role as game-changers. If their story lines are focused/condensed, I think it will be memorable.

  • I very much liked this discussion, but the point that got me the most was the discussion of what to do with Bronn’s character.

    Option 4, having Bronn take the place of Ilyn Payne on the road with Jaime? This would make me so very happy. Nicolaj Coster-Waldau is a fantastic actor, who could very much carry his weight in scenes interacting with a mute. However, interactions with Jerome Flynn as Bronn would be far more interesting. The Jaime and Bronn both are highly skilled killers, whose paths have had diametrically opposite trajectories. Jaime started at the top, and has been falling ever since his capture by Robb, while Bronn started at the bottom, and has worked his way up to prominence through fortune and ruthlessness.

    I truly hope D&D go with this plan. It would be amazing.

  • Ser Tahu,

    jentario,

    Those lists look pretty good to me too.
    Just so difficult for me to really hone in on Meereen and its cast of characters though. I think they may need more supporting cast for Dany depending on which arcs they choose to highlight. Reznak could be out, but the Shavepate should be in and my suspicion is the Green Grace could make the cut too… but who knows! XD

    Some names I did not see on either of your lists that I would love to see cast are Genna Lannister and Emmon Frey. I loved the conversations between Jaime and his aunt! I would miss her. Likewise for Daven Lannister I guess. I’m not sure which sub-plots D&D will focus on or how many characters Jaime will need in his supporting cast during his time in the Riverlands, but I would miss all 3.

    A few months back I had a thought and wondered if after Kevan refuses to be hand if Cersei could name Daven as hand instead of the Warden of the North. Hands have been sent out to lay siege or lead armies before. Mostly, I admit I was just trying to find a spot for Daven on the show! XD

    In Brienne’s arc I can understand the desire to combine Elder Brother and Septon Meribald, but to me they are so completely different. I’m not sure they are both needed though. I can see Meribald cut with the guiding duties taken by Hyle Hunt maybe. Elder Brother I do not see being cut. I would love to see the Mad Mouse here too, but I am resigned to him not be cast in all likelihood.

    The last arc I can see a couple more roles cast is with Arianne. While I do not think she will get or needs the handful of friends from the books, I do think at least one will be cast. Whether they want a female she can confide in and Spotted Sylva shows up, or they decide to actually show the Rhoynar and cast Garin. Of course “cast” in this case could mean portrayed by features extras.

    No matter how much they cut there will still be 15+ cast roles each of the next couple years. I know some people just do not see it, but with the story expanding the regions need their players!

  • Given the way they have mauled and dumbed down the story, I would say it still is an impossible task

  • Thx to everyone who clarified the septon situation for me.

    Another stray thought; on the show they presumably could bring Jaqen (ie; Tom W) back as The Alchemist if they wanted to. That could actually work nicely – well I think so anyway ;)

  • I don’t think we’ll have Penny. PW is already shot and if there was a dwarf woman on set, it’d leak out for sure.
    That’s a pity, her involvement was quite important for Tyrion’s character development.

  • Don’t get me wrong I loved her speech too, I Love the Kingsmoot and the Greyjoys but:

    – D&D gave her that awesome scene at the end of the season that I believe it would just be redundant and poor planning to just have her change course to back home.
    – Although Ramsey taunting Yarasha would be awesome I don’t believe Balon’s death would cause her to abandon Theon who is right at her fingertips. Plus she kind of left on Bad terms with her father.
    – I also don’t believe she would even make it back in time by the time she finds out, Euron would probably make himself King unopposed which unfortunately would mean Damphair would be cut out, or the Kingsmoot would happen- like I stated earlier- and Damphair backs up Vic and they lose

  • I’m gonna’ go out on a limb and say that the fifth season of GoT is going to be an extended season, with 12-13 episodes. I think this might be the case for a couple of reasons:

    1. AFfC & ADwD simply don’t merit two seasons of television. Quite a few of the individual story lines simply can’t maintain any sense of narrative momentum if things get dragged out like that.

    2. We’re already getting some material from those books in season four, and we even had a little in season three (with Theon, though chronologically, it was correct), so they’ve already started to account for how labyrinthine the plot becomes in the two latest books.

    3. True Blood – HBO’s other big ratings hit – is ending next year. Unless some major progress is made with American Gods, I could see HBO moving GoT into the time slot that True Blood currently has. During the summer the show would face a lot less competition.

    Since every episode takes ~18 days to shoot, that would allow for the production of an additional two to three episodes. I don’t think you can fit everything you’d need to from AFfC & ADwD into ten episodes, but twelve or thirteen could work, and they’d have one heck of an exciting season on their hands. I have to imagine that it would end with the battle of Meereen, though, and not with Dany riding off on Drogon. I don’t think a whole lot of material from The Winds of Winter will be brought up, but I think we would definitely have to see this battle to close out the season. It would simply be bad pacing to delay it to the beginning of the sixth season (or the sixth book, for that matter…). The northern stuff can end with Jon getting Caesar’d, and a lot of the other ending points in the above article can be maintained, as well.

    I imagine this would be something we would only see with the fifth season, though, as after that point, they would go back to 10 episodes per season, as a simple matter of logistics. If anything, I imagine that the last season may (also) be an extended one, but I think this may be something they are considering. Because two seasons for the two latest books isn’t really an option if they want to maintain any kind of momentum they’ve built up over the past three (soon to be four) seasons. I’m not saying they couldn’t have a ‘slower’ season, but when things begin to drag too much, the audience starts to lose interest and become disengaged with what’s happening. That is not a good thing.

    I also don’t think it will be possible to tell the stories told within those two books in just ten episodes, either. Which is why a slightly extended season could be a happy medium.

  • Despite Lena’s clause, the actress pretty much confirmed she will be doing the walk of shame. She has nothing against nudity per se (as she has done nude scenes before) she just feels that the nudity in that instant (and only that instant) would be shocking. An example of using nudity in a good way. Its going to be an amazing scene. Emmy noms for Lena!

  • Darquemode,

    Yep. It’s crazy. It may even be over 20 per season, dpending on how D&D choose to adapt it. I just hope they don’t cut any major stories (ie. not expanding Dorne or the Iron Islands).

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    If this happens, I hope the season will have a mid-term break after episode 7 or so and pick up again after a month or two. Then season 6 could begin a year and a half later in winter and GRRM at least has the time to finish TWOW and begin getting well into ADOS before the show catches up. Also, winter seasons will fit well with the winter theme.

    But to be honest, I doubt this will happen until the last season. D&D have already said before that they barely have enough time to do 10 episodes. And shooting is not the only issue, there’s editing which we know next to nothing about.

  • dragonreborn,

    Dwarfs are pretty much confirmed to be in the PW (there was some sort of casting confirmation for little people and GRRM had a comment of there being “halftime entertainment” in the wedding). Also, she has a helmet in her act so while an actual Penny was likely not cast yet, she doesn’t need to be cast this early.

  • Ser Tahu: My reasoning for Pyp replacing Daeron:
    1) he is an already known character
    2) in season 1 it was established that he could sing
    3) in his ‘life is unfair’ rant he mentions that he got sent to the Wall because “A Lord tried to touch my cock” and that as a result “I will never get to touch a woman again”.
    I always took those last two to be D&D leaving open the option of Pyp replacing Daeron. My other (admittedly much more far-fetched) Night’s Watch character swap theory is that Grenn will die fighting a giant, going out like a badass (replacing Donal Noye in that respect), as it would raise the stake of the siege of the Wall. If that happens, it would give Pyp more of a reason for becoming bitter and jaded with the Watch. It also would remove, or simplify the whole “I have to send away my friends so I won’t have to sit in judgement over them” thing from Jon’s storyline which, although important for his character development, could help streamline the plot a bit. Or they could just cast Daeron :P.

    I can’t see them replacing Dareon with Pyp, because these characters are so different. Even Pyp’s “rant” wasn’t much of a rant. And Arya killing Dareon worked partly because he was being insufferable at that moment, and because he was an ambivalent character to begin with (he claimed he hadn’t raped the girl who blamed him, but we only have his word for it, etc). Arya killing Pyp is maybe two steps above her killing Hodor.

    I’m afraid we’ll also have to consider that Sam maybe doesn’t go to Oldtown at all – or will be send away to get Gilly and the child – whether it’s Mance’s or her own – to the South and not to learn how to be a Maester. They could still do some Citadel stuff by having Arya become apprenticed to “Pate” there – people who want her to reunite with Jaqen would be pleased, and we’ll see whatever conspiracy unfolds there, and might even get Sarella out of it.

    Either way, they might drop any Dareon-like character entirely, it’s the easiest person to cut out of that storyline by far.

  • mariamb: The show can easily eliminate a few characters – 3 Sand Snakes rather than 8, push Hotah to the background, drop most of Arianne’s playmates. Perhaps then Quentyn’s role can capture more interest (particularly if a large portion of his travels are eliminated). Not sure what to do with Arianne’s attempt to “crown” Myrcella.

    I think that the Greyjoy storyline suffers from the same lack of narrative focus. Keep the brothers and lose the zillions of banner men and side stories.

    The Martells and the Greyjoys will play a role as game-changers. If their story lines are focused/condensed, I think it will be memorable.

    These are good points. And I think they will focus them, too. If you intro them early in Season 5, much in the way they’re presented – the tough Obara and the somewhat more conciliatory but no less hot Nym and Tyene (probably as one character), and you limit the real parts that matter in Dorne to: 2 Sand Snakes, Arianne, Doran, Darkstar and perhaps Quentyn – I like the idea of him as a tragic figure – you can begin with them, with Arianne taking Myrcella to be crowned, have her imprisoned, and then end perhaps Season 5 Ep 4 with Doran’s great “Vengeance” speech, where we get a good look at the whole family, it would work.

    Greyjoys similarly need to be chopped to just the uncles – be it 2 or 3 of them. Side players all have to go.

  • I’m late to the party but I disagree with the majority of points made in this article.

    Why would HBO rush through money-making, guaranteed good, intricate, interesting plot lines just to squeeze it into 7 or 8 seasons? For gods sake, look at how they’ve milked TrueBlood for every dime they can get out if it. There is simply too much good material in these books to try to force AFFC and ADWD into one season.

    I’m pretty sure we can all agree that Tyrion killing shae and Tywin will be s4e9. Then they’ll sprinkle in a touch of AFFC and ADWD in ep10. So if that’s the case, they could easily find many different ways to have a action packed penultimate episode in season 5 with material from the middle of each of those books.

    I personally see AFFC and ADWD wrapping up in season 6. If they speed it up a bit, maybe the simultaneous upcoming battles of meereen and winterfell ending the season. But they would be foolish to go any faster than that. I see game of thrones ideally being a 9 season series. With TWOW and ADOS predicted to be giant books in their own right, those 2 will probably need 3 seasons to be adapted properly.

    Will they cut characters? Yes no doubt
    Will certain plots be adjusted because of that lack of characters? Of course
    But will they eliminate entire story lines just to rush along? Hell no

    Hbo is not stupid. Yes, integrity of a series is important. Breaking bad proved that. Lost, in the opposite way, proved that as well. But both of those shows didn’t have Grade A source material to pull from. As long as hbo pays the actors, no one will have a reason to change course. We, as fans, should be upset if they decide to condense the show too much. Asoiaf deserves better, GRRM deserves better.

  • sndwurks,

    Yes, Jaime and Bronn really seems like a great way to go. Again, it fulfills the “throw 2 random people together and see what happens” aspect that gave us the Davos/Gendry stuff, the Arya/Melisandre standoff, all of the Varys/Tyrion/Bronn conversations, and the Thoros/Beric/Melisandre chat.

    Darquemode: Some names I did not see on either of your lists that I would love to see cast are Genna Lannister and Emmon Frey. I loved the conversations between Jaime and his aunt!

    agreed! That’s another great speech by anotherwise minor character. “But Tywin’s son is Tyrion.”

    Darquemode: In Brienne’s arc I can understand the desire to combine Elder Brother and Septon Meribald, but to me they are so completely different

    Interesting. To me, they share a lot of characteristics. They’re both essentially kind, humble men who saw the horrors of war and tried to get away from it, and both impart wisdom to Brienne in this subject. And if you combine them, say, making Meribald a man who travels the Riverlands for a number of months, and then returns to the Quiet Isle as Elder Brother, you reduce needed characters, you give him about 3 episodes in total, and he becomes one of those memorable people on GoT that have gotten just a short time but made a great impression – like Yoren, Craster or Kraznys.

    Meanwhile, we’re up to 200 comments! Awesome!

  • Joshua Atreides:
    Despite Lena’s clause, the actress pretty much confirmed she will be doing the walk of shame. She has nothing against nudity per se (as she has done nude scenes before) she just feels that the nudity in that instant (and only that instant) would be shocking. An example of using nudity in a good way. Its going to be an amazing scene. Emmy noms for Lena!

    That bit in the main post threw me. Where was it confirmed Lena has a no-nudity clause?

    I’m very much in agreement with Headey’s take on the matter. Cersei is so guarded. Later events wouldn’t work as well if she was regularly paraded as a sexpot queen. I hope this means they nix her loveless lady-loving as well. That just struck me as filler through and through.

  • Doran’s great “Vengeance” speech, where we get a good look at the whole family, it would work.

    Yes, and now imagine Doran portrayed by Danny Trejo in that scene……

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    Both are certainly congenial, but I always pictured Elder Brother as a well-put-together ex-warrior type and Meribald as showing his age and stooped.

    I guess to me Quiet Isle and Elder Brother have an isolated (by self choice)and repentant feeling to them and Meribald is very much about getting out there to everyone., social.

    For me if the characters are combined the Quiet Isle and Elder Brother loose most of their mystique.

  • Summer islander,

    Just because you want / think it should be 8 seasons doesn’t mean that anyone doing this sort of exercise should plan for it to be more than 8 seasons. There is absolutely no evidence out there to support that HBO / D&D have the desire to extend the show for that long.

    Also pushing Feast/Dance over 2 seasons makes for some very bad TV. Brienne wandering for 2 seasons. Bran over 2 seasons… ick… What would Sansa do? Theon? Arya? There are maybe only 3 characters where this benefits. Dany, Jon, Tyrion. Everyone else it is a chore that would make for bad TV.

    And it isn’t just trying to create enough story for these characters… it would then also be trying to find a season 5 finale for all of these characters… it just isnt’ reasonable. And again would make for bad TV. And if integrity is important… Then they are going to stick to 8 seasons… or the show will begin a downward spiral after S5 and probably never make it back. (most shows once they go into decline never recover, and with this shows budget you can’t go into decline too early… else the chances of the show being cancelled rise)

    The choice is clear on what should be done. And the sooner that people learn to accept it… the better.

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    I love this idea. Allows for GoT to have the shooting schedule to do 12-13 episodes. And like you said from a pacing perspective allows the show expand for 1 season. With all of the additional storylines that are in these 2 books, it makes sense. And seeing as how these story arcs seem to be merging by the end of the book it doesn’t create an issue going back to 10 episodes the following year.

    Also the story doesn’t have to be butchered nearly as much. More fans should champion this idea.

  • jentario: Ser Tahu, The fact that season 3 peaked so early was bad IMO. If there’s no feeling that the plot is leading up to something, or if that something happens two seasons later… I’d rather see Meereen in season 6. As for Dany’s season 5 being “meh”, there is a simple solution: she should have much less screen time that season. It sure would help other characters that are in need of extra scenes.

    There is a 0% chance that Dany will be getting less screen time in season 5 (or any season for that matter). Not only is Dany one of the 3 most important characters in the story (along with Jon and Tyrion) but she is arguably the most popular character on the show, not to mention Emilia being one of the breakout stars of the series.

    As far as new charcters that need to be introduced in season 5 I am surprised that not many people have mentioned Mya Stone or Myranda Royce. I doubt they will cast both but i think one is needed in order to give Sansa a “friend” in the Vale (much like Shae was for her in KL)

  • ShadowStalker,
    That’s your opinion.

    IMO the optimal thing to do is to spread it roughly across a season and a half, and padding season 6 out with TWOW material getting ever arc to an appropriate end. Every climax from AFFC will happen in season 5, and I suggested an on-screen Hardhome adaption for an episode 9, and then everything that should have been in ADWD but was pushed forward by GRRM (the Battle of Meereen, Arianne treating with Aegon and more) would also make it in alongside full-on TWOW material for characters like Jamie/Brienne, Sansa, Cersei (probably until the trial) and Sam. The beginning of TWOW is bound to be huge across most characters, and using that would make season 6 satisfying while not rushing two long books in just one season. Jon’s story, for instance, would end in season 6 like it ended in ADWD (the stabbing), meanwhile Sansa will be knee deep in TWOW material.

    Trying to shove ADWD and AFFC into one season would risk losing the very things that made those books worthwhile, and we’d definitely be constantly and aimlessly jumping around. I think trying to adapt those books in one season will hurt the series much more than taking the time with them, especially since the series can hail a lot of changes to spice things up (Hardhome, for instance).

    The only issue that arises with the 1.5 seasons frame is that the timelines will get screwed up, but that can be fixed by increasing or decreasing travel times, having characters disappear for a number of episodes and some basic changes that write around these obstacles. All D&D need to make a compelling season and a half out of these books is to be creative. 2 seasons won’t work because ADWD lacks a climax and because some characters have just enough scenes for one season (or less- see Bran). But with sufficient help from TWOW, seasons 5 & 6 can turn out to be fantastic without rushing anything and without cutting any major plotlines (which would undoubtedly happen if the book were to be adapted into one season).

  • We do not Hodor,

    True, but that could easily be a season 6/7 casting. Neither have done anything important yet and the show is known to push characters forward when they have an abundance of new castings (the Reeds come to mind). As stated before, we’re looking at at least 15 new castings in season 5 and just as much in season 6.

  • WompWomp,

    Lena doesn’t have a no nudity clause. She gave an interview that said Cersei has never been shown naked because she’s always been in control, and she’d have a nude scene this season where she’s completely vulnerable (probably the sex scene next to Joffrey’s body)

    Also she’s most known for 300 and she has a topless scene in that

  • We do not Hodor: There is a 0% chance that Dany will be getting less screen time in season 5 (or any season for that matter).Not only is Dany one of the 3 most important characters in the story (along with Jon and Tyrion) but she is arguably the most popular character on the show, not to mention Emilia being one of the breakout stars of the series.

    As far as new charcters that need to be introduced in season 5 I am surprised that not many people have mentioned Mya Stone or Myranda Royce.I doubt they will cast both but i think one is needed in order to give Sansa a “friend” in the Vale (much like Shae was for her in KL)

    I agree that there is no way Dany will get less screentime – nor Tyrion, for that matter. And Jon fortunately does have enough storyline and supporting cast to last him for a couple of seasons.

    I feel these types of speculation posts usually tend to emphasize specific characters who change depending on which site you are, and since on wicnet it is usually not Sansa, people leave speculation on her a bit aside. I agree that we’ll get one of the two, and I’m not sure if they’d really cast Mya, since they’ve gone to quite some length to make Gendry look like Robert’s last child. Now, they’ve never stated it outright, so Mya is not completely out of the question, but I’m leaning to Myranda being more likely, perhaps with a personality – and possibly background – that is a little more like Mya’s.

    In addition, I also think we’ll actually see Harry, and pretty early at that – I’d expect him to appear in Season 5, and Sansa to at least have some interaction with him.

  • Jentario,

    Saying that all of the AFFC climaxes for S5 and then having all of the Dance/Winds climaxes sounds great but it isn’t really doable. As they have to inter weave both books into one season. I am not really saying that the 2 books will only be 1 season… More like that it will mostly be contained within 1 season. With parts of storylines bleeding into S4 and S6.

    For instance – Dany will probably begin some Dance material this season and perhaps the beginning of S6 will have her in the Dothraki Sea.

    Bran – will start his Dance Material this season. Ending next year.
    Brienne – will go on the road and begin her Feast material this season as well. Ending next year.
    Arya – I can imagine her arriving in Braavos this year and her training in S5
    Jon – Becomes LC Ep 10 this year and is Ceasared in S5.
    Cersei – Walk of Shame beginning of S6 maybe… or end of S5.
    Tyrion – He is the hard one. And probably has the most cut from his arc… Or maybe they rework it a bit and he joins Dany’s group a bit differently.
    Sam – Maybe he doesn’t go to Braavos?
    Sansa – Bleed some of Feast into this Season with her arc from Feast Ending S5.
    Stannis – Ep 9 this year. Battle at the Wall. Leaving S5 for him to go to Winterfell. Early S6 have the Battle of Ice.

    I think it can work this way. Allowing more of S6 to focus more on material from Winds. Which can bleed into S7.

    Regarding more material for an on screen Hardhome add on… I don’t like. There so much from the books that gets cut. I would rather find ways to use what is there than create new material.

  • Season four predictions…

    1. More Dany than season three (no brainer)
    2. More KL than season three = Cersei, Tyrion, Tyrell’s and Sansa (ditto)
    3. More Jon (better)
    4. More Stannis, Mel and Davos (hopefully, the more, the happier I shall be)
    5. Less Arya (unfortunately)
    6. Less Theon (yes)
    7. Bran and Sam arcs equal to season three
    8. Less Brienne (post KL)
    9. More Asha/Yara (this is a given)

    I don’t believe D&D will introduce the magical horn plot for Iron Isles, to fantastical of an element, they will want to concentrate on Targ blood being the center flux of dragon power, not some mystical horn. Furthermore I lean towards the merging of Euron and Victarion, and that he journeys to Slaver’s Bay with the primary purpose of marrying Dany and providing a fleet. Of course this is pushed to season five.

  • ShadowStalker,

    What about Dorne and the Iron Islands? There just isn’t enough time to capture all of it in one season. Some material could and should last significantly more than one season (Tyrion’s arc, for instance- there’s no way he’ll get across the world in one season). I think that taking our time with the books (as much as humanly possible with such bloated, filler-filled monstrosities- which I love btw) will yield better results than rushing through them while cutting a lot of potentially good scenes, and being left with no source material to work on.

    1.5 seasons would still make for compelling TV IMO.

  • Concerning Arya, if GRRM’s grand plan for her is to travel to Westeros and not Slaver’s Bay, then I can envision D&D heading her to Oldtown and JH for training.
    This bypasses a slew of minor characters, whole new sets and location filming, plus Bruges is the perfect stand-in for Oldtown. All Arya does is train in Bravvos, so why not with JH in the former, since Sam ends up there anyway.
    For Titan fans, have it relocated to the Oldtown harbor mouth and still have the Maester’s citadel. That would make for awesome CGI shots.
    I foresee a tightening of the plot, reduction of locales, slimming up of arcs and fine tuning so series only goes to 8 seasons, with either season 6 or 8 split into two parts. Since the cast is signed for six, it would be smart accounting to make a 20 episode sixth split into two halves. This way they only need to sign the cast for two additional seasons.
    This gives GRRM some extra breathing room to finish book seven.

  • Jentario,

    And my layout does spread out it over 1 1/2 seasons more or less. Just pushing more of it into this upcoming season for some characters. And into S6 for others. And for Dany… actually over S4 to beginning of S6. And for other characters the arc is only 1 season long.

    Dorne being one complete plot consisting of 2 parts that would cover 1/2 a season each.
    1st part being the Arianne/Doran arc…. that reveals that Quentyn is sent to Dany around Episode 6. Showing Quentyn arrive in Mereen in Episode 7 cutting his entire journey up until that point. Then have Quentyn become a marshmallow in S6 Episode 3 or 4.

    Iron Islands is a cluster that can / will be condensed. I really have no idea what they are doing with it… considering how S3 ended with Yara…

    And I really like what Khal A Bunga mentioned as an idea for S5 only. Making it into 12-13 episodes long. Moving the show to the Summer Time slot that True Blood now occupies, which will be vacant for S5. Giving the show time to film those 2-3 extra episodes. Time enough then to fit more of Feast-Dance in and give proper arcs/climaxes.

  • Why not just focus on season 4? We can make predictions all we want about season 5 and season 6, but it all depends on what will happen in season 4. For example, we all thought that Jon’s arc would end with the battle of castle black in season 3, this was not the case at all. His story was delayed and stressed. It ended much earlier in the story of the books than we first thought. Same is for season 4, will the lord commander plotline be in season 4? Will Stannis arive at episode 9 or much earlier on at Castle Black? (we can asume it is much earlier because Stannis needs to do stuff this season and the Unsullied already know that Stannis is going to the Wall and for them that means Jon Snow, but still we cannot know what they have planned for us). Same thing for example how quick does the Tyrion plot go in season 4, will it end with him killing his father, will it end with him meeting up with Young Griff? This small changes can mean a big change for the upcoming seasons. Especially with the stories of the following characters: Jon, Tyrion, Cercei, Danny and Davos are some major players for season 4 that will decide the progression of season 5 and 6.

