Interview John Bradley Samwell Tarly Season 4

John Bradley on season 4: several episodes are “contenders for episode 9 status”

We can expect a different formula in the fourth season of Game of Thrones, according to John Bradley. The actor who plays Samwell Tarly sat down with Zap2it to discuss the upcoming season, and revealed the formula is going to be changed up from the very start this year.

“There’s usually lots of chat and lots of setup and lots of exposition in episodes 1 and 2 that blossom into fruition later on as the season reaches its action climax. But the action really does hit the ground running in this season. There’s no kind of easing into it. You’re right into the thick of it straight away, and I think that’s going to catch people off guard a little bit,” Bradley tells Zap2it. He goes on to say, “I think you’re looking at four to five episodes that could easily stand as centerpieces to any other season that we’ve done so far. “

Sam & Gilly in season 4, in “Ice & Fire: A Foreshadowing”

The Night’s Watchman may seem a little different as well this year, having slain a White Walker and arrived back at the Wall with a woman and a baby in tow. As the actor explains it, “There are some instances where Sam and Jon really kind of bump heads this season, and they do have genuine arguments. It’s not a case of one of them having an argument with the other and the other one not responding; they’re very 50-50 arguments that go on.”

He elaborates further on Sam’s relationship with Gilly, in the talk with Zap2it:

“In [the past two seasons], he’s literally escaped death twice — at least twice, because if you count the mutiny at Craster’s it was three times. During those times where he was so frightened, I think it was only the thought of staying alive to save Gilly’s life or to keep his relationship with Gilly going or to protect baby Sam. I think that was the only thing that kept him going during those periods, and I think he found a kind of reason to exist.”

Visit Zap2It for the full interview!

Ours is the Fury: Sam and Gilly are back at the Wall early this season,in comparison to the books, so I can’t wait to see the extra scenes we’re given with them. John Bradley’s one of my favorite actors on the show, and I’m really looking forward to the new scenes for him and Kit Harington.


  • New interview with Lena Headey reveals pacing for Season 5 and on:

    This seems like genuinely good evidence of where Season 5 will wrap up. Lena says her walk of shame will most likely be next season. Keep in mind that:

    She knows how Season 4 ends for all storylines.

    She’s has had numerous discussions with the creators David and Dan, who must have clued her.

    It seems to me that Season 5 will cover most of AFFC/ADWD, and Season 6 will consist of a lot of TWOW. I believe this to be the best course of action for the show, as Winds of Winter and A Dream for Spring should get far more screentime than AFFC/ADWD.

  • I hadn’t really considered what the writers were gonna do with Sam and Gilly in season 4 til now… will be interested to see.

    I think episodes 2 and 10 will be as big as 9 this year.

  • wizardeyes,

    what I find interesting is that at least Bradley seems to believe we’ll see Aemon, Sam and Gilly’s Excellent Trip To Oldtown (I’d assume next season). A lot of people seemed to think that would be cut. Maybe they’ll send Sam to school in Braavos instead? They could interact with Arya some more that way.

  • Satin,

    Hmm maybe (regarding Braavos) but I don’t see why it would be cut. They don’t need that many scenes. Sam and Gilly didn’t have that many scenes in season 3 but their story was still told effectively. They could be sent away by Jon in 5:1 then we’d have a scene of them on the ship in 5:2/ 5:3. Then they arrive in Braavos in 5:4/ 5:5 and spend a couple of episodes there (where they bump into Arya.) 5:7/ 5:8 they’re back on the ship then in 5:9/ 5:10 they arrive in Oldtown.

  • wizardeyes,

    I couldn’t imagine that it would be cut, either, but a lot of people seemed to think that. Aside from giving Sam actually something to do in Season 5 and 6, it’s also a chance to put in some more connections to the Martells (Sarella/Alleras) and of course the Faceless Men. And your structure sounds good!

  • Thanks for the blastr link! I found myself clicking through to “related articles: Lena Headey fills final major Game of Thrones role”. Comments are hilarious.

    It won’t work because she’s not blonde! (yeah, wigs don’t exist).

    Do you think they’ll keep the incest? (like there was a risk!)

  • Rygar,

    Yep. Anyone who thinks Game of Thrones will last past Season 8 is delusional, and even Season 8 is quite a stretch.

  • Satin,

    I think he will be sent mid-season 5, reach Braavos around episode 7 and finish it up on a boat. He can get to Oldtown in season 6- it delays a number of potentially critical castings (which season 5 already has in abundance) and locations too. What I’m certain of is that we won’t see MUCH of the Oldtown story in the show, but nobody really knows how many Sam chapters we’ll see in TWOW anyway.

    As for Cersei’s Walk of Shame… To be honest, I think it’s more of an early (episode 1/2/3) season 6 moment. I assume Cersei will end the season improsoned and abandoned by Jamie, it makes much more sense arc-wise. Then season 6 can focus on the lead up to the trial and everything falling apart (as well as Varys’ “surprise muthafucka” moment killing Kevan and Pycelle).

