Benioff and Weiss on planning for the end: “We’re coming around the bend right now.”
By Ours is the Fury on in Interview, News.

Vanity FairIn the April edition of the magazine, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss talk with Vanity Fair about the future of Game of Thrones, how many seasons they think the show will run and their collaboration with author George R.R. Martin.

In the new article, Weiss confirms that the show will likely last seven or eight seasons, as many have estimated. Neither Weiss, nor his writing partner Benioff have any desire to stretch the series out unnecessarily long. Benioff comments, “If you look at the shows that we love, it’s so rare for a series to go beyond that length and maintain quality,” and cites Breaking Bad‘s “smart choice” to end after only five seasons as an example.

Benioff elaborates:

If we’re a series and we’re four seasons, five seasons in, and it’s indefinite as to how long it’s gonna go, then I don’t think there’s as much pressure as far as, the end is coming, the end is nigh. So, for us, whether it ends up being seven or eight, it’s right around there. I think we’ve always felt — we just completed the fourth season — this is the midpoint. And we’re coming around the bend right now.

The showrunners discussed the fates of the characters with Martin recently, with an eye toward planning future seasons. It seems that as of now, some characters’ storylines remain more open than others. For more details, visit Vanity Fair to read the article.

UPDATE:  As of a few minutes ago, James Hibberd of EW is reporting that David Benioff has stated that seven seasons is the plan. Benioff goes on to say it’s the (unstated) goal they’ve had since the beginning, that “it feels right to us,” referencing “seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons.” Seven is a key number in Westeros, of course, and it may be the magic number in the end for Game of Thrones.


355 Comments

  1. Tom
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Hodor. 9 seasons plz k thx.

  2. eL
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    omg GRRM get to writing!!!

  3. GeekFurious
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    eL:
    omg GRRM get to writing!!!

    The person who makes an app that automatically blocks all “get writing George” type comments on the Internet will become a billionaire.

  4. Rygar
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    Burp

  5. Doug
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Bottom line, it is becoming increasingly clear Martin is screwed.

    Weird irony too. Book readers spoiling the story for non book readers, will soon turn into non book readers spoiling the story for book readers.

    Will they write their own ending? Maybe, but them going down to his house to be walked through how it ends doesn’t sound like people that have a desire to do their own ending.

  6. Dante Snow
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    This doesn’t bode well for the book fans. I’d love to see the genuine ending first. As much as I like the show, I don’t want them to catch up. I will watch t, but it would only be an alternate ending to what the real ending will be. It won’t be canon as they say.

  7. WompWomp
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Glad the pressure isn’t on to artificially extend the series. Half the excitement surrounding the show can be attributed to anticipation of the inevitable endgame. If HBO invested this much into S4, imagine what resources S7/8 will have at its disposal.

  8. Tom
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    i think everyone will be working together to make this work, and we don’t need to worry about a thing. just keep watching and giving our support to the GRRM and the showrunners. they’re not going to can jayne or ls or arianne. let the show grow, keep the ebb and flow that has brought it thus far. here’s to 9 seasons.

  9. tysnow
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    They forgot Death and R’hllor, don’t want to piss off Arya and the Sexy Red Witch, which means nine seasons, otherwise Dave will meet needle and Dan will be leeched.

  10. kentobeans
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Tom,

    Here’s to 9 seasons? Seriously? Did you read the post? Lol

  11. John M W
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    At this point, I’m not upset at this. It’s obvious now that George will finish whenever he’s going to finish, and I only started reading the books a couple years before the show started. So I’m not going to be that devastated if D&D get to the ending before the books.

    I do feel sorry for longtime book readers, though. Either they have the last books spoiled for them by watching, or they have to live with the risk of internet trolls spoiling them (though some of them deserve it – as they did the same to non-book readers).

    But at the end of the day, George has no one to blame but himself. Yes, it’s his work, and he’s perfectly entitled to take his time writing. But he knew this was on the horizon. If he’s so “alarmed” now, it’s something he should have thought about back when he agreed to sign on with HBO. He really doesn’t have any ground to be surprised.

  12. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Seven seasons is the goal after all, eh? Well, maybe it’ll still be eight. But I don’t care so long as it’s good. And if nine means it isn’t, then bring on the Seven.

    Lots of AFfC/ADwD is clearly making it into Season 4, but I didn’t think it was that much. Sounds like the sixth and seventh books could well be given a single season apiece. Depending on how the final volume is shaping up in GRRM’s mind in a couple of years, I suppose that’ll help the showrunners decide if they need that eighth after all.

  13. tysnow
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    If GoT is still a powerhouse after seasons 5 and 6, HBO will make them stretch it to 8 seasons, period. If D&D are getting tired, they can pass the torch to Bryan, Peter, NCW, etc. would probably wouldn’t mind keeping the machine going for two more seasons.

  14. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Dante Snow:
    This doesn’t bode well for the book fans. I’d love to see the genuine ending first. As much as I like the show, I don’t want them to catch up. I will watch t, but it would only be an alternate ending to what the real ending will be. It won’t be canon as they say.

    If you’ll pardon the bluntness (it means no ill will toward you, I promise) to hell with so-called canon. It’ll be two endings. Two well-realized endings, ideally. So be it. Frankly, the show has its own canon anyway, should we worry over such terms. But I’ve always lived my life avoiding that word like the plague except when necessary, because I feel like people use it entirely too often as a means to their own despair.

    “It’s good, but I can’t like it. I can’t. It’s noncanon.”

    What a way to kick oneself in the face, I say.

  15. asfastasican
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m really impressed by D&D. They have done a great job with this show simply by cutting the fat out of the books and condensing all of the good content into one show. Just by seeing them lean towards 7 seasons means they are still passionate and still focused on their jobs as show runners.

    If you don’t get the GRRM hate or understand it by now, it’s simply because GRRM isn’t finishing what he started in a professional manner.

    If you don’t finish what you start in any industry, it’s frowned upon. Just because its fiction and fantasy doesn’t give you a pass. I could argue that if this show never happened, GRRM wouldn’t even have written as much as he has already. Thank god these two came along to light a fire under his ass.

  16. Doug
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone honestly think George Martin works on two things at once? Because I don’t.

    Well he’s self admitted in recent days he just finished The World of Ice and Fire which is already 5 months late. So does that mean he hasn’t even been working on WOW for the last 5 months? Maybe. It’s possible. He’s already said he doesn’t write anything when he travels.

    The only chance he has to finish it before the end, is if he has been absolutely trolling everyone for years and has this entire story already written and done. Which has about as much chance of being accurate as me becoming a billionaire.

  17. Streamweaver
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    So by now it’s obvious the books wont be finished by the time the series is which is what a lot of us feared because it leaves us with one of three options.

    1. They basically chuck the books and write their own story from this season onward.
    2. They end it wherever the books are by that point. Given the last few books I can’t see how that could be of interest at all.
    3. They give away the big strokes of the Martin story to wrap up their tale. I actually hope it’s this, Martin is indeed not anyone’s bitch as they say. Martin the author needs to take as much time as he needs, but Martin the IP manager has really screwed the pooch in terms of timing multiple properties around a work he knew he couldn’t finish.

  18. WompWomp
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    asfastasican,

    I know some swear by ADWD, but I’m in the other camp of readers that believes the split and the extra time did the final product no notable favors. On with the show, I say. It’s not like the show is flawless, but I commend their momentum as a production. It’s an incredibly intricate and professional operation. There’s simply no stopping that train.

  19. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    I for one am excited that D&D have an end plan for this series. Seems like too many series are artificially extended due to ratings. Personally, I prefer shows to run for 5 seasons. Game of Thrones is special in that the seasons are only 10 episodes and each character only has a limited amount of screen time. So 7 or 8 seasons makes sense.

    I do not care if the books are finished first. I have always considered the books to be sort of resource to the television show to fill in gaps and the history of the universe. I love the books. I love the TV show even more. There is a lot of great content in A Feast for Crows that has no business being in a television series.

    If the series goes 7 seasons, it will look like this:

    SEASON 1 – A Game of Thrones
    SEASON 2 – A Clash of Kings
    SEASON 3 – A Storm of Swords
    SEASON 4- A Storm of Swords, A Feast For Crows, & A Dance With Dragons
    SEASON 5 – A Feast For Crows, A Dance With Dragons, & The Winds of Winter (Small Parts)
    SEASON 6 – The Winds of Winter & A Dream of Spring
    SEASON 7 – A Dream of Spring

    If it is 8 Seasons….

    SEASON 6 – The Winds of Winter
    SEASON 7 – The Winds of Winter & A Dream of Spring
    SEASON 8 – A Dream of Spring

    No matter how you slice it, GRRM is not going to catch up to the television series unless he is lying about his progress of the books to have a co-release of TV and Books. Highly unlikely.

    I will end with one final thought. GRRM better not tell them the “broad strokes” of the story and then purposely change them just to spite the world. There are about 15 characters that we are really invested in that need to finish the television series in approximately the same way they finish in the books.

  20. davyJones
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    ya….

    I don’t know how I feel about the show just continuing on its own towards a sort of accurate ending, kinda a buzzkill.

    It’s like whats the point? At that point its basically fan fiction.

    hmm maybe thats just my initial reaction.

  21. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    davyJones:
    ya….

    I don’t know how I feel about the show just continuing on its own towards a sort of accurate ending, kinda a buzzkill.

    It’s like whats the point? At that point its basically fan fiction.

    hmm maybe thats just my initial reaction.

    Not Fan Fiction at all. He has given them the broad strokes. I assume we can conclude it means the last person on the Iron Throne. The mystery of the COTF, White Walkers, etc. It only becomes fan fiction if he purposely changes the story later to try and sell more books.

  22. Kevin
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    Doug:
    Will they write their own ending? Maybe, but them going down to his house to be walked through how it ends doesn’t sound like people that have a desire to do their own ending.

    How can you know you are writing a different ending unless you know the other ending? I think they have tried to be as respectful to the material as they can, and oddly diverging more from the books to towards the end is the most respectful thing they can do to preserve the real ending for GRRM. But the earlier you decide to do that the better. They can’t be in denial about it like GRRM is.

  23. GG
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Um….what? 7 seasons? That’s more than a tad lofty, don’t you think? That means they’re cramming 3.5 books(assuming a solid half of FfC/DwD gets sucked into s4, possibly more) into 3 seasons. While that may seem easy, the books don’t seem to be getting any shorter. Take Cersei, for example. Does this mean all of Cersei’s FfC/DwD material is being hamfisted into s5? Or is she being killed of in book 6(meaning they’d have room to spread it around a bit). Given Maggy’s prophecy about being killed by a brother, I always saw her death as happening toward the end of the series. I’ve always assumed that Jaime would kill her in the last book but apparently not. I think 8 seasons is much more managable than 7, espec if WoW & DoS are around 1000 pgs each, like George thinks they will be.

  24. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Kevin: How can you know you are writing a different ending unless you know the other ending?I think they have tried to be as respectful to the material as they can, and oddly diverging more from the books to towards the end is the most respectful thing they can do to preserve the real ending for GRRM.But the earlier you decide to do that the better.They can’t be in denial about it like GRRM is.

    Preserve the real ending for GRRM? That is a horrible idea. They need to have the same endings. GRRM signed off on the TV rights in 2007. The TV series really started production at the beginning on 2010.

    From the time he sold his TV right away, he had 9 years to write 3 books, one of which should have already been mostly written.

    The fans do not deserve two endings. They deserve one ending. If the book fans have to stay off the forums to not be spoiled by the TV show, it will make for a nice twist….

  25. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    GRRM had almost a decade to finish the series so the book fans could have the content first. Sadly, he most likely failed at that.

    To expect the show to be delayed or alter the ending makes no sense. GRRM signed over the rights of the story to HBO. The fans and HBO deserve the correct ending on the screen.

  26. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    Goodbye Greyjoys, goodbye Martells and goodbye Griffs. You will all be missed…

  27. ace
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I guess it could work to something like..

    say the show hypothetical ending of Jon or Dany prevailing in the end and defeat the Others army

    Then GRRM getting all the reactions of that ending, turns it around and decided to write it so that the Others prevail, thus giving still the surprise to the book readers expecting a Jon/Dany victory

  28. Tom
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    kentobeans,

    I’m just saying the story should go for 9. they mention 7,8,10,11…but not 9. they are surprise artists. let them work

  29. Sean C.
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, GRRM is fucked. But there’s no one to blame but himself.

    The statement that seven was always the plan seems like a retcon to me, given them bandying about “eighty hours of television” repeatedly (unless they’re going to expand the last season, I guess). But whatever, we’ve got our presumptive timeline. I do wonder if HBO’s number-crunchers got a look at likely cast retention costs for an eighth season and communicated that that was best avoided.

  30. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    ace:
    I guess it could work to something like..

    say the show hypothetical ending ofJon or Dany prevailing in the end and defeat the Others army

    Then GRRM getting all the reactions of that ending, turns it around and decided to write it so that the Others prevail, thus giving still the surprise to the book readersexpecting a Jon/Dany victory

    Such a change would likely get him sued by HBO for breach on contract. It is one thing to change up small details. It is another thing to change the entire ending.

  31. WompWomp
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    I’d love to see Euron make it onto the show, and the Titan of Braavos reveal renews my hope that we will yet see the Water Gardens. There’s a lot that can be cut, but I think you’re prematurely underestimating the show’s ambitions.

  32. house snow
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Sort of surprising. That being said they could be almost done with brans brienne arc this season, halfway through theons and somewhat into danys and cersei and sansa. Only Jon arya and tyrion seem to be where they are in the book, so maybe it won’t require as much wrangling as people think

  33. ace
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The Bastard,

    I can think of an example at the moment.. but weren’t there movies adapted from books that have different endings? Of course, ASOIAF situation is the reverse

  34. Matt
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Martin has no one to blame for this but himself, if we’re to be brutally honest here.

  35. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    ace:
    The Bastard,

    I can think of an example at the moment.. but weren’t there movies adapted from books that have different endings?Of course, ASOIAF situation is the reverse

    You are right. When they buy the rights of a book series, they are allowed to take liberties with the source material.

    That has nothing to do with the author not finishing the series before the end of the television series and then lying about how the books will end.

    Two totally different things.

    Small details changing is one thing. Major characters straight up having a different outcome or path would be a bad thing for GRRM to do.

    I just get the sense that the book readers want the show to end differently so they can still have their books unspoiled.

    Blame the author on these issues.