    Jon: What will be in season 4: Janos and Thorne accusing him of being a traitor and the big battle at the wall, we know this will be season 4. The big question her is, when will Stannis arive and when will he be chosen as Lord Commander. If Stannis arives in episode 9 and not sooner or Jon will not be named Lord Commander in season 4, that means that his DWD plot cannot be ended in 1 season. This mean that the stabbing will certainly be season 6. Same goes for Stannis, the battle in the Ice will be season 6.
    Tyrion: We know that season 4 will contain the trial and him killing his father. If this is the ending of season 4 we will know for certain that his DWD arc will be seperated in 2 seasons. Season 5 will contain his bond with young griff, this is an important arc in the series, who is young griff, that will be revealed at the end of season 5 (Which I think young griff will set sail towards westeros, he sends a letter to Varys and we have the epilogue of DWD) and season 5 can end for Tyrion by being captured by Jorah or the slavers. Season 6 can contain the rest of his DWD journey and end in the big battle of Mereen.
    Danny: Her journey is tight a little with Tyrion but not completely. Still we can have Tyrion and the big battle of Mereen in season 6. But that doesn’t mean that Danny is needed at all in Mereen in season 6, we still have ser Barristan for that. But still this depends how they will handle Quentyn’s story in season 5, we already know that he will not be seen in season 4. But that later. My guess about Danny’s arc in season 4 will be a little bit different that that of season 3, and a little bit less. It will contain the taking of Mereen. Some personal stuff about her father and family. Her finding out about Jorah’s betrayal. And the lock up of her dragons. That means that season 5 can be all about the wedding, the attacks of the Unsulied. The beginning of the big schemes that are being played at Mereen. And this season will focus on everyone going to Danny. At the end she will decide to married Hizdahr. Season 6 can contain the fighting pit scene but this all depends on a character of Quentyn.
    Quentyn: He certainly will be in the show. But how? My guess is the following. Season 5 begins with him being in Volantis we already know that he is going toward Danny. This can all be in one episode and 1 or 2 short scenes. The end of the episode he leaves with the Yunkaii ship toward Yunkaii, the viewers already know their plan. Around episode 4 they arive at Astapor and are send to Mereen. Around episode 7 he will arrive in Mereen and Danny shows him the dragons. 3 episodes where they can establish the character of Quentyn. This can be even split into 4 or 5 episodes. And still they don’t have to delay Danny’s storyline which can end with her being married to Hizdahr.
    Cercei: As we look at season 3 we know her “hate” against Margerey is already establish, that means that we can asume that her FfC storyline will come to an end in season 5. If you look at it, this makes sense. Season 5 will be the season that leads to her downfall and losing everything.
    Davos: His journey has a big impact on the battle of the Ice. He first needs to meet up with Manderly before Manderly can ride towards Winterfell.

    This means that we first need to wait what season 4 brings, which set-ups will be placed in season 4, in what fashion are they planted by the writers, this makes a huge deal how they will unfold in season 5 and beyond.

    The only thing that I have learned watching season 3 is that the story progress much slower than most Sullied though before the season started.

  • I think a lot of people are going to be seriously, seriously disappointed with the next few seasons. The series to this point has been amazingly faithful to the series, hitting every major plot line in the books. I just don’t see them doing that for Books 4 and 5, they are just too meandering and so much just comes across as useless filler. I could see a LOT of the Cersei/Maegaery plot line being accelerated into season 4. I think there will be wholesale changes and deletions from Books 4 and 5. They will hit the VERY MAJOR plot points in the book but much will be completely cut. I think to be honest they will be completely done with books 4 and 5 by the end of season 5 of the show.

  • I am looking forward to alterations from the source material. And better (please have mercy) writing. And direction. Keep the great acting and bring back Mero and his whore. ;)

    Ta dah

  • Johnny SD:
    I think a lot of people are going to be seriously, seriously disappointed with the next few seasons. The series to this point has been amazingly faithful to the series, hitting every major plot line in the books. I just don’t see them doing that for Books 4 and 5, they are just too meandering and so much just comes across as useless filler. I could see a LOT of the Cersei/Maegaery plot line being accelerated into season 4. I think there will be wholesale changes and deletions from Books 4 and 5. They will hit the VERY MAJOR plot points in the book but much will be completely cut. I think to be honest they will be completely done with books 4 and 5 by the end of season 5 of the show.

    I suspect you’re right that book fans may be disappointed, and that may be yet another reason for GRRM’s “mine/theirs” quote post-meeting in Arizona. D&D’s confidence in their own creation will rise as the later books’ flaws loom large in comparison to the first three books’. If their changes received support from critics and fans, there will be no stopping them, since they want the show to be successful more than they want to stay true to the original material if they must choose. Very understandable.

  • Jentario:
    ShadowStalker,

    (Tyrion’s arc, for instance- there’s no way he’ll get across the world in one season).

    Why wouldn’t he? Why isn’t a whole season with 10 episodes enough to bring Tyrion to Meereen?

    Plenty of time, if you ask me.

  • House de Laguna:
    – Although Ramsey taunting Yarasha would be awesome I don’t believe Balon’s death would cause her to abandon Theon who is right at her fingertips. Plus she kind of left on Bad terms with her father.
    – I also don’t believe she would even make it back in time by the time she finds out, Euron would probably make himself King unopposed which unfortunately would mean Damphair would be cut out, or the Kingsmoot would happen- like I stated earlier- and Damphair backs up Vic and they lose

    I didn’t mean to imply that the taunting is why she would turn back. I think she will turn back because the Bolton forces will crush her completely and she will be forced to retreat with her tail between her legs :P. I just think taunting would be a nice way for her to find out about Balon’s death. And why would Euron crowning himself unopposed mean that Aeron is cut? That’s what happened in the books. Euron crowned himself just after Balon’s death and drowned a Lord who opposed him. Aeron went of to pray and decided that a Godless man can’t sit the throne and that the Iron Isles should choose their king in a kingsmoot.

    Khal-A-Bunga,
    I never really considered GoT moving to the True Blood slot and having an extended season before. It is definitely a possibility, however I do think HBO’s current plan is to have American Gods replace TB. They do seem to have some similarities in terms of the setting. I personally think AG will get a pilot order before the year is out, and will quickly get the season pickup around the end of GoT S4/start of TB S7

    Summer islander:
    I’m pretty sure we can all agree that Tyrion killing shae and Tywin will be s4e9.

    We can’t all agree with that, because it has essentially be confirmed that S4e9 will be mostly at the Wall with the siege, and will therefore likely end with chants of “STANNIS!”. Tyrion killing Shae/Tywin will almost certainly be in the finale, just like in the books.

    I do agree that 9 seasons would be ideal, and I think it all hinges on ADoS. It seems very likely that, assuming S6 is a mix of ADwD and TWoW, that S7 will consist solely of the rest of TWoW. ADoS, although action packed, will likely be a very fast paced book, so I can actually see it being fit into one epic final season. However, I can just as easily see them split it down the middle and split it into two seasons. If my predictions for ADoS are correct, the first half of the book will be mostly about the second Dance of the Dragons, while the North gets destroyed by the Others. The second half would be where the Others reach the south and the final battles against them occur. If my theory is correct it would be a very natural split down the middle.

    tysnow:
    Season four predictions…
    1. More Dany than season three (no brainer)
    2. More KL than season three = Cersei, Tyrion, Tyrell’s and Sansa (ditto)
    3. More Jon (better)
    4. More Stannis, Mel and Davos (hopefully, the more, the happier I shall be)
    5. Less Arya (unfortunately)
    6. Less Theon (yes)
    7. Bran and Sam arcs equal to season three
    8. Less Brienne (post KL)
    9. More Asha/Yara (this is a given)
    I don’t believe D&D will introduce the magical horn plot for Iron Isles, to fantastical of an element, they will want to concentrate on Targ blood being the center flux of dragon power, not some mystical horn. Furthermore I lean towards the merging of Euron and Victarion, and that he journeys to Slaver’s Bay with the primary purpose of marrying Dany and providing a fleet. Of course this is pushed to season five.

    I actually think we are going to see the same amount of Theon and Stannis. Stannis has very little material left before reaching Castle Black (which is in episode 9), so I think that between leaving Dragonstone in the first half of the season and reaching Castle Black he is going to be almost non-existent in the show. I also think Bran will get more screen-time, while Sam will be mixed in with Jon so he will technically get more, but it will be less stuff devoted to him.

    And I disagree entirely with the Iron Islands stuff, simply because my theories for TWoW wouldn’t allow it :P. I think Victarion will use the dragon horn to essentially hold the dragons hostages, as well as the lure of his fleet, to force Daenerys to marry him and make sure she co-operates. Meanwhile, I think Euron will take Oldtown (making Sam his PoV). The horn wouldn’t be introduced into season 5, but I do think it is important to have it.

    kevin,
    I agree that season 4 will dictate a lot of what will happen with the adaption of AFfC/ADwD, but it has been a slow casting season and this kills time. It is fun to speculate :P.

  • ESK,

    I exclude myself from any past or present ADWD protests, yet I see your point
    about Jaquen’s persona, or lack there of. The premise of Arya’s evolving
    sense of self is an astute observation, and perhaps calms some anxieties
    over what Arya presently or ultimately needs to be. For readers and viewers,
    the journey continues, only not so much over a body of water or land, as
    her other siblings, but the whole of what she is to be. There are circumstances
    for which some may need to transcend on a deeper, if spiritual level, than merely
    escaping a physical fate or death. As for Game of Thrones, we may continue to
    note a needed departure from the well thought out but tedious links as drawn
    from the books. Television may demand it so, to weave a flow of events suitable
    for the cast and viewing audience. Nothing is ever easy. It will be interesting to
    watch the results.

    Not to exclude myself from those with expectations of favourite characters, or scenes,
    I truly hope GoT finds a way to incorporate the ” Kindly Man ” . John Noble
    would fit the bill quite nicely.

  • Ser Tahu:

    And I disagree entirely with the Iron Islands stuff, simply because my theories for TWoW wouldn’t allow it :P. I think Victarion will use the dragon horn to essentially hold the dragons hostages, as well as the lure of his fleet, to force Daenerys to marry him and make sure she co-operates. Meanwhile, I think Euron will take Oldtown (making Sam his PoV). The horn wouldn’t be introduced into season 5, but I do think it is important to have it.

    Regarding your thoughts on the dragons….something has to happen early in TWoW in order for the dragons to be useful for Victarion (if his fleet is indeed the vector by which Dany and her dragons get to Westeros). Can the “horn” be used to train them and prepare them quickly for battle? How will they even react during the battle of Meereen? By the end of ADwD, Dany only rides Drogon as a result of unplanned freakish events.

    Even though the dragons “chaotically” help in the sack of Astapor, they have absolutely no impact onscreen or in the books in the taking of Yunkai and Meereen. In ADwD, the dragons are involved in very grisly scenes, including the savage killing/feeding of sheep and small children, many UnSullied killings/scorchings as they try to capture them, the brutal b-bquing of Q and his men, and finally, in one of the most grotesque/shocking scenes in all of the series, Drogon lands in Daznak’s Pit during a brutal gladiator fight and proceeds to kill Harghaz the Handler and eviscerate the primary female fighter in front of the crowd and feed on her. Then when Dany intervenes, while dripping flesh from his mouth, he burns Dany’s hair off before letting her jump on him and taking flight. Damn…it will be a horrific and mesmerizing scene….but hardly a hopeful one.

    Even after the dragons escape from their incarceration (which I always felt was ridiculous), the dragons proceed to burn buildings and cause more chaos within the city. My question is….how is the reader/viewer supposed to have any optimism at all that the dragons will be of any help in a planned battle? We know nothing about that. Heck, how can we even think that the dragons are a positive and productive element of the story? I believe, after the Quentyn scene, viewers will be thinking the same….what purpose, other than utter chaos, do they serve? Is GRRM’s plan for them one of strategy or chaos?

    Maybe Dany will have that Na’vi bond (Avatar reference) with Drogon but what about the others (Viscerion and Rhaegal)? We need to have some hope (hope that GRRM hasn’t really given us) that the dragons are indeed “bondable”. In GRRM’s re-reading of the Tyrion chapter at CapClave last weekend, there was a subtle reference to the white dragon (Viscerion) being Tyrion’s dragon, but what is the science/magic behind that? It is a huge and daunting mystery that affects the remainder of Dany’s and others’ storylines, imho. It shouldn’t be easy to control/train a dragon but we have had 3 books (2, 3, & 5) of basically horrifying events surrounding the dragons when they’re not caged or chained or defending Dany.

    I’m almost in agreement with many other dragon theorists that they’re real purpose lies north of the Wall, burning up the WWs and wights. If they were truly allowed to return to Westeros “untamed”, we would have a bunch of Harrenhal’s and a repeat of the movie “Reign of Fire” (a film I love, btw).

    If Victarion is truly the vector by which Dany gets to Westeros, we need a crapload of dragon exposition and battle rationale by GRRM before they get on the ship (or fly above them) as they venture west.

    [Soon, I’ll reread your TWoW thoughts that you posted on Westeros]

  • Ser Tahu, I’m guessing that Victarion gets roasted by the dragons and that Dany captures the Iron Fleet and uses it to get back to Westeros. She’s not marrying Victarion.

  • ShadowStalker,

    Your version of events sounds good to me.

    I tend to think several small climaxes in one episode doesn’t really make up for the lack of a big-event climax. If anything it’s worse. The best episodes are ones that focus on a smaller number of stories, and the worst are ones that quickly go from one group to another. I think that is doubly true for climaxes, which require buildup within the episode in order to be satisfying.

  • Sundancer:
    Ser Tahu, I’m guessing that Victarion gets roasted by the dragons and that Dany captures the Iron Fleet and uses it to get back to Westeros. She’s not marrying Victarion.

    Yeah, Victarion & Dany “linkage” probably won’t happen, but do you think GRRM will discard both Martell and Greyjoy storylines in Slaver’s Bay? Seems like such a strange red herring, given the extensive AFfC/ADwD buildup, but GRRM does like to tease.

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    I think he might get agitated to see his future wife is likely dead and will decide to just take her dragons with the horn and go away. By the time Dany, Drogon and the Khalasar return, Vyserion and Rhaegal would be gone and Dany will finally have good reason to leave that hell hole.

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    Maybe Dany will have that Na’vi bond (Avatar reference) with Drogon but what about the others (Viscerion and Rhaegal)

    .

    You definitely hit it on the mark with this. If you look back at Balerion, Meraxes and Vhagar, they all had riders and these riders had special bonds to their dragons, not some magic horn to control them. My opinion is that Euron was fooled or misinterpreted the purpose, which was too unleash dragons sending them into a frenzy.
    If I interpreted those GRRM readings, the Iron Born have landed troops and have basically destroyed the Volantis fleet; which to me hints that the horn has already been blown, since Victor would have attempted it before or at the least as the fight begins. But the dragons are not controlled but reeking havoc across the battlefield, indicating they are in a frenzy. This is of course conjecture based on a couple of preliminary chapters.
    I like the idea floating out there that Tyrion perhaps nurses Viserion back to health, since he has read up on “How to Train your Dragon“. This would ingratiate him to Barristan and Dany and strengthen his entry into her inner circle.
    My tactical opinion is that Dany should accomplish an end around, Dothraki spies have kept her informed concerning the Mereen events and that Volantis has sent almost its entire force to relieve her sister city. She therefore uses her new army and Drogon to take Volantis, now that it is has a skeleton guard protecting it. Drogon blasts a man gate or a section of the wall and into the breach goes “For the Horde” along with a second warcry “Fear the Spear”.

  • Great analysis. I really like the idea of Bronn taking Ilyn Payne’s place. Especially since the actor (Wilko Johnson of the band Dr. Feelgood) is terminally ill.

  • So! I don’t know where the discussion is right now, and quite frankly I don’t care. But to echo Greatjon’s article, I too am really really looking forward to Cersei’s walk of shame. It was awesome in the books and I can just imagine it on-screen being a visual marvel and a cinematographical (I made that word up) masterpiece. And not just because of Lena Headey’s boobies.

  • dogs,

    While the Voluntians respond with “plug it up”, or….
    a more classical response “Or close the wall up with (Dothraki) dead.”

  • tysnow:
    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I like the idea floating out there that Tyrion perhaps nurses Viserion back to health, since he has read up on “How to Train your Dragon“. This would ingratiate him to Barristan and Dany and strengthen his entry into her inner circle.

    My tactical opinion is that Dany should accomplish an end around, Dothraki spies have kept her informed concerning the Mereen events and that Volantis has sent almost its entire force to relieve her sister city. She therefore uses her new army and Drogon to take Volantis, now that it is has a skeleton guard protecting it. Drogon blasts a man gate or a section of the wall and into the breach goes “For the Horde” along with a second warcry “Fear the Spear”.

    Hopefully, there is a “happy medium” plotline that combines those two ideas. I’d hate to see Dany leave Tyrion, Selmy and Missandei behind in Meereen. I’d love to see Selmy back in Westeros with a Targaryen! (and a Tyrion-Bronn reunion!)

    Also, I bet Selmy knows something about Aegon/JCon as well.

  • I think it’s very unlikely that GoT is moving into the True Blood spot, given their tight writing and filming schedule. Right now, they film from July to late November (roughly), they’d have to flip that around completely, which likely means renegotiating for the actors, who all seem to work on other projects during their filming breaks. You also have to consider things like the tourist season (and generally, weather) in Croatia, Daylight times in Iceland, etc. This isn’t simply an issue of saying “Oh, we’ll just move you back for three months, cool?” And they will not get 12 to 13 episodes per season, as TPTB have said repeatedly that 10 eps is all they manage in writing, pre-poduction, casting, etc.

    I know that I mostly seem to be saying “They won’t be doing this” and “but that won’t work,” but, seriously, they won’t be doing this, and that won’t work. If only they had time turners and unlimited budget.

  • “sub in Jaqen H’ghar”

    You lost me here. H’gar is very likely in Oldtown at this point; how could he possibly substitute for a character halfway around the “globe”?

    Otherwise, good article!

  • Mr Fixit,

    You forget a couple of important things here:
    1. More storylines are happening in season 5 in you compare it to season 3. They already let us see that they don’t bother leaving certain characters out of an episode because this is better for the story. This means that we see every character even less in season 5 and beyond. We can expect Tyrion to be in 6 episodes that season.
    2. The Young Griff/ Tyrion relationship is very important for later on. They need to invest in this, just like they invested in Tyrion/Shea relationship.
    3. Season 5 needs to be about Young Griff not Tyrion. That means that a lot of focus needs to be on this character to have impact on later seasons (and books). The audience needs to root for the character of Young Griff, because when he goes to Westeros, the audience are need to be happy that the Lannisters will get what they deserve instead of, he takes Danny’s job. That means we will have the Tyrion/ Young Griff relationship till episode 7 (Just like arya and the brotherhood), and Young Griff can set sail to westeros in episode 10, while he will change his mind in episode 8.
    4. People forget everytime one thing: The series isn’t about one character where you can easily say the season will stop here. They need to focus on a lot of characters that need to have a story in a whole season. That means that every characters doesn’t have a lot of time per season. And that’s why D&D are looking at a season arc for a certain character. They aren’t focussing on reaching the end of a book, they looking per character when a certain arc will end. Is there time over, they will look if a certain character gets more time by inserted plotrelated parts for later on (Cercei Margerey hatred), extra background information (which we will have for Danny in season 4 about her father). If you look at Tyrion’s arcs. Season 4 will be about the trial, we know PW is episode 2, after that the trial which will end him killing his father and leaving KL. That is the perfect way to end his arc for that season. Pentos needs to leave for season 4, because that’s not how GoT works, we probably get only a hint that they are going there. That means season 5 arc will focus on, what’s the plan of illyrio and who is Young Griff really, and are we needed to root for that character. Which will eventually lead by Tyrion leaving the group by being captive by Jorah and YG leaving for Westeros. Season 6 Will be about Jorah and Tyrion going to Mereen which will end in the big battle of Mereen.
    6. Look at the books. The departure of Tyrion with young Griff is around the time that aFfC ends. That way season 5 can be about the first half of DwD and aFfC and the story will be chronically correct. And season 6 can be about DwD part 2 and the beginning of WoW.

    Ser Tahu,
    Yes, it’s nice to speculate about this things, but I think that the show will take aFfC and DwD slowly because they have 2 choices:
    1. Take it slowly just like season 3, invent some great extra scenes that will make the seasons worthwhile and great. If you look at the two books, there are some great things in that if they focus the Dornish plot for instance completely about Ariana and Doran instead of first Hotah, than Arys than …
    2. Rush through the two books, complete them almost both at the end of season 5. Which will lead to a more rushed season than season 2, that season had 7 storylines. Season 5 will have more than 10 storylines.
    For me I hope they go with number 1. Make Danny’s Harpy scheme more interesting in the show. Let season 5 be about: Who is the harpy, let the audience know is the Harpy at the end. And season 6 be about we know what the Harpy does, trying to poison Danny the audience know beforehand making it more exciting than in the books. Let’s make one episode on the horror’s of the stonemen. etc.

  • I think the problem we’re all overlooking is how on earth are they gonna fit all those locations in the opening credits?

    King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, The Eyrie, Pyke, Sunspear, Meereen, Pentos, Volantis, Riverrun, Storm’s End, Oldtown, Braavos.
    It’s doomed.

  • House Mormont,
    That thought did occur to me, actually :P. Maybe a lot of alteration between weeks? No more of this “we’re going to show the Wall even though none of the Night’s Watch characters are in this episode” nonsense?

  • House Mormont,

    I hope they cut out Winterfell next season, maybe replace it with the Dreadfort. I think they will be fine for Season 4, as Meereen is the only major new location I can think of. However, I agree they will need to get creative for Season 5 and thereafter.

  • Ser Tahu,

    Dornishman,

    yeah if they only show places where characters are in the episode, goodbye Winterfell till the end of Season 5. And if they cut the comet they can probably fit maybe 6 in.
    I think there was a season 2 episode with KL, WF, The Wall, Pyke, Dragonstone and Harrenhal

  • House Mormont,

    No it’s not. Episodes with Braavos won’t likely have Sunspear and neither would be in the same epidodes as the Eyrie. The show usually sticks to showing the map going by locations in the episode. I don’t think that’ll be a problem.

  • Jentario,

    They have been pretty sloppy with that rule as of late however. There have been many episodes where Dragonstone should of been featured but has not, and episodes where a location is featured in the intro, but not actually visited in the episode.

    I think it comes down to the budget. It’s the reason why we only ever get major locations shown (no Craster’s, Nightfort etc.) .The animators have to create new pathways every time order of locations shown changes, not to mention if a there is a new location. Season 1 had a total of four different sequences, Season 2 had three and Season 3 had four. I expect about the same for future seasons, unless D&D really want to invest in it.

  • House Mormont:
    I think the problem we’re all overlooking is how on earth are they gonna fit all those locations in the opening credits?

    King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, The Eyrie, Pyke, Sunspear, Meereen, Pentos, Volantis, Riverrun, Storm’s End, Oldtown, Braavos.
    It’s doomed.

    That’s a good first chuckle in the morning. Thx. With all that camera navigation during the opening credits, we’re going to get quite dizzy! Probably a good motif going into each episode.

  • House Mormont,

    King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, The Eyrie, Mereen, Braavos will be shown every episode.
    Pyke probably only at the beginning of the season because that’s the only time we will probably at Pyke.
    Sunspear and Pentos same as Pyke.
    Volantis is important mid-season.
    Riverrun at the end of the season.

    Storm’s end will not be shown, because it didn’t shown in season 2, why bother it now? The same question for Oldtown, can we really asume that this will be shown on the map?

  • there are so few joyous surprises in life. Finding out the sex of your baby, seeing a girls breasts for the first time, and waiting to see how D&D adapt this series.

    I Prefer to wait and not speculate. No need for false hope.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: Heck, how can we even think that the dragons are a positive and productive element of the story? I believe, after the Quentyn scene, viewers will be thinking the same….what purpose, other than utter chaos, do they serve? Is GRRM’s plan for them one of strategy or chaos?

    A very real question. As my namesake put it, “We knelt for the dragons, and the dragons are dead!” They’re the ultimate nuclear option in a land like Westeros.

    kevin: For me I hope they go with number 1. Make Danny’s Harpy scheme more interesting in the show. Let season 5 be about: Who is the harpy, let the audience know is the Harpy at the end. And season 6 be about we know what the Harpy does, trying to poison Danny the audience know beforehand making it more exciting than in the books. Let’s make one episode on the horror’s of the stonemen. etc.