    There are a number of plotlines which are a complete mystery, though. Jon’s ADWD arc can either last one season (if the election is in season 4) or a season and a half (which I find cleaner- with Jon dying in the middle of season 6 after the battle outside Winterfell and being revived in the finale). I still think that Jon taking Cotter Pyke’s role and going on a mission to save Wildlings (Tormund’s Wildlings, maybe?) from the White Walker as a season 5 episode 9 moment would be really cool, it would make up for the joke that was the battle of the fist (so much hopes were built after the s2 finale and all we saw was one wight and a bunch of Watchmen teleporting to save Sam and somehow appearing unscratched and like a bigger force than ever). It would also fit well with the “Winter is here” theme of the latter half of the season really well and would remind people that the WWs are truly a force to be reckoned with.

    Dany ends in the Pit. It is known.
    Arya probably after she loses her identity and kills Daerion, but they might go as far as face-changing here.
    Griff will end after meeting the GC and setting for Westeros, meeting Arianne before the middle of season 6 probably.
    Stannis should end season 5 on the March to Winterfell, after having taken Jon’s advice and attacked Yara’s group.
    Jamie depends on how far Brienne goes this season. There is just enough evidence to make you doubt whether Brienne will go all the way through AFFC in season 4, which would mean she would certainly find Jamie at the end of season 5. If not, it should end with the hanging scene.

  • cosca,

    D&D have said 80 hours, though. And HBO says as long as people keep watching, they’ll keep producing. I don’t see GoT ending prematurely, it’s mostly up to D&D and how they decide to handle it. 8 seasons seems like a solid bet, assuming the last two books (plus bits of 4 and 5) have enough in them for three seasons.

  • Does Season 4 happen to include any mingling between Bran, Joffrey, and Hodor? According to what I have heard, “Bran” would love that. Maybe in three years time, Jack and Kristian will reciprocate his feelings. If not, at least he has any pleasure he happens to get in his crotch riding Hodor’s back.

    If it’s true, I wasn’t expecting that at all. Interesting. All orientations welcome.

  • Hand of the Kingslayer,

    Hmmm. I think quite a few of these might get speed up a bit, actually. I see Arya go to the end of her ADWD plot in S5. Unless we’ve seen what Yara even does this season, I wouldn’t even bet that she ends up with Stannis. The Griff plot might work entirely different, too. Brienne in the Riverlands might be different as well, and she’d probably meet LS earlier than the finale – I just don’t see her searching for part of Season 4 and nearly all of Season 5. And that isn’t even taking into account other things that might get changed around, or people who factor in that don’t in the books. Long story short – who knows.

    Realistically speaking they should probably plan for 7 seasons, with the possibility of going more in-depth if they should be able to get 8. It’s not clear if the show will sustain its good ratings for four more years, and it’s not something I’d rely on. I’m fairly sure they’ll be able to finish it, though.

  • Satin,

    Good ratings are abundant.
    People will watch anything with quality, as long as its HBO.
    Hit shows like these dont lose a lot of viewers, if people think them boring.
    Just look at LOST and Walking dead.

  • Satin,

    They should do what the story asks them to do. If the arcs take 7 seasons, they should do 7 seasons, if 8 are necessary they should do 8. Just from the point of view of someone who doesn’t know what’s coming up, I think the best coarse of action is to spread books 4, 5 and 6 over 3 seasons (with maybe a bit of book 7 in season 7) just because I think completing the fourth and fifth books in just one season is a bit overkill and would require a lot of bullshittery and shortcuts. I think it will waste more energy to try and fit everything into one season than around a season and a half (varying between different characters) , and probably wouldn’t produce a better result. I also don’t think splitting the last book across multiple seasons would be good since that will be the big, climactic finale and it only really deserves and extended final season to fit everything in (12 episodes maybe, or just extra long premiers and finales). I would much rather they take their time with books 4-6 than they split book 7 and its potential climaxes (that could stretch all around the book at that point) across more than one season. Either way, there are too many factors to try and make an educated guess. What my post held was mostly my opinion on how things should be handled. I don’t think Cersei will reach her two ADWD chapters in season 5, though.

  • jentario,

    Im one of those people who think season 5 should be 20 episodes. Even if its not possible.
    Best way to get all aboard.

  • Lord Davos,

    Lost bled viewers after early S3, actually (and, let’s face it, would have benefitted extremely from losing two seasons worth of filler episodes). Meanwhile, the Walking Dead can always fall back on the people who like being grossed out as opposed to those who like characters and storylines with actual depth. That said, I’m not too worried about ratings/subscriptions. It’s more a conservative estimation of what might happen, that way I get positively surprised if they get 80 episodes.


    in an ideal world…

  • Don’t listen to him! Episode 9 has mammoths, giants, explosions and (semi) significant character deaths. It’s still the episode to beat. Though 2 is going to give a lot of satisfaction.