  36. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    The reality is that George RR Martin would rather buy a movie theater, watch football, and do many other things than give the book readers the chance to finish the series first.

    It is sad really. GRRM is a wonderful writer. He seems like a nice guy. Dorks rule!

    But he sort of screwed you book readers over big time.

  37. Tori Targaryen
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    As for the update on 7 seasons, I’m actually content with this, I would rather have a great, concentrated 7 seasons than 8 or 9 watered down ones. You don’t want it to get old before the end arrives. Yes there’s the concern about book 6 and 7, well…. We’re all adults, we’ll just have to cope lol And instead of certain individuals posting on this site throwing their toys out of the pram, they should appreciate that GRRM is spending time on this. I hate it when games, films and yes, book sequels/ follow ups are rushed out to please the moaning public. The result is always an inferior product. The longer that is spent on a project, the better the outcome.

  38. Dante Snow
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Jeff O’Connor,
    Well, it doesn’t matter how you word it. If the show has its own canon, then it’s not canon in the books. And that is what matters to me.

  39. Sean C.
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    I’d love to see Euron make it onto the show, and the Titan of Braavos reveal renews my hope that we will yet see the Water Gardens. There’s a lot that can be cut, but I think you’re prematurely underestimating the show’s ambitions.

    While I obviously haven’t seen the final two books, I’m comfortable in stating that condensing them into two seasons will be impossible without major cuts and alterations to the narrative, well past “swapping Gendry for Edric”-type stuff. The first things to get the axe in such a restructuring will be the new characters; the writers will (and should) prioritize the existing cast.

  40. Dante Snow
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Tori Targaryen:
    As for the update on 7 seasons, I’m actually content with this, I would rather have a great, concentrated 7 seasons than 8 or 9 watered down ones. You don’t want it to get old before the end arrives. Yes there’s the concern about book 6 and 7, well…. We’re all adults, we’ll just have to cope lol And instead of certain individuals posting on this site throwing their toys out of the pram, they should appreciate that GRRM is spending time on this. I hate it when games, films and yes, book sequels/ follow ups are rushed out to please the moaning public. The result is always an inferior product. The longer that is spent on a project, the better the outcome.

    Yeah, I agree. Whatever comes, we’ll just have to deal with it. It will be a bummer, but I just hope for myself that it will slide away and that I just can enjoy the ending of the books just the same, if not even more. After all, that’s the real ending.

  41. cosca
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    good riddance!
    Except for Doran, I liked him. Oh well

  42. MM
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Agree that GRRM has no one to blame but himself. Disagree that the TV writers will take pains to “preserve” GRRM’s ending by deliberately writing a different version; that’s just not going to happen.

  43. The Bastard
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Sean C.: While I obviously haven’t seen the final two books, I’m comfortable in stating that condensing them into two seasons will be impossible without major cuts and alterations to the narrative, well past “swapping Gendry for Edric”-type stuff.The first things to get the axe in such a restructuring will be the new characters; the writers will (and should) prioritize the existing cast.

    I am comfortable saying you might be incorrect.

    The final battle will probably take up half of the last book from various character perspectives. Action scenes like that can take pages and pages of words and only minutes on the screen. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the last half of ADOS be condensed to the last 3 episodes of the series without any sort of rushing.

  44. Alex
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Well, there you go. TWOW in season 6 people, ADOS, season 7. The End.

  45. kentobeans
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Tom,

    Woah, when were 10 and 11 seasons mentioned? Just curious.

  46. Tori Targaryen
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    kentobeans,

    Other than fan speculation, nothing official has said anything higher than 8 seasons. The word has always been 7, 8 maximum.

  47. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    kentobeans:
    Tom,

    Woah, when were 10 and 11 seasons mentioned?Just curious.

    Never. He’s just spreading misinformation, or he was joking.

  48. Vin Sidious
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Trying to milk extra seasons where the story doesn’t justify it is one thing, but 7 seasons simply seems inadequate to finish this story properly. Even if they get 1/2 of AFfC and ADwD into Season 4, leaving the other 1/2 of those books, plus TWoW and ADoS for the final 3 seasons seems like a stretch. Especially if one, or both, of the last two books are as long and plot-dense as ASoS. 8 seasons seems much more reasonable. In any case, rushing the show, cutting narrative corners and leaving good story on the table to avoid overstaying it’s welcome is just as bad, if not worse, than actually overstaying it’s welcome.

  49. Dnis
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I”m delighted to hear this news. The show eventually will get less attention at the seasons progress, regardless of its quality, as people flock to the next shiny object. There are few things sadder than a show that lingers on well past its sell-by date – hell, even Mad Men is going out with a whimper.

    I, for one, have confidence that D&D can deliver a satisfying final few seasons. I have less confidence in GRRM, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt… for now.

  50. Dnis
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Vin Sidious,

    The show won’t be rushed if Seasons 5-7 are outlined together in advance, as appears to be the case. Planning ahead is a very good thing.

  51. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    “GRRM is fucked.”

    I really don’t get this. What bad thing is going to happen to him if the show catches up to the books? It sounds like he’d like to finish first, but won’t beat himself up if he doesn’t.

    Don’t forget that GRRM has a ton of television experience. He enjoys writing for the medium. Is it really so hard to believe that he cares more about telling the story than which version hits first? Would that be a bad thing? Douglas Adams made four versions of Hitchhiker in four different media (though his screenplay was rewritten posthumously); he relished the telling of it. Which was awesome.

    GRRM’s grand story is coming to life, and with the help of D&D&co, he gets to take it easy. While still dictating the plot and writing an episode a year. When you’re 65 and wildly successful, “you build it, you hire people you trust to manage it, and then you collect the fruits of their labor.” (Thank you, Ron Cadillac).

    The story is being told. If GRRM is happy with that, well, he’s the maestro. He–and D&D&Cogman–have earned some trust. They’re the authorities on this story, and this is how they’re telling it.

    Besides, surprising moments are better when the creator can control the tempo, and the consumer can’t accidentally glance at the other page. I’d actually prefer a first go with the show for that reason. Also, the discussions and theories that would occur when all the fans are experiencing the story at the same time at a controlled pace would be very, very fun.

    I adore the books for their depth of detail, which I can still get if they come out second. In fact, my rereads have felt richer in detail ever since seeing the show.

  52. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Vin Sidious: In any case, rushing the show, cutting narrative corners and leaving good story on the table to avoid overstaying it’s welcome is just as bad, if not worse, than actually overstaying it’s welcome.

    Why can’t book readers ever accept cutting corners and trimming the fat of the books? That only shows the lack of imagination you have. The show must be 120 episodes just to be a good adaptation in your eyes? The show losing momentum is worse than anything. Nobody cares at this point how accurate it is to the books (it’s never been 100% anyway). Even if the show devotes 2 seasons to books 4 and 5, and 2 seasons to each of the final books, pleasing every single damn book purist and shutting their mouths, it’ll still kill the pacing of the show.

    Dexter made the mistake of writing 4 good seasons in a row and then writing 4 terribly slow paced and dull seasons with lack of any game-changing moments afterwards. S7 was a decent one but the rest were practically the AFFC+ADWD portion of the show. And S8 was just laughingly bad.

    The first 3 seasons of GoT were fairly slow. S4 is faster, S5-S7 should be even faster. That’s how you write a good show. Make it akin to a barrel speeding down a hill rather than a pebble rolling down a street. They’re going to deviate heavily from the books, plain and simple. And I’m alright with that since A) the books will never finish, and B) the last two books have been a terrible waste of time.. It’s best to keep that momentum going and build towards something that happens. Which is what GRRM hasn’t kept his promise on doing. Half the world is making fun of GRRM and his slow pacing. Even the SP creators made a parody of him. It’s best to move on and forget him and his false promises when it comes to the show.

  53. Skipjack
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I think GRRM actually is in better shape than most people realize, if only because he’s been working to the events in the final book all along. He knows for the most part what is going to happen, and he’s never particularly been a stylist, he’s not Flaubert in agonies over the construction of one sentence. So I do think that while there will be a lot of ground to cover, he won’t be having to re-invent anything like he did for the previous two books.

    True, he’s not a fast writer, but he’ll be entering the home stretch and we know he’s saved a lot for that. With that said I’ll be very disappointed if I have to unplug my Internet for five years to avoid ADOS spoilers.

    PS. GRRM doesn’t owe us anything. He writes as he pleases, and he’s wrapped up a bunch of other loose ends. Hopefully he isn’t taking up new projects and is just going to get his prior commitments done. But complaining he’s let anyone down is a lie.

  54. Dornishman
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    7 seasons sounds good. I thought season 3 dragged a bit during episodes 5,6 and 7. With some tighter editing, I’m sure they’ll do just fine.

  55. Ismael Ávila
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    Well said!!

    John M W:
    At this point, I’m not upset at this. It’s obvious now that George will finish whenever he’s going to finish, and I only started reading the books a couple years before the show started. So I’m not going to be that devastated if D&D get to the ending before the books.

    I do feel sorry for longtime book readers, though. Either they have the last books spoiled for them by watching, or they have to live with the risk of internet trolls spoiling them (though some of them deserve it – as they did the same to non-book readers).

    But at the end of the day, George has no one to blame but himself. Yes, it’s his work, and he’s perfectly entitled to take his time writing. But he knew this was on the horizon. If he’s so “alarmed” now, it’s something he should have thought about back when he agreed to sign on with HBO. He really doesn’t have any ground to be surprised.

  56. Alan
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Seven seasons seems kind of rushed to me, unless they just chop, chop, chop, which is entirely possible. No Kingsmoot, or Euron/Victarion, no Dorne, no Oldtown, perhaps no Aegon would make it a lot easier.

    But the current pace certainly doesn’t feel like some storylines are on track for 7 seasons. But it can be tough to say given that they know more of where the story is going.

    As for Martin, I think people are spazzing a bit too much. (And aside an aside — some of you tv watchers are strangely giddy about it. As much as I like D&D, Martin’s a better storyteller — I don’t think you really want them guiding this story.)

    I know a lot of you entitled folk like to think he literally has been watching tv, hanging out at his theater or whatever, but the idea that he hasn’t written most of TWOW is just silly. He’s been working on it, and I’d bet there’s a huge chunk of it done. He’s a re-writer and constant re-editer, so maybe it’s still got a ways out, but I’d hope that D&D have read most of the thing in some format. If they don’t before they start writing next season, that’s just dumb.

    Similarly, by the time they do get to Dream of Spring material, George will have start writing. Will he be done? Almost certainly not. But more and more of it will be firm. And yeah, some things will likely change. But they won’t likely start shooting the earliest ADOS stuff until Summer 2016. They may start writing earlier, but if something is big, or something is very cool, last second script changes can occur (provided it’s not “insert a battle” etc).

    I doubt ADOS comes out before Season 7 would air — Spring of 2018, but I’d bet Martin is much more firm by January 2017 about where everything is going. I expect D&D to try to converge, but the biggest difference might simply be that Martin is going to have to tie up a lot of plotlines D&D will never start.

  57. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Skipjack:
    I think GRRM actually is in better shape than most people realize, if only because he’s been working to the events in the final book all along.He knows for the most part what is going to happen, and he’s never particularly been a stylist, he’s not Flaubert in agonies over the construction of one sentence.So I do think that while there will be a lot of ground to cover, he won’t be having to re-invent anything like he did for the previous two books.

    Yes. In the same vein, I never saw his work on WoIaF as a distraction. He was actively building the world. Now it’s done? He’s done building his world? Well, shit, that’s half the work.

  58. kentobeans
    Posted March 11, 2014 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss,

    I thought so! Haha

  59. Ser Tahu
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    kentobeans,
    Greatness Arrisessss,
    Tori Targaryen,
    I believe he was referring to the interview where D&D said (paraphrasing):

    “We are aiming for 80 hours. Some fans want three seasons per book and for the show to go for 10-11 seasons, but we don’t want to strangle the golden goose.”

    So I think Tom was saying that 7 and 8 have been mentioned, and 10 and 11 explicitly ruled out, but the possibility of 9 seasons has never been addressed.

  60. OldeCrone
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    ace: The Bastard, I can think of an example at the moment.. but weren’t there movies adapted from books that have different endings? Of course, ASOIAF situation is the reverse

    The 1939 film version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” was different to the book in that Esmerelda was rescued in the film but hanged in the novel. I haven’t seen “Saving Mr Banks” yet but it covers the true fact that P L Travers was not best pleased with the screen adaptation of “Mary Poppins” (I believe the book version is darker though I didn’t mind the film). The Disney version of “101 Dalmations” ended up roughly in the same place as the book but they made the book’s Mr Dearly who if I recall advised the British Government into Roger the saxophone player in the animated version and wasn’t he a computer expert in the live action version? They also did a (doggy) character merge of Mrs Pongo and Perdita (who was a liver-spotted foster mother dalmation in the original). I’ve never read the book of “Bambi” though I’ve been told it’s better than the film. There are loads of adaptations that change things – I don’t know what Abraham Stoker would think if he came back now and saw what NBC did with “Dracula”. So you’re quite right, adaptations have changed source matter before.

  61. Porky
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    If the TWOW is as big in scope as ASOS, it’ll take two seasons to adapt it. That might be why they’re keeping the door open for an eighth season.

  62. Jeff O'Connor
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Dante Snow:
    Jeff O’Connor,
    Well, it doesn’t matter how you word it. If the show has its own canon, then it’s not canon in the books. And that is what matters to me.

    But why…?

  63. Scott Glennon
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Seven Hells! Am I the only one who actually read what they were saying? Preferences, possibilities, maybes… Nothing is written in stone at this point as far as the actual number of seasons! Nothing! Zilch! Zip! Nada! Entertainment Weekly sucks! They started this whole stupid conversation with that half-assed headline. Read more closely what everyone involved is ACTUALLY saying.
    As for me, Ten seasons would about do it. That is My two silvers.

    The North Remembers!

  64. Ser Pounce
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Scott Glennon,

    You are right nothing is set in stone. I’m being a realist so 7 or 8 seasons sounds reasonable, but beyond that is just pushing it.

  65. King Tommen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    From what all parties have stated, GRRM has given D&D the Wikipedia plot summary of the final 2 books. So while they won’t know things like dialogue and more detailed relationship stuff, they’ve got the plot. They even revealed that in last year’s sitdown with GRRM (before they got into the scripts for S4), already armed with the endgame which George had told them some time ago, they got him to map out exactly where each character was going to the best of his knowledge. I’m sure they’ll get him to help fill in the gaps every year as he writes more and more of the books.