    I think there are a lot of ways to go about this while still using most of the best material from the 2 books through latter parts of Season 4, all of Season 5, and some of Season 6. Make the Quentyn plot only barely start near the end of Season 5 – he’s introduced to Danys, and is rejected, but leave the rest for later. Leave most of Victarion for Season 6, his rescue of Moqorro, who he is, all that. Leave the Selmy coup for Season 6. Perhaps even leave Jon Snow’s Caesar moment till Season 6 and expand Hardholme as some have suggested. And focus 5 a lot on Danys, Jon, and Cersei all rising to power, along with Tyrion’s “Heart of Darkness” journey. In fact, Brienne and Tyrion both on a Heart of Darkness type journey, so to speak, and if you can make things more or less get worse for Jaime as well, then you have 3 major characters with their rise to power, and 3 major characters on an inverted hero’s journey with dire consequences. And Tyrion can end with his capture by the slavers and use as a mummer and watch Danys take off on Drogon — leaving his escape from the slavers and run to the Second Sons for early in Season 6, and then he, Selmy and Victarion all presumably meet up during early Season 6.

  • Anyone notice that Josef Atlin just tweeted that they would essentially be shooting some battle at the wall episode stuff tomorrow. Im guessing thats what a lot of the final weeks of shooting is going to be dedicated to

  • House Snow,

    do they shoot all the on location scenes first? And then shoot interior studio scenes later? Like have they shot the interior scenes yet?

  • House Mormont:
    House Snow,

    do they shoot all the on location scenes first? And then shoot interior studio scenes later? Like have they shot the interior scenes yet?

    I wish I knew, but I assume probably something like that. I remember reading that Neil Marshall was going to fly to several locations for his shots. Don’t know if that means to interior and exterior locations for the Wall or if he will have other storylines in his episode (Dany). I don’t really know how they shoot a lot of the walls scenes since outside of castleblack it must be 90% CGI

  • Greatjon of Slumber….
    In fact, Brienne and Tyrion both on a Heart of Darkness type journey, so to speak…

    The more I hear comparisons to “Heart of Darkness”, the more I look forward to upcoming depictions of various dark journeys of the body and soul through unknown territory in S4 & S5.

    – In S4 & S5, Brienne’s mind-numbing, disfiguring journey will lead her back to her sworn “Lady”.
    – In S5, Tyrion will have his mad, prophetic river and sea adventure in Essos as he travels to Slaver’s Bay
    – In S4, we get Bran’s supernatural journey north of the Wall to BR’s ice cave, hopefully running into all sorts of denizens of the north and discovering the big picture
    – In S4, Arya and the Hound will find a strange bond during bloody & hateful encounters before she embarks on her S5 journey of transformation
    – In S5, Quentyn’s journey of pride will be his deadly undoing
    – In S5, Victarion’s bloody conquests will be tempered by a run-in with a spiritual/mystical Moquorro
    – In S4, Yara….doing something (?) to make her mark as a female commander (at Moat Cailin/in the Narrow Sea?) only to fail in her quest for Iron leadership and to save what’s left of Theon
    – In S4/S5, Stannis journeying to the Wall and possibly realizing his role as champion of the North amid the deadly blizzard and battles
    – In S4/S5, Davos spending more time in jails and dungeons, using his pirate skills to gain trust and discover strategies and possibilities in northeast Westeros
    – In S4/S5, Cersei’s descent into madness and losing everything given to her
    – In S4/S5, Jon going from a soldier to a controversial leader, thinking outside the box.
    – In S4/S5, Jaime learning to be a different leader, literally using the other half of his brain to think and learn and adapt
    – In S4/S5, Dany’s winning starts turning into chaos as she desperately tries to lead and make sense of the building, inevitable chaos while clinging to prophesy…then jumping ship and bonding with her “son.”
    – In S5, Arienne’s determination to be a queenmaker and finding a new path to power with a pretender or a lost leader.
    – In S5, Sam overcoming blisters and seasickness and virginity to reach Braavos and Oldtown to learn from Aemon and become a maester.
    – Nymeria realizing that she is the leader of the wolves and bonding with Arya’s mother….:-0
    – Rhaegal realizing that he is gay and after coming out of the dungeon and being spurned by Drogon, he flies to Valyria to search for his lost mother….:-0

    I simply don’t understand why D&D have stated that books 4 & 5 would be a challenge to adapt. There is so much going on…it should be easy to pick and choose the highlights to film. Crazy fun, I dare say….and thanks for the fun speculations on this thread!

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    It’s hard to adapt because it’s a logistical nightmare. So many new characters, so many new sets, even whole new plotlines (Dorne, Aegon and the Iron Islands) being introduced just as many other splinter away into dozens of self contained stories. The show is already hard to make and that’s while juggling 9 plotlines. Season 5 will have around 15. That is not so straightforward. New issues arise: how much screentime do we give this character? And this question will be harder to answer consider they have so many new characters- which means characters will be cut. Do we really have the budget to build this set, or to cast so many side characters? A lot of time, the answers will be no- and D&D won’t be happy with that since they’re big fans of the books too.

    As I’ve said before: the quality of the final product is a non-issue. The real problem is how to get to that point (and streamlining the mess that are books 4 & 5 will be very hard) and the sacrifices which will undoubtedly happen- big and small.

  • Jentario:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    It’s hard to adapt because it’s a logistical nightmare. So many new characters, so many new sets, even whole new plotlines (Dorne, Aegon and the Iron Islands) being introduced just as many other splinter away into dozens of self contained stories.

    Yeah, I completely understand. My last statement was more facetious than serious. I should have put an appropriate emoticon after that statement, like after my last two bullet points. Thanks for your input on this thread; I’ve enjoyed your notes.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: Yeah, Victarion & Dany “linkage” probably won’t happen, but do you think GRRM will discard both Martell and Greyjoy storylines in Slaver’s Bay? Seems like such a strange red herring, given the extensive AFfC/ADwD buildup, but GRRM does like to tease.

    I think that except for (1) roasting Victarion in Slaver’s Bay, (2) killing off Euron Greyjoy somehow, (3) killing off Theon or letting him die an early death from disease or cold after he finishes redeeming himself, and (4) making Asha/Yara the Queen / Lady of the Iron Islands, the Greyjoy story line has nowhere to go.

    The Martell story line has lots of room to develop. I don’t see that happening in Slaver’s Bay, except that the remaining Martell loyalists could hitch a boat ride with Dany to Dorne. That’s her likely landing spot, with Doran Martell as her strongest ally.

    I’m really curious as to how the Martells and Dany will deal with the news of Aegon. That may offer the possibility of a wedge in their relationship, as Doran would want Arianne to marry Aegon if he believes Aegon is the real deal.

    A similar wedge might develop if someone comes forward to verify that Jon is whom many believe his is. If Rhaegar married Lyanna, making Jon a legitimate Prince, he could be a possible match for Arianne and would have a claim to the Iron Throne that’s superior to Dany’s. That would set up a potential conflict among the Martells, Dany and Aegon’s supporters.

    Have you read the mind-blowing blog that details the incredible similarities between GoT and the Norse myth of Ragnarok? Here’s the link: http://gameofthronesandnorsemythology.blogspot.com/2013/05/ragnarok-song-of-ice-fire.html

    Based on that, I looking forward to finding out how the Three-Eyed Raven ties into this story line. If the blogger is correct, the story lines will indeed converge in very unexpected ways. For example, the blogger believes, among other things, that Melissandre will raise Jon from the dead and convert him to the Lord of Light, that the Lord of Light will be revealed to be the Three-Eyed Raven and that the White Walkers are his creatures. If this is true, imagine what will happen if the LoL paves the way for a resurrected Prince Jon Targaryen – a puppet of the LoL – to reach the Iron Throne, and Doran Martell decides to support him and wants Arianne to marry him.

  • Sundancer: I think that except for (1) roasting Victarion in Slaver’s Bay, (2) killing off Euron Greyjoy somehow, (3) killing off Theon or letting him die an early death from disease or cold after he finishes redeeming himself, and (4) making Asha/Yara the Queen / Lady of the Iron Islands, the Greyjoy story line has nowhere to go.

    The Martell story line has lots of room to develop. I don’t see that happening in Slaver’s Bay, except that the remaining Martell loyalists could hitch a boat ride with Dany to Dorne. That’s her likely landing spot, with Doran Martell as her strongest ally.

    I’m really curious as to how the Martells and Dany will deal with the news of Aegon. That may offer the possibility of a wedge in their relationship, as Doran would want Arianne to marry Aegon if he believes Aegon is the real deal.

    A similar wedge might develop if someone comes forward to verify that Jon is whom many believe his is. If Rhaegar married Lyanna, making Jon a legitimate Prince, he could be a possible match for Arianne and would have a claim to the Iron Throne that’s superior to Dany’s. That would set up a potential conflict among the Martells, Dany and Aegon’s supporters.

    Have you read the mind-blowing blog that details the incredible similarities between GoT and the Norse myth of Ragnarok? Here’s the link: http://gameofthronesandnorsemythology.blogspot.com/2013/05/ragnarok-song-of-ice-fire.html

    Based on that, I looking forward to finding out how the Three-Eyed Raven ties into this story line. If the blogger is correct, the story lines will indeed converge in very unexpected ways. For example, the blogger believes, among other things, that Melissandre will raise Jon from the dead and convert him to the Lord of Light, that the Lord of Light will be revealed to be the Three-Eyed Raven and that the White Walkers are his creatures. If this is true, imagine what will happen if the LoL paves the way for a resurrected Prince Jon Targaryen – a puppet of the LoL – to reach the Iron Throne.

    No love for Vic? He’s such a loveable, cuddly figure…all he needs is a chance to be heard, to be felt… ;-)

    That Norse mythology – ASoI&F similarity site is one of my favorites. Great research and speculation. The blogger, who is known as Varymyr Fourskins on this site, has done some amazing thesis-like work there. He/she hasn’t posted here recently though.

    I enjoy how GRRM borrows from Norse/German mythology and Middle Ages historical events/culture in writing ASoI&F.

    Although I’m rather fond of your BR/Jon idea, I still haven’t accepted Jon’s fate yet. That’s a tough one. Like the RW, I uttered a loud “Nooooooo!” after I read that scene. Can he warg into Ghost while his body heals? Will Ghost save him? What is the Mel factor? Did she learn the resurrection spell yet? Is Jon another major GRRM casualty? I just dunno.

  • The Blue Grace: I think it’s very unlikely that GoT is moving into the True Blood spot, given their tight writing and filming schedule.

    Not only that, GRRM, reluctant fanboy that he may become, is also insightful of
    how the screen industry works and does share some influence with the exec
    producers. That’s a strong contrast to Charlaine Harris & Alan Ball’s TrueBlood
    production.

    Game of Thrones will definitely excel in ways TB could not, but missteps do occur
    even with best intent. Pragmatic decisions will impact some aspects of the book
    premise, yet these may offer a win if carefully projected. The flaws that many of
    of us here ranted about , in previous threads, have proven learning curves for
    the GoT writers as well. I’m expectant of a few disappointments in the process,
    but I’d rather make an informed analogy by observing the content once it aires.
    With each episode, I learn to relax and enjoy the crooked trail to the Iron Throne.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: No love for Vic? He’s such a loveable, cuddly figure…all he needs is a chance to be heard, to be felt… ;-)

    That Norse mythology – ASoI&F similarity site is one of my favorites. Great research and speculation. The blogger, who is known as Varymyr Fourskins on this site, has done some amazing thesis-like work there. He/she hasn’t posted here recently though.

    I enjoy how GRRM borrows from Norse/German mythology and Middle Ages historical events/culture in writing ASoI&F.

    Although I’m rather fond of your BR/Jon idea, I still haven’t accepted Jon’s fate yet. That’s a tough one. Like the RW, I uttered a loud “Nooooooo!” after I read that scene. Can he warg into Ghost while his body heals? Will Ghost save him? What is the Mel factor? Did she learn the resurrection spell yet? Is Jon another major GRRM casualty? I just dunno.

    I have to disagaree, some of the connections on the web page are totally laughable, really…the worst nightmare of a scientist: instead of analizing the facts to reach a conclusion, you know what conclusion you want to reach and totally misinterpret or alter the facts. There is no way, in this world or another, in midgard or asgard, that his thesis are right :P

    On topic: great write-up by Greatjon. Sure, he’ll get some things wrong, but I bet he’ll get right most of it, being the most important the major plots, ends of seasons, thematic journeys etc

    I’ve been a great advocate of books 4&5 making at least 1,5 seasons of great tv, and I think he’s spot on that (Maybe 1,7, mb 1,3, but won’t deviate much more) We’ll have 2 major battles in the beginning of TWoW, and one of them will surely be S06E04, (the other probably being S06E09, although could be earlier in the season), so how he paved the way makes perfect sense.

    That will leave 2-3 seasons for almost 1.7 huge books, wich seems about right, and perfectly doable if Martin can release the last book even as late as 2019, wich he probably will

    PS: As aCatLover said is amazing how many delusional fans still think books 4&5 will take a season or less (or that the show will be 7 or less seasons, for that matter). The show will be 8 or 9 seasons and books 4&5 will take at least 1,5 seasons, theres no way around that, and is in everyones benefit that it’d be that way ;)

  • Sundancer: the Greyjoy story line

    Unless you discount Asha’s story. You may be onto something with her brothers, though.

    Sundancer: how the Martells and Dany will deal with the news of Aegon.

    Doran is quite pragmatic in his decisions, and probably considers Aegon as a
    possible maybe , lacking any definitive plan. That he’d question Danerys’s
    judgement is one thing, recognizing her abilities is another. He might even
    counsel her, as well as offer alms/arms.

    Sundancer: GoT and the Norse myth of Ragnarok? Here’s the link: http://gameofthronesandnorsemythology.blogspot.com/2013/05/ragnarok-song-of-ice-fire.html

    Thanks for the link. I’m not at all surprised that others besides myself, are interested
    in the similarities that GRRM has employed use in ASOIAF. In truth, he and most
    others derive inspiration from personal perspective and historical influences. As
    these lessons have proven complex in human and natural forces, including
    politics, a rich story context could easily be derived from it. One dimensional
    stories are so….. limiting.

  • Bard:
    @Ser Tahu: Thanks for your efforts, both you and Greatjon of Slumber deserve a reward of merit, that’s for sure. ;)

    Ditto.

  • Hodor Targaryen:
    Has anyone thought that we would see some of the relevant Oldtown/maester conspiracy stuff not through the perspective of Sam, but of Arya? The Many-Faced God assassins seem to be getting involved there anyway, and it helps to cut out one storyline (Sam’s treck to Oldtown) and adds meat to one that desperately needs it (Arya’s).

    I’m hoping this scenario will wait until other plots thicken, first. ( :

  • Pau Soriano: I have to disagaree, some of the connections on the web page are totally laughable, really…the worst nightmare of a scientist: instead of analizing the facts to reach a conclusion, you know what conclusion you want to reach and totally misinterpret or alter the facts. There is no way, in this world or another, in midgard or asgard, that his thesis are right :P

    Ok, ok…you got me. Perhaps I overstated my support for that site. I enjoy the site and respect the obvious associated research and time put forth…that’s where I leave it. To attempt to employ the scientific method on a logical comparative analysis between ASoI&F and Norse mythology is quite humorous! Why would one attempt that? Physics, morals, ethics, and travel times in Westeros and Norse/German mythology cannot be analyzed scientifically, my friend. This is not the great debate between Bohr and Einstein regarding the validity of Quantum Mechanics. Finding parallels between the two fictional worlds is quite fun though!

    :-))))

    That being said, you have my gracious respect, my Catalonian friend.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: I enjoy how GRRM borrows from Norse/German mythology and Middle Ages historical events/culture in writing ASoI&F.

    I enjoy how Mr Martyn consults with miniature medieval figurines inside locked doors for a great many hours to plan out what he will do or write next. His favorite miniature is Dame Lynn Flewelling. He speaks to them aloud and they talk back to him… he does each mini voice with falsetto, etc. At least that’s how I picture it. It’s kind of funny when you ignore the crazyness part.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: Ok, ok…you got me. Perhaps I overstated my support for that site. I enjoy the site and respect the obvious associated research and time put forth…that’s where I leave it. To attempt to employ thescientific method on a logical comparative analysis between ASoI&F and Norse mythology is quite humorous! Why would one attempt that? Physics, morals, ethics, and travel times in Westeros and Norse/German mythology cannot be analyzed scientifically, my friend.This is not the great debate between Bohr and Einstein regarding the validity of Quantum Mechanics.Finding parallels between the two worlds is quite fun though!

    :-))))

    That being said, you have my gracious respect, my Catalonian friend.

    What I meant is that the way the author of that blog streches some of his analogies so they fit into his thesis reminds me of how bad scientists alter his findings so they are congruent with the idea they wanted to prove before beginning the experiments ;)

  • Brienne’s travels in AFFC is the part I like least in all of the books, however as pointless as they may have been I did love the 3 over the hill pompous knights she met in the beginning they were totally hilarious xD and because of all the hardships these books describe abit of humor is very welcome.

  • Pau Soriano,

    Agreed, although I consider it harmless unless posing as scholarly pursuit.
    Academics aside, such broad strokes of layman interest in these subjects only
    make me hope the reader progresses to review the accurate references, whether
    this helps or hurt the analogy. I’m just a novice at Geopolitical History / Literature
    / Philosophy, and tend to seek non web references, but the web makes acquiring
    these subjects too easily, despite contamination from Erudite people.
    On the other hand, I tend to offer a wide berth, for candid discussion of a subject
    I am well versed in. Until the intent is known, I hold back complaint or correction.
    At least I’m still attempting to do that, LOL. I’m commenting on your well made point
    is that I came to a similar conclusion when reviewing that link above, but dismissed
    most of what the author said, as a whole, because I marveled at many becoming
    interested in Mythology and similar pursuits, as it relates to ASOIAF or the world
    in it’s historical context.

  • Tying the Timelines Together Effectively, and Getting the Big Moments Right…….
    are the 2 things I find myself anxious for . I enjoy lending reasonable speculation
    to the finer details, yet these may be remedied if quick learning is employed.
    GRRM weaved a mostly cohesive set of stories because written word easily
    allows for that. On screen…… it’s worked out okay, for the most part, only
    now this subject post has me crossing my fingers.

  • WildSeed,

    Completely off-topic:
    In-between the latest King book and the last (weep-weep) Thomas Covenant chronicle, I managed to download and read your recommendation, Kindred, by the late Ms. Butler. Fascinating. Sort of a “Time Traveler’s Wife” with slavery and duffelbags in the mix. I had no sympathy at all for Rufus, hated him. Poor Dana. I tried to picture myself as Kevin. It would be cool to witness and partake in one’s own ancestry but I couldn’t help but think about the possible “butterfly effect” when Dana returned to her normal time period. Interesting read but very dark tale though, hardly uplifting.

    Again, thanks for recommending that author. I’ll be reading more from her.

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    Pretty awesome if give props to Butler’s originality. The turbulent backdrop of
    history was what drew me to this story. Butler does her homework, and she
    was a true science Nerd, at heart.

  • I cant wait to see the Dreadfort as much as i disliek the Boltons (I am NW and we remember) and Sunspear!

    Dragons always come in threes:

    One Black: Dany’s Dragon
    One Green: Aegons
    One White: Jon’s

    Jon being the living embodiment of Fire and Ice.

    I just get a weird feeling that it wont be the lord of light but perhaps the old gods with the help of Bran, Ghost and maybe a wildling.

    I want roughly 2 seasons for Crow/Feast there is a lot of character delevopment and set up for the final two books that would be cut if it was crammed into one season.

    Disagree that those two boks ramble they are just building up and smoldering I have really have enjoyed the personal battles rather than on the field of battle. The explorations of lands not really seen in the rest of the books.

    The Starks are the key to everything. Maybe we will find out who was Ned’s mother or gma they might have Targ blood too. Ned did say Robert had the better claim with had to mean that Ned actually has a claim vs the Lancesters non-claim.

  • Brilliant analysis without a doubt!! Congratulations, I agree with 99% of what you said, but you based everything on the idea that D&D will do their best to put the books to screen faithfully. And I think you are wrong. If they wanted to do that, it has to be done like you said it…. but they’ve taken more and more liberties as the show progressed, I anticipate huge changes from here on. Honestly, I only hope they keep my favorite moments from the books.

    D&D are intelligent men, they know that they depend on the ratings, and that’s why they’re not willing to compromise some things. Tyrion and Daenerys and her dragons are why people watch the show, and even if they should take a backseat from time to time… in the show they don’t. For Tyrion Season 5 is a travelog, boring in many places… which should be very limited in time, but it won’t be, and the time needed will be taken from Dorne, the Iron Islands…. Sometimes, they feel the need to spread the story for each character throughout the season, and have a conclusion in the last 2 episodes. This is very constricting and dangerous, why is it a problem if someone appears in only 3 episodes, and his story flows in the next season without a conclusion??? Do they think we will forget who that character is???

  • Ser Tahu,

    And ratings won’t be an issue, anyway. The show will still be the best thing on TV now that Breaking Bad is done, I don’t see any new show or new season dethroning it- even after the slight dip in quality sure to come with season 5.

  • Jentario,
    Yes, this too. Even if the ratings decline slightly (and that’s all it would be, a slight decline), it would still dominate it’s timeslot.

  • Ser Tahu: HBO doesn’t care about ratings (Treme proves that), they care about dvd sales and subscription numbers.

    And how do they know which shows attract the most subscribers?

    Yep, the answer is ratings.

    And, unlike GoT, Treme doesn’t cost HBO 60 million dollars to produce, so it’s OK to keep it even if it only appeals to niche viewers.

    That being said, I’m not really worried. GoT won’t get cancelled any time soon.

  • Lef,
    No, they figure out what shows attract the most subscribers by the rise and fall of their subscription numbers, and by the reasons that people give for starting/ending subscriptions in surveys. 1 subscriber != 1 viewer. On broadcast and cable channels, it is the viewer numbers that matter because a large portion of their income is through ad revenue. For subscription channels (eg HBO, Starz and Showtime) where they don’t run ads during shows it is the subscriptions, where they are paid directly by the consumer, that make up that large portion of their revenue.

    As for Treme, that may have been a bad example. A better example would be Boardwalk Empire: perpetually falling ratings since the show started and it is still getting renewed.

  • Jentario,

    We don’t know how it’s gonna play out on screen. A good book doesn’t mean it will be good on screen, and even a bad book doesn’t mean bad on screen. Of course the big moments in the books will always be the big moments on television, but that doesn’t mean that a big storyline will transfer the same on screen, many other book-to-screen projects has shown us that. There’s a big chance that season 5 will be a fan favorite, it all depends how they will show this on screen. GRRM focused what happen after a big moment, for instance taking Mereen, locking up the dragons, etc. We can asume that the show will show these things. And if we look at Danny’s story or that of Brienne in those 2 books. We can asume that the way the show is going to structure those storylines, that it will be exciting to watch.

    It’s not only the story that matters, it’s the way the story is told.

  • Jentario:
    Ser Tahu,

    And ratings won’t be an issue, anyway. The show will still be the best thing on TV now that Breaking Bad is done, I don’t see any new show or new season dethroning it- even after the slight dip in quality sure to come with season 5.

    Honestly? I think there’s more than enough there to make Season 5 fantastic. Mostly because I consider the Cersei and Jon Snow stuff really awesome, I look forward to anything we get out of Victarion Greyjoy, and I find the Tyrion stuff always compelling. Danys will be more problematic – people are going to start wondering why she still isn’t in Westeros – but if they concentrate Season 4 on Jorah’s betrayal, and then Season 5 on her staying in Meereen, the dragons growing out of control and her anguish at imprisoning them, and the difficult choices in ruling – with a couple of Quaithe appearances and judicious use of Danys in general – they can finesse it. Won’t be easy. And then Season 6 acts as another transition type season before the end game of Seasons 7-8.

  • GreatJon of Slumber,

    And this is also true. The only thing they’re missing is an on-par episode 9, and even that problem can be solved if they show Hardhome as I suggest.

    Season 6 will be perfect considering it will likely contain the ending that ADWD lacked, including tens of long awaited scenes.

  • Jentario:
    Ser Tahu,

    And ratings won’t be an issue, anyway. The show will still be the best thing on TV now that Breaking Bad is done, I don’t see any new show or new season dethroning it- even after the slight dip in quality sure to come with season 5.

    That’s a bold statement.

  • GeekFurious,

    I don’t know a single person IRL who was not disappointed by both books 4 and 5. I have several friends who were rabid fans but gave up after book 4. I wouldn’t call us a tiny minority. I don’t hate the books but they really pale in comparison to the other 3.