  • Satin:
    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    she’d probably meet LS earlier than the finale – I just don’t see her searching for part of Season 4 and nearly all of Season 5.

    Interesting. I’ve always assumed Brienne would meet LS in the end of THIS season (4). They could end it with her saying she’ll deliver Jaime to prove she is telling the truth and save her life — thus confirming everyone’s suspicions (the show has done it before, with Loras and Renly for example). Then we would have her hanging around with the BwB and LS in Season 5, witnessing all the horrible things they do, until its very last episode, when the time to lure Jaime would finally come. So we would have that Pennytree scene in season 5’s finale.

    Is that even feasible? I only thought of that precisely because of the reasons you mentioned — it’d be so boring to have her looking for Arya (they will change it from Sansa to Arya, right? Since Sansa was still in King’s Landing when she arrived) for so many episodes.

    It’d be a bit frustrating not have this quest coming to a sort of close by the end of season 4. If she doesn’t’ meet LS by the end of this season, how do people think S4 would finish for Brienne?

  • Winter Rose:
    it’d be so boring to have her looking for Arya (they will change it from Sansa to Arya, right? Since Sansa was still in King’s Landing when she arrived) for so many episodes.

    Um, no, why would that change? She’s not leaving until episode 4; Sansa will be gone by episode 3.

  • Winter Rose,

    a good way for the season to end for brienne would be her beginning her adventures with pod, which we know will happen at some point. I believe her journey is important enough to run through season 5 I think it is important in Kings Landing to spend some time with the new monarch and council that may introduce new characters (particularly Taena) in season 5. We may see Cercei locked up, but I agree her pennance walk should be saved for season 6. Dont forget we have so much Dorne content to introduce in season 5.
    For Arya I think it’s clear she’ll end the season by leaving for, or arriving in Braavos, they may show the city a couple times this season
    Sansa may end with the moondoor, but I think they’re going to create some more content for her which is why they are introducing these important characters now. Or maybe they’ll give her a season off to introduce Arianne.
    LSshould be introduced through Nymeria like in the books, We miss Nymeria. And we need some more Frey carnage.
    As far as Yara who knows what will happen, but I suspect the Greyjoys may expand in season 5. I don’t think they’re cutting Jeyne. She’s too important to the story.
    Tyrion in Pentos and all these companies heading toward Meereen could culminate in a dramatic season 6. I think we’ll see a familiar Khal who had his face smashed in a non-lethal battle from season 1, at the end of 5 I don’t think he’s dead. But we have confirmation Dany will be in Meereen in season 5 with a larger arc. No point staying for any longer.
    I really don’t think they can do Winds of Winter in one season. There is so much content ahead, so many battles, so many factions we haven’t even met. I think season 6 and 7 will cover Winds. After that who knows. Martin will definitely not have another book by then, so they may stop and wait to make a movie.
    But you know, its really up to the producers. They know what we want. More of Game of Thrones every year. This show could last a decade. If the kids don’t become exhausted, and maybe even get some time off (Bran could use a year off, so could Sansa). I think we’ll see more of Rickon and Osha in season 5, a New Character heavy season.
    My message to the producers. We know you work hard, but its giving us golden moments of movie magic on our televisions we never imagined possible. Please keep up the amazing scripts and incredible scenarios. We will not let you down.

  • cosca,

    Call it what you want, the season has to cover around 1500 pages text, even with some in season 6. If you would rather them cancelling the show than doing justice to the books, ok.
    Its just that it wouldnt look good if the show made its own crappy version, which I doubt D&D would be ok with, even with the skill to visualise Martins vision with those books.

  • Tom:
    Or maybe they’ll give her a season off to introduce Arianne.

    Characters on this show do not take “a season off” that isn’t in the source material.

  • Greenjones,

    I used to be jentario, then changed my name in my phone, but my computer still has jentario on it so I thought “fuck it, why not.”

  • “My message to the producers. We know you work hard, but its giving us golden moments of movie magic on our televisions we never imagined possible. Please keep up the amazing scripts and incredible scenarios. We will not let you down.”

    Well said Tom.

  • I don’t know why anyone still thinks anybody will be taking seasons off. This show has a cast the size of a medium-sized city, if someone disappears for too long a time, the audience will forget them. In addition, some of these people will have moved on in their careers if they don’t nail them down (see: original flavour Mountain, original flavour Daario), and like I mentioned before, I doubt HBO wants to pay actors for sitting around a year.

    Winter Rose,

    Brienne could easily end her season in that confrontation with whoever’s ear she ends up biting off. Either that, or finding out that Pod is following her. If he’s following her. Maybe she’ll also just miss Arya – she certainly does in the books, where she sees the ship she’s on sailing away.

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    so you’re not Hand of the King, too, then? I’ll make a note.

  • Satin,

    In what chapter in aFfC does Brienne see Arya’s ship sailing off? They could well play up another one of those so-close-yet-so-far moments. After all Gwendoline did film in Iceland this summer where Maisie and Rory shot what I believe were supposed to be scenes in the Vale.