    To anyone saying that the ending of the show won’t be “canon” or will be “fan-fiction”, they will most likely be disappointed to find the events of the books and show will be fairly similar. Like always on the show, there will be some slightly different routes taken to get there, but the big stuff will be the same.

  66. Flouride
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Seven seasons, eh? Seems to me like they are in a hurry to finish what they started by chopping loads of material people wish to see on the tv screen.
    It’s nice of them to mention Breaking Bad, Breaking Bad did not have 5 gigantic books + 2 more at least coming as source material.

  67. WildSeed
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Alan: , but the biggest difference might simply be that Martin is going to have to tie up a lot of plotlines D&D will never start.

    and this I look forward to, a slow unraveling of particulars, that Benioff & Weiss
    may chose not to adapt because of disinterest or deemed it not possible.

    Martin is a professional. Of course he’s busying himself with ASOIAF. I couldn’t
    agree more. Obsessed fans are so…. you know…. obsessed ( :

  68. WildSeed
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu:
    kentobeans,
    Greatness Arrisessss,
    Tori Targaryen,
    I believe he was referring to the interview where D&D said (paraphrasing):

    “We are aiming for 80 hours. Some fans want three seasons per book and for the show to go for 10-11 seasons, but we don’t want to strangle the golden goose.”

    So I think Tom was saying that 7 and 8 have been mentioned, and 10 and 11 explicitly ruled out, but the possibility of 9 seasons has never been addressed.

    I recollect this as well. Benioff repeated this on ” The Writer’s Room ” as well.

  69. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    This does not bode well for Dorne and the Iron Islands…

  70. WildSeed
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Oh ye of little faith……..

  71. Ned
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    First, I think we should be estatic it’s a forgone conclusion we will get and ending. Whether it happens to be seven or eight seasons. And an extended seventh season. How many premium shows have done the enxtended final season? Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Sopranos, ect. They could easily do Season 7 part A & B … each with 7-8 episodes … Just like so many before them. It keeps the actors under contract at a cheaper rate. This will also allow GRRM one more year. I think it will technically be seven seasons (but in all actuality, really eight). I remember a time when everyone was praying the pilot got picked up, or renewed for a second season. We get to see the end! Second, GRRM isn’t going to sabatoge the show, that is ridiculous. Keep in mind he writes one episode per season, I would be shocked if they don’t let him write the series finale. Third, what about ending the series as a full length feature film. It would make a ton of money. Think about it. A three hour epic GoT movie, with a 125 million dollar budget to end the story properly. Everyone wins. The actors cash in this way as well. Lesser HBO shows have gotten a movie … Sex in the City, Entourage. You could time the release to coincide with A Dream of Spring. I’m suprised no one has mentioned the movie idea.

  72. Matsuki
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Has anyone considered them going for more than 10 episodes per season? Could get in the extra details that people are worried about being cut and yet still keep the series to 7 seasons…

    [edit] haha, so I’m not the only one that see’s it going that direction though they could start with season 5 rather than wait til the last season. (keep in mind how quick the younger actors are growing and all the detail to cram in…makes sense and not likely to make anyone upset in the process)

  73. Turri
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    I was really hoping they would not try to tell the story to the end, but seems like we’ll have to deal with the show finishing first by cutting half of what’s left. Not even gonna pretend I’ll manage to stop watching, so might as well buckle up for a bumpy ride through the messy shitstorm of excitement and drama that will rip the fandom apart in the next years.

    You could have prevented it, George.

  74. King Tommen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Matsuki:
    Has anyone considered them going for more than 10 episodes per season? Could get in the extra details that people are worried about being cut and yet still keep the series to 7 seasons…

    They have stated on countless occasions that 10 hours is all they can produce in a given year. It can’t happen unless they delay the seasons.

    What’s more likely is if they find they can’t finish the series with a 10 episode final season 7, they split the final season into 2 parts (say two 7 episode segments) and air them around 6 months apart. This is a model that a lot of cable shows have been using (Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men) in order to maximize revenue and prolong the show for the network. You can only do this in the final season though as it would alter production schedules in other seasons.

  75. Lyanna Mormont
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Seven seasons is the plan. But if they can’t make it work in seven, it’ll be eight seasons. That’s how I interpret it.

    Honestly, I’d be fine with the show finishing first. Given that I enjoy watching the show even when I know from the books what’s going to happen, I see no reason to believe I wouldn’t enjoy the books just because I’d know roughly what’s going to happen. They’re different creatures, and bring different things to the table. We already know from past seasons it’s not going to be exactly the same, so there’d still be surprises, and living in the characters’ heads will always offer a different perspective and depth compared to seeing it all from outside. Ask anyone who started by watching the show and then read the books – most of them will still say the books are amazing. (Ask the GOO crew!)

  76. Matsuki
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    King Tommen: They have stated on countless occasions that 10 hours is all they can produce in a given year. It can’t happen unless they delay the seasons.

    Haven’t followed all the interviews and such thaaat closely but did they say why and where they only referring to the previously filmed seasons? Would seem to make more sense to film more when you already have everyone at the locations, the sets built, etc.

    I guess at the end of the day, all I’m hoping for is additional hours that allows them to cover as much of the relevant and interesting details as possible. 70 hours seems like a squeeze but something like 77 (sticking with their 7 theme) would work.

  77. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Let’s not rush GRRM. I want a good book more than I want a timely book. And the surest way to get the best books is for GRRM to write them at his own pace, and not feel rushed by the fanbase or his editors. The worst thing that happened to the Hunger Games books series was its writer rushing to get the last book through, a book that had a lot of potential but ended up a huge mess and is widely considered the worse in the series.

    Also, I’m fine with getting “barrelling to the end” with the show. D&D know how the main characters end up, and probably know broad strokes how GRRM intends to get there, and their own ability to come up with unique journeys for the characters on the television show has been proven time an time again. I’m sure there will be some aspect of the books that I’ll miss, but honestly they’re reaching their limit as far as how many storylines they can fit into a television show. So yeah, chop chop chop so that we get a satisfying end to the tv show, and let GRRM got at his own pace so that we can have a satisfying, if different, ending to the book series.

  78. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    I hate to say it, but I told ya’ll. Goodbye Dorne. Goodbye Damphair and Victarion. Goodbye Kingsmoot.

  79. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Ned,
    Matsuki,

    Well, this is why I always copy/reload/paste before I post. You guys both beat me to it.

    King Tommen,
    The split season is a solid chance, for the reasons you stated. Even one extra episode would be a ton of extra work. That said, how much aggregate time would the Greyjoys and Martells take over a season? I’d guess an hour, combined. If it comes to it, and an extra hour would mean not amputating whole kingdoms from the story, the time could be well worth finding. Might even be easier to find in later seasons when production has grown to be more efficient and fewer new sets and props need to be built.

  80. razha
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    As to the number of seasons – they can pull Breaking Bad and make a double last season – so technically they would make 8th season but it would still be referenced as Season 7 part 2, filmed together with the part 1, but it won’t air the same year.

  81. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Ned:
    First, I think we should be estatic it’s a forgone conclusion we will get and ending.Whether it happens to be seven or eight seasons.And an extended seventh season.How many premium shows have done the enxtended final season?Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Sopranos, ect.They could easily do Season 7 part A & B … each with 7-8 episodes … Just like so many before them.It keeps the actors under contract at a cheaper rate.This will also allow GRRM one more year. I think it will technically be seven seasons (but in all actuality, really eight).I remember a time when everyone was praying the pilot got picked up, or renewed for a second season.We get to see the end!Second, GRRM isn’t going to sabatoge the show, that is ridiculous.Keep in mind he writes one episode per season, I would be shocked if they don’t let him write the series finale.Third, what about ending the series as a full length feature film.It would make a ton of money.Think about it.A three hour epic GoT movie, with a 125 million dollar budget to end the story properly.Everyone wins.The actors cash in this way as well.Lesser HBO shows have gotten a movie … Sex in the City, Entourage.You could time the release to coincide with A Dream of Spring.I’m suprised no one has mentioned the movie idea.

    1) The two-part season idea: Plausible, but it doesn’t seem to address what I think is the real issue, especially for book fans. What are we going to see on screen when D&D don’t have their blueprint anymore? Will the last season or two look anything like how the story was intended to look? Making seasons longer, or doing the part A and part B plan, doesn’t really solve that problem, it makes it worse. It gives D&D more hours to scratch their heads over on how to fill them. It gives GRRM maybe one year, but if he’s that close to being finished, I bet he would share his rough draft with D&D and the show can just have one whole, 10 episode season that follows the last book more faithfully.

    2) The movie idea: It has been mentioned before. I’m not a fan, and I don’t think D&D or HBO are either, based on another Hibberd article that came out at the end of season 3. A 3 hour movie is a long movie, but that’s only the length of three episodes of GoT, and is actually a short amount of time to have a compelling beginning, middle and end for five or six storylines. Imagine Season 4 crammed into a three episode season. Or cutting a season short before it has a natural conclusion, and having a three hour movie that has no real beginning or buildup to its several climaxes. That makes for a frustrating season of television and a not particularly enjoyable movie.

  82. King Tommen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Matsuki: Haven’t followed all the interviews and such thaaat closely but did they say why and where they only referring to the previously filmed seasons? Would seem to make more sense to film more when you already have everyone at the locations, the sets built, etc.

    I guess at the end of the day, all I’m hoping for is additional hours that allows them to cover as much of the relevant and interesting details as possible. 70 hours seems like a squeeze but something like 77 (sticking with their 7 theme) would work.

    10 hour max has been said definitively on many occasions every time they’re asked. Pre-production (writing, casting, location scouting, costumes, sets, etc) , filming (actors and crew schedules etc), post-production (editing, sound mixing, special effects, scoring, marketing, promotion etc) all take place within a ridiculously tight schedule. They can’t do any more in the time frame they are given. D&D have already framed out the scripts for S5 at this point and they’ll be finalized most likely before S4 even airs. That’s how non-stop the production is, there is no rest whatsoever.

    When you think about how long the production cycle is for a 2 hour movie (more than a year in most cases), it’s insane that they’re able to get a production as involved and cinematic as a 10 hour season of GoT done in the timeframe they do.

  83. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    Well when you put it that way…

    I mean, yeah, you are thoroughly correct. But I don’t fully believe that an extra filming unit couldn’t be formed, or that D&D couldn’t come to trust a few people in the crew to take on more autonomous responsibilities. If they get more money, they can multiply time.

  84. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:39 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Damn. I really wasn’t expecting this after how slow they took season 3… I do think there’s still a good chance we’ll see one of them, though. If I had to guess, I’d say Dorne and not the Iron Islands- just because Dorne likely becomes a big backer of Aegon (which will obviously become more important as the story unfolds). Also, we’re already seeing the seeds planted of change in the Iron Islands story (with Yara doing something she didn’t do in the books). I can honestly say now that it wouldn’t surprise me if that really was Yara talking to Melisandre…

    It’s honestly a bit disappointing. 8 should have been their goal, damnit.

  85. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    King Tommen,

    I don’t think an extended final season would be out of the question. Maybe something like BB…

  86. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    Yes, but Dany needs ships. Unless they plan on her buying ships to sail to Westeros I would think the Iron Fleet would still be necessary. And if I had to choose to keep a Greyjoy uncle it would be Euron.

  87. Ser Osis of Liver
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I fervently believe that we’ll see TWoW on bookshelves before the premiere of Season Five, and quite possibly as early as this fall. Remember, folks, lead time for any major publication, from finished manuscript to delivery is roughly 7-8 months. So let’s say they announce TWoW for Winter 2014/15, for the sake of argument. This will have meant that George will have finished the manuscript, it will have gone through the various editorial cycles, and will be in production by the time of this mythical announcement. Meanwhile back in Santa Fe, the Great Bearded Glacier will probably have around 150-200 manuscript pages of ADoS done, at least to the first-pass edit, assuming he kept going after Winter was closed out.

    So keeping with the fictitious timeline of xmas 2014; he’ll have had almost a full year from completion of the TWoW manuscript until the trucks roll into Barnes and Noble. So figure about 250-300 pages of what will likely be 1500-1700 manuscript pages (and likely about 1000-1100 printed pages). Then he goes on tour for 4-6 months; this during the time of Season 5 airing and Season 6 starting production–with material from TWoW.

    By the time the book tour is over, after Worldcon is over in August, he gets back into the swing of things in Aug. 2015. He’d have about 18 months to crank out 1000 pages, which is feasible if he finally learns to say NO to side projects until this beast is put away. Meanwhile D&D&BC, who’ve already had the ending painted in broad strokes, will be able to consult with George more closely as he’s finishing the book manuscript–so by the time filming begins for Season 7 (assuming the end is in S7) in 2016, the storylines will be more or less in sync. A frantic call from George can always be made saying “Wait–I’ve had to kill-X- , but leave -Y- alive for this to work,” in time for it to work out in the show. Meanwhile we, the audience, will have no clue as to the sausage-making going on in NM and Belfast.

    It’s then feasible (notice I’m not saying “likely”–just feasible) that, if Bantam puts everything else on hold and ADoS crashes through, it COULD hit just as Season 7 starts unspooling in the spring of 2017. It’s also very possible that HBO could delay S7 for 6-8 months to coincide with ADoS’s production and release schedule. But again, this assumes that George doesn’t take on any side projects — remember, he likes to edit and write for compilations, work on Wild Cards and tie-in materials, etc. Plus I’ve also personally heard him state at Worldcons that he thinks he can wrap it up in seven books–but that it might take eight, or even more. And if that happens, we will never see the true story end on television; just a major portion of it.

    So yes, it’s quite possible for George to wrap this up, and at least have the manuscript in Bantam’s hands by spring 2017, IF (and it’s a huge IF) he’s mostly done with TWoW right now, and is just waiting for an announcement of a publication date by Bantam this spring/summer.

  88. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss,

    Im not alright with that, cause I remember what they did to Dany and Jon in season 2, and how they changed Stannis, took agency from Sansa, whitewashed Tyrion, and even ruin Catelyns strength.
    I dont imagine D&D being anywhere the same level of Grrm, they have not written a good story in their life. Just look at their previous works.

  89. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    And so little of it.

  90. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Ser Osis of Liver,

    At this point I’m just hoping GRRM is sharing his finished pages of TWOW with D&D in order to keep some of the dialogue from the book for seasons 5 and 6. And hopefully the book will be out by Spring of 2016, prior to or concurrent with season 6.