  • Jentario:
    Rygar,

    Give me another show that’s on GoT level right now and I will agree with you.

    Boardwalk Empire is better. Eastbound and Down is better. Hello Ladies is better. True Detectives looks better (based on trailers).

    Thing is, all those shows have better writing than GoT(TD TBD). Until that improves, I can’t say its the best show on TV.

  • queenofthorns:
    GeekFurious,

    I don’t know a single person IRL who was not disappointed by both books 4 and 5.I have several friends who were rabid fans but gave up after book 4.I wouldn’t call us a tiny minority.I don’t hate the books but they really pale in comparison to the other 3.

    My initial disappointment with 4 was due to the fact that there was only one POV that I cared about at first. After that initial displeasure subsided, I re-read and it became far more enjoyable. The same for book 5. Although I wasn’t happy with the pace at first instead of the lack of POVs I cared about. I started AGoT in 2000, so it was a long wait to read about Tyrion again. I expected it to go somewhere big. However, 2nd time I found it quite good.

  • You’re right handsome !
    Michael Huisman, one of the best reason to watch season 4 (yes i’m in love, so what?), TREME ! Yes !

  • Rygar,

    GoT’s writing is just fine. Mostly because of the source material, but that really doesn’t matter.

    EDIT: And I don’t watch any of the shows you listed above, so I really can’t argue with that.

  • Jentario:
    Rygar,

    GoT’s writing is just fine. Mostly because of the source material, but that really doesn’t matter.

    EDIT: And I don’t watch any of the shows you listed above, so I really can’t argue with that.

    OK. My point is that GoT writing, though far from poor, still is weak compared to either shows HBO puts forth. And yes, I agree that the source material is a major component. That is why I am an advocate of alteration if it improves the quality of the story/ writing.

  • Jentario: And this is also true. The only thing they’re missing is an on-par episode 9, and even that problem can be solved if they show Hardhome as I suggest.

    Hardholme wouldn’t be bad, but I don’t even think it needs that. If you want to go with pure harrowing power, Cersei’s walk of shame would really do it. And her downfall, honestly, is what I see forming the entire backbone of the second half of Season 5, and we’ll see viewers react with a combination of sympathy (given the antagonist, the High Sparrow, is even more reprehensible) and “just desserts”. Season 5 is going to be Lena Headey’s biggest year, and I look forward to that, because to me she’s KILLING it as Cersei. I sometimes think that if you had to make a list of the most indispensable actors on the show, after Dinklage and Clarke, it’s Headey.

    Rygar: Boardwalk Empire is better. Eastbound and Down is better.

    Oooh, no. Boardwalk Empire is in the hall of “Very good” dramas, but it isn’t better. Eastbound and Down is such a different animal that it’s hard to even compare, and that show really is only playing one note (A really funny, obnoxious one note, but it’s still one note).

  • GreatJon of Slumber,

    In terms of writing and directing, BE is stronger. ;)

    There was only one episode so far this season where I felt the pace was rushed. And anytime Tim Van Patten is involved….well there I have said enough. :)

  • Rygar:
    GreatJon of Slumber,

    In terms of writing and directing, BE is stronger.;)

    There was only one episode so far this season where I felt the pace was rushed.And anytime Tim Van Patten is involved….well there I have said enough. :)

    I feel like that show went 2.5 seasons before it established agency for its main character or gave an urgency to what he was doing, and by then, it had already killed off its other main character. It’s a good show, I think, but well, not great.

  • Ser Tahu: 1 subscriber != 1 viewer.

    Yeah, exactly.. that’s why they use ratings to know what their subscribers actually watch.. duh.

    Ser Tahu: On broadcast and cable channels, it is the viewer numbers that matter because a large portion of their income is through ad revenue. For subscription channels (eg HBO, Starz and Showtime) where they don’t run ads during shows it is the subscriptions, where they are paid directly by the consumer, that make up that large portion of their revenue.

    I already know that… and?

    I never talked about ad revenue.

    EDIT: Just to be clear: what I mean by “ratings” is the total audience of the show, as seen here:
    http://winteriscoming.net/2013/06/game-of-thrones-is-hbos-biggest-hit-since-the-sopranos/

    Those numbers do matter.

    … and as you can see, BE’s ratings are fine.

  • GreatJon of Slumber: …Cersei’s walk of shame would really do it. And her downfall, honestly, is what I see forming the entire backbone of the second half of Season 5, and we’ll see viewers react with a combination of sympathy (given the antagonist, the High Sparrow, is even more reprehensible) and “just desserts”.

    I am really looking forward to Cersei’s sequence of spiraling events in S5, especially when she allows the “Faith Militant” to regain power. Awful, awful decision…she’s so deluded and preoccupied with the downfall of the Tyrells and burying her secrets, she almost single-handedly changes the KL power scheme from a dysfunctional monarchy to a warped theocracy. There shall be no sympathy for Cersei! Her “just desserts” (including imprisonment, Kettleblack torturing by the High Septon/High Sparrow, and the infamous “walk of shame”) will be a pleasure to witness.

    That is just one of the many riveting dramatic storylines that are coming. Other than the obvious logistical problems (as previously described by Jentario & others) I don’t see any issues with maintaining the viewers’ attention. So many plotpoints to choose from!

  • Cersei’s walk of shame has the potential to be a great tv moment but I have my doubts Lena Headey will go through with it.

  • Separate TWoW topic and concern:

    I have read a lot of TWoW speculative stuff on this site and Westeros regarding the sample preview Theon chapter. Westeros still has it posted on their site BUT GRRM’s site took it down almost a year ago, only leaving the Arienne preview chapter. Does this concern anyone? Given what GRRM stated at CapClave about “still working on the North storyline” (paraphrasing) and the GRRM website removal of Theon’s sample TWoW chapter, does anyone think that he is rethinking that storyline?

    The ADwD paperback comes out next week and (we’re told) it will include a sample TWoW chapter. Given that GRRM’s recent readings have been only raw synopses of Tyrion, Selmy and other “non-north” chapters, I wonder if the paperback preview chapter will be a reworked version of the Theon chapter? Or maybe it will be one of the Aeron, Arya or Sansa chapters that were removed from ADwD? Is there any more concrete knowledge of this out there…or are we holding our breath until next week?

  • Al Swearengen:
    Cersei’s walk of shame has the potential to be a great tv moment but I have my doubts Lena Headey will go through with it.

    Just imagine….Cersei leaves the church/prison, she is forced to disrobe, she starts walking confidently through the crowd (with that great Lena Headey elitist, holier-than-thou gaze), she gets booed and hit by discarded food and a dead cat (!!!), then her confidence slips and she starts to crumble, losing it as she approaches the Red Keep, then Kevin and an unknown 8-foot armored knight picks her up and carries her into the keep.

    It will be a classic cinema moment, no doubt….phenomenal acting chops will be necessary.

    (Has anyone seen Monica Bellucci in Malena? Sort of like that crowd scene…incredible and disturbing)

  • Hodor’s Bastard:
    Separate TWoW topic and concern:

    I have read a lot of TWoW speculative stuff on this site and Westeros regarding the sample preview Theon chapter. Westeros still has it posted on their site BUT GRRM’s site took it down almost a year ago, only leaving the Arienne preview chapter.Does this concern anyone? Given what GRRM stated at CapClave about “still working on the North storyline” (paraphrasing) and the GRRM website removal of Theon’s sample TWoW chapter, does anyone think that he is rethinking that storyline?

    The ADwD paperback comes out next week and (we’re told) it will include a sample TWoW chapter. Given that GRRM’s recent readings have been only raw synopses of Tyrion, Selmy and other “non-north” chapters, I wonder if the paperback preview chapter will be a reworked version of the Theon chapter?Or maybe it will be one of the Aeron, Arya or Sansa chapters that were removed from ADwD? Is there any more concrete knowledge of this out there…or are we holding our breath until next week?

    It would be a shame if he scrapped that Theon chapter. It’s probably one of my favorites. Stannis is it top form and so many interesting bits of info!

  • Al Swearengen:
    Cersei’s walk of shame has the potential to be a great tv moment but I have my doubts Lena Headey will go through with it.

    Why not? I’m sure there is a porn starlet already on the payroll to double her if she has an issue with being buck naked

  • Al Swearengen: Cersei’s walk of shame has the potential to be a great tv moment but I have my doubts Lena Headey will go through with it.

    She has already stated something about not seeing Cersei without her clothes until it has the ability to really shock, which I think means full well she plans on going through with it.

  • Rygar: Boardwalk Empire is better. Eastbound and Down is better. Hello Ladies is better. True Detectives looks better (based on trailers). Thing is, all those shows have better writing than GoT(TD TBD). Until that improves, I can’t say its the best show on TV.

    What are you basing this information off of. IMO all of those shows are not on the same level as the writting of GoT. I think what you are stating is just opiniated. I would accept you arguement if there were abunch of critics that agreed with you.

    queenofthorns: GeekFurious, I don’t know a single person IRL who was not disappointed by both books 4 and 5. I have several friends who were rabid fans but gave up after book 4. I wouldn’t call us a tiny minority. I don’t hate the books but they really pale in comparison to the other 3.

    Ive read all the book after during and after season 2. I have been listening to APOIAF before I even started reading the books so I had heard opinions on the 4-5 book. I dont have many friends who have read them all but the few I do have are like me and loved 4-5. Yeah in comparison to book three they are slow and have no major battle or events. But people were complaining about book 2 when it was out similar to the way they complain abou these two books(which I view as one book anyway). All I can say is have you re-read them together as one book. I dont see how you would enjoy the hell out of them. They are obviously are buidling to big events and i never was bored while reading them. I Dont know if thats because i was trying to look for all the little clues that GRRM throws out in all over the books. Or i was trying to find things that justified certian crackpot theories. Point being i thought there were some of the best shit ever written. even thought they are weaker then the 3rd book. there is quite a bit of adaptable information so im not worried about the show. Theres going to be things left out due to time restraints but thats part of the beast. the show is great and the books even better.

  • GreatJon of Slumber,

    Cersei’s walk of shame will be an awesome moment, do doubt, but is it really enough for an episode 9? Even if we include the Daznak Pit too (and I actually want both scenes to be early in season 6) it just rings a little hollow that the only really big, game changing moment in the episode would be Dany taking off. As I’ve stated before, there are many reasons to make Hardhome a bigger, more visual part of the story (only one of which is that it would be a great episode 9 with a completely different pace than what we’re used to in GoT).

    My ideal season 5 episode 9 would be like this:
    -Hardhome scenes being intercut with other characters and storylines in suspenseful moments, huge crowds of wights and a small group of NW led by Jon sneaking past them and alerting them. Big fight scenes with lots of fire and numerous actual WWs killed with dragonglass weapons. Some Tormund scenes as his people are almost completely wiped out by the WWs. A real sense of hopelessness and despair, even after the good guys succeed and survive (partially) because this same threat will be coming en-masse to the Wall, soon.
    -Cersei’s downfall- her little roose with the Kettleblack (or whoever his replacement will be), the High Septon confronting her and revealing all he knows. The last scene of the episode would be her being chained and imprisoned.
    -Brienne gets brought before the BWB after her fight at the inn, she speaks with Thoros and finally gets thrown in front of Stoneheart, finally learning she is Cat. This would be the first scene of the episode and there’d be no more Brienne after it (the trial and the hanging would be saved for the finale).
    -Tyrion gives his advice to Aegon and gets abducted by Jorah
    -Jaime lifts the siege of Riverrun peacefully, the Blackfish escapes

    The episode would focus primarily on Jon, then Cersei and the rest of the characters would only have one or two scenes.

  • Jon Blackfyre,

    It is mostly my opinion. Guilty as charged. I wouldn’t trust a critic. I really only watch HBO shows and series so I like to think that I have some insight on how each show compares. And frankly, GoT is just not as good as most of their other shows. That doesn’t mean its not popular.

    And BE has the best theme song ever. I mean its the Brian Jonestown Massacre for christsake. GoT is a close second.

  • Jentario:
    GreatJon of Slumber,

    Cersei’s walk of shame will be an awesome moment, do doubt, but is it really enough for an episode 9? Even if we include the Daznak Pit too (and I actually want both scenes to be early in season 6) it just rings a little hollow that the only really big, game changing moment in the episode would be Dany taking off. As I’ve stated before, there are many reasons to make Hardhome a bigger, more visual part of the story (only one of which is that it would be a great episode 9 with a completely different pace than what we’re used to in GoT).

    My ideal season 5 episode 9 would be like this:
    -Hardhome scenes being intercut with other characters and storylines in suspenseful moments, huge crowds of wights and a small group of NW led by Jon sneaking past them and alerting them. Big fight scenes with lots of fire and numerous actual WWs killed with dragonglass weapons. Some Tormund scenes as his people are almost completely wiped out by the WWs. A real sense of hopelessness and despair, even after the good guys succeed and survive (partially) because this same threat will be coming en-masse to the Wall, soon.
    -Cersei’s downfall- her little roose with the Kettleblack (or whoever his replacement will be), the High Septon confronting her and revealing all he knows. The last scene of the episode would be her being chained and imprisoned.
    -Brienne gets brought before the BWB after her fight at the inn, she speaks with Thoros and finally gets thrown in front of Stoneheart, finally learning she is Cat. This would be the first scene of the episode and there’d be no more Brienne after it (the trial and the hanging would be saved for the finale).
    -Tyrion gives his advice to Aegon and gets abducted by Jorah
    -Jaime lifts the siege of Riverrun peacefully, the Blackfish escapes

    The episode would focus primarily on Jon, then Cersei and the rest of the characters would only have one or two scenes.

    I don’t think that the Ep 9 has to always have a battle, and Cersei’s walk of shame would recall Ned Stark’s beheading, which came in an episode that had a lot of powerful moments but did not have a chaotic battle scene in it by any means.

    I think if you had Cersei, the aforementioned Daznak’s Pit stuff, along with Brienne brought before the BoB, and Arya’s first kill, it would work fine. Jaime could break the siege at Riverrun and find that the Blackfish has escaped in 5.10 – would be a good spot for that.

  • Rygar: And BE has the best theme song ever. I mean its the Brian Jonestown Massacre for christsake. GoT is a close second.

    I will say BE’s opening credits – that song, that is – just make me happy. Ok, it’s not as good as the moving map, which is better, but it’s damned close.

  • GreatJon of Slumber: I will say BE’s opening credits – that song, that is – just make me happy. Ok, it’s not as good as the moving map, which is better, but it’s damned close.

    Try watching the BE credits again but this time while sipping bourbon. Actually try that when watching either opening credits. ;)

  • Jentario:
    GreatJon of Slumber,
    -Hardhome scenes being intercut with other characters and storylines in suspenseful moments, huge crowds of wights and a small group of NW led by Jon sneaking past them and alerting them. Big fight scenes with lots of fire and numerous actual WWs killed with dragonglass weapons. Some Tormund scenes as his people are almost completely wiped out by the WWs. A real sense of hopelessness and despair, even after the good guys succeed and survive (partially) because this same threat will be coming en-masse to the Wall, soon.

    Awesome description….my fear is that the showrunners will treat the Hardhome affair like they treated the battle at the Fist and the Harrenhal massacre….by passively visiting it after the fact. I know it is necessary to cut stuff for budgetary reasons and mandated extra gratuitous nude scenes, but Hardhome may be an unfortunate compromise for another event as CGI becomes more of a storytelling factor in later seasons. Still, fingers crossed for a mass zombie fight at some point.

    Also, folks talk about Tormund as if his storyline hasn’t changed. GoT has placed him on the opposite side of the wall than he was in the books. Wtf? We have assumed that his role is basically being switched with Styr. He may be a victim of the first Castle Black attack in S4….like Styr was in ASoS. We’ll see.

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    Yeah, Tormund is still an issue to be determined. The accepted theory so far is that he will be sent back beyond the Wall to meet with Mance when Styr finds him early in the season. That may very well be completely wrong, though, and then my take on Hardhome is moot. Unless they do some sort of hostage negotiations.

  • Al Swearengen:
    Cersei’s walk of shame has the potential to be a great tv moment but I have my doubts Lena Headey will go through with it.

    Yeah Lena pretty much said she was down with it. Epic fail Al. Epic fail.

  • Hodor’s Bastard: Awesome description….my fear is that the showrunners will treat the Hardhome affair like they treated the battle at the Fist and the Harrenhal massacre….by passively visiting it after the fact. I know it is necessary to cut stuff for budgetary reasons and mandated extra gratuitous nude scenes, but Hardhome may be an unfortunate compromise for another event as CGI becomes more of a storytelling factor in later seasons. Still, fingers crossed for a mass zombie fight at some point.

    We don’t have any major characters who are present at Hardhome. So we’ll watch some random/unknown wildlings and Night’s Watch men fighting against the wights? Plus, there are more than a dozen other storylines, I doubt they have the time and budget for this.

  • Season 7 = Robert’s Rebellion. All our favorite dead characters recast with younger actors. how else do we get R+L=J?

  • Bard,

    With the magic of adaption, Jon could lead the Night’s Watch and Tormund the Wildlings, paving way for the NW-WL relationship that complicates in ADWD as Jon tries to make peace.

  • Rygar: Boardwalk Empire is better.Eastbound and Down is better.Hello Ladies is better. True Detectives looks better (based on trailers).

    Thing is, all those shows have better writing than GoT(TD TBD).Until that improves,I can’t say its the best show on TV.

    Even if you were right, what Jentario said it’s still true: There’s no show in prime cable who can de-throne GoT, and in basic cable only Walking Dead surpases it in terms of benefits for the channel.

    BE pulled a tragic 0.7 in the demo the other night…and it still getting renewed. With a Budget around $50M I think the chances of GoT getting cancelled are the same Steve Buscemi as at being a charismatic lead: 0.000000000001%.

    By the way your taste in shows is bizarre to say the least…Eastbound and Down? Hello Ladies? Really? :P

    Theres better shows out there but certainly not those 2 and certainly not BE with Buscemi on it. Imho ofc.

    PS: When I said bizarre I meant appalling ;)

    EDIT: I see you included Treme later on, that I agree!
    And to drop some names Justified>BE, Veep or even Girls>E&B and Louie CK>Hello Ladies ;)

  • Pau Soriano: Even if you were right, what Jentario said it’s still true: There’s no show in prime cable who can de-throne GoT, and in basic cable only Walking Dead surpases it in terms of benefits for the channel.

    BE pulled a tragic 0.7 in the demo the other night…and it still getting renewed. With a Budget around $50M I think the chances of GoT getting cancelled are the sameSteve Buscemi as at being a charismatic lead: 0.000000000001%.

    By the way your taste in shows is bizarre to say the least…Eastbound and Down? Hello Ladies? Really? :P

    Theres better shows out there but certainly not those 2 and certainly not BE with Buscemi on it. Imho ofc.

    PS: When I said bizarre I meant appalling ;)

    EDIT: I see you included Treme later on, that I agree!
    And to drop some names Justified>BE, Veep or even Girls>E&B and Louie CK>Hello Ladies ;)

    Jentario said “level” which in itself is subjective. I am merely saying that there are shows on HBO with better writing and directing that are above GoTs level. And SB is great in just about every role he is in. The fact that he is not charismatic is the point. There are far too many alternate characters that are in the show. The portrayal of Enoch Thompson is fairly accurate to the real Nucky Johnson, in terms of personality, not looks.

    If you want a charismatic SB try the Big Lebowski. ;)

  • Pau Soriano: BE pulled a tragic 0.7 in the demo the other night…and it still getting renewed.

    There is one reason and one reason only for this: HBO values its relationships with the likes of creator/showrunner/chief writer Terence Winter (the Sopranos) and director Martin Scorsese more than ratings. HBO just signed a deal for the Winter/Scorsese/Mick Jagger Rock n Roll drama series so it’s in that duo for the long haul, particularly as AMC, Starz, and History Channel have upped the ante for top talent. HBO has a history of sticking with what it considers big name talent in writers (Alan Ball: four shows, including two utter failures, one hit, one “meh”) and stars.

    It would have been nice if BE had been a hit, but it has at least garnered some awards. It also has the worst 9 PM spot of the year, going against Sunday Night Football, which is a ratings powerhouse every fall. It’s very possible that HBO has concluded that nothing could do much better in that slot, so why not keep Winter and Scorsese happy?

    Edit to add: I realize after a re-read this was a minor point in your argument, but I think it’s worth making.

  • Rygar: Jentario said “level” which in itself is subjective. I am merely saying that there are shows on HBO with better writing and directing that are above GoTs level.And SB is great in just about every role he is in.The fact that he is not charismatic is the point.There are far too many alternate characters that are in the show.The portrayal of Enoch Thompson is fairly accurate to the real Nucky Johnson, in terms of personality, not looks.

    If you want a charismatic SB try the Big Lebowski.;)

    I love SB but not as a lead…Big Lebowski is such a great movie, but Turturo is better on it than him, or even Goodman or the dude itself ;)

    For me SB is best on Fargo…another awesome movie. But in BE I think he’s horribly miscasts, I just couldn’t get over him. Look at GoT in comparison for ex, there are even more alternate characters, but Sean Bean fucking nailed it with an un-charismatic character like Eddard…because he has the gravitas of a real Lead ;)

    PS: Nobody fucks with The Jesus!

  • Pau Soriano: Theres better shows out there but certainly not those 2 and certainly not BE with Buscemi on it. Imho ofc.

    I’m amazed no one has included Breaking Bad, perhaps because the show is over. I do think the combination of BB, Walking Dead, and Mad Men (with Hell on Wheels as “reserve”) matches up very respectably to HBO’s line up of True Blood, GOT, BE, and whatever it’s putting in the winter marquee spot (American Gods?). With Vince Gilligan beginning work immediately on the BB spin off (Better Call Saul, IIRC), AMC will see a worthy replacement for BB right away. And AMC doesn’t cost an additional $175.00 a year, as does HBO, in most U.S. markets.

    Right now, GOT is doing all the heavy lifting for HBO (its line up of movies is pretty tepid) and that can’t be a comfortable position for Lombardo and his colleagues.

  • SerCurlyOfTheFingers:
    Season 7 = Robert’s Rebellion. All our favorite dead characters recast with younger actors. how else do we get R+L=J?

    They’ve already said they aren’t going to do that, and it wouldn’t make any sense anyway, because it wouldn’t do anything to resolve their contractual problems. You also can’t just stop the plot for a year, killing all story momentum.

  • DH87: I’m amazed no one has included Breaking Bad, perhaps because the show is over. I do think the combination of BB, Walking Dead, and Mad Men (with Hell on Wheels as “reserve”) matches up very respectably to HBO’s line up of True Blood, GOT, BE, and whatever it’s putting in the winter marquee spot (American Gods?). With Vince Gilligan beginning work immediately on the BB spin off (Better Call Saul, IIRC), AMC will see a worthy replacement for BB right away. And AMC doesn’t cost an additional $175.00 a year, as does HBO, in most U.S. markets.

    Right now, GOT is doing all the heavy lifting for HBO (its line up of movies is pretty tepid)and that can’t be a comfortable position for Lombardo and his colleagues.

    True Detectives looks pretty badass. And if Girls regains form, even though I enjoyed most of last season, HBO will not need to rest on GoT next year.

  • Rygar,

    I think it’s been pretty well established that the half-hour shows on HBO are not “marquee” shows, since they lack strong DVD, product, and foreign rights income. They are second-tier projects (VEEP, etc.). I doubt few folks pay HBO just for Girls, which was always designed as a quirky, niche project like Bored to Death, Hung, etc.

    (And I should have included Newsroom as the fourth of HBO’s “Big Four at 9 PM”—it’s just been renewed.)

  • Right now, I think GOT’s strongest competition may be from paranormal/quasi-historical wannabes, like Sleepy Hollow, Outlanders, and Vikings. If enough HBO viewers get that kind of entertainment on basic cable or broadcast outlets (or Starz, in the case of Outlander), the novelty of GOT may begin to dissipate. The ratings may begin to slide a bit. Just holding 5 million plus for an entire season has provided close to impossible in the post-Sopranos era on HBO.

  • Rygar,
    I would VERY strongly disagree with BE being better than GoT. It could have been a good show, but the pacing in BE is so terrible that it ruins the show entirely. Each season has 9 episodes of nothingness, followed by 3 episodes where things start moving so quickly that it becomes hard to follow. Also, although it isn’t anything to do with how good (or bad) the show is, when I first started watching the accents were impenetrable :P.

    As for Treme, it remains the single most boring show that I have ever seen.