  • I really hope they don’t rush everything from affc/adwd in S5. There are plenty of stories to tell and a lot of room for improvement in the storylines. If they do, though, I hope they take their time. I wonder if S5 will be moved to Autumn 2015… 1 year and a half is a lot (to wait!), but they can’t still film in the Summer when Winter is Coming! More time to perfect the story (even expand it to 12 eps maybe, since so many plots and new characters are condensed), and more time for GRRM to finish that damned book!

  • John,

    Nah! I wouldn’t read that much into it. She says she thinks it’s going to be next season. That sounds to me that she hasn’t read the script for season 5 (of course she hasn’t). So it’s a personal guess. But season 5 might as well finish with Cersei being arrested by the Faith, and the Penance Walk would be seson 6 material.

  • Satin,

    Ok, we don’t know what will happen further in the story. But common sense says you shouldn’t cut essential plotlines of the story. So, to those people who think the trip to Oldtown would be cut, I say this: a) The role Maester Marwin will play at Meereen feels really important, so it’s important for him to know about the prophecy through Sam. B) We still don’t know but Sam becoming a Maester could be very relevant. In the aSoIaF world, maesters get their training/education in the Citadel of Oldtown. that’s it, a lot of important stuff could happen to Sam in there in the future, so I trust the show creators because they are counseled by George himself about these issues.

  • Summer is Coming,

    That “room for improvement” certainly entails cutting out a good amount of unnecessary material, in my eyes. If eight (or even seven) seasons is the ceiling here, I’d rather they judiciously edit the transition books so we can three (or two) fulls seasons for The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.

    In either scenario (seven or eight seasons), I don’t see D&D adapting the two latest books into two seasons. The material simply isn’t there. I’m not saying I don’t think AFfC & ADwD aren’t good books (the former is my second favorite in the series, personally), but they don’t lend themselves to being adapted over a period of two seasons/years. It would be too problematic, in terms of pacing, for many of the characters and their respective story lines.

    Besides, I’d rather the writers use the limited time available to them for the material in the last two books (you know, the climactic points of the entire series) than wallowing in the largely transition phase that the two latest books represent.

  • Mina,

    Why weren’t you expecting that? Because in our hetero-normative world you expect everyone to be straight by default (unless he/she behaves sexually weird)? Well, that’s not always the case.
    Welcome to the real world

  • Greenjones,

    Whenever she is at Maidenpool (was that Maidenpool? Dude, it’s been two years since I read that.). She sees a ship taking off, and that should be the one with Arya on board. The Cinnamon Wind? I know they carry Sam, Gilly, Aemon and Baby Mance later, but for some reason I was convinced they brought Arya over earlier, too.

    I feel like Arya and Hound’s Vale moment will be them just missing Sansa and LF, but maybe we’ll have other near misses.

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    well, since you’re me, please remember we’ve already fed the cats, no matter how hungry they pretend to be.

    Awake Iron!,

    I’d be overjoyed – I do like Sam and Gilly, especially on the show. Also, don’t feed the troll.

  • Winter Rose,

    The horrible things the do? You mean hanging Freys? That’s not horrible at all in my book.

    I find it odd that you think Brienne won’t be searching for Sansa just because she was in King’s Landing when Brienne arrives. So what? More reason for her to look for Sansa, because she’ll know how she looks like, unlike Arya. We know now ep. 4 title (Oathkeeper). So Sansa will vanish from King’s Landing between episodes 2 & 3, and Brienne will be sent off to find her in ep. 4. It makes perfect sense to me.

  • Awake Iron!,

    Except the person he’s talking about is a minor and he’s clearly pull it out of his behind.
    Claiming “he got pleasure in his crotch from riding Hodor’s back ” is really inappropriate.

  • Lord Davos,
    There really aren’t 1500 pages of text to adapt. There’s more like 800, and 700 pages of filler and POVs the audience will care nothing for and will be cut

    AFFC/ADWD don’t deserve to be done justice, they deserve to be worn down to the bare essentials so that the show can move on to actual decent material

  • John,

    I think it’s not that of a bad move to have the Walk of Shame in season 5. It could work as a climax for Cersei.

    Although, but that’s personal, I’d have prefered her climax of season 5 to be her imprisonment at the Sept of Baelor. It is really the moment that surprised me and in a way chocked me most of the books.

  • cosca,

    I for one like all of the storylines in ADWD and AFFC. Will all of them make it in? Probably not, but I doubt any of the truly big ones will be rooted out. I think that Dorne and the Iron a Islands were the highlights of the relatively uneventful AFFC (even though I definitely see Aeron and Quentyn- and their private plotlines- being cut and combined with other characters). Until you make a survey with a bunch of fans, you can’t just state that these are POVs “the audience will care nothing for and will be cut”. I’m actually willing to bet that most people learned to love the Dorne and Ironborn stories after they got used to the tedious pace of AFFC.