  91. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    Fuck off. ‘City Of Thieves’ is a fine novel.

  92. Leo
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I’m tired of these speculative debates. These recent interviews have offered no new concrete information. 7/8 seasons has always been the word.

  93. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Oh god… This will be one hell of a ride. I imagine season 5’s casting season will be absolutely crazy. When I close my eyes, I can already see the all-out war going on between the fans…

  94. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Leo,

    Honestly, I was sure it was 8. This interview says they plan on making it 7… That means they are already planning on wrapping up in 7 seasons, which will surely leave its mark on season 5.

  95. King DBC
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    On reddit, I was called ‘stupid’ when I said this show would last 7 seasons and couldn’t possibly last 10. Who’s stupid now bitch?

  96. Summer is Coming
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    7 is a rushed story, 8 is stable story, 9 is a detailed story, 10 is a stretch. Winds and Dream are expected to be huge, not only in details but in action and events too, since they conclude the story. It’s understandable that they get a season each, but look at book 3 and how they needed more than a season to tell a proper story. So 2 seasons for the last 2 books. That leaves S5 to engulf all (almost all) of book 4 and 5… which doesn’t seem realistic for some characters, if major cuts aren’t made, or the season isn’t increased to at least 12 eps. That could happen if the show is moved to autumn, which gives them more time for production and filming.

    I understand the “milking the cow” thing, but on the other hand sacrificing the cow before it could give the proper amount of milk is bad too. The cow should be left to live its life course. #8yearsForTheCow

  97. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Summer is Coming,

    #8YearsForTheCow!

  98. Ser Pounce
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    I think season 6 should be the finale, that way we don’t have to wait another 3 to 5 years to know how the story ends.

  99. Eleanor
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t see how it can all be crammed into 7 seasons but here’s hoping it’ll work.

  100. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Ser Pounce,

    How about season 4 being the ending then! Let’s rush the story and make it crap just so we can finish it quickly!

  101. NomadicDirewolf
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    I personally think that fitting all of aFfC,aDwD, as well as tWoW and aDoS, the last three of which are probably going to end up being the biggest three books in the entire thing, would be cramming it in a bit too much, and its possible that the show could suffer. I’m unsure how they could give aSoS two seasons, and not give aFfC and aDwD together or tWoW and aDoS individually one each. It might work if they increased episodes per season a bit, but otherwise i’m still a bit skeptical whether they will actually end up doing 7.

  102. loco73
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Weird to think that we are approaching the mid-point of the series! It’s eerie how fast time passes! And to think that just a few years back I was constantly checking this site for even a rumour about the development of this TV show! Now look at us and how far we’ve all come…

    As for the length of the show, I am in agreement! Seven seasons it should be and no more! This is the last show I’d like to see drag on indefinitely!

    I’d guess that what they will maybe end up doing is, have a double seventh seasons with two parts as in, Season Seven Part I with 10 episodes and Season Seven Part II with another 10 episodes. After all this is hardly anything new. “Mad Men” is doing that right now with its last season and ” The Walking Dead” has been doing it for the past few years!

    They will find a way to work this out, including the issue with the show catching up with the novels…a subject which has been discussed ad nauseam and to which I have little else to contribute!

    We complain about George and his novels, Dan and David and the show….but you want to see what a shit project in the making looks like?! Just read what Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have said recently about their development of “Preacher” over at AMC! Now that they’ve found out about content limitations and censorship…given how explicit and raw the graphic novels are and the crazy content they deal with! I feel bad for all the fans of the novels and the fact that these two hack-nerd wannabe douchebags ever got their their hands on that story! Rogen, you’ve done enough damage dude!

    We are lucky over here! Thinking on the astronomical odds at having GoT ever having seen the light of day, let alone be soo successful, I am glad and happy for each and every season we get!

    Can’t wait for a Season Four!

  103. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I think anyone proclaiming that seven seasons won’t be enough should wait until we see how season four plays out. We already know that several of the characters will see their story lines move into AFfC & ADwD territory this year.

    As for Dorne and the Iron Islands… I don’t see any reason why they would need to be cut entirely to finish this thing up in seven seasons. The things that are important to the end-game of this series will be retained, and all of the extraneous material will be cut.

  104. bittersteel
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    Seeing Howland Reed on TV before the books would be a huge let down.

  105. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    I’d guess that what they will maybe end up doing is, have a double seventh seasons with two parts as in, Season Seven Part I with 10 episodes and Season Seven Part II with another 10 episodes. After all this is hardly anything new. “Mad Men” is doing that right now with its last season and ” The Walking Dead” has been doing it for the past few years!

    AMC did that for Breaking Bad and Mad Men because those shows were ending and they have nothing better to show. It’s basically milking those critically acclaimed shows as much as they can. The last half-season of BB was shot separately and it’s S6 for all intents and purposes – even the DVD box-set says “Final season” and not “Fifth season, part 2″. Considering how AMC is treating the showrunners, it’s a miracle those two shows survived past their 4th season.
    The Walking Dead just spreads its 13-16 episodes on larger time period. Considering how slow to nonexistent the story progression was in the recently aired episodes, I’d prefer shorter seasons.

  106. Lou Reed
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    Even while George is travelling, or writing on other projects, there can still be work done with the books. He must have one or two editors, helping him out. And he can still be working the story mentally, while away.

    I really hope the next book will be soon, but I prefer he takes the time, and give us the quality we are used to. There is plenty of other good stuff to read meanwhile.

  107. Hounded
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I would be sad to see that stuff cut but I think adding so many characters in season 5 would be detrimental to the story.

  108. vlad
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Honestly, this statement worries me A LOT!! So, they’ve made 4 seasons with the material from 3 books (very few story arcs move after A Storm of Swords), and they are planning to make only 3 seasons with the material from 4 bigger books??? I am sure they can do it, cutting stuff is the easiest thing, we’ve seen it in all book to screen adaptations. But is it the right thing to do?? Do we still have the same story?? I don’t think so. What I’m saying is that it can’t be done in only 7 seasons, 8 would be closer to what’s needed, maybe even 9 (we don’t know what GRRM plans for his last 2 huge books). I’m not a naysayer from the get-go, the show could be great, but it would be Benioff and Weiss’ story and they should admit to it.

    What worries me is that they plan to end it in 7 seasons, only because they want to move to some other projects (they could choose anything after the GOT success). So the timetable has nothing to do with the story.

  109. wizardeyes
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    What happened to season 3; a look back. Thought that was supposed to come out last night ??

  110. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    Tolkien was a goddamn linguistics professor. Vonnegut idolized and named a son after Twain. Let us not rule out the nerds and wannabes, please.

  111. Veltigar
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Seven seasons? That doesn’t sound promising. I thought 8 was a given. Oh, well we’ll see what the endresult turns out to be :)

    I just hope tWoW comes out before they venture fully in that book.

    Mads Mikkelsen as Euron is the captain now

  112. Jaybles
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I’m thinking/hoping that at least book 6 is released before the show overtakes the written story. If season 5 is the guts of feast and dance and 6 had the tail ends as well as the start of winds, then 7 would finish off winds before the show strikes out on its own to cover book 7 content in the final season (8).

    …and come on, when they say 7-8 seasons, it’s going to be 8. That’s a very reasonable number that isn’t being greedy or over-cramming. I get not wanting to drag it out for 10 seasons but they definitely shouldn’t overly compress it either.

  113. Billybob
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    7 is a great ending I think. Season 7 split in two 10 episode seasons though is PERFECT.

    Sure, it means I won’t see some things that I’d like to see on screen (Greyjoys and Martells are most likely to go bye bye) but as a TV series, its going to be amazing. AFFC/ADWD will be mostly wrapped up in S5, then a modified TWOW and ADOS will be 6 and 7 respectively. Hopefully it will be amazing and I look forward to the deviation.

  114. loco73
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Alex Greyjoy:
    loco73,

    AMC did that for Breaking Bad and Mad Men because those shows were ending and they have nothing better to show. It’s basically milking those critically acclaimed shows as much as they can. The last half-season of BB was shot separately and it’s S6 for all intents and purposes – even the DVD box-set says “Final season” and not “Fifth season, part 2″. Considering how AMC is treating the showrunners, it’s a miracle those two shows survived past their 4th season.
    The Walking Dead just spreads its 13-16 episodes on larger time period. Considering how slow to nonexistent the story progression was in the recently aired episodes, I’d prefer shorter season.

    Yeah. And?

  115. loco73
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Kilgore Tully,

    Yeah I’m excluding those two shitheads!

  116. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I’m glad they’re making it official. They’ll have to squeeze a lot of plot into the remaining episodes to get 7 seasons to work, but at least that will likely spare us things like Dany’s S2 storyline, or Theon’s endless torture sessions.

    wizardeyes:
    What happened to season 3; a look back. Thought that was supposed to come out last night ??

    It did; you’ll be able to find it in the usual places. (It’s called The Politics of Power)

  117. zerowolf
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    Judging by City Of Thieves Benioff is just as accomplished as GRRM in crafting a tale. He is a creative. He’ll want to move on to something new. GRRM got bored with his epic – that’s obvious to me. D&D will begin to feel the same way. That’s the way it is with artists of any type. Seven wonderful seasons is better than ten half assed ones. Besides, I’m sixty this year – I want to see the end before I pop my clogs. They’ll have to perfect Cyrognics for me to be able to read the last book…
    Winter is coming but if you believe the books are you’re dreaming.

  118. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Well, that just about wraps it up for GoT. The TV show will overtake unless GRRM takes drastic avoiding action (like getting on the phone to Daniel Abraham, stat). At eight there was a chance – if highly unlikely – about staying ahead of the TV show. At seven, I can’t see how it can be done.

    What will be really interesting is to see how they handle this. In theory, they can still do a truncated Iron Islands and Dorne story arc, but I can’t see how they can do Sam-in-Oldtown. If nothing else, they have a problem with so much of Jon’s ADWD story being internalised. They really need someone for him to talk to, so I wonder if that whole story arc is on the chopping block. Maybe Sam learns his maestering directly from Aemon instead, who passes away at the Wall, and Sam discovers what he needs to defeat the Others at the Wall instead.

    I think the biggest impact this will have is on Dany. Are they really going to have her entirely in Meereen for all of Season 5, not getting back to Westeros until mid-to-late Season 6 (at the earliest) and then have her invasion/civil war and the resolution of the Others’ storyline in one season?

  119. Lollius Palicanus
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Alan,

    I think skipping fAegon would be a bit much. As I interpret it, this will have a huge impact on the storyline later on. Also it finally reveals what Varys is all about.

  120. Billybob
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    What do we think? Is the 5 year gap possible in the show?

  121. Khal-A-Gunga
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Well shit. People at Censeros are also reacting negatively.

  122. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    I think Jon basically has to be alone at the wall, because with Sam around, I don’t see the assassination plot going ahead like it does, and that’s something they won’t leave out. Maybe they’ll bolster Pyp’s role a bit, but in general, Jon needs to be without council in that situation.

    I can see them changing the storyline so the Citadel ends up in Braavos. Having Jon order Sam to smuggle Mance’s baby out by pretending he is bringing Gilly and “his” son to his father’s house seems also a possibility (I’m pretty sure that part of the storyline is still on).

    Lollius Palicanus,

    I agree, fAegon seems the coming plot least likely to be cut. I’m still wondering if Arianne’s Queenmaker storyline will be changed around to Dorkstar simply attacking Myrcella hoping to cause a war with the Lannisters after Oberyn’s death, and how they’ll manage the Greyjoys. Euron seems like one of those adversaries that might be important, and Ironborn involvement in the battle of Meereen still seems in the cards, although Victarion’s role might be reduced to essentially arriving there and then making his plans to get Dany and the dragons known. I mean – he pretty obviously is her ride to Westeros, si? Not that he has to be on board for that.

  123. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Billybob,

    why would they need it, though? It might be enough for the story to run a little slower. So, 18(!) year old Isaac and 19(!) year old Maisie will perhaps play 13/14 year old Bran and 14 or 15 year old Arya – which is still pretty normal for TV casting.

  124. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la9fjk5SVnU

    It’s basically just opening up a tin of condensed season.

  125. sjwenings
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Satin:
    <a href="#comment-369597" So, 18(!) year old Isaac and 19(!) year old Maisie will perhaps play 13/14 year old Bran and 14 or 15 year old Arya – which is still pretty normal for TV casting.

    they’ve never played their characters the same age as the books anyway

  126. Boromir
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Hi, I don’t usually post, but this seems like the most significant piece of news for the entire fandom in quite a while, so I thought I’d chime in.

    I was a book fan first, and the books will always be the true, complete version of the story to me. I think the show is an absolutely phenomenal adaptation (better than we could have hoped or had any right to expect) but it can’t match the depth and scope of the novels. So how do I feel about the show finishing the story first? Ambivalent.

    Of course, I’d prefer to finish the story in the books before watching the adaptation, and I am a little worried about the show “diluting” the impact of the book’s ending. I had hoped to sit down one day in the future with A Dream of Spring, shut out the rest of the world, and learn the final fates of Jon, Dany, Jaime, Sansa and all of Westeros for the first time. Unspoiled. Will finishing the books have the same impact if I already know the major beats of the story? I don’t know. But I’m not going to stop watching the series; I’d be too terrified of accidentally getting spoiled before finishing the series in either form. As soon as the story is released, whether on television or in print, I’m devouring it.

    And on the other hand, a definite ending for the series means WE GET A DEFINITE ENDING FOR THE SERIES. And in only three years! With all the uncertainty around the publication of the final books, that’s at least a bit of a relief! Much better than the story being left unfinished altogether, which I think has been a serious concern for a lot of fans. I would much rather find out what happens to Jon and Dany on TV than NEVER FIND OUT AT ALL.

    As a book fan, though, the most important thing to me is that Martin takes his time and makes the books as good as possible. I certainly don’t want him to start rushing to keep up with the show. In twenty years, we won’t care whether the last book came out ten years ago or fifteen years ago; we’ll care how good it is. In the long run, I’d rather have a literary masterpiece than a sloppy, churned-out product.

    Lastly: the movie idea. I’m fairly certain it will never happen, for a couple reasons. Firstly, D&D have repeatedly stated they don’t want any delay or hiatus in the story. Movies take years to produce. They’re not going to leave the audience waiting that long. Secondly, movies have to attract large audiences, so a movie would have to be accessible to new viewers that haven’t watched the show. The complexity of the series would make that impossible without giant compromises to the story. So yeah, never going to happen, as far as I can see.