    Hodor’s Bastard,
    I just took that to mean “hey, you had a year to read the Theon chapters, if you haven’t read it yet that’s your fault. I’m not going to have two sample chapters up at the same time.”

    SerCurlyOfTheFingers,
    We get it the same way as the books, whatever that may be.

  • SerCurlyOfTheFingers:
    Season 7 = Robert’s Rebellion. All our favorite dead characters recast with younger actors. how else do we get R+L=J?

    Bran, baby, Bran! We’ll probably get all that exposition stuff through Bran & BR. Or Howland Reed will make an appearance at some point.

    One other thing regarding Bran…sort of: GRRM has recently mentioned that the upcoming books will explore the far, far reaches of the north. I always took that to be another Coldhands/Bran adventure before Bran becomes root boy, but could it be a Benjen reference? Maybe Benjen has found himself amidst the Thenn (or the CotF or the Others) way up north and his story will be told in TWoW/ADoS.

    (love the recent Benjen fan flick, btw)

  • Ser Tahu:
    vlad,
    HBO doesn’t care about ratings (Treme proves that), they care about dvd sales and subscription numbers.

    While I may not be drawn to Treme or a number of other shows,
    that doesn’t mean that my lack of appeal compares to those
    that find the show riveting or relatable or insightful. Like
    Boardwalk, a production well done, I’m reluctant to offer more time to commit
    for television gazing. I couldn’t help but cringe after watching
    a single episode of Emmy winning ” Girls”, though. Gag response-worthy.

  • DH87,

    I noticed this also, and the pattern of segmenting many more
    film releases among the premium channel networks , as opposed
    to cycling these through most. Cable or digital format packages do not come cheap.
    Only my wealthier-than – I, friends pay for all premium channels for inclusive
    original series and theatre releases. There are are small population aggregates that
    pay for a particular broadcast season, by order, whether as a group or singular. Who
    wants 100+ sport channels that come as filler, anyway ?

  • WildSeed

    I couldn’t help but cringe after watching
    a single episode of Emmy winning ” Girls”, though. Gag response-worthy.

    I understand it’s not to everyone’s taste, but I love Girls! Maybe because the central characters all remind me of people I knew when I was their age… Especially Hannah. I dated a few Hannah-types, and at least one Jessa-type back at college. My wife is also a big fan of the show.

    I like Boardwalk Empire, but like others on here, my main criticism is the first season just takes too long to get moving. For me, it’s a rung below s e.g. Breaking Bad and Mad Men.

    I thought Treme was pretty cool, but I still haven’t watched all of it… It’s kind of slow, I need to be in the right frame of mind to get back into it.

  • Bard: We don’t have any major characters who are present at Hardhome. So we’ll watch some random/unknown wildlings and Night’s Watch men fighting against the wights? Plus, there are more than a dozen other storylines, I doubt they have the time and budget for this.

    I thought the same where Jentario inferred this premise in previous threads, but the
    numerous comments above, have given me some pause for consideration. Should
    the production need to utilise both Castle Black scenes with Jon, and subsequent
    off site scenes with Tormund, near or beyond the frozen Skirling Pass or Mance’s
    Frostfang trek, then there might exist a precedent to entertain separate stories.
    This could be made efficient and worthwhile, since there were botched attempts
    to render a Jon inspired anchor , for nearly 3 three seasons. Hinds and Hivju are
    superb leads that might bring a needed balance to the anaemic Black Brother’s
    script. Burn Gorman and mystery Val may show up, Pyp , Grenn and maester
    Aemon might beef up Harrington’s deficiencies , but we’re without ser Mormont’s
    larger than life presence, and Donal Noye is a no show. Thorne is just thorn in the
    butt, and Stannis & Melisandre should not be burdened with a storyline that should
    clearly involve more Freefolk and/or Brothers Black. Much is possible, the speculation
    has been quite interesting.

  • sunspear: Game of Thrones only needed one episode to become a roller coaster.

    Yeah. They started high up and have been descending ever since. I would love for it to go back up again. ;)

  • Rygar:
    WildSeed,

    Girls ain’t for everyone.Its a hard show to relate to.

    It’s not that, I care not so much about relating, as finding it interesting. I find no
    merit in the whining, and the self absorption is portrayed in a way that offers little
    amusement. The premise should be more than it’s presented . The head actress who
    lends herself to script writer is quite exuberant and argues her point well ( I saw
    her on the Jon Stewart -daily show ), but I found an excuse to go scrub the bathroom
    sink, while it played on. There are a lot of self absorbed X gens. on the tele, this one
    is overrated, IMO. Give me more half hour ” Party Down ” or ” Always Funny….”

    Short of those, VEEP has good laugh quotients, and that dismissed Laura Dern show
    proved a tad more interesting than ” Girls “, methinks…… *>*

  • WildSeed: There are are small population aggregates that
    pay for a particular broadcast season, by order, whether as a group or singular.

    Premium cable channels fight for viewers, cannibalizing each other. I could received three-to-six-months free of each of the Big Three by cancelling each at specific times. There must be a shrinking universe of premium channel viewers/buyers in these difficult economic times.

    Chickenduck: I understand it’s not to everyone’s taste, but I love Girls! Maybe because the central characters all remind me of people I knew when I was their age…

    I view Girls as an attempt to snare a demographic much more attuned to watching TV via Netflix or any other content-delivery method in place of a paid-premium subscription. There can be no other rationale for the show, IMO. It is laughably bad to anyone over the age of 35 living west of Westchester County or south of the Battery. Anyone who saw Ms. Dunham’s proposal for her new book can have no illusions about her talent as a writer. She does have a certain amount of bravery, and she’s no more self-aggrandizing than the average delusional, well-off young person of any post-WWII era.

    That said, it’s no worse than Beavis and Butthead, which was also demographics-driven in its day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • Chickenduck,

    No worries, I’m still a novice at television watching, and I’m very stingy with my
    free time . Before my chronic illness, the tele could go a week or more without
    turning it on. Now I’m a bonafide book series Nerd followed by TV Nerd.

    Not a single female on ” Girls” remind me of any that I went to the University with
    or stayed in Residence Halls, but that’s not why I don’t care for the show. During
    my internship and rotation , it was incredulous that anyone would spent time in front
    of the television and not take a chance to literally climb a granite wall at Yosemite
    or dump yourself at the nearest beach…… anything to to get away from being pulled
    into another shift. Given a choice, I’d rather warg into a tree and
    have a bird sit and sing on my limb. I’d quote Emily Dickinson or something ( not
    the morose stuff, but her ” hope is….., poem ).

  • DH87: I view Girls as an attempt to snare a demographic much more attuned to watching TV

    I see your point, there, especially with the NetFlix ….. and to each viewer, they have a choice of what to watch.

    Cable and Digital magnates are bordering on stupid……..

  • WildSeed: Cable and Digital magnates are bordering on stupid……..

    Not really….they are facing several very difficult problems: rising program costs from the big conglomerates (especially ABC/ESPN) in a recession; changing viewing habits among the under 40s, who want to watch a show on demand; and a proliferation of niche channels that take smaller and smaller slivers out of the TV-watching pie.

    US customers want a la carte pricing to so they don’t have to pay for entire blocks of stations of absolutely no interest to them. Legislation has even been introduced in Congress, since airways and band width is owned by the US government. Cable companies have to come up with a way to make money, satisfy Congress and their stockholders, and keep subscribers. That’s a big order.

  • Rygar,

    Well you are in the minority, the critics, show business peers and public all seem to disagree with you, sure there are a few shows slightly better than GoT at times; some episodes of GoT are superior some weeks while others, BB and MM are better other weeks.

    The big question will be how the writers and directors handle seasons 5 and 6, the obvious weak links in the chain. The casual viewers (who are in the vast majority) will not tolerate Dany sticking around Essos for 3 or 4 more seasons, they want her and her dragons wreaking havoc in Westeros. Therefore D&D must adapt the story to get her back into the GoT playing out across the Narrow Sea by the end of season 6, otherwise like TB, viewers will tune out. I started tuning out the books because GRRM extended the story out like a bad melodrama, getting the readers frustrated. I hate a book or film that drags out a plot trying to milk a story for as long as possible. I ran out of patience with Dickens’s “Our Mutual Friend” for the same reason, writers often fall into the trap of there own imagination and forget to trim the fat.

    My writing professor once said never pull characters to far away from the central action, it diffuses the fiction and therefore begins to pull the reader from the pages making them ever more anxious and uninterested. I realize George wants to showcase more of his world, but he should save it for other novels and different stories. My worry is Dany will now travel to Valyria and then Ashai, just so George can show these locales with Dany finally arriving like in the last 1/3 of Spring like a deux machina. Perhaps this is GRRM intention along along, to tell the story behind a DM, because the events that lead these characters into the climax are never fully explained by authors.

    So normally a story would move along and occasionally the reader hears a whisper concerning Dany and possible dragons, with the story focused on Westeros, the game and the northern threat. Then in the climatic fight, the deux machina (Dany) swoops in with her dragons to save the day. The reader is like, wtf, where did she come from, and recalls the little tidbits of information scattered through the story. I wouldn’t put it pass George to do this, but by then only hard core fans will be interested in the concluding book and viewership will be near the cellar the final two seasons.

    I won’t bother with detailing what requires trimming, merging or cutting that is up the the adapters D&D. They must already realize the weaknesses in the story and the events that digress from it. The viewers are invested in KL, Dany, Dragonstone and the Wall, to add so much more in new arcs, subplots and characters would take screen time away from the favorites established and loved by the casual viewer, besides costing more $$ in contracts and set building. The show runners are privy to the conclusion and characters fate, so from now on they can adapt the story in such a way as to keep the focus on those already established, which to me means a lot of extraneous fat will be trimmed.

    This is acceptable to me, the more scenes with Jaime, Cersei, Tryion, Dany, Jon and Stannis along with their entourages the better. The Dornish stuff will take up precious screen time from the established cast, to throw in two dimensional Vic/Ron and the GoT for the Iron Isles and also the GoT for Slavers Bay will stretch viewers patience and therefore interest. Furthermore, Quentyn’s dead end and Aegon’s curve ball will further frustrate casual viewers; this is why BE and TB are on the decline, they are losing the focus of the main plot and screen time of characters invested in by the audience.

    My thinking is GoT will be adapted so that Dany arrives in Westeros by the end of season six or very beginning of seven. Which means Vic/Ron and their whole arc removed, to interject their story would take up two whole episodes a season, when combined, for both 5 and 6, screen time better spent on established arcs. I wouldn’t put it past D&D to have the Dornish send a fleet to Dany instead, Quentyn shows up, helps in battle and gets roasted for his trouble, Dany uses the ships, arrives on the Stony Shore. Arianne is sent to find out why no word on Quentyn and to assist Dany which leads to strains in the relationship with the Martell’s.

  • DH87,

    Apologies, my response was undoubtedly flippant. My comment reflects a frustration
    that many paid subscribers experiencing for shrinking content, unless purchase
    includes more premium channels. Many, like myself hope to support shows of
    merit, like “Breaking Bad” , ” Walking Dead ” or ” Game of Thrones “, yet an
    increasing number of fans resort to illegal access , whether it’s due to paying the
    ” Iron Price ” or exorbitant rates charged by cable network intermediators.
    There’s a significant amount of the deserving law abiding public that’s missing out
    on great programming because of insane pricing and a shrinking premium content.
    Watching most non cable television is closely akin to being force fed something
    similar to Fox channel news ( Rupert Murdoch ) talking heads for entertainment.
    Well, they are pretty amusing, but that’s not the point , LOL. In northern Calif, a
    full HD cable lineup package may run up to $ 450 + per month. I’m limiting
    myself to $ 190….. these are non bundled service prices, as not all areas of
    the country cannot participate.

  • WildSeed:
    300 + comments , as I guessed. Good thread and subject post, GreatJon
    of Slumber.

    Thanks man. I’m surprised to see this many – we’re not quite at “Importance of Dorne” level, but I didn’t expect that. Now I have to think of something else, darn it all. Thanks everyone who enjoyed. 362 and counting, though 400 seems like a stretch.

  • tysnow,

    I think the viewers of GoT are going to give this show a lot of rope, honestly. And if the additional characters are pared and kept interesting – Doran Martell would benefit from just a few episodes, and from a pretty big name (Ben Kingsley would be beautiful, but I may be aiming too high; Irfann Khan?), and that would be compelling, too, as long as they tie the relationships to our Red Viper.

    Quentyn could be lost entirely, or kept to a minimum, or also made into a huge guest-star tragic turn that keeps interest high.

    Greyjoys pared to 3-4 episodes mostly to keep them in the mix: Euron, Damphair, and Vic, as long as we know where they are – a few appearances a year, so we see them stirring the plot.

  • GreatJon of Slumber: Importance of Dorne

    A quick look tells me that more people commented here than in the first discussion about Dorne. “The Importance of Dorne Part 2″ is far ahead with more than 500 comments, but a lot of it went into that (awful) flamewar about race and skin color.

  • I’m sure Ilyn Payne will be written out as sadly Wilco Johnson has terminal cancer. A great axe man in more ways than one.

    Amazing guitarist with Dr Feelgood & Ian Jury & the Blockheads

  • Gormryjk:
    The Meereenese Blot blog has a new post up. Interesting read!

    This recently produced site has been a most welcome addition to the cult of speculative thought on ADwD. The site doesn’t vainly claim to make the GoT adaptation any easier, but the blogger does a commendable job to colorize the various plotlines that have been criticized as “filler”. Indirectly, these insights (many of which are also found here, W and TotH in various forms) could help streamline the adaptation of this subtle, robust masterpiece.

    D&D&BC, are you listening?

  • Not Ben Kingsly!!!!

    Pedro needs his older brother to be Dan “Danny” Trejo and no one else!

  • Uther Greenshirt,

    After watching and loving the first season of The Bridge, I’m liking that fancasting of Demián Bichir for Doran.

    Would definitely be playing against type for him, but from The Bridge, he shows a real knack for playing a character that makes bad choices but still remains highly sympathetic.

  • I can’t wait to see what the writers do with Season 5 and beyond, should be exciting.

    Personally I would cut, cut, cut and speed through AFfC/ADwD ending Season 5 roughly at the end of ADwD for most of the main characters. Would make for a hell of a season.

    I’m expecting the final two books to be like ASoS was, a beast of book with shit loads of exciting events unfolding. ASoS was given roughly a season and half to two seasons of time. I expect WoW and ADoS will recieve the same with Season 6 to 8 being covered between them.

    While I would love to have every character and event from the books, there is just too many in already overcrowded tv show. There will be have to be major cuts and because I’ve accepted that we’ll realistically see the end of Game of Thrones before we see the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, I’m fine with it.

  • Uther Greenshirt,

    Dan Trejo may be a good actor, but he most certainly is NOT Doran Martel. Doran Martel is a depressed old man stuck in the past. His face should look sad, almost tired of life. Dan Trejo is the opposite of that. And he doesn’t look at all like I imagined him.

    Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad would play him perfectly, even if he isn’t 100% accurate on the looks. I cast my vote to him until a better option is presented to me.

  • Nick_Scryer:

    …..I’ve accepted that we’ll realistically see the end of Game of Thrones before we see the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, I’m fine with it.

    Noooooooo! I’m never going to stop clinging to that ever-fraying rope of hope that GRRM will stay inches ahead of GoT!

    By the way…word is spreading like wildfire about the “Ser Barristan I” TWoW preview chapter in the ADwD paperback, available next Tuesday. Although I won’t give it away here, the last sentence in the chapter is a doozy!

  • Like the ideas of keeping Bronn around – I would favour him joining Brienne over Jaime, though both sound fun

    I am curious in that the GoT map left no room for Mereen and I’m beginning to suspect they cut it out and simplify Danys story.

    I can see the desire to compress books 4&5 into mostly one season, since there isn’t enough material to stretch it out to 2 seasons, and if you make it 1.5 seasons you’ll struggle to have appropriate climaxes at the season finale (Jon’s aDwD storyline ending halfway through a season… That couldn’t happen). All that being said, working most of those two books into season 5 would mean D&D would need to have tWoW material next summer and then aDoS material the following summer. The former seems tough to call, but the latter is never gonna happen.

    Once we’ve seen how far beyond aSoS season 4 goes, we’ll have a much better chance to speculate on seasons 5 and 6.

    Great article, and a fun debate

  • Uther Greenshirt:
    Not Ben Kingsly!!!!

    Pedro needs his older brother to be Dan “Danny” Trejo and no one else!

    Jordan:
    Uther Greenshirt,

    After watching and loving the first season of The Bridge, I’m liking that fancasting of Demián Bichir for Doran.

    Would definitely be playing against type for him, but from The Bridge, he shows a real knack for playing a character that makes bad choices but still remains highly sympathetic.

    I don’t see either of them. Trejo is a hulking bad-ass, not a withered shell of a man. Bichir is interesting, but I see him as very much a contemporary actor, and not one I’d picture in period parts. I still see Ben Kinglsey, Irfann Kahn, John Rhys-Davies, or Alexander Siddig as Doran. Other possibilities would be Emilio Echevarria, so great in Amores Perros, 0r perhaps Sergi Lopez, so awful in Pan’s Labyrinth (he at 48 may be a bit young for the part).

  • Nick_Scryer:
    Personally I would cut, cut, cut and speed through AFfC/ADwD ending Season 5 roughly at the end of ADwD for most of the main characters. Would make for a hell of a season.

    Luckily this is not going to happen, the writers want GoT to stay good, that means no rushing through storylines. Yes they need to have a different approach than GRRM did with the books, but it are still great storylines, best thing to do is to make the storytelling (not storyline) more acceptable for television. Let us see the taking of dragon stone, the way Margerey feels about her brother getting injured. Every storyline from aFfC and DwD can be even more exciting on screen than the things we are going to see in season 4 and that we saw in season 3. It depends how they will tell this story.

    Strewth78,
    Mereen is in season 4. We have Hizdahr. We have the scene where there is a dead child (roasted) and more important we have the dead body’s pointing toward Mereen.

  • Sittingduck:
    I’m sure Ilyn Payne will be written out as sadly Wilco Johnson has terminal cancer.A great axe man in more ways than one.

    Amazing guitarist with Dr Feelgood & Ian Jury & the Blockheads

    Thank you. Someone else who understands how great and talented a guitarist he is.

  • WildSeed: It’s not that, I care not so much about relating, as finding it interesting. I find no
    merit in the whining, and the self absorption is portrayed in a way that offers little
    amusement. The premise should be more than it’s presented . The head actress who
    lends herself to script writer is quite exuberant and argues her point well ( I saw
    her on the Jon Stewart -daily show ), but I found an excuse to go scrub the bathroom
    sink, while it played on. There are a lot of self absorbed X gens. on the tele, this one
    is overrated, IMO. Give me more half hour ” Party Down ” or ” Always Funny….”

    Short of those, VEEP has good laugh quotients, and that dismissed Laura Dern show
    proved a tad more interesting than ” Girls “, methinks…… *>*

    I hear you. I enjoy the humor most of all. Lena Dunham is a gifted artist.

  • Jentario:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    I’m trying to avoid Meereen stuff since we already have so much of it. Should I read or shouldn’t I?

    Oh, I won’t make that decision for anybody, respectfully. Versions of the chapter (taken from GRRM readings) have been appearing around the virtual world for about a year now. It finally seems to be in publishable form like the Arienne chapter (although who knows?). Knowing what I have read in your posts, you know what’s coming….prep for battle. It is the first Selmy POV chapter that is directly named “Ser Barristan”, instead of indirectly via “The Queensguard” or “The Discarded Knight” from ADwD. Go Selmy!

    (I don’t know how folks feel about TWoW book spoilers here so I will not discuss it further)

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    no way! man I hope that ends up online since I’m from the UK, is that Ser Barristan’s first chapter at the Battle of Meereen that George has read at cons?

    And to whoever asked about staying clear of Meereen chapters, yeah I would say it’s better to stay away. After I read the notes on Tyrion’s second chapter I felt a little spoiled.

    Also about Doran Martell, I always saw him: dark skinned, kinda chubby, worn and weathered by his everyday struggle with life, but with a kind fatherly look
    I don’t think Danny ‘Machete’ Trejo would fit the bill so much ;)

  • Chriss,

    I’ll be so sad if they cut Kevan. He’s not only necessary for the big Varys reveal but I feel like his ‘OH NO HE DIDN’T’ scene with Cersei was one of the best scenes of the early book

  • Chriss,

    House Mormont,

    *sigh* I’ve been brooding silently about Kevan Lannister since season one.
    While I’d very much like to debate his role as more significant , to the books,
    than what you mentioned above, the screen version has proven only
    forgettable.
    However the GoT has instead, bumped up other
    characters to bridge a perfectly -already-established -character role, for another.
    Old story, new episode.

  • Sittingduck,

    I mentioned in a previous discussion thread, some weeks ago….. the music
    sessions have attracted much press, and Wilco Johnson gets to continue,
    for a notable brief time, to express his passion for something he loves to do.

  • WildSeed,

    indeed forgettable, honestly when I rewatched the series I was surprised to find he didn’t look at all like a pictured him in my head… I didn’t even remember he had grey hair, and I didn’t even realise he was in season 2 in Tywin’s war council of strangers.

    Who do you think could take his role? Maybe between Jaime and Mace Tyrell combined?

  • Jentario:
    Uther Greenshirt,

    Dan Trejo may be a good actor, but he most certainly is NOT Doran Martel. Doran Martel is a depressed old man stuck in the past. His face should look sad, almost tired of life. Dan Trejo is the opposite of that. And he doesn’t look at all like I imagined him.

    Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad would play him perfectly, even if he isn’t 100% accurate on the looks. I cast my vote to him until a better option is presented to me.

    Giancarlo Esposito was on my short list, for the role of Doran Martell ( I
    don’t believe he is available ), primarily for his finesse
    at nailing the role and his external features. He is
    part Italian, for what it’s worth. His command of Spanish is alright, but
    he speaks wicked Italian, fluently.

  • House Mormont,

    Since Pycelle dies right before, and is certainly a more significant character on the show, I feel like they’ll do the Varys reveal through him. Will still miss Kevan, though, he was pretty interesting in the book.

  • Hodor Targaryen,

    I considered this too, for a brief time. If only Pycelle’s ridicule on GoT, hadn’t
    stretched on from season to season. I wouldn’t rule the Varys reveal through
    Pycelle, undoable, but I cringe to consider him elevated in status again, and
    protecting Tommen from his ….. mother. There may be someone else, with
    better credibility than Pycelle, for the questioned role, or the production
    tweaks the script to revise all of what I described. Please…no, I hope it’s
    not Jaime Lannister as a stand in… ) :

    ” She’s been fucking Lancel and ser Kettleblack, and the kings guard ,for
    all I know…..

  • House Mormont,

    I hope Jaime’s position isn’t hyped to this responsibility, and Mace Tyrell
    was much hated by Cersei. A new or familiar character with re-worked
    script may allow for insertion, for the role. Then again, Qyburn may step
    into the role, as both torturer and confidant, of Cersei. A very dangerous
    man to have as an ally. Too bad lady Taena Merryweather is unannounced.

  • Ser Tahu: Season 4 (there is time left for some more characters to be cas

    Let’s hope so.

    Ser Tahu: Season 5:

    Also notable, and super anticipation for this lot. The Greyjoy contingent will
    continue to arrest interest, but there are several contenders here for an
    interesting season.

    Ser Tahu: Season 6:

    No mention of the Magnar of Thenn, but yes notable and a list worth waiting for.

    Ser Tahu: Notable cuts:

    Donal Noye ‘s absence, I lament, yet I hope the Green Grace remains in Benioff &
    Weiss’s good graces for a character role.

  • House Mormont:
    WildSeed,

    indeed forgettable, honestly when I rewatched the series I was surprised to find he didn’t look at all like a pictured him in my head… I didn’t even remember he had grey hair, and I didn’t even realise he was in season 2 in Tywin’s war council of strangers.

    Who do you think could take his role? Maybe between Jaime and Mace Tyrell combined?

    I thought we’d heard word that he’s been filming this year. Honestly his role in the first couple of books is pretty small – he’s there, but he’s not all that memorable, and he can be built up a bit more.

  • Ser Tahu,

    I meant to address this. Taking yours one by one, see below:

    Season 4 (there is time left for some more characters to be cast):
    Euron
    Aeron (but not necessarily in S4)

    –I think we’ll get both, Aeron perhaps in a more truncated role.