    I really hope D&D don’t share your attitude on this point.

  • cosca,

    Agreed 100%. I’ve always said the Feast and Dance together could have been 700 pages tops. I hope and expect that D&D agree. Any decent writer should be able to tell that those books are death to the momentum and quality the series has going for it if done faithfully. I expect that the bare essentials version we’ll get will really elevate the source material and be fun to watch.

  • The show will not take a year off, and there will not be a season longer than 10 episodes. The creators have said this. It’s also very unlikely the show will go past 7 seasons (8 at most).

    The show is the show and the books are the books. Game of Thrones will steam ahead regardless of whether George gets The Winds of Winter out (and it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he will).

    People have to accept that the show can’t run forever and it WILL overtake the books, so trimming the (copious) fat and getting through AFFC/ADWD as quickly as possible is definitely the right move.

  • Sean C.,

    uh, it is in the source material. Sansa is not in Dance. Nor are many characters. there are more practicalities to a show, and with many new characters others will at least be limited. it would make sense either way. even if just a cameo.
    financially, no matter the budget, with the dorne and greyjoy crew coming about, there will need to be some allowances. they’ve given many characters a season off, albeit none so main (well, unless we include people like Lancel, who was just picking up steam). I think it would be great to build anticipation for the future of the series. I for one do not want to be spoilt and ruin the course of the full story. But i love sansa, in fact I am rooting for her. I just want to see the show progress in ways that are unconventional, so I dont expect it. I’m looking forward to some original material as well.

  • cosca,

    What do you mean by filler?
    Filler is a word something people use when their books and show grows, and they no longer are interested in it. George obviously can get Dany to Westeros in a chapter, but if you get everything you want when you want it, you arent satisfied. Thats why we love these books right? Because they are dense.
    We dont even need Danys pov, she could just show up in westeros.
    But George is writing her journey, not about her arrival.
    Lets just put it this: could you imagine if Breaking skipped season 3 and 4 into one season? Or if Harry Potter skipped straight over the uneventful and introverted books 5 and 6 to the Deathly Hallows? That could work, but it wouldnt make for a story as well done as the first fist four.
    There are so many fans that are so tight up at the pace, they dont enjoy the story.
    I like fast food, but I would rather make a good home made meal everyday.

  • i’m i the only one having an issue with the sit now? Since yesterday, it views as if i’m missing flash or something, but i have the latest updated. You know, like that barebones HTML look.

  • Lord Davos,

    I think he meant that Dany’s journey has been disappointing as she has regressed as a character. Season 4 will begin to show Dany’s character regression and I’m curious to see if show only viewers fall out of favor with her like book readers did.

  • Tom,

    that’s not exactly true, since Dance and AFFC take place at roughly the same time. Sansa comes down from the Eyrie roughly around the time Brienne meets Jaime again.

    And there is no way they put regular characters off to make room for new characters. We’ll obviously get new characters for old ones that got killed, and people like Thorne, Selmy and Pyp disappear for a season or two, but aside from Rickon, the Stark siblings will have a constant presence on the show, as will Dany, Jon, Tyrion and Cersei. You also won’t see Ser Jorah dropping out for eight episodes, or Varys disappearing after this season only to turn up in a surprise cameo at the end of S5. As long as a character is played by a regular castmember and isn’t killed off, they’ll be on the show, even if it means they’ll hang from a bloody wooden cross for six episodes.

  • Satin,
    well with that i agree.
    i just want to see the show go on for a long time (ideally more than 7 season…they are undercutting their potential.) Also, I do not think they are going to spoil the readers by premiering too much Dream of Spring content ahead of Martin. That would be weird and confrontational/competitive and would undercut Martin, and that is not D&D’s agenda. I think we’re going to see a good climax at the end of 7, that will allow the show to build up anticipation for whatever is next.

  • Lord Davos,

    Season 7 and 8 will definitely be better than the books, seeing how ADOS will consist of a few unpublished notes.

    Lord Davos,

    Yes, the journey is important and so on, I never said otherwise. Difference here is that the journey is incredibly dull and repetitive, which it wasn’t in previous instalments, which means it should have been cut down. Calling me impatient doesn’t change anything.

  • Hand of the Kingslayer:

    I for one like all of the storylines in ADWD and AFFC. Will all of them make it in? Probably not, but I doubt any of the truly big ones will be rooted out. I think that Dorne and the Iron a Islands were the highlights of the relatively uneventful AFFC (even though I definitely see Aeron and Quentyn- and their private plotlines- being cut and combined with other characters). Until you make a survey with a bunch of fans, you can’t just state that these are POVs “the audience will care nothing for and will be cut”. I’m actually willing to bet that most people learned to love the Dorne and Ironborn stories after they got used to the tedious pace of AFFC.

    I really hope D&D don’t share your attitude on this point.