    Okay, that’s all. Certainly an exciting time to be a fan!

  127. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    For all of you guys worried about how seven seasons would be rushed, don’t be. The third book took up two seasons not because of length, but because of how much actually happened in that book. Feastdance may be be significantly longer than Storm of Swords, but significantly less happens. If they cut down on the POV characters, then what is left of FeastDance (since Season 4 is covering some of it) can easily be put into Season 5. That leaves two seasons for two books-worth of material. Depending on the nature of the last two books (not just the length, but how much happens in each book) that might be fine, or they may have to extend to one more, and would be willing to.

  128. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    sjwenings,

    that’s true. But the only reason to do a five year gap would be aging up the kids, and it doesn’t really seem that necessary, when you could just slow down events a bit, which they’ve been doing already, anyway.

  129. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    Fittting books 4 & 5 into one season spells doom for at least one new major story from the books… Which is a shame IMO.

  130. Roosebolton
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    This is just my idea but, I don’t think we will ever…EVER see A Dream of Spring written. Not because of GRRM’s health or age or act of god, but simply because I don’t think he’ll even bother at this point. With the show’s production racing faster than his writing the obvious solution is to simply STOP writing. He can in the immediate future finish TWoW in enough time for the TV show to prepare production for that novel.

    At this point ASoFaI will simply be concluded with the TV show. GRRM should take a more active role in writing the final episodes. And D&D and HBO will be the ones who finish the story. This way the book fans can’t claim it isn’t cannon since GRRM will be working with the show to complete the series, nor will they have to worry about endings that may be different. Sure we don’t get to sit down with a 1,000 pages of uber-details, but at least we’ll have closure.

    Maybe there will be a novel written by…idk someone…based on the final season (or two), but that should be it.

    This is my advice to GRRM, finish those last TWoW pages and then pass the torch to D&D (the heirs apparent). Hold your head high that you created something wonderful for TV and book fans alike.

    (PS If someone already suggested this idea within this thread, I’m sorry for saying it again. I didn’t bother reading all 130 comments up to this point.)

  131. Nick Larter
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I doubt he’ll ever write the last book – the last series of the show won’t appear before it, or in parallel with it but will be instead of it. What a creative landmark that would be!

  132. BrianAu
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I wish George would get the books done too… but I have to say there are silver linings in all of this. First, D&D are taking steps NOW not later to start storyboarding the rest of the series. This is simply excellent IMO. Second, I felt that last two books needed tremendous editing and they certainly will get it now. I just do not see D&D not pursuing every character line thoroughly through to its conclusion when outlining the rest of the series. They know these books as well as anyone not named George (even before starting the show having to give who Jon Snow’s Mom was and why to satisfy George). So I cannot see them outlining the series end without having dug into it very deeply. So what will hurt most? Well George’s dialogue that is so witty and clever will be missing… many nuances… so yeah we will get short changed but as for major deviations – I just do not see it happening….

  133. Harry Lime
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I hope seven isn’t the case. I think they’ll adjust their plans when TWOW is released and they know the page amount for sure. I have a feeling the length and amount of big events will require a ASOS-style split.

  134. Tom
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    kentobeans,

    Ser Tahu,

    that’s exactly what i meant. it was mentioned in this article expansion (see link above), or the last one, on winteriscoming
    it seems ideal to have 9, and i honestly feel that would be the most comfortable fit for all of the material, AND would actually allow GRRM to continue his pacing, which will definitely not change, to finish the series. He is not letting any fan or speculative pressure get to him, at all. Nor should he. He is not a monkey, but a brilliant writer.
    I have said before but can summarize again;
    For this to happen Season 4 should end with Sansa wrapping up her storyline so far, Tyrion leaving KL, Brianne beginning her journey with Pod, Arya reaching Braavos, Dany beginning to see her rule collapsing, and LS reveal.
    That way, Season 5 could focus on Dorne with the plethora of new characters interesting enough to maintain our attention, the Kingsmoot, Arya’s training, Brienne’s journey, Tyrion’s journey, Dany (who has mentioned will be getting more attention, next season), and Tommen’s pathetic rule (with the interesting new council). They could rush through Cercei’s walk, but wouldn’t it be nice to see that kick off season 6?
    Season 6 will most obviously focus on Winds of Winter, whatever that may entail. Being as these are going to be the largest books, and not split chronologically, AND riddled with war, the content of Winds could [here’s the speculative part] COULD extend 2 seasons. This could also curb and conclude peripheral characters who may not be part of the endgame.
    And who doesn’t love a long conclusion? They’ve mentioned wanting a Return of the King type ending. Dream of Spring wont be full of fluff. It’s another epic, and it will obviously engage us up with lore, action and mystery as much as any other. It will be 2017 by the time it airs. It will not give GRRM enough time to finish the series at his typical pace, but 2018 may. It would even make sense to wait until winter 2018 to release the last season, as we will be practically dying to know what happens, both in book and on screen. Wouldn’t it make sense to release the two together?
    So I’m personally hoping to see elements of all present books this season, but with an unfolding of the south (maybe even Highgarden) next season. HBO loves their original contributions. I believe we’ll see 2 seasons attributed to Winds of Winter bleeding into Dream of Spring. But I think it is unfair, and unlike the showrunners to really delve into Dream of Spring until George is able to do what he does. Movie idea pretty much sucks, a year off would siphon the creative stride, but 2 seasons to really get the impact ofthe ending for the main characters? I think it’s possible and likely, and REALLY hopeful. So that is my personal hope, to wrap up with 9 seasons strong, a lot of new characters and stories, original material from D&D, lots of death, and a severely strong ending that will coincide with the release of Dream of Spring.

  135. Ser Pounce-a-Lot
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    While I’m bummed that the show will definitely end before aDoS is released, everyone saying the show CAN’T wrap in seven seasons is forgetting one significant detail: the guy who said that’s the plan KNOWS how the story ends, and we do not.

  136. Rygar
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Seven is the perfect number. The show already feels rushed and its about to hit light speed.

  137. Roosebolton
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Tom,

    “Who doesn’t love a long conclusion?”

    …the actors I think would be the first ones. Nearly 10 years a huge commitment in anyone’s professional career. Also all the kids will be in college by the end of that. Who is to say this is what they want to do with the next 5-6 years of their lives. If they even wish to remain acting period.

    They can do this story just fine in 7 seasons.

  138. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    I think you’re probably right. Dorne and/or Iron Islands stuff may be on the chopping block. That was always a very real possibility, though, even in the 8, 9, or even 10 season hypothetical that some people imagined.

    The issue with putting all of those stories in there is not just the amount of time HBO and D&D was willing to give FeastDance. Whether it’s one season or two, and whether those seasons are 10 episodes or 20, following the separate storylines of Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime, Brienne, Arya, Sansa, Jon, Sam, Arianne, Quentyn, Dany, Yara, Bran, Davos and Victarion was always going to be a creative obstacle for adaptation. Either it’s not enough time for each of those stories, or the time is given in the form of multiple seasons and the show feels bloated. The show is already pretty much at max capacity for number of storylines to follow, they have to be very careful about adding another, and brutal in their decisions to chop at ones, even entertaining ones, that come up in the books.

  139. Lollius Palicanus
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    This is his life’s work. Of course he’ll (try to) finish it.

  140. Shmofo
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Roosebolton,

    I wrote some weeks ago, that GRRM should join the writing team for the last two seasons, but I think it’s too soon to announce it, majority of people haven’t yet smelled the coffee and faced the truth — the book series will remain unfinished. Before anyone says, that this “side project” will just delay the future books, well, forget it, there were so many side projects already in a decade, this one will at least be something worthwile.

    I’ve been accused in previous thread of hating the Pizzaman. Well, I don’t. I don’t think I hate anyone, at least hope so. I lost any respect for him, that’s true, but hate, hate is a strong world. If he does the right thing now, and joins the writing team, at least as I am concerned, he’ll gain some of this respect. That would be the right thing, for fans and for his legacy.


    PS
    Just to make a point again. The lost respect is not about him writing slow or fast, bad or good prose, I’m well beyond this point, anyway. The lost respect is that from some time I don’t believe he’ll finish the book series. It’s about being scammed to buy a book in previous millenium, somewhere before 2000, on the premise that the trilogy (was it trilogy back then?) will get finished.

  141. Summer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    George is not our bitch?

    Well we are not Georges bitch either. If the books end up any different than the show on major points, like the ending or the deaths of certain characters, then I will not spend any dime on Martin’s last two books.

    The LEAST Martin can do is to give us the same storyline in book and TV form, like evryone expected back when the series started.

  142. Ser Pounce
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Shmofo,

    I totally agree with you dude. I don’t know why so many fans still cling to the idea that martin plans to finish before the show. Also the show will finish in 7 seasons and sorry to ruin anyones delusional prequel series idea but isn’t going to happen. Martin is going to finish the books somehow but it isn’t going to be tomorrow or before season 7 airs. I don’t even know man.

  143. Hirstfind
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:

    Yes, but Dany needs ships. Unless they plan on her buying ships to sail to Westeros I would think the Iron Fleet would still be necessary. And if I had to choose to keep a Greyjoy uncle it would be Euron.

    I think it’s likely there’ll be no Kingsmoot in the TV series as featured in AFFC with Victarion/Euron. I think Yara will assume the plot duties that Victarion/Euron essentially handle in the books.

    If Yara rescues Theon in season 4 as she does in ADWD I think she’s then free to make her way to Meereen for the battle at Slaversbay and encounter Daenerys/Tyrion – and blow a very big, lengthy, weighty, lip-smackingly hefty horn in time for end of Season 5 or beginning of season 6.

    Speculation that she’s speaking with Melisandre in the latest trailer, i think, could well be correct – what if Mel and Yara take the places of Victarion (or is it Euron?) and his red priest advisor in ADWD? Melisandre doesn’t have to journey with Yara to Slavers’ Bay as she’s busy at the Wall with Stannis but can still be her advisor.

    In ADWD R’hlorr (sp?) obviously ties in with Iron Islands/Slavers’ Bay/Dany storyline and this would allow the series to present all of that without introducing new characters and utillising existing ones. As much as book readers would hate to lose Victarion and Euron, does anybody think this could be a simple/elegant solution?

    Yay for the idea of longer seasons. Wey- hey for the idea of split seasons. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum for George when he submits TWOW!

  144. JamesL
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why everyone acts like it is a guarantee that the writers and show are going to spoil the finale book. I know they can but I don’t think they would do that to GRRM, he has been working on this story for over 2 decades. Every season the show moves farther away from the books, by the time they get to season 7 they will be telling their own story loosely based on the books with their own original ending.

  145. wizardeyes
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    from interviews it seems that Grrm is hoping that FFC and DWD will take up several seasons but I don’t see how that can take up much more than a season (season 5). Although they are both big books, not nearly as much stuff actually happens compared to the first 3; ASOS in particular. I really like FFC and DWD but they have far more internal character thoughts than actions (especially FFC). This means for an interesting read as we are plunged into the depths of Cersei’s crazy mind and get a first-hand view of westeros in the after-math of war via Brienne’s POV. However this stuff may not work as well adapted to television. Things actually need to happen rather than characters just pondering, pontificating and wondering. Characters also need to have arcs to complete in a season, (one of the few weak points of season 3 I felt was that because it was only half a book some characters, like Tyrion didn’t have much of an arc.

  146. Vin Sidious
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Greatness,

    I get a vague sense you’re a crusader against Book Purism. Have fun with that, but I’m not in that camp. I never said I was against *all* corner cutting and streamlining (I’ve quite enjoyed most of the major changes in the show so far, in fact), only when it meant leaving “good story” out of the show, just for the sake of finishing in a predetermined # of seasons.

    My point is that its just as bad to cut the show artificially short and leave out worthy material, as it is to drag the show on longer when there *isn’t.*

    And really, NOBODY cares at this point how accurate the show is to the books? That’s preposterous. A lie, basically, because its so plainly false. You even know its false, otherwise these Book Purists you love so much wouldn’t really exist, and your internet message board crusade would be meaningless.

    Greatness Arrisessss: Why can’t book readers ever accept cutting corners and trimming the fat of the books? That only shows the lack of imagination you have. The show must be 120 episodes just to be a good adaptation in your eyes? The show losing momentum is worse than anything. Nobody cares at this point how accurate it is to the books (it’s never been 100% anyway). Even if the show devotes 2 seasons to books 4 and 5, and 2 seasons to each of the final books, pleasing every single damn book purist and shutting their mouths, it’ll still kill the pacing of the show.Dexter made the mistake of writing 4 good seasons in a row and then writing 4 terribly slow paced and dull seasons with lack of any game-changing moments afterwards. S7 was a decent one but the rest were practically the AFFC+ADWD portion of the show. And S8 was just laughingly bad.The first 3 seasons of GoT were fairly slow. S4 is faster, S5-S7 should be even faster. That’s how you write a good show. Make it akin to a barrel speeding down a hill rather than a pebble rolling down a street. They’re going to deviate heavily from the books, plain and simple. And I’m alright with that since A) the books will never finish, and B) the last two books have been a terrible waste of time.. It’s best to keep that momentum going and build towards something that happens. Which is what GRRM hasn’t kept his promise on doing. Half the world is making fun of GRRM and his slow pacing. Even the SP creators made a parody of him. It’s best to move on and forget him and his false promises when it comes to the show.

  147. Rygar
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    “Punch it, Chewie!”

  148. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    I think it could have worked as a slightly slower season 5, leading back into a quickly paced season 6, 7 and 8. In my opinion, the addition of the Iron Islands and Dorne (in some manner- even if a number of characters are cut and combined) would be worth the price of one relatively slow season (which would still be awesome, since it would have all of AFFC and most of ADWD in it, without the unnecessary bits). I think season 5 of all seasons should be a slow one. It’s the transitional season- the story has changed completely for all characters and now new arcs are beginning. There’s no reason to keep going in a season 4 pace while basically rebooting the plot (because that’s what GRRM did in AFFC and ADWD).

  149. Bob Miller
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    pic.twitter.com/bKKWqsQwGT. http://fb.me/3gCEzGpxy
    Best selfie @GameOfThrones 4 teaser: Bad ass Widlings with leader Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds). Wildling leader Mance with his clan chiefs and generals gearing up for battle at the Wall of Ice. See you shortly GOT fans.

  150. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    Cool. Maybe people will shut up now about the possibility of Mance not being in this season.