    Season 5:
    Victarion — yes
    Bowen Marsh (although there is the theory that his role could be give to Alliser, with Locke replacing Alliser in the scheming) — Or they use Locke, if he’s allowed to become friends or frenemies with Jon

    Cotter Pyke (he could also end up being a window into Hardhome if they want to show it) I think he’s gone
    Wyman Manderly — Yes, on appearance alone
    Arianne Martell — Yes
    Doran Martell — yes
    The Kindly Man — Yes, in one way or another
    Quentyn Martell — Maybe. He could be jettisoned without much trouble.
    Nymeria Sand (combined with Obara) — Agreed, a combination of some kind.

    Areo Hotah – Easily discarded.
    Arys Oakheart — Perhaps, but he’ll be named and killed within like 10 minutes.
    Gerold Dayne — Yes.
    Randyll Tarly — definitely. They’ve built him up. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oldtown plot doesn’t start till Season 6, with Samwell arriving at Horn Hill and confronting his father in Season 5/Episode 10. I know, some are saying, “But Randyll is in the Riverlands.” Well, he can travel.
    Aegon ‘Targaryen’ — Yes
    Jon Connington — Yes
    The Tattered Prince (unfortunately it looks like he will be combined with Brown Ben) – No, I think he’s gone.
    Septon Meribald (combined with the Elder Brother. I’m going to be honest, I forgot that they were separate characters in the books anyway :P) — We could get one or both.
    High Sparrow — DEFINITE.
    Wex (or show equivalent) – Nah.
    Nestor Royce — Hasn’t he been cast already, or am I thinking another Royce?
    Tyene Sand — Yes, they’ll have 2 Sand Snakes.
    Brusco — ?
    Archibald Yronwood (I think that he will take the role of Cletus Yronwood, though, and die in the stepstones to add drama) — Maybe.
    Gerris Drinkwater — Yeah, if they need a companion for Quentyn, or they just nix him.
    Barbrey Dustin — Perhaps
    Septa Lemore — I think so, for the boobs.
    Xhondo — Nah.
    Val (I am resigned to the fact that we won’t see her this season) — Maybe.
    Harry Strickland — He can be cut without problems.
    Lyn Corbray — Yes, we’ll see him.
    Denys Mallister (as an extra) – Nah
    Tristifer Botley (combined with Qarl, so that YarAsha has someone to interact with) — Completely unnecessary.
    Hyle Hunt — Yes.
    Skahaz mo Kandaq (If they don’t introduce him I think they will have Grey Worm take his place in the plotting. But if that happens Grey Worm can’t eat the locusts, in which case I hope they will bring back Kovarro) – They can keep, yes.
    Harys Swift (because I find Cersei naming Mace her hand very unlikely) — I think they can lose him.
    Haldon Halfmaester (I would prefer him to Lemore, but Lemore provides nudity so she is sure to get in). — I think a trip with Tyrion, Varys, Connington and Aegon, along with Septa Lemore is enough. Maybe he’s there, but unnamed.

    Season 6:
    Alys Karstark — Could skip that.
    Archmaester Marwyn — I suppose.
    Harry Hardyng (assuming he shows up in the first section of TWoW)
    Cregan Karstark — Nah.
    Balon Swann – Maybe.
    Moqorro — OH YES.
    Izembaro (assuming Arya doesn’t suddenly run away before meeting him) – I guess.
    Sarella Sand/Alleras — Sure.
    Pate (only to be instantly killed off and have his identity assumed by Jaqen) — No, it’s pointless to include. They can reveal Jaqen in some other way.

    Arnolf Karstark (just so Stannis has someone to execute :P) — Nah.
    One of Mance’s girls (the rest as extras) — Nah.
    Septa Unella (all three in one character) – Yes, but she might be nameless.
    Elia Sand — She’s not all that significant. I’d cut her.

    Notable cuts:
    Reznak – pointless character.
    Penny — I think she survives, actually.
    All of the Yunkish Nobles (I actually want them to bring back the Yunkish noble from season 3 to enslave Tyrion) — Yeah, you could dump those guys.
    Taena Merryweather – Seeing as how they’ve avoided hot lesbian action, probably true.
    The Kettleblacks — Yeah, Meryn Trant can slot in well enough.
    4-5 of the Sand Snakes (have Sarella in Oldtown, Nymeria/Obara hybrid accompany Balon Swann in the hunt for the Darkstar, Ellaria go to King’s Landing instead of Nymeria, Tyene go to King’s Landing and cast Elia Sand to accompany Arianne in meeting Aegon if she ends up being important). — Right. Davos had what, 7 kids, and in the show, 1.
    The Widow — probably.
    The Green Grace — I think she could survive it.
    Aurane Waters — Right.
    Donal Noye — Hmm. He’d be good to have, but you could use Grenn also.
    The Waif — Maybe.
    Nimble Dick — Gone, most definitely. Pointless digression.
    The Waif — Two Waifs?

    I hope and pray for Maggie the Frog. I won’t get it, though, and it’ll be the first cut that will really sting for me. A younger Cersei, her idiot friend, and a creepy woods witch. YEAHZ. Not gonna happen. Boo.

  • Hodor’s Bastard,

    Thanks, I’ll avoid it. Otherwise, by the time the book is out, we would already have the whole battle and it’s outcomes. I will read it if it ends up being Aeron, Sansa, Arya or anyone doing their own thing, though.

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    We’re speaking of the later chapters, and Vary’s big reveal long after Cersei’s
    ” walk of shame”, a release from the chapel
    . Kevan and Cersei shared some
    heavy dialogue after Tywin’s death.

  • Greatjon of Slumber: Taena Merryweather

    Then leave the self pleasuring ,out. There’s more of a dynamic going on than sex,
    or bed warming. I totally disagree about the notion of ” lesbianism ” occurring.
    Miss Cersei needs a BFF to share her twisted thoughts with. Daddy Tywin doesn’t
    believe she’s all that smart ) :

    still no mention of the magnar of Thenn ?

  • WildSeed: Giancarlo Esposito was on my short list, for the role of Doran Martell ( I
    don’t believe he is available ), primarily for his finesse
    at nailing the role and his external features. He is
    part Italian, for what it’s worth. His command of Spanish is alright, but
    he speaks wicked Italian, fluently.

    Esposito is half Italian (father’s side), half African-American (mother’s side). He remains my favourite fancast for Doran.

    I remember people giving Giancarlo crap for his accent when speaking Spanish on Breaking Bad – but for what it’s worth, it sounded ok to me (it didn’t sound native, but neither do I when I talk Spanish). I haven’t heard his Italian, but I would guess he’d have spoken it at least a little when growing up.

    Another choice I could go for is Alfred Molina, who is half-Italian, half-Spanish (and is fluent in both), but grew up in England. He’s done Latino roles on TV before.

    I’m very interested to see if the Dornish have a different accent from the rest of the Westerosis (who to be fair aren’t 100% consistent anyway – the way Tyrion, Cersei and Jaime sound so different tends to distract me a little). It’d be kind of cool…

    Oh, and Ragnarök, totally. Maybe not 100%, but too many coincidences for there not to be something to it. Freaking love the bit about Petyr Baelish’s sigil changing from Giant to Bird…

  • WildSeed: There’s a significant amount of the deserving law abiding public that’s missing out
    on great programming because of insane pricing and a shrinking premium content.

    I agree completely.

    On a more upbeat note, reports are that Starz is going it alone, minus the BBC, with a second season of The White Queen. This decision I ascribe to the continued ripple effect of GOT and the good taste/sense of Chris Albrecht, who continues to make very good programming decisions with a fraction of the HBO budget. He’s lucked out in snagging a miniseries starring the star of the Oscar-frontrunner Twelve Years a Slave, and the Spartacus team is putting together a new sci-fi series, Incursion, for 2014. It’s clear that Albrecht relies on his taste/judgment of the premium audience and the HBO bigwigs on its stable of aging film veterans (Scorsese, M. Douglas, Winter, Alan Ball, DeNiro, Nolte, et al.).

    Time will tell which is the best strategy in the premium market.

  • WildSeed:
    Greatjon of Slumber,

    We’re speaking of the later chapters, and Vary’s big reveal long after Cersei’s
    ” walk of shame”, a release from the chapel
    . Kevan and Cersei shared some
    heavy dialogue after Tywin’s death.

    Yes, very true – that’s when Kevan’s best stuff is. Just saying that what we’ve seen of him so far on the show is probably en0ugh, though we’ll need a modest ‘re-introduction’ at some point, and since he’s even on the show, no need to sub in another character to tell Cersei where she can stick it.

    WildSeed: Then leave the self pleasuring ,out. There’s more of a dynamic going on than sex,
    or bed warming. I totally disagree about the notion of ” lesbianism ” occurring.
    Miss Cersei needs a BFF to share her twisted thoughts with. Daddy Tywin doesn’t
    believe she’s all that smart) :

    still no mention of the magnar of Thenn ?

    You’re correct, and I shouldn’t just reduce it to sex when it’s more about power.

    And I thought we already had Joseph Gatt cast – clearly playing Magnar of Thenn.

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    Here’s some expansion on my thoughts on the ones where we disagree (and just some comments in general):

    Season 4 (there is time left for some more characters to be cast):
    “I think we’ll get both, Aeron perhaps in a more truncated role.”
    Agreed.

    Season 5:
    Bowen Marsh (although there is the theory that his role could be give to Alliser, with Locke replacing Alliser in the scheming) — Or they use Locke, if he’s allowed to become friends or frenemies with Jon

    The problem is that a key part of that role was that Bowen is a senior of the Watch, and very traditional in a lot of his views as a result of the time he has spent in the Watch. I just don’t think Locke could fill that role. It is entirely possible for him and Jon to become frenemies (in fact I don’t mind the theory that Grenn and Edd died at Craster’s Keep and that Locke will take their roles. “Locke, fetch me a block.”), but a replacement for Bowen? I just don’t see it working without MASSIVE rewrites of that storyline.

    Cotter Pyke (he could also end up being a window into Hardhome if they want to show it)I think he’s gone
    If he is there I don’t think he will have a major role. I think he will just show up for the election for Sam’s scenes (“Hey, would you consider supporting Jon instead”, and then we see Sam sit down with Denys Mallister (an extra) and it is implied that they have a similar conversation). Basically he would just be a nice way to add drama to the election.

    Wyman Manderly— Yes, on appearance alone
    Slightly off-topic, but Ian McNiece for Wyman please. Baron Harkonnen as Wyman would be badass :P

    Quentyn Martell — Maybe. He could be jettisoned without much trouble.
    I’ve heard all of the arguments against Quentyn, because in the larger scope of the plot he could be written around, but that is the case for a lot of things that have been included in the show. Quentyn adds drama, and is just an interesting character in general. Sure, the could cut him, but I am 100% certain they won’t

    Areo Hotah – Easily discarded.
    I can see him being a featured extra. He’s essentially like Gregor in that he just needs to stand there and be badass :P.

    Arys Oakheart — Perhaps, but he’ll be named and killed within like 10 minutes.
    Maybe slightly more than 10 minutes, but essentially yes. My arguments for him are similar to my argument for Quentyn: He could be worked around but he is a nice way to add drama, which when you get down to it is the most important thing

    The Tattered Prince (unfortunately it looks like he will be combined with Brown Ben)– No, I think he’s gone.
    Either Brown Ben or Tatters is gone, I agree with that. I think we will get Brown Ben but he will have the backstory of Tatters.

    Wex (or show equivalent)– Nah.
    They need to do the Skagos reveal somehow. I picture a featured extra who doesn’t even speak. Ycou just see his face when Rickon boards a ship, and then when he pops up and White Harbour the audience will realise that Davos is being sent after Rickon.

    Nestor Royce — Hasn’t he been cast already, or am I thinking another Royce?
    You’re thinking of Bronze Yohn Royce. Yohn is head of the main branch of House Royce and very anti-Littlefinger (he is essentially the leader of the Lords Declarant), Nestor is head of the cadet branch and is very much in Petyr’s pocket :P.

    Brusco — ?
    The Braavosi merchant that Arya stays with for a time

    Gerris Drinkwater — Yeah, if they need a companion for Quentyn, or they just nix him.
    Gerris gives Quentyn someone to interact with and provides the opportunity for exposition and backstory. Also, see my Dorne theory below.

    Xhondo — Nah
    Someone has to take Sam to Oldtown.

    Harry Strickland — He can be cut without problems.
    He could, but I don’t think he will. Someone has to captain the Golden Company. They could just have JonCon be the captain, but that destroys the whole “I’m raising Aegon in secret until he is ready to be revealed” thing.

    Tristifer Botley (combined with Qarl, so that YarAsha has someone to interact with) — Completely unnecessary.
    Same as Gerris and Quentyn – he gives YarAsha someone to interact with and allows exposition

    Harys Swift (because I find Cersei naming Mace her hand very unlikely) — I think they can lose him.
    I think we will see one member of Cersei’s council. She could just name Mace to the position of hand, but I think that would ruin the whole Cersei vs the Tyrells thing from that storyline

    Haldon Halfmaester (I would prefer him to Lemore, but Lemore provides nudity so she is sure to get in). — I think a trip with Tyrion, Varys, Connington and Aegon, along with Septa Lemore is enough. Maybe he’s there, but unnamed.
    Hence why I had him as a maybe. I think his an interesting character, but of all the companions I have a feeling we will only see Lemore because boobs.

    As for Varys, I do agree that he will accompany Tyrion across the narrow sea, but I think he will only go as far as Illyrio’s manse. When Tyrion leaves to meet Aegon and JonCon I think he will stay behind and then not be seen again until season 6 when he kills Pycelle and Kevan

    Season 6:
    Alys Karstark— Could skip that.
    The Karstark situation adds drama to Jon’s storyline, and Jon’s meddling in their affairs was one of the main motivations behind his assassination. I think it would be a misstep to not include it. Also, there is the whole ‘Arya is coming’ thing, which featured heavily in Jon’s ADwD stuff.

    Archmaester Marwyn — I suppose.
    He is almost certain to have some sort of role in TWoW, unless he is one of the biggest red herrings in the books :P.

    Cregan Karstark — Nah.
    If we do get Alys we will get Cregan

    Izembaro (assuming Arya doesn’t suddenly run away before meeting him) – I guess.
    Same as Marwyn (except we haven’t actually seen Izembaro in the books yet)

    Pate (only to be instantly killed off and have his identity assumed by Jaqen) — No, it’s pointless to include. They can reveal Jaqen in some other way.
    They could introduce him in other ways, yes. But imagine: In the ‘previously on GoT’ section we see the face-change scene from Valar Morghulis. The episode opens in Oldtown (which we haven’t seen before), and we see Pate talk to Alleras then leave. When he leaves Jaqen 2.0 kills him. At the end of that episode Sam arrives in Oldtown and Alleras and Pate are there. It could be done in other ways, yes, but that would be one badass, dramatic way of reintroducing Jaqen, and drama is one of the most important things in the show.

    Arnolf Karstark (just so Stannis has someone to execute :P) — Nah.
    But who wouldn’t want to see Stannis kill a featured extra?

    One of Mance’s girls (the rest as extras) — Nah.
    Then who is going to flirt with Theon repeatedly, bring him to Mance then die?

    Septa Unella (all three in one character) – Yes, but she might be nameless.
    I agree that they wouldn’t necessarily bother naming her.

    Elia Sand — She’s not all that significant. I’d cut her.
    Hence why I had her as a maybe. She is accompanying Arianne in TWoW, and we don’t know for sure where that is going. If Elia ends up doing something important there then I think we will see her (she could be renamed to Obara/Nymeria though, depending on which of those names isn’t used, just because the show has so far avoided having two characters with the same name and Elia Martell is almost certain to be mentioned every now and then from season 4 onwards).

    Notable cuts:
    Penny — I think she survives, actually.
    She could be in the show, but if she just dies in Meereen (and I hope she does) then I could see her cut. It all depends on whether she actually does something important in the final books

    The Green Grace — I think she could survive it.
    What did she actually do, though? I view her in the same way as Reznak: just there. I am aware of the theory that the Green Grace is actually the Harpy, but I am working under the assumption that it is not true.

    Donal Noye — Hmm. He’d be good to have, but you could use Grenn also.
    I did like Donal Noye, but he really only did three things:
    1) “Robert = true steel, Renly = Copper, Stannis = pure iron and will break before he bends” quote
    2) “The Wall is Yours”, which can easily be given to Maester Aemon
    3) dual with a giant, which would be better if given to a well established character (like Grenn)

    The Waif — Maybe.
    The Waif — Two Waifs?
    Lol, my bad :P.

    Maybe you didn’t see it, but I also mentioned Mago V2 and Khal Jhaqo for season 6 in another post further down.

    WildSeed,
    Sigorn was a complete oversight. If we get Alys Karstark (and I think we will), we will also get Sigorn.

  • Chickenduck,
    My favourite fancast for Doran is still Edward James Olmos. I wanted Giancarlo for Brown Ben :P.

    DH87,
    Incursion is still in development, it doesn’t even have an estimated release date yet from what I can tell. Also, Starz is producing a Dracula series with the Spartacus developers as well.

    And The White Queen season 2 is news to me, but it doesn’t surprise me because its ratings were the best Starz has seen since Camelot and Spartacus.

    Overall, though, I think Starz is the channel to watch in 2014:
    Black Sails (pirate period drama) which looks amazing
    Outlander (sci-fi drama) which, as far as being a highly ambitious book adaption is concerned, looks like their answer to GoT
    Fortitude (crime drama)
    Power (gangster/underworld drama), from what I know of it (which is very little), it seems like a half way point between Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad.
    And on top of that we have season 2 of Da Vinci’s Demons and possibly season 2 of The White Queen.

    On the topic of premium cable, are there any premium cable channels, aside from Starz, Showtime and HBO, that produce high quality drama series’? I live in Australia, so I’m not too familiar with all of the channels in the US. Basically the 5 US channels that I watch all the dramas from are FX, AMC, HBO, Starz and Showtime.

    EDIT: With this the thread has hit 400 posts. Congratulations Greatjon!

  • Greatjon of Slumber,
    Lol, I forgot to include my Dorne theory. Here it is:

    The situation with the Darkstar will be resolved within 1-2 Areo chapters. Obara will die. Areo and Balon Swann retreat to Sunspear. The next Areo chapter is a conversation between him and Doran where we get more backstory on both the Martells and the Daynes (I am growing very fond of this theory: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/93481-theory-darkstars-father-twow-spoilers/ ).
    In the next Areo chapter Gerris and Arch return to Sunspear and explain what happened in Meereen. If you recall from Barristan’s chapters, he release Gerris and Arch, who blame Daenerys for Quentyn’s death, and sent them back to Dorne with Quentyn’s bones. While talking to Doran they essentially tell him it was Daenerys’ fault. This, as well as an update from Arianne, causes Doran to have to seriously reconsider his options. If there’s one thing that dominates Doran’s personality (aside from being cautious), it is that he holds grudges. In the next Areo chapter they get the news from Arianne that Aegon has taken the capital and that Tommen was killed, which causes Doran to declare for Aegon*. I think that will be the last we see of Doran in TWoW. I also think that Daenerys will land at the end of the book and send Tyrion to treat with Doran, but when Tyrion gets to Sunspear in ADoS he receives a frosty reception from Doran who basically says “Why is it that you are here on Daenerys’ behalf, and not my son?” (think Denethor from LoTR when Gandalf walks in to find him with Boromir’s horn).

    *an extra bit of fun: my original prediction (which I had to change because I forgot that Myrcella was sent back to King’s Landing: My prediction was that, after getting the news of Tommen’s death/the fall of King’s Landing, Balon Swann would crown Myrcella and try and force Doran to declare for her. Doran would then have them executed and have Myrcella’s body sent to KL to prove his loyalty to Aegon in the same way that Tywin proved his to Robert. Before the Myrcella->KL thing was pointed out, people responded by saying “But Doran hates the murder of children!”. I would argue that he doesn’t care about the murder of children. If there’s anything that we can conclude from Doran’s actions it is that he cares about his family more than anything else and will not rest until his has vengeance against those who harm his family. It could still happen, though. Maybe Myrcella is forced to turn back due to the Golden Company occupying the Stormlands? And if it does happen, it would be one of the most epic things in the series. It would also make my theorised Tyrion-Doran confrontation that much more emotional and tense.

  • Ser Tahu,

    Cinemax is going in that direction now. At the moment it just has Strike Back and Banshee. Upcoming projects are Quarry (with Logan Marshall-Green, Stellan Skarsgard, and Noah Taylor; directed by John Hillcoat) and Stephen Soderbergh’s miniseries The Knick with Clive Owen. Those should be interesting.

  • Ser Tahu,

    So many of my original choices for Doran may be too old now that HBO cast Oberyn 4 years younger than his book role. Of course Doran was supposed to look old and the Red Viper was suppose to look young. Four years is not so much, considered contemporary I would guess.

    Alfred Molina, Edward James Olmos, Giancarlo Giannini , Ben Kingsley etc… all great actors, but they would all come off as 38-year old Pedro Pascal as Oberyn’s father more than his older brother I think. Same goes for my earlier favorite to be Doran, Homayoun Ershadi, who was in the Kite Runner (written by Benioff). Not sure that matters, but it dos give me slight pause.

    Esposito comes off much younger, but he is so busy….

    Two actors I have really considered the last few months have been Alon Aboutboul and Marcel Iures. Iures even has a lengthy HBO connection having starred in an HBO Romania series. To me both perfectly capture the needed Doran qualities and both actually resemble Pascal vaguely as well. Again though, Iures might be too old, but Aboutboul would be in the sweet spot age wise I think..

  • Greatjon of Slumber,

    Agreed on many points, but I think we may get more Yunkai Wise Masters in Dany’s arc. IF Dany stays in Meereen for multiple seasons having a few local players would certainly add to her arc. Also, assuming they play up the Harpy mystery it would work much better with multiple suspects.

    I do pretty much agree on Reznak though. With the TV series not introducing the Perfumed “Seneschal” prophecy, he has little value unless he is the Harpy. Maybe Hizdahr zo Loraq and either the Green Grace or the Shavepate would be enough? If D&D plan to visit Volantis later, it may be nice having Grazdan Mo Eraz?

  • Ser Tahu:
    Chickenduck,
    My favourite fancast for Doran is still Edward James Olmos. I wanted Giancarlo for Brown Ben :P.

    Yeah, I dig Olmos also. The main problem with my fancasts being that they’re all 20 years older than Pedro Pascal!

    Maybe… Jimmy Smits? Can’t remember how old he is, but he from memory looks much younger than the others.

    Or for a left-field LOST connection, what about the guy who played Richard Alpert? Can’t remember his name, let’s go wiki it…

  • Chickenduck,
    My impression reading the books was the Doran was 10-12 years older than Oberyn, but looked double that, so a 20 year difference actually sounds about right.

    Jimmy Smits would also be awesome, though.

  • Off-topic – while we are still discussing Starz; did anyone else really want Camelot to get a second season to conclude everything?

  • kevin,

    Kevin said “Mereen is in season 4. We have Hizdahr. We have the scene where there is a dead child (roasted) and more important we have the dead body’s pointing toward Mereen.”

    I didnt mean that all storylines from Mereen would be skipped – that would be redundant – but that the Yunkai we see at the end of season 3 could have all the characters and storylines of Mereen in seasons 4 & 5. It would simplify Danys story and reduce repititions as she moved from one city to another.

    Im not saying I want it to happen, just that I was suspecting it might.

  • Greatjon of Slumber:
    Ser Tahu,

    I meant to address this. Taking yours one by one, see below:

    Season 4 (there is time left for some more characters to be cast):
    Euron
    Aeron (but not necessarily in S4)

    –I think we’ll get both, Aeron perhaps in a more truncated role.

    Season 5:
    Victarion — yes
    Bowen Marsh (although there is the theory that his role could be give to Alliser, with Locke replacing Alliser in the scheming) — Or they use Locke, if he’s allowed to become friends or frenemies with Jon

    As far as I know, everything has been shot for this season or is going to end this week. So no more castmembers are going to be cast. Maybe a reveal. But if you look at how many new Characters have been cast, we can asume that the Greyjoy brothers will be in season 5 not season 4. But still we don’t know what is gonna happen in season 4.

    But Allister Thorne was cast for season 4 as far as I know, the actor came back.

  • strewth78:
    kevin,

    Kevin said “Mereen is in season 4. We have Hizdahr. We have the scene where there is a dead child (roasted) and more important we have the dead body’s pointing toward Mereen.”

    I didnt mean that all storylines from Mereen would be skipped – that would be redundant –but that the Yunkai we see at the end of season 3 could have all the characters and storylines of Mereen in seasons 4 & 5.It would simplify Danys story and reduce repititions as she moved from one city to another.

    Im not saying I want it to happen, just that I was suspecting it might.