    Agreed. I think we’ll see most of these storylines and felt both books were better on a second read. (As I’ve said many times, the Nimble Dick Crabbe is about the only part that really needs to be completely cut, and I wonder if Tyrion’s bit with Yezzan goes too, somehow). I don’t see how Victarion gets cut. I think Doran and Arianne are great charaters and we’ll want to see them, too. Quentyn? Yes, he could go. Aeron could be a walk-on at best. There will be some truncating. But the majority of AFFC/ADWD seems to belong in the fifth season, perhaps with the Essos stuff ending with Dany flying away on the dragon, leaving the Barristan/Shavepate coup d’etat for Season 6.

  • both AFFC and ADWD are underrated way too much

    there is a lot of god tier moments in that “filler” material



  • I still tend to agree with those who believe this thing should go for 8 seasons. That seems to be the sweet spot.

    It’ll be difficult, but most of AFFC/ADwD would be condensed well into Season 5. Lining up Danys story (which is a bit thin) with Tyrion (which contains three notable locations/events – the river, the ship, his time with Yezzan) is the most difficult part. The Cersei and Jon storylines would work well, and you can get the Brienne/Jaime stuff put well together too.

    Then you have ADwD (end) and TWoW for Season 6, 2nd half TWOW and DoS for 7 and then 8.

  • Hand of the Kingslayer:

    D&D have said 80 hours, though. And HBO says as long as people keep watching, they’ll keep producing. I don’t see GoT ending prematurely, it’s mostly up to D&D and how they decide to handle it. 8 seasons seems like a solid bet, assuming the last two books (plus bits of 4 and 5) have enough in them for three seasons.

    Source of this “80” please. Thanks.

    Considering that we are already up to Dance material with some of the POVsin S4, I do not see why they will need more than 3 additional seasons to wrap things up.

  • Tom:
    uh, it is in the source material.Sansa is not in Dance.

    AFFC and ADWD are effectively the same book — Sansa’s story from that period is in AFFC, and runs parallel to everything that happens in ADWD. It would be impossible for her to “take a year off”, because the story directly follows the end of ASOS.

    Rygar: Source of this “80″ please.Thanks.

    The producers have said that multiple times in interviews going back to the very start of the show.

  • Malys Blackfyre: both AFFC and ADWD are underrated way too much

    there is a lot of god tier moments in that “filler” material

    EXACTLY, and that’s why with major cutting and adaptation, it’d be a stellar season of TV.

    Cutting it doesn’t mean we “aren’t doing the books justice” because all the good content will remain. The show only world builds through hints in the dialogue, cgi locations and from the opening sequence, and that’s all it needs. We don’t need episodes showing the state of the people in the riverlands or showing ruined rhoynar cities or exploring the cultures of Dorne and the Ghiscari just for the sake of giving the regions depth. Affc/adwd sacrifices a lot of narrative merit (see Sansa, Davos & Bran’s lack of chapters and Quentyn, Brienne & Tyrion’s travelogues) for this beautiful, rich world building.

    If the show followed this it’d be trashed by critics. Adding ridiculous amounts of new characters, lack of plot progression, many storylines being neglected. Just look at the quality of Season 2 compared to Season 1 & 3

  • “Season 3 is probably the biggest in terms of the number of new characters, number of new stories overall,” Benioff explained. “The universe has expanded as much as it’s going to, and now it’s going to contract… As pieces start to get removed from the chessboard, we’ll have fewer on there. We’re nearly to the midpoint (of the story), and it’ll be interesting to see what’s going forward with the endgame.”

    Gonna use this quote by d&d again to support that there will be major storyline cuts

    Bearing in mind that d&d are the only producers out of the 5(?) to have said 8 seasons, and are therefore the most optimistic, they don’t seem to want to drag out Feast/Dance by adding lots of new storylines and spreading the story out

  • Lord Davos,

    I think this is really well put. People were wondering how GRRM was going to top ASOS with AFFC, but he went in a completely different direction. It’s the clash of expectations which led to the disappointment, I believe. On re-reading it was much better, as was ADWD. I wish I’d been in the position of my friend I turned onto the series, she got to read AFFC and ADWD together with the chapters in the All Leather Must Be Boiled reading order.

    It’s not that the last couple of books have a lot of filler, they are just a lot more internal. This doesn’t make for drama on-screen, but the true test of the showrunners’ skill will be if they can externalize the conflicts where GRRM didn’t.

  • Mina:
    Does Season 4 happen to include any mingling between Bran, Joffrey, and Hodor? According to what I have heard, “Bran” would love that. Maybe in three years time, Jack and Kristian will reciprocate his feelings. If not, at least he has any pleasure he happens to get in his crotch riding Hodor’s back.

    If it’s true, I wasn’t expecting that at all. Interesting. All orientations welcome.

    Would Admin please delete fucktarded Mina’s post? Beside the fact that Isaac is a child, insinuating anything about anyone’s sexuality should be off limits.

  • Sean C.,

    Great. Sources? And are they recent?