  151. Ghost
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Maybe George works really well under pressure and thats when he does his best writing and has been waiting till the last minute to bang everything out? … Maybe

  152. Greenjones
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    Awesome! Lightbringer, quick, make a post about this so we can stop a-wheedling!

  153. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Ghost,

    That is the only way he could make it now. ASOS level speed (and pace, or it will take 8 books) is the only thing that could cut it if the show will really last just 7 seasons. And TWOW will need to come out this year or at the latest early next year or it will literally become impossible.

  154. The Bastard
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The fans who think 7 seasons is too short need to realize that D&D are not using 4 Seasons for only 3 books. They are really doing about 3.5 books in 4 seasons. And AFFC & ADWD both have a lot of content that are internal struggles that would not translate to the screen.

    AFFC & ADWD will most likely be done by Season 5, leaving us with 2 seasons for 2 books.

    I could see HBO deciding to make Season 7 all at one time but extending it. Do the regular 10 episodes starting in April. And then have 3 2-hour episodes (like mini-movies) for later in the same year.

  155. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    zerowolf,

    Grrm is not bored, he writes about westeros everyday. Now, ASOIAF is another matter.

  156. Ours is the Fury
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I didn’t realize people seriously thought Mance might not be in the show this year. He was spotted in Belfast with everyone else filming last September, and his name is in the credits listed at HBO on the schedule for season 4. http://itsh.bo/1gpqCzs

    We don’t need a post for a selfie; Hinds’s appearance in S4 was long-confirmed.

  157. ShadowStalker
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    People need to stop panicking here… I am going to speculate that 7 seasons is going to be the 7th season being a supersized season (12-16 Episodes) that is aired over 2 years. Like Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men.

    Which still allows for alot to happen.

  158. loco73
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Does anybody think that there is a realistic chance of them ever changing the production schedule, now that “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood” are coming to an end and new time slots are opened?

    Probably that would make for a huge headache for HBO and everyone involved with GoT but it would shift production times and basically allow the show to take a hiatus without taking an official hiatus. This would mean more time for Martin to get on with his work and perhaps even finish on time…sigh…

    I realize its a longshot (and not one I am terribly excited about as a fan), but does anyone thinks that it is doable? Would it be feasible?

  159. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Hirstfind,

    Yara can’t replace Victarion, because Victarion/Euron are bad guys in the broadest sense, while Yara and Theon are wildcards. Also, that’s not Yara with Mel in the trailer, it’s either Shireen, Gilly or a random woman.

    loco73,

    I don’t think so. The filming schedule as it is now takes into account seasons, actor availability – you’d be surprised how much these guys actually get done during GoT’s off-season and while the show is filming – crew availability, time for post-production, time for pre-production for the following season, casting for the following season, etc, etc. If you move all of that around it’s chaos – not to mention that people expect the show in spring by now. (Of course, they could prove me wrong, but I think it would be next to impossible)

  160. Summer is Coming
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    Yes, I actually have a theory that S5 might not premiere in March/April 2015, but in September/October 2015. Half a year more for scripting, production, filming, and for GRRM to speed up a bit. PLUS, they can and must film in winter, for Winter is Coming! and we haven’t seen the autumn cold descend on the south! Hell, even at the Wall there is a lot of green, since they filmed this summer in Iceland.. Winter is Coming, my ass…

  161. Jordan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Six seasons and a movie? (apologies if anyone did this joke already)

    I don’t know how likely it is, but if I were writing Yara’s/The Greyjoy plot I would Keep Euron and Victarion both, and have Victarion absorb Aeron- it seems to me that since he has his own vendetta against Euron and psychological issues, it would be a pretty smooth change.

    In terms of the Martells, I hope we’ll get Arianne and her brother, but not so sure about how many or even any of the Sand Snakes. I’d really like Sarella to show up, but not sure how the show could convincingly have her introduced as the male Alleras and have no one realize that he is a she- I guess it could work if at least one person was aware of the disguise.

    I mean Shakespeare did it often enough, but I think the willing suspension of disbelief might be different here.

  162. Marian Moore
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I’m happy to just see and ending at all. For a time now I´ve been afraid that the books will never be finished, being Martin getting sick of them or maybe he dies before he finish them; who knows? There are a number of books series that were never completed.
    I prefer a TV ending than sitting around 10 or 15 years waiting for the books to come out. And this is from someone that loves the books. I just want to know how it all ends.

  163. Ashara D
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Ser Osis of Liver:
    I fervently believe that we’ll see TWoW on bookshelves before the premiere of Season Five, and quite possibly as early as this fall. Remember, folks, lead time for any major publication, from finished manuscript to delivery is roughly 7-8 months. So let’s say they announce TWoW for Winter 2014/15, for the sake of argument. This will have meant that George will have finished the manuscript, it will have gone through the various editorial cycles, and will be in production by the time of this mythical announcement. Meanwhile back in Santa Fe, the Great Bearded Glacier will probably have around 150-200 manuscript pages of ADoS done, at least to the first-pass edit, assuming he kept going after Winter was closed out.

    So keeping with the fictitious timeline of xmas 2014; he’ll have had almost a full year from completion of the TWoW manuscript until the trucks roll into Barnes and Noble. So figure about 250-300 pages of what will likely be 1500-1700 manuscript pages (and likely about 1000-1100 printed pages). Then he goes on tour for 4-6 months; this during the time of Season 5 airing and Season 6 starting production–with material from TWoW.

    By the time the book tour is over, after Worldcon is over in August, he gets back into the swing of things in Aug. 2015. He’d have about 18 months to crank out 1000 pages, which is feasible if he finally learns to say NO to side projects until this beast is put away. Meanwhile D&D&BC, who’ve already had the ending painted in broad strokes, will be able to consult with George more closely as he’s finishing the book manuscript–so by the time filming begins for Season 7 (assuming the end is in S7) in 2016, the storylines will be more or less in sync. A frantic call from George can always be made saying “Wait–I’ve had to kill-X- , but leave-Y- alive for this to work,” in time for it to work out in the show. Meanwhile we, the audience, will have no clue as to the sausage-making going on in NM and Belfast.

    It’s then feasible (notice I’m not saying “likely”–just feasible) that, if Bantam puts everything else on hold and ADoS crashes through, it COULD hit just as Season 7 starts unspooling in the spring of 2017. It’s also very possible that HBO could delay S7 for 6-8 months to coincide with ADoS’s production and release schedule. But again, this assumes that George doesn’t take on any side projects — remember, he likes to edit and write for compilations, work on Wild Cards and tie-in materials, etc. Plus I’ve also personally heard him state at Worldcons that he thinks he can wrap it up in seven books–but that it might take eight, or even more. And if that happens, we will never see the true story end on television; just a major portion of it.

    So yes, it’s quite possible for George to wrap this up, and at least have the manuscript in Bantam’s hands by spring 2017, IF (and it’s a huge IF) he’s mostly done with TWoW right now, and is just waiting for an announcement of a publication date by Bantam this spring/summer.

    THIS ^^^

    I don’t know specifically why, but I have the feeling that TWoW is mostly complete right now and that it will be released this coming winter (14/15). Small hints, comments by people…didn’t Paris say recently that there would be an announcement about TWoW soon? Or did she mean the World book? I know that George is an organic writer, and, as they say, the devil is in the details, but all of these discussions with D&D/BCog, the writing of the World book, the endless interviews/forums about the story and where it is heading have to have clarified the remaining two projects for him. As with any project, the final pieces are simply a slog to the end after the creative giddiness of idea and planning and set-up. All of the framing and structure is set around him. The trellis is up, so he just needs to wind the vines around it and through it to get those roses to the top!

    In fact, given his organic process and that he says that he writes for one character at a time as their story unfolds for him, many of the chapters needed for ADoS will be completed before TWoW even hits the shelves. At this point, he just needs to write enough to advance each character’s story enough to provide a good stopping point between their ADwD predicament and their end point as communicated to D&D/BCog. So, TWoW in 2015 and ADoS in 2017/18 is very doable.

    BTW, can someone from across the pond or in book production explain to me why large books get split in the UK when they are just large books here in the US? Thanks!

    Also, as much as I love D&D/BCog and their handling of the material to date–I think that they’ve done a phenomenal job–the production WILL suffer if they must write the final season without the details and internal dialog provided by GRRM. The two are now inextricably linked and, like it or not, the books ARE the story as intended, no matter when they happen to appear in the collective consciousness.

  164. Bob Miller
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Actually it’s my selfie – not Mance’s – that’s me on bottom right with the axe.

  165. Ser Pounce
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why everyone thinks it is impossible to fit the iron born and dorne into season 5. they can pretty much compress AFFC and ADWD to run parallel with each other to make 7 or 8 episodes . If you take away all the the food description pages and the dreadful infinite chapters of internal monologues, AFFC and ADWD aren’t really long for the visual medium. they can add the opening battles from WoW to finish season 5 with.

  166. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    loco73,

    That’s certainly doable: simultaneously moving the final season to September whilst extending it to say 15 (or even 20!) episodes gives them double the production time for the season. They could show the whole season together or maybe 6 months apart, giving them even more time. So it’s possible. If HBO wants to do it and is willing to spend more money to do it is another question.

  167. mister frey
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I’m curious. Would people mind if George finished TWOW then spent the remaining two years writing exclusively for the show? If season 6 and 7 were penned by George and D&D, then it could be argued that all the revelations came directly from the author.

    Then he could release the final book 2 to 7 years later (which is the most likely outcome anyway).

    I don’t like the idea that the last book might exist as a novelization, but I would be fine with it as a compromise.

    Also, George has not screwed the readers, nor is he fucked. He’s given us tons of enjoyment, it just doesn’t come at the pace that it started. He’s not fucked because we’re impatient.

  168. Jordan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    mister frey,

    It’s definitely not a bad idea, but it really depends on whether Martin himself was interested.

    There was another poster who stopped posting here (DH47 or something like that) proposed something similar, but their idea seemed to be that in exchange for Martin doing this (providing the real end of the series), D&D would turn the show over to him (and implicitly or explicitly beg his forgiveness for being talentless hacks).

  169. Lollius Palicanus
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Actually it seems George IS actually dropping his side-projects (apart from the theatre, but I think he has some help with that). In his last post, he said there were only two monkeys left on his back: the Wild Cards thingie, and Son of Kong (meaning tWoW).
    I actually interpreted this as implying that he will not be writer for next season. Furthermore, he recently did not attend the opening of the WiC art show because he was busy. Omens. We may hope.

  170. Jordan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Lollius Palicanus,

    There is supposed to be this Old Venus anthology coming out as a companion to that Old Mars one- I think it is already written though although I haven’t heard anything about release dates (and Martin was an editor, not a contributor).

  171. Nipplesonabreastplat
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    zerowolf: I want to see the end before I pop my clogs

    Never heard it put quite like this….hahahaha!! Thanks for the belly laugh!

  172. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Very wishful thinking. Yes, the number of changes increases, but they haven’t changed the overall plot points much at all, just how they get there. The broad strokes of the ending of the books (White Walkers, who wins the Iron Throne, the fate of major characters etc) will all be there.

  173. Sean C.
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Yes, but Dany needs ships. Unless they plan on her buying ships to sail to Westeros I would think the Iron Fleet would still be necessary. And if I had to choose to keep a Greyjoy uncle it would be Euron.

    You answered your own question there. Transportation is not something that requires a whole bunch of new characters to be introduced.

  174. Kris
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure there is anything new here. 7-8 seasons has been thrown around before. And the way I interpret it is they plan for 7 season, but it if takes 8 they’ll do 8 (if HBO is game).

  175. Strider
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    bittersteel:
    Seeing Howland Reed on TV before the books would be a huge let down.

    Your short comment mirrors so strongly how I feel. Which is why I personally choose to avoid that. There are enough let downs in life where it matters that one has no control over, I see no reason to invite one where I can avoid it. I was off the ASoIaF digital world for about 3 years, I can do it again. I’d rather have the ending of Martin’s world unbiased by how the show writers view it or interpret it. Watching it on TV would not only spoil things for me but would mess with how I perceive it straight from the pages.
    The show can wait for my viewing it. I waited for Martin’s books a long time myself. One person less watching the last seasons won’t matter to them, anyway.

  176. gisizzlah
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Im also not upset about 7 seasons if they do the Sex and the City thing and do Movies after to finish the story….

    What i wont be cool with is if they spoil the books seeing that they already know the ending…

  177. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Ashara D,

    Across the pond where i live, books get split up to sell more.
    Expensive, but reading 14, 500 page asoiaf books is its own thing.
    Its like watching the show, short pieces of the story after each other.

  178. Maginor
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the Kingsmoot will happen onscreen or at all because I don’t think they would inject extra story for Asha in season 4 that doesn’t lead anywhere. I.e. her story in season 4 will somehow lead to her meeting Stannis, or something similar. I don’t see how she would end up on the Iron Islands, then go back to the North after that. I think we won’t see much from Victarion or Euron before they (one of them) show up in Mereen (we will only hear that one of Balon’s brothers, who is a feared pirate, has taken over the Iron Islands, then raided the reach, then somebody reports a large contingent of the Iron Fleet sailing east), but I don’t see the necessity for cutting both of them entirely. Similarly, we may see Quentyn appearing in Mereen for a couple of episodes after Doran has told Arianne about him in the end of a compressed Queenmaker plot that lasted one or two episodes. Though we won’t get six sand snakes. So what I am saying is that there will be room for some of the new characters if they are mostly introduced into the storylines of existing characters (except for giving Arianne her own storyline). Aegon first appears in Tyrions storyline (in a compressed river journey), then later in Ariannes, without necessarily having to show him in between

  179. Sean C.
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Harry Lime:
    I hope seven isn’t the case. I think they’ll adjust their plans when TWOW is released and they know the page amount for sure. I have a feeling the length and amount of big events will require a ASOS-style split.

    The scripts for Season 6 will be completed by this time next year. It’s highly unlikely the book will be done in time to influence their plans.

  180. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Sean C.,

    They know how the book is anyway, why unlikely?

  181. spacechampion
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I’ve always viewed the end of ASOS as the end of Act One. The first three books were suppose to be one book originally. Feast/Dance was Act Two (which wasn’t suppose to exist except with a 5 year gap and flashbacks). Winds/Dream would be Act Three. So to say we’re half way through when we’re only coming up on the end of the first act is weird. Of course they’ve been dipping into the later books already, so it makes more sense to be half way, but it still feels like the show should have 6 more seasons. :-)

  182. Ours is the Fury
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Bob Miller:

    Actually it’s my selfie – not Mance’s – that’s me on bottom right with the axe.