    I think we can expect the otherwayaround, that her story will be expended in Mereen. There’s a big chance that season 6 will end with the battle of Mereen, that means that Mereen need to be stretched in 3 seasons. This needs to happen for instance because of Tyrion.
    Season 4: Danny goes toward Mereen dead body’s. Taking over Mereen. Dead slavers pointing to Mereen. Danny is going to know the backstory of her father. She get to know Hizdahr. We know that there is a bathscene with her. And the dead child which will lead to the imprisonment of the dragons.
    Season 5: The whole unsulied attack storyline. Danny Daario. This season will end in Danny marrying Hizdahr. (this season main focus is everybody is going towards Danny, that means that Danny herself need to be shown a little bit les, because everytime we see Tyrion or Quentyn, the viewers will think about Danny, and else we get to much focus on her storyline instead of that of arya etc.)
    Season 6. The fighting pit (Which can be season 5). The whole Dothraki storyline of TwoW, and of course going to westeros at the end.

    But the thing that we all forget is, that a season isn’t better if it’s crowded with to many things that happen, it’s better to expend 1 thing (subject). Look at season 3.
    Danny: She visit Astapor. Takes over Astapor. Going to Yunkaii. Take over Yunkaii. But everything is being expend every little thing.
    Look at the way Jon’s story has been told or other storylines in season 3. If you look at it overall every character didn’t do much. And if we looking at what people want with season 5. This will be scene after scene. Season 5 will probably have around 12 to 15 storylines. This mean that every characters gets around 35 minutes in that season of screentime. Think about that. (Season 3 Danny had more than 50 minutes)

  • strewth78,
    We saw what looked like a roast lamb. It could be a child, but that is definitely not definitive or concerned. It could just as easily be an animal, used to show that the dragons are growing and to foreshadow the child in season 5.

    kevin,
    From a post on the 13th of October:
    “GRRM said There is “a week or so left of filming,” and Martin confirmed the fourth season does pull from the novels beyond A Storm of Swords. (It seems he may have received some bad info – our sources are saying there is still a month left to go in shooting.)”
    Assuming the WiC.net sources are correct, filming should end somewhere between the 10th and 20th of November, so there is still around 2-3 weeks left.

    Also, they only just started filming the Siege of the Wall this week, and I doubt that all the filming for that could be finished in one week (which means there is still a very slim chance of getting Val, although I doubt we will). There is a chance for Euron yet :P.

  • Ser Tahu,

    Don’t forget the possibility of surprise castings. Also, Val can be cast for season 5, it’s Dalla and her role that’ll need to be established this season. As some suggested, the birth could happen off screen, or mentioned as a past event without having to cast a Dalla.

  • Ser Tahu,

    My bad, I thought just one week. But still if you look at what will happen this season already, and which characters have been cast, and if you look at the greyjoy storyline, you can almost say this will be season 5 (kingsmoot after that going to Danny, and if we asume that the battle of Mereen will happen in 6×09 we can asume season 5 will be about the kingsmoot en season 6 about going to Danny and the big battle for the Greyjoys).
    And if you look at the weather in November, and that Pyke is filmed in Belfast, we can almost asume that it’s already been shot. Does anyone know when they shot the Pyke scenes in season 2?

    And did Patrick Malahide already filmed for season 4? he need to be in it, even if it’s just for one episode. And did Gemma already filmed for season 4?

  • Jentario,

    For some reason I think they combine these characters. Or combine the characters of Ygritte and Val. So I think we have 3 options:
    1. Ygritte dies in season 4. And Val and Dal will become one person who probably is going to be named Val.
    2. Ygritte lives, that mean Dal dies, and Val never exist on the show.
    3. We have all three characters on the show, Ygritte and Dal will die in season 3, and Val lives.

    I think that option 3 will be to complicated for the show, the whole Dal gave birth but Val her sister takes care of the baby. And why cast another character for just one scene and than let her sister takes over the role of the baby’s mother.
    Which option do you think the show will go with? I think with option 1.

  • kevin,

    As I said, Dalla doesn’t ever need to be cast. She can be mentioned and her death would be off screen. As in, “Hey there, Mance. I heard about Dalla… So sorry, but the baby seems cool!”

  • kevin,

    Ive thought about it.
    All your points are valid and I agree. Like I said before, I wasn’t talking about reducing the storylines, just skipping a city…. so events in Yunkai and Mereen happen in the TV show in the same city to simplify the story for the viewers and reduce set-design costs. All the events would still occur, with of course a little twisting of the story from the book to merge the 2 cities. I never mentioned cutting out events.

  • kevin,
    A lot of the NI stuff, including Pyke, is filmed in an indoor set. It’s just exterior shots that would be weather-dependant. I don’t want to see the Kingsmoot in S4, just the setup for it (as well as Balon’s death and Euron crowning himself. Also, just for the record, I am assuming Stannis vs the Boltons for 6×09, and Meereen for very early 7 (7×02).

    kevin,
    I wouldn’t consider myself a book purist, but I absolutely despise the notion of Ygritte living and replacing Val. It doesn’t make any sense from a character development standpoint

  • Ok Ser Tahu,

    You got your wish. I’m coming back to you on just about all of these.

    In general, we tend to differ in that I feel like many more characters will be cut or otherwise truncated or go unnamed than you do. So a few thoughts, below.

    Season 5:
    Bowen Marsh (although there is the theory that his role could be give to Alliser, with Locke replacing Alliser in the scheming) — Or they use Locke, if he’s allowed to become friends or frenemies with Jon

    The problem is that a key part of that role was that Bowen is a senior of the Watch, and very traditional in a lot of his views as a result of the time he has spent in the Watch. I just don’t think Locke could fill that role. It is entirely possible for him and Jon to become frenemies (in fact I don’t mind the theory that Grenn and Edd died at Craster’s Keep and that Locke will take their roles. “Locke, fetch me a block.”), but a replacement for Bowen? I just don’t see it working without MASSIVE rewrites of that storyline.

    –That’s a fair enough point. Bowen may not come around this season – or he may have been cast, but we just don’t know, because it’s honestly a pretty minor character.

    Wyman Manderly— Yes, on appearance alone
    Slightly off-topic, but Ian McNiece for Wyman please. Baron Harkonnen as Wyman would be badass :P

    I prefer Brian Blessed, honestly.

    Quentyn Martell — Maybe. He could be jettisoned without much trouble.
    I’ve heard all of the arguments against Quentyn, because in the larger scope of the plot he could be written around, but that is the case for a lot of things that have been included in the show. Quentyn adds drama, and is just an interesting character in general. Sure, the could cut him, but I am 100% certain they won’t

    It’s possible. He could be kept for dramatic purposes.

    Areo Hotah – Easily discarded.
    I can see him being a featured extra. He’s essentially like Gregor in that he just needs to stand there and be badass :P.

    Probably.

    Arys Oakheart — Perhaps, but he’ll be named and killed within like 10 minutes.
    Maybe slightly more than 10 minutes, but essentially yes. My arguments for him are similar to my argument for Quentyn: He could be worked around but he is a nice way to add drama, which when you get down to it is the most important thing

    –Yes, sure, and he interacts directly with Arianne. But he’s a one-episode wonder at best.

    Nestor Royce — Hasn’t he been cast already, or am I thinking another Royce?
    You’re thinking of Bronze Yohn Royce. Yohn is head of the main branch of House Royce and very anti-Littlefinger (he is essentially the leader of the Lords Declarant), Nestor is head of the cadet branch and is very much in Petyr’s pocket :P.

    –Unimportant.

    Brusco — ?
    The Braavosi merchant that Arya stays with for a time

    –Unimportant.

    Gerris Drinkwater — Yeah, if they need a companion for Quentyn, or they just nix him.
    Gerris gives Quentyn someone to interact with and provides the opportunity for exposition and backstory. Also, see my Dorne theory below.

    –Sure.

    Xhondo — Nah
    Someone has to take Sam to Oldtown.

    –Well yes, we will have the Cinnamon Wind, I don’t know about Xhondo, though, is all.

    Harry Strickland — He can be cut without problems.
    He could, but I don’t think he will. Someone has to captain the Golden Company. They could just have JonCon be the captain, but that destroys the whole “I’m raising Aegon in secret until he is ready to be revealed” thing.

    –He may be a featured extra at best, I don’t think it’ll be a character for any real length of time.

    Tristifer Botley (combined with Qarl, so that YarAsha has someone to interact with) — Completely unnecessary.
    Same as Gerris and Quentyn – he gives YarAsha someone to interact with and allows exposition

    –We have Victarion or Aeron for that.

    Harys Swift (because I find Cersei naming Mace her hand very unlikely) — I think they can lose him.
    I think we will see one member of Cersei’s council. She could just name Mace to the position of hand, but I think that would ruin the whole Cersei vs the Tyrells thing from that storyline

    –Yes, that part is true. She needs one incompetent, which I see being Rosby, but who cares.

    As for Varys, I do agree that he will accompany Tyrion across the narrow sea, but I think he will only go as far as Illyrio’s manse. When Tyrion leaves to meet Aegon and JonCon I think he will stay behind and then not be seen again until season 6 when he kills Pycelle and Kevan

    –They could have Varys go on the river as far as the Stone Men and have him get off at Norvos (?) saying he has somewhere else to go. Keeps an interesting dynamic – Tyrion w/ Varys, plus the addition of Griff and Young Griff and Septa LeBoobs.

    Season 6:
    Alys Karstark— Could skip that.
    The Karstark situation adds drama to Jon’s storyline, and Jon’s meddling in their affairs was one of the main motivations behind his assassination. I think it would be a misstep to not include it. Also, there is the whole ‘Arya is coming’ thing, which featured heavily in Jon’s ADwD stuff.

    –I think letting the Wildlings in, sending people to Hardholme, and deciding to venture off for Ramsey Snow is enough.

    Archmaester Marwyn — I suppose.
    He is almost certain to have some sort of role in TWoW, unless he is one of the biggest red herrings in the books :P.

    –True.

    Cregan Karstark — Nah.
    If we do get Alys we will get Cregan

    –Too many Karstarks. Maybe Arnolf.

    Pate (only to be instantly killed off and have his identity assumed by Jaqen) — No, it’s pointless to include. They can reveal Jaqen in some other way.
    They could introduce him in other ways, yes. But imagine: In the ‘previously on GoT’ section we see the face-change scene from Valar Morghulis. The episode opens in Oldtown (which we haven’t seen before), and we see Pate talk to Alleras then leave. When he leaves Jaqen 2.0 kills him. At the end of that episode Sam arrives in Oldtown and Alleras and Pate are there. It could be done in other ways, yes, but that would be one badass, dramatic way of reintroducing Jaqen, and drama is one of the most important things in the show.

    –Yes, but not confusing viewers with pointless introductions also doesn’t help. You could instead use Jaqen 2.0 (the guy whose face is there when he turns around again) and have him be one of the Oldtown apprentices, and it’ll be all like, “Whoa, why is that Jaqen-who-looks-like-Fredo-Corleone-guy there? That’s enough.

    Notable cuts:
    Penny — I think she survives, actually.
    She could be in the show, but if she just dies in Meereen (and I hope she does) then I could see her cut. It all depends on whether she actually does something important in the final books

    The Green Grace — I think she could survive it.
    What did she actually do, though? I view her in the same way as Reznak: just there. I am aware of the theory that the Green Grace is actually the Harpy, but I am working under the assumption that it is not true.

    –Right, another possible red herring. Could be that Hizdhar is the Harpy, too.

    PS – and thanks! Well over 400 now!

  • Ser Tahu: I wouldn’t consider myself a book purist, but I absolutely despise the notion of Ygritte living and replacing Val. It doesn’t make any sense from a character development standpoint

    It won’t happen. Every major character who was scheduled to die so far is dead, and Ygritte won’t be an exception.

  • GreatJon of Slumber:

    J:“Locke, fetch me a block.”

    “L: Oh, all you lords and ladys…You think you’re the smartest man there is, and that everyone alive has to bow and scrape and lick your boots…”

    J: “Just fetch the damn block, alright?!”

    L: “Fine, fine…” *grumble*

    Slynt: “Janos Slynt has friends in King’s Landing; important friends…No! Unhand me! You cannot…When Tywin Lannister here’s of this, you will rue…”

    L: “Well, this is one shameful fucking performance.”

  • I don’t think that Arys Oakheart and Quarl the Maid (or a substitute for him) will be cut. Tell me one time D&D have not taken an opportunity for a sex scene…

  • GreatJon of Slumber,

    Because this is getting long I’ll just do a reply instead of quoting:

    Bowen: I still think giving his role to Alliser is the most likely scenario. As to whether he is a minor character: he is in the grand scheme of things, but compared to some characters that have been cast he is fairly major.

    Brian Blessed as Wyman Manderly? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0WvJrEuJTk

    Arys: I would say two or three episode wonder. Meeting the conspirators and the plot failing could take up 1-2 episodes, and then there is his sex scene with Arianne early on which will likely be included because sex.

    Nestor: If they kept in Lord Blackmont and Lady Waynwood, I don’t see why Nestor wouldn’t make it

    Brusco: I think we will see him, but not his daughters. Arya’s a fan favourite, so I don’t see much of her material being cut.

    Xhondo: He is the only member of the cinnamon wind whose name I can remember, so in your mind replace ‘Xhondo’ with ‘any member of the ship’.

    Harry Strickland: I didn’t say he would be anything more than a featured extra, did I? Generally when I say a role is cast I don’t mean they are necessarily a multi-episode important role, just that they will at least exist within the show. As for Harry specifically, I think we will see him in the season 5 finale when Aegon gains the support of the Golden Company, and maybe once more on the way to Westeros in the first few episodes of S6.

    Tris: we only have Victarion and Aeron for YarAsha exposition up until the Kingsmoot, after that she is on her own.

    Swift or Rosby, either works, I jut like Swift’s name better :P.

    Varys: it’s possible, but I actually think his presence would distract the viewer from Aegon and JonCon. Also, I could picture Varys staying back to hang with his BFF Illyrio.

    It could be enough without Alys, yes, but the whole ‘trying to save Arya’ thing was such a central part of Jon in ADwD. In fact, Jon’s ongoing love of Arya is the basis of one of my more recent (and favourite) crackpot theories for the endgame of the series: It is a given that Jon is Azor Ahai, and he will have to kill the one he loves above all others to form Lightbringer. Who is it that he loves above all others, and that his actions have almost centred around? Arya. She is his Nissa Nissa. Jon will have to kill Arya to form Lightbringer. :P

    Only three Karstarks, and two of them (Cregan – arrested by Jon at the Wall – and Arnolf – arrested by Stannis at Winterfell) wouldn’t be any more than featured extras.

    Jaqen: that is possible, but drama :P.

    Yeah, although it is kind of the obvious (and therefore probably wrong) answer, I do believe that Hizdahr is the harpy.

    As to me expecting fewer characters to be cut, my response is simply this: Fat Walda. If she can be cast (even if it is just as a featured extra), then I don’t see why these more important characters wouldn’t be cast (even if they are only cast as featured extras).

  • strewth78:
    kevin,

    Ive thought about it.
    All your points are valid and I agree.Like I said before, I wasn’t talking about reducing the storylines, just skipping a city…. so events in Yunkai and Mereen happen in the TV show in the same city to simplify the story for the viewers and reduce set-design costs.All the events would still occur, with of course a little twisting of the story from the book to merge the 2 cities.I never mentioned cutting out events.

    I know, but it’s already confirmed (basically because of the body’s that points to Mereen) that Mereen will be in the show.

    Ser Tahu,
    I think we can expect the other way around with the battles. First the battle in the ice and later Mereen because of the fact that many things happen in Tyrion’s arc in season 5 and 6.

    And I’m against Ygritte is alive too, but I think it’s better to combine the characters of Val and Dal. It gives a more emotional impact when the baby’s are getting switched. 2 mothers losing their baby and taking care of somebody else’s baby.

  • DH87: I’m amazed no one has included Breaking Bad, perhaps because the show is over. I do think the combination of BB, Walking Dead, and Mad Men (with Hell on Wheels as “reserve”) matches up very respectably to HBO’s line up of True Blood, GOT, BE, and whatever it’s putting in the winter marquee spot (American Gods?). With Vince Gilligan beginning work immediately on the BB spin off (Better Call Saul, IIRC), AMC will see a worthy replacement for BB right away. And AMC doesn’t cost an additional $175.00 a year, as does HBO, in most U.S. markets.

    Right now, GOT is doing all the heavy lifting for HBO (its line up of movies is pretty tepid)and that can’t be a comfortable position for Lombardo and his colleagues.

    Agree. Actually If you check other cable lineups are not that far behind either:

    FX:
    – Sons of Anarchy
    – Louie
    – Justified
    – The Americans
    – The Bridge
    Showtime:
    – Homeland
    – Masters of Sex
    – Shameless
    – Californication

    All nice shows (well, Californication is getting a little old)

    WildSeed: Giancarlo Esposito was on my short list, for the role of Doran Martell ( I
    don’t believe he is available ), primarily for his finesse
    at nailing the role and his external features. He is
    part Italian, for what it’s worth. His command of Spanish is alright, but
    he speaks wicked Italian, fluently.

    I guess you don’t speak spanish because Exposito’s one is APPALLING.

    Like the WORST EVER. I hated, hated him in the mexican episodes because he would totally kill my suspension of disbelief. Whe I saw him in revolution I kept remembering his tragic performances in BB. I mean Obama or even Bush speak better spanish than him…please kill me if they cast him in Got :P

  • Can anyone tell me, why they are thinking that Locke is going to the wall instead of being killed by Brienne in season 4? We know Thorne and Slynt are coming back. It makes more sense if Brienne killed him. And how will he get send to the wall? Because there’s a big chance he escaped once he heard about the dead of Robb.

  • WildSeed: His command of Spanish is alright, but
    he speaks wicked Italian, fluently.

    Pau Soriano: I guess you don’t speak spanish because Exposito’s one is APPALLING.

    I did not exactly give him a glowing review or command of the ” Spanish ” language.
    Please re-read above. I do have close family, born and raised in the Dominican
    Republic, that speak their own colloquial Spanish, but no, I do not have the command
    you speak of. My Italian born friends speak awful Spanish and barely recognise
    Portuguese language. Does this come as a surprise to you , still ?

  • Chickenduck,

    Molina was discussed at length, in previous cast threads, and he was on my
    long list. He’s quite the chameleon for characters, and very effective. He
    doesn’t make my short list, but I wouldn’t throw a hissy fit ( :

    Esposito speaks Italian, as an adult.

  • WildSeed:
    I did not exactly give him a glowing review or command of the ” Spanish ” language.
    Please re-read above. I do have close family, born and raised in the Dominican
    Republic, that speak their own colloquial Spanish, but no, I do not have the command
    you speak of. My Italian born friends speak awful Spanish and barely recognise
    Portuguese language. Does this come as a surprise to you , still ?

    But his “command of spanish is not alright”, is like I said, appalling :P

    I mean, worse than bad…even Arnold speaks better spanish than him in some speeches I heard from him and he can’t even speak english :P

    And I guess my command of english is equally appalling because I have absolutely no idea why your italian friend lack of proficiency in spanish or portuguese should surprise me …Im no saying GE should speak better spanish , I’m just saying his is awful :P

    Anyway why are you so defensive?? it was clear my my clever use of smileys that it was meant to be in tone jest ;)

  • Tim Curry was first choice as Tim Burtons Joker but was deemed far too scary, same as being the voice of the Joker in the cartoons, the role went to Luke Skywalker.

    Who better to play the villainous elder Martell? ;)

  • Ser Tahu:
    Chickenduck,
    My impression reading the books was the Doran was 10-12 years older than Oberyn, but looked double that, so a 20 year difference actually sounds about right.

    Jimmy Smits would also be awesome, though.

    Smits is alive and kicking in Sons of Anarchy though..

    WildSeed: He’s not the banker from Bravos ?

    That would be Mark Gattis

  • Pau Soriano: clever use of smileys that it was meant to be in tone jest ;)

    I was about to correct you there, but I studied your post several times again, and found
    them. I must admit that I ‘m not used to these particular smileys ( ” :P ” )

    I find it appalling , when misconceptions are perpetuated, and accepted at
    face value. I would have accepted, once, that in any country, the language
    is spoken or understood as the same, but that was long ago for me.
    Despite being linguistically similar, dialects and mixed languages have
    contributed to confusion when translating or comprehending, even within
    the same country or continent. My travels have confirmed this as well.
    These days I just respect whatever version I’m introduced to, and not
    assume that I know better. It’s an exercise in humbling one’s attitude, and
    bridging understanding of what is intent, not impression alone.

  • They never specifically said Joseph Gatt is the Magnar of Thenn.

    But with several people in this show – The Mountain, The Hound, Magnar of Thenn, and should he ever be cast, Strong Belwas, the proper response when you see the person cast as that person is what the coach in Major League said when first seeing Charlie Sheen:

    “Look at THIS fuckin’ guy.”

    So find a pic of Joseph Gatt, and that’s what one would say.

  • WildSeed: I was about to correct you there, but I studied your post several times again, and found
    them. I must admit that I ‘m not used to these particular smileys ( ” :P ” )

    I find it appalling , when misconceptions are perpetuated, and accepted at
    face value. I would have accepted, once, that in any country, the language
    is spoken or understood as the same, but that was long ago for me.
    Despite being linguistically similar, dialects and mixed languages have
    contributed to confusion when translating or comprehending, even within
    the same country or continent. My travels have confirmed this as well.
    These days I just respect whatever version I’m introduced to, and not
    assume that I know better. It’s an exercise in humbling one’s attitude, and
    bridging understanding of what is intent, not impression alone.

    Say what? Can you state your point more plainly please?

  • Pau Soriano,

    No. My comments above, does not mention Esposito, and explain a point in general.
    I referenced my experience, as well.

    Since my comment was perceived as ” defensive ” to you ( I missed the smileys),
    I pointed out that I missed them at first. Even so, my original thought to your
    comment gave me no reason to be disparaged, I believed you were just speaking
    your mind. On occasion, my serious reply might be misconstrued as something
    other than my intent. An easy thing to happen as someone reads, online. I
    meant no harm in my reply. I do however, stand by my statement.

    I’ve already made my point about the actor, in my original comment.

  • WildSeed:
    Pau Soriano,

    No. My comments above, does not mention Esposito, and explain a point in general.
    I referenced my experience, as well.

    Since my comment was perceived as ” defensive ” to you ( I missed the smileys),
    I pointed out that I missed them at first. Even so, my original thought to your
    comment gave me no reason to be disparaged, I believed you were just speaking
    your mind. On occasion, my serious reply might be misconstrued as something
    other than my intent. An easy thing to happen as someone reads, online. I
    meant no harm in my reply. I do however, stand by my statement.

    I’ve already made my point about the actor, in my original comment.

    Well this is certainly lot of virtual ink wasted then, because I was just telling you that your statement about him having an alright spanish couldn’t be further from the truth ;)

  • Pau Soriano: Well this is certainly lot of virtual ink wasted then, because I was just telling you that your statement about him having an alright spanish couldn’t be farther from the truth;)

    And Tim Curry

  • Ser Tahu,
    I think we can expect the other way around with the battles. First the battle in the ice and later Mereen because of the fact that many things happen in Tyrion’s arc in season 5 and 6.

    Isn’t that what I said? That I expect the battle of Ice (Stannis vs the Boltons) to be before Meereen? It’s just that I think that they will be in late S6 and early S7 respectively, not in late S5 and late S6 respectively.

    I fully understand the desire to see one battle as 5×09 event and the other as the 6×09 event, but the problem I see with that is that they almost happen at the same time in the books. To have them 10 episodes (1 season) apart would be to really mess with the chronology.

  • Christopher Eccleston would be an awesome Kindly Man.

    I would love to see Paul McGann and David Tennant in the show maybe has Red Priests, the High Sparrow or…

    Paul McGann – Randel Tarly or the one of the crows eye/damphair
    David Tannant- The High Sparrow or a member of the Vale!

  • Uther Greenshirt,

    I love both actors work too!

    I thought of McGann as Haldon Halfmaester or maybe Emmon Frey due to his height (or lack thereof). Hmmm, he would make a cocksure Mad Mouse as well now that I think of it, but maybe too old. I’m not sure Mouse will make the series anyway.

    Sadly I think Tennant might be too big a name to be on Thrones. Not a lot of meaty roles left really. The High Sparrow might be a fun role to play though… Who knows.

  • Ser Tahu: Isn’t that what I said? That I expect the battle of Ice (Stannis vs the Boltons) to be before Meereen? It’s just that I think that they will be in late S6 and early S7 respectively, not in late S5 and late S6 respectively.

    I fully understand the desire to see one battle as 5×09 event and the other as the 6×09 event, but the problem I see with that is that they almost happen at the same time in the books. To have them 10 episodes (1 season) apart would be to really mess with the chronology.