    In May 2013 producer Frank Doelger speaking at the Bafta Television Awards said “I would hope that if we survive, and if the audience stays with us we’ll probably get through to seven seasons”.

    Seen in

  • Satin,

    Arya leaves Saltpans in the Titans Daughter. This is just after the raid on Saltpans, and six days after she leaves the Hound. Brienne doesn’t leave Kings Landing before about 2 weeks after the purple wedding, i.e. close to the end of asos. It then takes a long while before she reaches Saltpans. Before she gets there she hears many stories about the raid and the new Hound (Rorge who has taken the Hounds helmet after Arya leaves him). This implies that quite some time has passed since the raid on Saltpans, especially taking Briennes own travel time into acount. Note also that we have had two chapters of Arya in Braavos before Brienne reaches Saltpans. In the second one it is implied that she has already come to know Braavos quite well. This is not an argument in itself though since a few other chapters are written fairly out of order. In the tv series, I think Brienne may almost run into Arya.

  • A Secret Baratheon: … and there will not be a season longer than 10 episodes. The creators have said this.

    They should reconsider that I think. It would be Columbus’s egg to wrap up the remainders of AFFC and ADWD in a 12 to 15 episode S5.

  • Rygar,
    Thank you! A recent piece of info and referenced too. I think they could just as well go over the blasted “80 hours” mark everyone bandies about. Also have the feeling that was an early estimate the producers made by the way it was mentioned in so many comments. Who knows though it’s not like I have the source.

    I think it all depends on the material Martin gives them to work with and how much are they willing to cut or compress. We will see. it is all a work in progress after all. Things change all the time even if you do plan for 7 seasons.

    I read somewhere that Martin said originally he will write no dragons in his world.. look how that turned out. He wrote them early in the saga too. Some readers still hold a grudge over that one. *shrugs*

  • Skipjack,

    A lot happened offpage.
    Thats why we got so many pov,
    and essos got a game of thrones, one thats bigger than westeros.

  • Hand of the Kingslayer,

    Dick. Sorry but its not loading on mobile. But the title seems not factual. More like “This pizza is soo good, I could eat 80 slices”. Could they tell the story in 80 episodes? Sure. They could do it with 100. Will they? Probably not.

  • Rygar,

    Am I really? :D

    On topic… Let me give you the quote:

    “We have the opportunity here to tell a coherent story that lasts for 80 hours. And while a canvas of that size presents all sorts of storytelling problems, it also allows us to spend more time with these characters we love than we’ll ever get again.”

    The way I understand it, D&D hope to ideally finish in 8 seasons.

  • People view quotes as way too authoritative.

    When the producers say “80,” they were using it in the context of “We’re telling a story across multiple seasons, we’re not viewing this as something to be told in an episode or even a season.”

    They were not delivering an exact amount of episodes. The story will end when they want to end it. Could it be seven seasons? It’s very possible. Eight? Sure. I can’t see them going much longer, to be honest, because I think it’s too much work. This will be a decade of most of the cast and crew’s life, and it’s an intense amount of work. At some point, they will simply be tired. And the story will be done.

    But the “80” was never offered as something firm and no one is going to hold them to it.

    Same with Lena’s next season on that scene. Is it possible that they’ve told her it’s next season? Yes. But the syntax of what she said certainly makes it sound like it just as well could mean “not this season.” Either way.

  • Rygar,

    It was just before or during season 3 IIRC, which means the season 4 scripts were probably done (GRRM finished his season 4 episode around that time). So I don’t think season 4 impacted their plans much.

  • Alan,

    Of course not. But neither was the whole “seven seasons” remark. I’m just saying the most recent statement from the showrunners implies 8 seasons, meanwhile HBO says the show can go on as long as there are stories to tell. I will place my bet on 8 seasons, unless something big has changed during the writing of season 5.

  • Lord Davos,

    I hear him on Doran (no way they could cut Doran – noooo), and I could imagine four sand snakes, if two of them are little and Ellaria’s daughters, one is studying wherever Sams go, and the other is, like, a combination of Tyene, Nymeria and Obara. And Areo might be there so that Doran has someone to chat.

  • Satin,

    I really hope they keep the Watergardens and Dorans morality. That almost justifies his restrictions and childrens actions, and its not like there are to many human people in this story. And we need more protagonists of color. Cutting Ben and Belwas is a little sad, but blackwashing pirates and frauds instead doesnt come off very good.

  • Satin,

    The number of the novels mean jack shit here. D&D already know (and knew in that interview) where all the major stories are headed and how they end. They could easily estimate, based on how THEY want to handle things, how many seasons it will take.

  • Lord Davos,

    That was weird, I remember it. I think (and hope) that Arianne just flew under his radar in that post or that he thinks it’s obvious that she’ll make it in regardless of the rest of Dorne. Arianne is, like, the main Dorne character. It would make no sense at all to include Dorne without Arianne (and no, a sand snake taking her role would be stupid).