    Wasn’t implying he owned the pic, only that his appearance in S4 was already confirmed. It is a cool pic. :)

  183. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    UPDATE: As of a few minutes ago, James Hibberd of EW is reporting that David Benioff has stated that seven seasons is the plan. Benioff goes on to say it’s the (unstated) goal they’ve had since the beginning, that “it feels right to us,” referencing “seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons.” Seven is a key number in Westeros, of course, and it may be the magic number in the end for Game of Thrones.

    Yeah, but 8 seasons is a key number in Westeros too. Any of you ever made the 8? It’s for when you’ve f***ed one girl from all seven kingdoms and the Riverlands. You made the 8, Selmy??

  184. azad_injejikian
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Regarding George’s writing speed, although he says he’s slow and the show seems to be catching up, his appearance schedule as ofthis August until next august is empty- meaning so long as he doesnt say yes to anything else, he should have an entire year to work uninterrupted which gives me some hope he’ll get the books out sooner.

    http://www.georgerrmartin.com/appearances/

    * Provided of course that he doesnt take a year to do another world tour to promote TWoW. No book in publishing history requires less promotion than TWoW. The HBO show does more for book sales than George showing up at bookstores across Europe

  185. Mark
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    I just don’t see how they could cut any of the Dronish stuff, the Iron Islands, or the Griff story. If they keep those in fully, not only would it make the show accurate and better, it would give George more time to finish. 7 seasons is ridiculous. If they included everything, especially what is coming in the next two books, it should be like 10 seasons. Also, I don’t understand why the show wouldn’t just like take a year off in between seasons or something to let George catch up. There have been plenty of other HBO shows that had an off year in between.

  186. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Vin Sidious:
    Greatness,

    I get a vague sense you’re a crusader against Book Purism.Have fun with that, but I’m not in that camp.I never said I was against *all* corner cutting and streamlining (I’ve quite enjoyed most of the major changes in the show so far, in fact), only when it meant leaving “good story” out of the show, just for the sake of finishing in a predetermined # of seasons.

    My point is that its just as bad to cut the show artificially short and leave out worthy material, as it is to drag the show on longer when there *isn’t.*

    And really, NOBODY cares at this point how accurate the show is to the books?That’s preposterous.A lie, basically, because its so plainly false.You even know its false, otherwise these Book Purists you love so much wouldn’t really exist, and your internet message board crusade would be meaningless.

    Your crusade for GRRM in preserving his books is hilarious. Books 4 and 5 are terrible and would make for a terrible S5-S6-S7. I’m glad the show is knocking them aside after S5. So go ahead and beat your chest at the world, GRRM is a genius! Meh. LOTR is better since it didn’t have the fat that these books do. In years time people will look back and prefer the show, since the books will never get an ending either way.

  187. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I actually foresee much less cutting in the plots than some believe (though more than Ser Tahu, and we’ve discussed before).

    –I think Victarion stays, and Euron is a minor presence. The Kingsmoot may go entirely.

    –I think Doran and Arianne stay and perhaps one or two Sand Snakes, but they’ll be a bit sketched in as characters go, particularly Doran, who will mostly be conveyed through great casting.

    –The Darkstar plot may go entirely, or occur mostly off-screen.

    –The Sarella thing may be chopped down to almost nothing, if it survives.

    –Quentyn goes entirely. It’s a closed loop. If you notice, any character who ends up as a closed loop is diminished in terms of their screen presence (the Magnar of Thenn this year instead of last year, the reduced role of Dontos Hollard, Qhorin Halfhand), whereas others more important in relationships are built up (Bronn, Tormund Giantsbane, Theon). Quentyn shows up and dies, so he’s completely unnecessary.

    –Part of Tyrion’s journey will be reduced, and the characters on the boat chopped down too.

  188. Jordan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    One thing I see a bit of a problem with in terms of Quentyn and Aerys Oakheart is how frequently Martin uses the “trick” of building up a character only to have them horribly killed. Like its clever the first couple of times, by the audience starts to catch on.

    Like I was thinking how I wish the show had built up a Manderly as Robb’s friend before killing him of at the Red Wedding, but then it struck me that if they had, Usullied might catch on to the fact that the Red Viper would be killed off the moment he appeared

    I do kind of like Quentyn/think he has an important role while his recklessness caused it most directly, to some degree, Dany is “responsible” for his death and it seems like that will lead Dorne to endorse Aegon instead of her/to become her enemy.

  189. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss,

    You just confirmed Vin Sidious.
    LOTRs only high quality was Tolkiens vast worldbuilding, other than that he is inferior to others like Dante, Peake, Gaiman, Lovecraft and Grrms various works. If you think Asoiaf is his sole good work, you are wrong. He has Tuf, and The Skin Trade. Number ones in Fantasy, SF and Horror. Tolkien is an artist who have been commercialised over again, and over again. His works of fictions was experiments and training for him.

  190. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Can somebody plz explain to me why it is bad that the show will finish the story before the books come out?

  191. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Because it’s not at all in their best interests. It pisses off the show audience (which is much larger than the book readers), and kills their momentum. Not to mention that some the actors will want to move on, which means more recasting, more contract negotiating. Basically, they don’t actually care whether George finished first, they have the ending.

  192. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Michael Tschuertz:
    Can somebody plz explain to me why it is bad that the show will finish the story before the books come out?

    Because freedom.

  193. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Satin,

    I used to believe that about Mel (the woman could be the one on the pyre in trailer #2)… This article fucked up all my predictions, though.

  194. Maginor
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    I think they could easily keep Quentyn in as a character that appears in Mereen, but I doubt we will see his entire arc. However you are right in that he seems to actually serve a function outside his own story. It screws up Dany’s relationship with the Martells.

  195. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Unsullied are for the most part just on and off. There is no one there to piss off, because book readers are the real fans. The others will say meh, knew this show stank.

  196. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    Cool, man! How was the experience of working on GOT?

  197. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    it really makes more sense for it to be Shireen or Gilly, though, since at least we know Mel is likely to have scenes with them. Of course Yara *might* get caught by Stannis this season, but from all that we’ve seen and heard – Yara in a place that looks like the Dreadfort, C v H saying that Team Dragonstone only have few, if meaty scenes this season – I believe it’s not very probable.

  198. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Michael Tschuertz,

    Well… I’d obviously prefer the books to come out first because I feel for GRRM (it would be shit for him, really) and because I’m selfish and want the books faster.

    But the far more disappointing aspect of this post is the 7 season aim. I think it would be genuinely hard to finish in 7 seasons without cutting a lot more than I’d like to see cut. I love Dorne and the Iron Islands, and the odds both of them will make it are worryingly small. I also think that the show will dip in quality when it runs out of source material. No more awesome GRRM quotes…

  199. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Satin,

    I agree on that. But there’s no way that’s Shireen. I can’t see her saying “seven hells” ever, she’s too cute a character for that.

  200. Maxwell James
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Boromir:
    As a book fan, though, the most important thing to me is that Martin takes his time and makes the books as good as possible. I certainly don’t want him to start rushing to keep up with the show. In twenty years, we won’t care whether the last book came out ten years ago or fifteen years ago; we’ll care how good it is. In the long run, I’d rather have a literary masterpiece than a sloppy, churned-out product.

    This. Exactly.

    I’ve already gone through my seven stages of mourning for the idea that I’d get to finish the books first; now I just hope they get done, period, and they are good. I don’t really care all that much about spoilers anyway; knowing that Anna Karenina dies in part 7 of Anna Karenina doesn’t really detract from the experience of reading it. For fans who are generally willing to reread these books several times anyway, it’s obviously not just about the plot.

  201. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    What garbage. Tons of unsullied fans adore the show, and many of them watch it religiously. You think that millions of people who tune in every week to watch the show wouldn’t care if there was a lengthy hiatus? Saying that show only viewers aren’t real fans is just dickish.

  202. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Oh, you donbt know many haters who would rejoice when this show gets cancelled.
    First annoucment for season 4, and i see haters flooding articles with first posts.

  203. Bob Miller
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    Great fun but long days and nights for the extras over short periods.
    If it helps, with regards how many series are planned, I understand the Titanic Studios in Belfast have been leased out for 10 years. Personally, I don’t think GOT production will throw away three years and let them lie vacant.

  204. El Cid Campeador
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I have never actually posted before but this issue is very disconcerting to me.

    I am a book reader and I have always watched the show as an adaption of what I first envisioned in my thoughts after reading some of Martin’s wonderful prose. Now, there is a strong possibility that I will have to reverse this, sort of like reading the book adaptation of a movie?

    I understand that I should not feel betrayed as an artist is not responsible to those who appreciate their art. The creative process doesn’t work that way. Nonetheless I will feel betrayed if the books are overtaken by the show. I will feel as if the book and tv adaptions are bastardized and not separate entities but sort of mushed together, with neither being what the different artists intended.

    Has this ever happened before in the history of adaptions?

  205. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    There are book readers who hate the show too, what’s your point? Just because some people who don’t like the show and haven’t read the books would rejoice if it was cancelled, doesn’t mean that the millions of unsullied fans aren’t real fans.

  206. TheBerylfly
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Please, not seven
    people think i am a hater, but i have a genuine desire for this show to be good, and seven’s too little. eight would be almost perfect

  207. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    Is there anything at all you can tease about a certain huge episode coming up (that you seem to have taken part in) without HBO assassinating you?

  208. Maxwell James
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    El Cid Campeador: Has this ever happened before in the history of adaptions?

    It’s not an exact parallel but the second and third Godfather films were not based on actual sequels by Mario Puzo. He co-wrote them and therefore signed off on the story they told, but his own sequel (the Sicilian) was made into an unrelated film, with the Corleone family removed from the story.

  209. Bob Miller
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,
    Sorry, but I don’t do spoilers. My fellow Widling generals would gut me, never mind HBO.
    All I will say is that “John Snow still knows nothing!”

  210. Ray Feighery
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    7 Seasons at 10 eps is rushing it. But he didn’t say they would retain that. He also referencing Breaking Bad which split it’s “Seasons” into two which would increase the number of episodes as well as extend the seasons providing more time for the books to be finished.

  211. Vin Sidious
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    What, I call you a crusader so you gotta call me one? That’s pretty schoolyard.
    Your responses strongly suggest you aren’t really reading my words. I’m not nearly beating my chest about GRRM’s genius. In any way. Wait, wait – are you a troll? You’re trolling. That’s all I can believe right now.

    As far as LOTR, please: if Tolkien’s editors had the good sense to cut out every scene where somebody stopped to eat Lembas bread and honeycakes or whatever, the books would have been much better paced.

    At least GRRM’s fat is done in the interest of world-building, for the most part, and not foodie-porn.

    Greatness Arrisessss: Your crusade for GRRM in preserving his books is hilarious. Books 4 and 5 are terrible and would make for a terrible S5-S6-S7. I’m glad the show is knocking them aside after S5. So go ahead and beat your chest at the world, GRRM is a genius! Meh. LOTR is better since it didn’t have the fat that these books do. In years time people will look back and prefer the show, since the books will never get an ending either way.

  212. Dragonslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Vin Sidious,

    Well, GRRM combines easily world building and foodie-porn :P

  213. Ashara D
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    Thanks! I wonder why American publishers don’t do that, American business practices being what they are…but glad they don’t. It would drive me crazy. My experiences with ASoIaF and The Kingkiller Chronicles have caused me to only buy the first book in a series after all (or at least most) of the series is complete.

    Looking forward to seeing my girl Arianne and finally meeting a Dayne on the show in Season 5. DORNE!

  214. Vin Sidious
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Fair point!

    Dragonslayer: Vin Sidious, Well, GRRM combines easily world building and foodie-porn :P

  215. mal
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Pretty sure they will be compressing several story lines and characters introduced in Book 4 & 5. They will focus more on the main characters so far with maybe 2 major storylines included. That would make more sense. For instance, w/ the Red Viper he will live past the fight with the Mountain and become his crippled brother King instead of intro that character. We may not see Adrianne either (maybe total reworking of Asha/Yara into this role). Also, the Targaryen boys goiing to Dany will be compressed into one character/storyline thing where they meet Tyrion etc. I predict season 5 will conclude book 4 & 5 that gets introduced in season 4. The yet unwritten book 6 & 7 content that D & D already know about from George will be incorporated into the tv series with UBER new stuff from D & D totally off book. Yeah…I predict major divergence starting season 5 onward.

  216. House Mormont
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Judging by how trying to shove all of a Clash of Kings into ten episodes went… I’m gonna say seven will dampen the quality, eight sounds perfect.

  217. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    The difference is that they were working off of a whole finished book for Season 2. For Season 7, they’ll be working off a few broad outlines and notes, which means they’ll have much less to work off of and shove in

  218. Ragman's Harbor
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    If D&D have both spent one week with Bryan Cogman in Santa Fe to speak of the upcoming books and the ending with George, it’s because they sucked the most information they could out of him. Okay that sounded weird.

    Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up, and where exactly that would be. As you were saying before, if you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we sat just down with him and literally went through every character and said, “So what’s the destination for Daenarys? And Arya?”

    To the people who think they are going to write their own ending, no one wants that. Neither Dan, David, Bryan, Hbo, George nor the fans. It’ll be George’s ending, but adapted to the circumstances and to the translation show/books. I expect when the scripts will start telling TWOW’s story, they will tell George: ”Okay just give us what you have written of TWOW, and for the rest we’ll see”.

    And who knows, maybe George will have TWOW out in 2015 just when season 5 will start and David and Dan will have read it before anyone else so it will be in sync. ADOS is something else. If George really gets his mind around it and does no other project but ASOIAF and writes like he has on the first three books, it is possible the show won’t catch up near the ending. But I doubt it. 2014 would have been the perfect year to publish TWOW so he would have more or less 3 years to write his seventh and last book.

    I have a hell of a lot respect for George RR Martin, he is in my top list of people I admire. But taking one year off after writing ADWD? Writing TOWIAF, D&E, TDWD? Come on!

    Count me in the portion of fans who like AFFC and ADWD. Those are not perfect, I admit, it was missing some Sansa, Arya, Bran and Davos and too much Quentyn. But the Asha, Jon, Daenerys (YES), Jaime, Arya, Bran, Davos, Cersei, Tyrion and Victarion chapters were some of my favorite POVs of all the 5 books.