    My personal bet is 6×04 and 6×09, respectively, possibly one happening off-stage…

    Btw if you’re advocating for one of them being 7×04 then you clearly think they going for 9 seasons, like i do?

  • Pau,

    9 seasons is a possibility, no matter what D&D said before. If the time comes, and GRRM is close to finishing ADOS but not quite there- they will either do 9 seasons or go Breaking Bad style and split the final season in two to give him an extra year. There’s no sense in not doing that.

    All that said, I still think they’re aiming for an ideal 8 seasons.

  • Jentario:
    Pau,

    9 seasons is a possibility, no matter what D&D said before. If the time comes, and GRRM is close to finishing ADOS but not quite there- they will either do 9 seasons or go Breaking Bad style and split the final season in two to give him an extra year. There’s no sense in not doing that.

    All that said, I still think they’re aiming for an ideal 8 seasons.

    That’s what I’m thinking too, if they could they would do it in 8, because is safer, but calendar-wise I think there’s just no way for Martin to release the 2 books in time, so 9 looks more and more probable

    Plus when the HBO execs see that the ratings, dvd/br/international rights/mercha sales are holding steady (if not rising), they will lose the fear of a 9th season

    They only scenario I see that could prevent that is a collapse of HBO, due to change in the the tv model as a whole, global economic recession, peak-oil, climate change ,what have you…but seems that nothing of that will happen before 2018 so we are safe :P

  • Pau: My personal bet is 6×04 and 6×09, respectively, possibly one happening off-stage…
    Btw if you’re advocating for one of them being 7×04 then you clearly think they going for 9 seasons, like i do?

    I am advocating the Battle of Meereen being 7×02. D&D would never pass up the opportunity to show those battles, so I think we can very safely rule out them having one off screen. The battles, then, can’t be in the same season because budget, and unless they are rushing and have one of them in season 5, which they have no reason to do, one of them must take place at the start of season 7, and I believe Meereen has more material to last until then.

    My theory for Daenerys in TWoW:
    chapters 2-3 are among the Dothraki and take place chronologically at the same time as Barristan’s ADwD chapters. They end with her either heading to Meereen or seeing Meereen in the distance. These chapters could then easily be covered in the second half of season 6 while the Barristan and Quentyn plots unfold in Meereen. She then returns towards the end of the battle (7×02), and then has one last chapter in Meereen (possibly as well as a Tyrion chapter in Meereen). That could be covered either at the end of 7×02 or 7×03. The rest of her storyline in TWoW would then be her getting to Westeros, ending with her landing, which would be in 7×10.

    Overall, I believe:
    1) Daenerys will be in Westeros at the end of TWoW
    and 2) TWoW will be finished in season 7 (the season will end where the book does)

    As for the 8 season or 9 season debate: I am on the fence. It really all depends on what they do with ADoS. My (very general) prediction for ADoS is that it will have two distinct halves within the story:
    The first half:
    – North being devastated by the Others
    – Dance of the Dragons 2
    – end of the Greyjoy infighting
    Second half:
    – Others cross the Neck. The final battle against them.
    If my theory is correct it could lend itself quite naturally to two seasons, but it could just as easily make one epic fast-paced final season. I personally lean towards 9 seasons but they could do it in 8.

    Of course, all of that depends on my theories for TWoW/ADoS being vaguely correct :P.

    As for GRRM’s writing speed, I actually think it is still possible for him to finish before the show. The delays with AFfC and ADwD were due to specific sets of circumstances. I am hoping for TWoW to come out between late 2014 and mid 2015. As for ADoS, someone on Westeros.org said that he has been writing storylines so far that they have entered ADoS material. I have nothing but their word for it, but if they are right we could see ADoS between mid 2017 and mid 2018… ie before the ADoS stuff airs on the show. Maybe I’m just being optimistic, but if he doesn’t take on more side-projects and doesn’t go on massive book-tours I am confident he could finish first.

  • Ser Tahu,

    True, but I don’t see D&D decide to have the best episode of the season in episode 2. But still we don’t know how big the battles will be, it can that it will be show in one episode. Both in 6×09. Wouldn’t that be great? And sorry I read Mereen 6×02 and Bolton 6×09.

    Season 5 will be a difficult season to shoot. But my biggest concern is that they will have the Bolton battle or the Mereen Battle in season 5 because:
    – They won’t show 2 battles in one season, and WoW and DoS will probably have battles too.
    – They want 8 seasons.
    – Bran’s storyline. Bran cannot be at the background the whole series. And we know that 3-eyed-raven is in season 4. That means that we have non or one chapter left for season 5 from DwD, and even if TwoW have more Bran chapters, still we cannot have Bran at the front if they need to keep that for 2 seasons.
    – We can asume that Jaime’s/ Cercei’s and every other Westeros storyline (Except that of Jon/Stannis) of aFfC and DwD will end around episode 6×03. Because aFfC will certainly end in season 5 for those characters. Season 6 will have nothing much left. And something tells me that walk of Shame will be season 5 instead of season 5, just to make her downfall storyline whole. D&D look at a change in a characters life, and the walk of Shame is the end of that change.

    And we see again (which we saw every season of GoT), that a small change can lead to a big change in the future seasons.

  • kevin,
    I would argue that they had the best two episodes of season 3 in episode 4 and 5. Also, since we don’t know what could be in TWoW, there could be Red Wedding-style hard hitting emotional event that, although not as big as the battle of Meereen in terms of scale, would overshadow it in terms of the reaction of the audience (my prediction being a Jaime-Cersei murder-suicide).

    “We don’t know how big the battles could be, they might be small enough to share an episode.”
    We don’t know how big Stannis vs the Boltons would be, yes. In fact I can see it sharing the episode 9 spotlight with Barristan arresting Hizdahr and Quentyn unleashing the dragons. But we DO have a fair idea of how big the battle of Meereen will be – at least as big as Blackwater. We already have 5 chapters from it, and it seems very likely that it would need an episode by itself.

    “TWoW and ADoS will probably have big battles too”.
    I agree with ADoS having big battles, but I actually think that, aside from the battles of ice and fire, TWoW will be more like ASoS in that it is full of hard-hitting emotional events but not much in the way of huge battles. If my predictions are even vaguely correct, the only other largish action sequences we will get would be Aegon taking the capital and Euron taking Oldtown. But that’s just my prediction :P.

    “We can assume that the characters from Westeros will end their stuff in 6×03″
    Agreed, more or less. I think that the ADwD epilogue (ie the return of Varys) would be the perfect episode 4 event/cliffhanger.
    “Except for Stannis/Jon [and by extension YarAsha/Theon]”
    Yes, except for them. And Sam could possibly last until the middle of the season as well, depending on when he leaves Braavos.

    Concerning Cersei’s walk of shame: in terms of her personally I agree that it is her lowest point, but in terms of the arc, that being her misuse and loss of power, I would say that the lowest point and natural conclusion point for S5 would be her arrest. If my TWoW predictions are even vaguely correct, I think that roughly the first 1/3 of the King’s Landing stuff will be focused on Margaery and Cersei’s trials, with the chaos of Kevan and Pycelle punctuating it in the middle. If my theory is correct I think that her walk of shame, being part of her punishment and atonement, would thematically fit S6 better. S7 would then presumably be about the threat of Aegon and the downfall of the Lannisters.

    “And we see again (which we saw every season of GoT), that a small change can lead to a big change in the future seasons.”
    Which small change are you referring to?

    EDIT:
    Concerning Bran – I think we will get a lot of filler/exposition from his storyline in S5. I think it is a good chance for them to make up for all the flashbacks/backstory they have missed so far.

  • They keep the best episodes for x4 and x9, because they give the journaiist/bloggers/critics the first 4 episodes to be reviewed, that’s why I’m certain they will be in either 6×04, 6×09 or 7×04

    About specultion…if we’ve learned something is that Martin won’t do the expected, so it’s a bit pointless to speculate how many battles we will have ;)

    Regarding they wanting 8 seasons, who are they?? I think D&D would prefer 9, as Martin would….and I think between the actors and the HBO execs the opinion is probably divided…

  • Ser Tahu,

    – I was more talking about the impact of an episode. That need to be episode 9, the episode where people will talk about a lot. And most of the time that is a battle (personally I like an character driven moment more than a battle, but we know how the most viewers are.)
    – Mereen battle: Do you mean the chapters we got in DwD or chapters from tWoW? because those I haven’t read yet, because I want to read the book as a whole. But I think that they can leave the build of of the battle (Like blackwater the first 20 minutes) in previous episodes. And something tells me that they don’t want to repeat the same thing every season. And something tells me that they are planning to combine the battle of the Ice and the battle of Mereen in two episodes. The battles start in episode 8 and in finish in episode 9. I think that’s something they can try, it’s something different than a stand-alone battle-episode. I hope you get the point what I’m thinking about.
    – Personally I think that the Varys epilogue, would make a brilliant season 5 cliffhanger. Season 4 will probably end with LS. And what people want to see is that the Lannisters are going to be defeated. And an ending where we see Eagon leave for Westeros, his ships leaving Volantis. And after that the Epilogue, will give the viewers a feeling that Lannisters will get what they deserve. And it will be an epic ending. And they don’t have to pay Julian Glover for another season.
    – Small changes: For instance: Jaime being back in KL before PW. This will change the course that his journey takes in season 4.Freeing Jaime in season 2 instead of season 3, progressed his story. If he got freed in 2×10 instead of 2×08 would have make a big difference for the progression of the story. The cliff of season 2: Therefore Sam will be at Castle black before the big battle, which change the way the story of Sam and Jon in season 4. Shea loving Tyrion. Balon still alive will change the Greyjoy’s story in season 4. Theon story in season 3 will progress his story in season 4. Melisandre taking Gendry. These are small things that changes how the story will unfold on Television. Especially Jaime ariving earlier, means that we will get Brienne’s journey in season 4 (a part) else that would have been delayed for season 5.

    Just realized something that GRRM said, that the battle of Winterfell happened way before Jon got stabbed to dead, still they can changed that in the show, but I’m wondering how they are going to show us that.

    Pau,

    D&D want 8 seasons because more would “kill the golden goose”

  • kevin: D&D want 8 seasons because more would “kill the golden goose”

    They said 10 would kill the golden goose. So it could be 8 or 9. I still think 8.

  • kevin:
    – Mereen battle: Do you mean the chapters we got in DwD or chapters from tWoW? because those I haven’t read yet, because I want to read the book as a whole. But I think that they can leave the build of of the battle (Like blackwater the first 20 minutes) in previous episodes. And something tells me that they don’t want to repeat the same thing every season. And something tells me that they are planning to combine the battle of the Ice and the battle of Mereen in two episodes. The battles start in episode 8 and in finish in episode 9. I think that’s something they can try, it’s something different than a stand-alone battle-episode. I hope you get the point what I’m thinking about.

    Oh, you haven’t read the chapter summaries from the readings at conventions? Ok, so without going into spoilers we have:
    2xBarristan
    2xTyrion
    1xVictarion
    The Victarion and the first Barristan and Tyrion chapters are like the first half of Blackwater: The calm directly before the battle. The second Barristan and Tyrion chapters are what we have of the battle itself. It is huge and it will likely need at least 2 more chapters to finish it, if not more. As for them trying something different: having a battle in the second episode of a season would be just that. After 6 seasons of slow starts and everything building to episode 9 that would be a pleasant change. That is not to say that S7 wouldn’t have an episode 9 climax, it most certainly would, but that would be a brilliant way to kick off a season. As to them wanting big events in episodes 4 and 9, well they can’t have it line up perfectly like that every time, can they? Also, if my theory is correct (here I go with my crazy theories again): Aegon taking King’s Landing (and Tommen dying) would line up well with episode 4 of the season (and my prediction is that it will be over in just 1 or 2 chapters, as by that point I think the Tyrell’s will have abandoned Tommen and the city will only be lightly defended, so it wouldn’t require a huge budget).

    kevin:
    – Small changes: For instance: Jaime being back in KL before PW. This will change the course that his journey takes in season 4.Freeing Jaime in season 2 instead of season 3, progressed his story. If he got freed in 2×10 instead of 2×08 would have make a big difference for the progression of the story.The cliff of season 2: Therefore Sam will be at Castle black before the big battle, which change the way the story of Sam and Jon in season 4. Shea loving Tyrion. Balon still alive will change the Greyjoy’s story in season 4. Theon story in season 3 will progress his story in season 4. Melisandre taking Gendry. These are small things that changes how the story will unfold on Television. Especially Jaime ariving earlier, means that we will get Brienne’s journey in season 4 (a part) else that would have been delayed for season 5.

    These differences, although changing the details of the way things play out, wouldn’t really affect the timing of everything.

    Pau:
    Regarding they wanting 8 seasons, who are they?? I think D&D would prefer 9, as Martin would….and I think between the actors and the HBO execs the opinion is probably divided…

    kevin:
    D&D want 8 seasons because more would “kill the golden goose”

    D&D have repeatedly said 80 hours/8 seasons. However they specifically said “10 seasons would be killing the golden goose”. I like to think that means 9 seasons is still possible :P.

  • HBO are interested in when GRRM finishes the series, but they are never, in a million years, going to put millions upon millions of dollars on the line to ensure he gets the books done first. For them, their viewers – who now outnumber the book-readers many times over (c. 5 million book readers worldwide vs. 10+ million viewers in the USA alone, several times that worldwide) – must have priority. And stretching the series out too long, even if that is affordable, is definitely not in their interests.

    I also think it’s bit daft to think that when Benioff and Weiss said that 10 seasons was totally out of the question, they’d then be fine with 9. I actually think, based on how much AFFC/ADWD material seems to be moving into Season 4, they’re hedging their bets at this stage and putting themselves in a position where they can go either for 7 or 8 seasons. They may not need to fully commit to one or the other until after Season 5, when they’ll probably have a better idea of the long-term ratings/budget/profitability/actor availability issues.

    With GRRM’s agents recently saying that TWoW may not be out until early 2016, the question isn’t if HBO will overtake but when, and if it’s before or after Book 6. I certainly do not see any realistic prospect of GRRM finishing Book 7 before the series catches up at the present time, not unless he has made radically more progress on TWoW than it appears.

  • Adam Whitehead: With GRRM’s agents recently saying that TWoW may not be out until early 2016 […]

    Wow, thats a bit shocking… I was hoping for late 2014 and was counting on late 2015. Do you have a link for this?

  • GreatJon of Slumber: They said 10 would kill the golden goose. So it could be 8 or 9. I still think 8.

    And I think 9, but what do they think/want? If they said 10 would kill it, they prolly want 9 ;)

    Ser Tahu: After 6 seasons of slow starts and everything building to episode 9 that would be a pleasant change

    But that is not true. What we’ve had in season 2 and season 3 (and we’ll continue to have) is a build up ’till episode 4, ending in a big WTF moment, and then another build up ’till episode 9. And that’s because they give the reviewers the first 4 episode of each season, and also because that worked quite well. And if somehting works, don’t change it…the last thing they need is bad reviews in season 7, going like “oh finally GoT is losing steam” etc becasue they ended episode 4 in an anti-climatic way

    Ser Tahu: D&D have repeatedly said 80 hours/8 seasons. However they specifically said “10 seasons would be killing the golden goose”. I like to think that means 9 seasons is still possible :P.

    I wouldn’t say repeatedly. I think its obvious they’d prefer 9, they just don’t want to scare HBO off ;P

    And don’t forget, why wouldn’t HBO make 9 seasons if by season 6 it’s still as profitable, if no more, as it’s now?

    It can’t be done in 7, and it won’t be done in 10, so it’s either 8 or 9…it’s not like adding one extra season would ruin hbo…and depending on when the las book comes out it could make sense for them to have a 9th season even if they don’t make much money out of it becasue of the actor’s salaries..

  • Wow, thats a bit shocking… I was hoping for late 2014 and was counting on late 2015. Do you have a link for this?

    One of GRRM’s translators (several, actually) posts on Westeros.org and he said GRRM’s agents had been circulating that information earlier this year. However, at San Diego apparently reps from Bantam were also saying they were hoping for summer 2015. Agents are also more likely to ‘promise low, deliver high’, so I wouldn’t take it as a slam-dunk for 2016. Summer 2015 seems to me to be, realistically, the earliest possible date.

    I don’t see any way it is possible for the book to come out in 2014. Maybe if GRRM provides a big update on the book and says it’s now 70+% done, but given he was only at a quarter-done in April that seems unlikely.

    And don’t forget, why wouldn’t HBO make 9 seasons if by season 6 it’s still as profitable, if no more, as it’s now?

    Because between Seasons 7 and 8 (and possibly between 6 and 7) the actor’s salaries are going to be renegotiated. It’s common in Hollywood that, once the initial contract expires, new agreements are made on a year-by-year basis. So after Season 6 it’s not like the actors get a new 6-year contract (which would cover them for the rest of the series, regardless of if that’s 7 or 10), but they’ll likely have annual renegotiations for Seasons 7, 8, 9 and whatever, with major salary hikes on each occasion possible (and at each stage, it becoming more likely that the show will become too expensive to produce).

    It can’t be done in 7

    On the contrary, it can quite easily be done in 7. Whether it can be done *well* in 7, or bear much resemblance to the books if so, is another question.

  • This discussion is spoilers-off, right? Well, I hope so.

    In terms of this season of the show introducing elements from AFFC and ADWD early, it really depends on how/when those things come up as to whether there’s a problem (i.e. regardless of how slow Martin writes, the show is still going through books too fast- something which I don’t feel it has done yet).

    So like with the Braavosi banker, if he’s at the Wall by the end of the season, I think that would definitely be a problem (I actually don’t totally remember when Stannis first met the guy). However, my assumption is that he’ll appear at some point at Court to discuss repayment of debt and then probably won’t appear til next season (I have a theory Arya may bump into him on his way to a ship (going North) and he’ll “send her off” to Braavos).

    With Bloodraven, if Bran reaches his cave within the first 5 episodes (or arguably at all), that is a problem. However, just because he was cast doesn’t mean that is going to happen. He may just start to talk to Bran in dreams (which makes sense, since the crow/raven does talk to Bran in dreams in the book- something that has so far been Jojen’s role in the show).

    With Hizidar (or however you spell his name), it will be a huge problem if he marries Dany over the course of the season, and arguably there is a bit of an issue with him appearing at all in a significant capacity. However, I think it is a good idea to set up that plotline- it really depends on what else of Dany’s storyline happens in the season.

  • Jordan,

    Agreed.
    I think Dany’s Season 4 arc will really clue us into what D&D’s overall plan.

    I think that there is a lot of Dany good material to move through (despite some hating Books 4 and 5) and with other prominent characters needed to meet up with/near her at Meereen it could determine a large chunk of how the overall storyboard will lay out.

    If we barely touch on Hizdahr, it could be a sign of an 8-season plan, but if we get into their relationship it may point to D&D having a 7-year plan.

  • Rygar:
    So, who among book readers will watch the final seasons of GoT when D&D’ version surpasses GURM?

    As much as I hate to admit it, I’ll begrudgingly watch it. D&D probably knows the end-game and they’ll entertain us….BUT it is the GRRM-built pathway to the endgame that interests me. The character sequences, the nuances of each scene (that we love to debate), the conversations, the one-liners, the battle details, the savage and subtle treachery, and inner thoughts….all those matter in ASoI&F and have been a huge and exciting part of the adaptation.

    Just think about it…the adaptors have had years to think about, debate and adapt these well-developed, well-debated storylines for television. Without those tomes, who knows what we would have watched? The book deviations thought up by the showrunners have been interesting….Talisa, Ros, HotU, Theon torture, Mel with BwB, Varys’s boxman, KL council meetings, Jaime prematurely in KL (?), Asha (?), etc….but not as mindblowing as what was adapted directly. If TWoW doesn’t come out by the end of 2014 (sadly it probably won’t), then all the showrunners have to go on is outlines and hand-waving, not detailed text…that is a position they are not in yet….(and the main reason why the first three seasons have been great..which will probably continue thru S5/S6 too).

    My fear is that filler and sexposition will dominate and GRRM will have stopped supporting it directly by S7. Sorry, I don’t trust D&D to wing this by themselves without a well-traveled, well-debated resource in hand.

  • Rygar:
    So, who among book readers will watch the final seasons of GoT when D&D’ version surpasses GURM?

    I will not continue to watch. That’s the beauty of HBO GO and Blu Rays. Granted that technology may not be around by the time GURM finishes, but I think I’ll take that chance. Unless the show improves in certain areas, I would rather not watch and be spoiled. Been reading these books since 2000. Too much time invested.

  • Adam Whitehead: On the contrary, it can quite easily be done in 7. Whether it can be done *well* in 7, or bear much resemblance to the books if so, is another question.

    Is not another question, it is the question ;) It can’t be done well is what I meant, and it won’t be done in 7.

    Adam Whitehead: Because between Seasons 7 and 8 (and possibly between 6 and 7) the actor’s salaries are going to be renegotiated

    Yes, I mentioned that in the post, and as I also said, even if they don’t make as much money, it would still be profitable, or at least they would break even, so actor salaries by themselves are not gonna break the deal

    Adam Whitehead: Summer 2015 seems to me to be, realistically, the earliest possible date.

    Wich would still fit perfectly in a 9 seasons GoT schedule

    Adam Whitehead: the question isn’t if HBO will overtake but when

    I know you can’t back out from that statement but I disagree completely:

    -We can have tWoW out in 2015, (4 years after aDwD), and aDoS out in 2019 (4y later than tWoW) and a 9 seasons show finishing in 2019; it all depends if GRMM, D&D and HBO want to work toguether.

    Adam Whitehead: HBO are interested in when GRRM finishes the series, but they are never, in a million years, going to put millions upon millions of dollars on the line to ensure he gets the books done first

    So one more season is putting “millions of dollars on line”? a bit overdramatic, don’t you think?? HBO would never lose milions of dollars…at most, they would break even, and if that makes GRRM happy, they would try to do it; proof? the way they keep renewing BE even after the shows abysmal ratings just to keep Scorsese&Co happy

    PS: Btw, you say some D&D choices point to a 7/8season show…on the contrary, the choices they made invalidate the possibility of a 7s show; now its either 8 or 9. They could have made different choices, but they didn’t.

  • Rygar:
    So, who among book readers will watch the final seasons of GoT when D&D’ version surpasses GURM?

    I would, gladly. Chances are far too slim that he’ll ever finish the series, and even slimmer that it’ll be something worth waiting for, quality wise.

  • Hodor’s Bastard:

    My fear is that filler and sexposition will dominate and GRRM will have stopped supporting it directly by S7.Sorry, I don’t trust D&D to wing this by themselves without a well-traveled, well-debated resource in hand.

    Well sexposition has actually gone down, and GRRM won’t stop supporting it (in public at least) because it would be againts his best interest. Remember he also has that contract thinguie with HBO to develop more series :)

    If they can or can’t pull it off I think it will depend on how much they and GRRM are willing to work toguether, how much info and unpublish pages Martin is willing to share with them etc, (specially regarding the last book)

  • Adam Whitehead: With GRRM’s agents recently saying that TWoW may not be out until early 2016, the question isn’t if HBO will overtake but when, and if it’s before or after Book 6.

    2016??? Good grief man. I didn’t hold out much hope for next year, but was at least thinking 2015. Jeebus.

    Pau: But that is not true. What we’ve had in season 2 and season 3 (and we’ll continue to have) is a build up ’till episode 4, ending in a big WTF moment, and then another build up ’till episode 9.

    I don’t know that we’re going to see that in Season 4; we may see an even bigger moment in Episode 2 this time through. And we really didn’t in Ep 4 of Season 2 – some interesting stuff, but wasn’t on the level of “Dracarys.”

  • Macha: I would, gladly. Chances are far too slim that he’ll ever finish the series, and even slimmer that it’ll be something worth waiting for, quality wise.

    Hope that reverse psychology works for you in life, but stating your fears as facts never sits well with others :P

  • GreatJon of Slumber: 2016??? Good grief man. I didn’t hold out much hope for next year, but was at least thinking 2015. Jeebus.

    I don’t know that we’re going to see that in Season 4; we may see an even bigger moment in Episode 2 this time through. And we really didn’t in Ep 4 of Season 2 – some interesting stuff, but wasn’t on the level of “Dracarys.”

    Yes, it ended with the shadow monster killing Renly and they were clearly aiming for that to be the WTF moment that was in the books…problem was that Renly was horribly miscast and had 0 charisma, and the “normal” viewers were “scared” by the shadow monster (not scared as in fear of, but scared of the “deus ex machina”, “too much magic” moment)