    Lord Davos,

    Sarella will be a POC in season 6, maybe another ms and snake (I always imagined Obara as brown-skinned unlike the Martell standard “olive skin”). Also, Areo Hotah should be black (and a featured extra, since he is barely a character) as well as a significant part if the Dorne extras. I really hope that they show race variety in the show’s Dorne. The Martells were never black, but Dorne is populated by everything between pale white and pitch black peoples, and that is as good a chance as any to portray more POC characters that aren’t evil/brutish/villainous.

  • Hand of the Kingslayer,

    I know. It was only a joking comparison.

    Lord Davos,

    absolutely, though I have a soft spot for both Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xaon Daxos. But yeah, someone who is not “morally ambivalent” – and a more important, long-time player – would be nice for a change.

  • Reading through some of the comments I am really annoyed at some posters. Just because you have a certain opinion doesn’t mean everyone who’s read the books has the same opinion as you do. Stop assuming that because you didn’t like AFFC and/or ADWD, everyone else hates it, too, and therefore 2/3 of these books should be cut. That’s bullshit, sorry. I loved AFFC, even though I did miss my favorite character, Jon Snow. And by that time I was still a fan of Dany, so I missed her chapters as well. But despite the lack of my favorite characters I really loved AFFC and I think it’s far better than ADWD. The only storylines in ADWD I really enjoyed were Jon and Theon. But others would disagree with me, I know for a lot of people ADWD is their favorite out of all five books. Anyway, this clearly shows not everyone hates these last two books, stop acting like everyone has to have the same opinion as you and that your opinion is the only one that matters and that you know exactly how D&D are thinking. You don’t. Period.

  • Renly,

    I’ve actually heard this too and there’s nothing much wrong with the comment at alll. If it were about him liking girls or even getting pleasure from riding a girl’s back, it wouldn’t be “omg so inappropriate! gasp! its obvious bullshit!” No idea if its true but it seems the main objection is that they’re guys.

    Him being a minor doesn’t seem relevent at all, and the commenter said in 3 years. In 3 years, he wont be a minor even in the US. I think if he were 18 youd act just as repulsed.

    Really, idk if its a rumor someones spreading but I don’t see a need to say she’s just a troll or demand the comment be removed. Theres nothing wrong with *any* of it if its true. Keep it up, Isaac <3

  • Ugh, why are people being so immature. I feel like half of people are just trying to not outright say they’re homophobic. “Oh, dont say that! wrong to say someones gay!” really…sorry I just cant think of reason to say that that doesn’t include homophobia.

    LOL. “He’s a child ermagerd!” they’ll try adding that til he’s 18 (16 for UKers?). Us teenagers… do indeed have sexual orientations and attractions. Have got to be kidding me. Its not inappropriate to talk about who or what hetero teens like -anywhere- that has anything to do with their age or orientation but hmmm here.

    Really, how would someone feel at the underlying tones of “this shouldnt even be said” if they actually were gay? think… offensive & hurtful :/.

  • Im so tired of homosexuality being treated as more inappropriate that heterosexuality. On Youtube, a hetero kissing scene is way less likely to be flagged while a homosexual pecking scene is flagged with less “action” than the hetero kissing scenes going untouched. Its 2014 ffs. And hes old enough to like who he wants anyway. Really stretching it with the ‘child’ defense. He could have a partner for all we know.

    The balls part was crude but I dont think it was outrageous. Reading the rules, -some- crudeness is allowed. A hetero comment equivalent of that would cause people to say people are being too puritanical/overreacting if they demanded take-downs. Isaac himself doesn’t seem like the type of person to think the same way & probably wouldnt care if someone asked him if he had any crushes of any sex. The teenagers being spoken for dont go, “omg, I am too young for such talk!” But, not sure of course.

    Taken at face value, these people are the type who say its inappropriate to talk to (or for a 15 year old to actually be doing) a 15 year old about full on masturbation. MASTURBATION. OH GOD. SAY IT AINT SO. XD so impure!

    And, what if Mina turned out to be 15 too? Or even younger than him? Promise you theres all sorts of dirty talk in our high schools. Its natural, people need to get over it because we arent slowing down any time soon. Not that I buy its not about homosexuality.

  • If there snothing wrong with us being gay, minors or not, what is wrong with talking about it? Id probably be told Im a ‘child’ who isnt old enough to understand. If, in the future, he talks about a bf (annnd being asked about his bf!), Im going to laugh. “Oh, Isaac, instead of answering them you should be saying its sick for t hem to ask about it. Youre just a wee lad D:”

    People were probably outraged when he was asked in 2011 (2012?) about his dating life on -television-. The man who did that should be added to the sex offender list. /sarcasm.

    Yeah, this article ‘s comment section is spoiled for me. I hope to continue to read more thought out, insightful, and not close-minded comments with unfortunate implications at this site. Its fine, just a few bad comments ^^

    If they actually care about any hurt feelings or offense, I hope instead of getting defensive they will check themselves and not repeat the behavior in the future.

    Valar Morghulis!