    2014/Season 4- ASOS/AFFC/ADWD. Brienne’s storyline will be the one who is most cut/changed and with good reasons. Bran is really going forward the most, but once in the cave with BloodRaven they can easily stretch his storyline without going to much in TWOW.

    2015/Season 5- AFFC/ADWD/TWOW. Cersei’s storyline will probably be cut in major parts. They can easily bring her to choose Robert Strong as a champion in the end of season 5. Jaime’s chapters will be cut also. Daenerys with what we can see in the season 4 previews, will be able to end her stuff by the end of the season in the pit, maybe even more. Arya they can do what they want with her, her storyline is maybe the most flexible of all.

    2016/Season 6- TWOW. Battle of Winterfell and Mereen. If they didn’t move one of them to end season 5 with and give space for season 6.

    2017/Season 7- Good luck.

    2018/Season 8- We’ll see.

  219. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    okay but which freedom?

  220. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    but we still are getting the books, so why care?

  221. Nick_Scryer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Nice! 7 seasons sounds good. I agree though that an extended seventh season (With 20 episodes) would be perfect.

    I guess this means that the story will focus more on the endgame (ie White walkers) which was pretty much hinted at with the WW in trailer 2 for this year.
    Probably means there will be A LOT less political and filler stuff , less travelling, lots of cuts.

    Doubt we’ll be seeing Sam travelling to Oldtown, The Greyjoy uncles, Dorne and it’s people among other things. Bring it on!

  222. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Michael Tschuertz,

    At the rate that GRRM is writing, there’s a chance we won’t get the books.

  223. King DBC
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, The Winds of Winter is probably never gonna happen. http://grrm.livejournal.com/360936.html

  224. bearpitticketmaster
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    First things first: I would put the chances of a Game of Thrones movie (or 2) being made at less than 5%.

    However, I think it makes sense on a few levels. (1) HBO has done it before; (2) Production would not be that different from a season. Seasons take months to film, and I don’t see why a movie would be any different. And if the movie has as much material to work with as Season 4 seems to have, then a ten hour season can be transformed into three three-hour movies ; (3) Trilogies like the Hobbit are filmed at once while being released years apart, so theres no reason they could film after Season 7, and then not release the movie until after ADOS is released, no matter how long that takes; (4) One thing to keep in mind, assuming that ADOS is not released before the final season is aired, is that there simply isn’t an ideal solution. No matter what happens, people are going to have serious issues, and making movie is just another of those less-than-ideal solutions. And it just may be the solution most preferred by GRRM, and maybe even HBO if they feel that interest is still high and a tidy profit can be made.

  225. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    well you or me could die today too so we would not see the ending of the books. That is the risk of being alive.

  226. mal
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    They definitely can’t add the 5+ storylines and several major & supporting characters that are brought into play in Books 4, 5 some 3. We will see major characters/storylines compressed and changed. Like Quinten, Connington etc. The Red Viper may become Dorian. I don’t see them getting rid of this character after only a season. Maybe he gets crippled by the Mountain. I definitely think Dorian will be cut out entirely with only 1 Sandsnake daughter. Adrianne’s storyline will be cut out and somehow incorporate her motives to Yara/Asha. Tyrion definitely has to meet someone who is headed to Dany. I feel somehow Gendry will take this role (but will Dany team up with a Baratheon??) Maybe Gendry meets Jorah & Tyrion?? Also, about Shae this upcoming season…I brought this up before, but she may belong to Littlefinger and betray Tyrion because it’s been a lie this whole time. She may be Dontos in a way :) weird. That would explain her betrayal. Poor Tyrion

  227. Blind Beth
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
  228. Noob Takes the Black
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Unless I’m forgetting something, you could dispense with the Kingsmoot altogether and keep Balon Greyjoy alive for a while yet — all that you need is part of the fleet to head to Essos — the internal politics of the Iron Islands just don’t seem to really lead anywhere else. And Balon is such a crusty bastard that I hated to see him go in the books and would be happy to keep him around in the show. And there’s a lot(!) of Dany’s story that can be condensed pretty readily.

  229. eneile
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I saw a few of you said Aegon is the least likely new character that could be cut, but I hope he will be. He just comes out of nowhere and starts doing what we were expecting Dany to do for 5 books already, he wins every battle, and he is just SO annoying. I wish they at least make it clear when he’s introduced who he really is, or just make it seem less like a “jump the shark” moment than the book has.

    I’ll also be happy with the tv show ending before the books. Book will still be a good read, even if we know where characters end, they might get there differently

  230. Valar Morghulis
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    mal:
    They definitely can’t add the 5+ storylines and several major & supporting characters that are brought into play in Books 4, 5 some 3.We will see major characters/storylines compressed and changed. Like Quinten, Connington etc.The Red Viper may become Dorian. I don’t see them getting rid of this character after only a season.Maybe he gets crippled by the Mountain.I definitely think Dorian will be cut out entirely with only 1 Sandsnake daughter. Adrianne’s storyline will be cut out and somehow incorporate her motives to Yara/Asha. Tyrion definitely has to meet someone who is headed to Dany.I feel somehow Gendry will take this role (but will Dany team up with a Baratheon??) Maybe Gendry meets Jorah & Tyrion?? Also, about Shae this upcoming season…I brought this up before, but she may belong to Littlefinger and betray Tyrion because it’s been a lie this whole time. She may be Dontos in a way :) weird.That would explain her betrayal. Poor Tyrion

    Lucky us you’re not screenwriter !!!

  231. wizardeyes
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    mal,

    I find it hard to take your points seriously when you have so many of the character’s names wrong. Doran. Quentyn. Arianne. The Red Viper used as Doran? No way whatsoever. That makes no sense. If Oberyn doesn’t lose the duel then Tyrion wouldn’t be sentenced to death then he wouldn’t have to flee westeros.

  232. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    mal: The Red Viper may become Dorian. I don’t see them getting rid of this character after only a season. Maybe he gets crippled by the Mountain.

    Nope. Disagree. Nobody of real import who was supposed to die has lived to this point. Anyone who is alive who should be dead by now is a minor character probably marked for death before long anyway. Won’t happen. After 3 full seasons, the MO of D&D is well established.

  233. FlayedManofBK
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    haha another side project..this is getting sad.
    http://grrm.livejournal.com/

  234. Jordan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    King DBC,

    Very cool. “Rogues” is my most awaited book coming out this year. Seems like an amazing selection of writers and stories. And it is nice that Martin is adding a story too.

  235. mal
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    wizardeyes,
    I’ve read the books thru once, so I don’t remember the spellings. But I don’t think this excludes me from putting my ideas/predictions out. It’s not like I started with “hey, this is what’s happening, asshats!” When we limit the conversation to those we deem fit to speak, we’re really doing a disservice to those who are just having fun talking about a series we all like.

  236. Jordan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    FlayedManofBK,

    In fairness, it was a sideproject that previously existed (for a year or more I think). I am curious though about the logic of when Martin (and Dozois) books are released.

  237. mal
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    Good point. It’s just wishful thinking on my part.

  238. wizardeyes
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    mal,

    Fair enough dude. Sorry.

  239. Ozymandias
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Season 5 : aFFC + aDwD
    Season 6 : WoW
    Season 7 : Nothing, 16 episodes à la Breaking Bad.

    Sounds perfect, I’ve always hoped that aFFC and aDwD was only one season and a half (parts of Season 4 + S5)

    a Dream of Spring will probably never come out.

  240. Abyss
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink
  241. Ed
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Why is he screwed? So the show catches, and passes the books. Who cares? Why does that matter?

    Doug:
    Bottom line, it is becoming increasingly clear Martin is screwed.

  242. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    Always optimistic

  243. Ozymandias
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    and realistic !

  244. Phil
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    7 seasons is impossible without utterly butchering the books. Some of the plotlines people are suggesting they cut would bring the story to bare bones. Martin only agreed to do the show because it wouldn’t work as a movie trilogy because too much would be cut. Cutting Griff, the Greyjoys, Dorne would be disastrous.

    Also with the exception of Bran, maybe some Arya, and Brienne’s stoyrlines most of this season will be the rest of book 3. There’s too much King’s Landing and The Wall stuff to do before moving on the Feast/Dance for that. Season 5 will start the major plotlines (IE the characters who have the most chapters in feast/dance). Some characters will probably need Winds stuff in Season 6, but any earlier would require cutting vast portions of the books. Worse than what they did with Dany and Jon’s respective season 2 stories. Even if they fit Feast/Dance into season 5, some storylines will not finish, and no way they can do books 6+7 in a season and a half. AT LEAST 8, depending on how long Winds/Dream are.

  245. Tenesmus
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    The Suits at HBO don’t give a half-hearted, limp noodle, drunken fcuk about the books and when they get released. They care about their show. They also could care less if D&D extrapolate current seasons into something that looks absolutely nothing like past or future books, or if they dogmatically follow plot arcs beat for beat. They have basically been green lighted for seasons 5/6/7 with an option for 8 if the show continues to be successful. Whether those seasons will resemble the books; who knows, who cares? Just get them in the can and on the screen.

  246. Dragonslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss: You’re an idiot, not gonna waste my time with you.If you don’t think LOTR is better then ASOIAF, than shame on you.

    I like both but I think Tolkien is a good world-builder and a bad storyteller. GRRM is better at storytelling and he writes not that many boring black/white-characters.

  247. Summer is Coming
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    eneile,

    Are you serious? Cut the mistery plot that moves Tyrion’s story about half of book 5? His identity and his existence brings succession problems for Daenerys, reveals Varys’s plan, and more importantly if he is who they say he is (even if he isn’t), he has a good chance to end up on the Iron Throne! And all for what? Because he is “annoying”… or that you find it that way.. if Tyrion’s story from Pentos until his kidnapping (first half of his story in adwd/good cliffhanger) was in affc (2005), would you have found him to late in the game? no.. because he appeared in adwd (2011) and everyoane was pissed Dany wasn’t going to Westeros, and this guy was…

    Plus I like Aegon, and his arc, and I would like to see him developed in twow; and I plan to audition for his part, so of course I don’t want him cut :P Yet my reasoning above stands!

    I want “the cow to be milked” for 8 seasons > #8YearsForTheCow

  248. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    “Hey, HBO execs, you know that kingdom of sexy and promiscuous people we just introduced? They have a hot 23 year-old princess who is very close with her multiethnic girlcousins, but we’re going to cut all of that. Cool?”

    Riiight. Because this isn’t the show that has been criticized for too much sex, or casting a 30 year-old woman as a character half that age in the books.

  249. Josh
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Streamweaver:
    So by now it’s obvious the books wont be finished by the time the series is which is what a lot of us feared because it leaves us with one of three options.

    1.They basically chuck the books and write their own story from this season onward.
    2.They end it wherever the books are by that point.Given the last few books I can’t see how that could be of interest at all.
    3.They give away the big strokes of the Martin story to wrap up their tale.I actually hope it’s this, Martin is indeed not anyone’s bitch as they say.Martin the author needs to take as much time as he needs, but Martin the IP manager has really screwed the pooch in terms of timing multiple properties around a work he knew he couldn’t finish.

    He’s no one’s bitch but he’s unprofessional and inconsiderate to th fans. I’m sorry but “not writing while he travels” “not writing during football season” “The Song of Fire and Ice Encyclopedia”, the many many appearances, the writing an episode a season, the bringing of Dunk and Eggs to TV…

    I’m sorry but he has a job and yes he should take his time but he should also make this book his number #1 priority, which I never got the feeling he did. He seemed to love his fame way too much.

    JK Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss…They focus. JK Rowling is one of the most famous women in the world, she had two children while writing the Harry Potter books. Yes they aren’t as complex as these books, but IMO the finally Harry Potter books are better than the last two Song of Fire and Ice books by A LOT.

    So there just an excuse because it isn’t as if book 5 came out and it was THE BEST BOOK EVER. If it was, if every single word was worth the wait I’d be like “Okay give him time”, but I’d rank it #4 out of 5.

    And now the show will catch up to him, and Martin will be damaging both the show and the book, and both sets of fans.

    Was there any fan crying out for an encyclopedia right now? No, we wanted Winds of Winter.

    Was any fan crying out for a short story in a compilation book? No, we wanted Winds of Winter.

    Usually I don’t do the “Write Martin, write” because I’ve always had faith he’d finish the books before the show but yeah….not so much anymore.

  250. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Michael Tschuertz,

    Difference is that I’m not 60+ years old and very overweight. His chances of dying are much higher.

  251. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Kilgore Tully,

    I agree that reading Dorne was like watching a show on HBO. I think it has a bigger chance of making the cut than the Iron Islands. Or rather, a bigger chance to be portrayed accurately and appropriately (as in, the Greyjoys have a much bigger chance of being cut, combined and significantly altered). I can see the Darkstar plot happening, but the Kingsmoot is looking less and less likely (sadly- though it’s not completely out of the question).

    So, let’s talk some sad realism. If Victarion and Euron are combined (or one of them is cut) who would you like to survive the cut? I am going Euron, only because he’s unpredictable and has greater potential than his brother. So no Ray Stevenson as Vic :,(

    Vic is generally easier to work around too. Yara could take his place in early scenes and Euron can take his place at Meereen. I just hope both stories make it in in some form…

  252. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    You were, for a second. BTW, are you trolling? I remember a time when you were reasonable…

  253. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Yes but you can still die tomorrow.

    My point it is done when its done, if not nothing we can do about it.

  254. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Josh:
    Was there any fan crying out for an encyclopedia right now? No, we wanted Winds of Winter.

    Was any fan crying out for a short story in a compilation book? No, we wanted Winds of Winter.

    Yeah. Like when I order a burrito and they bring me chips and salsa as an appetizer, and I’m like, no, I wanted a burrito. I mean, I still eventually get the burrito, and I eat the chips, but that’s…out of spite?

    cosca,

    It is completely rude and unhelpful to point out an old person might not finish a project before they die. The rude part should be obvious. The unhelpful part is that reminding someone else of their mortality is going to make them focus on their bucket list, not yours.

    GRRM has the rare means to choose how he spends the rest of his life, and he will (good. for. him.). Let’s not insult him and try to force his priorities. That’s only going to backfire, if it hasn’t already.

  255. Macharius
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, the vast majority of AFFC and ADWD is travelogue, often quite boring travelogue too. It can be cut. I also think they will cut the majority of the Ironborn and Dorne stuff out as well. Most of it is just filler with no real bearing on the overall story.

  256. fuelpagan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    mal,

    You’d kill the purpose behind burning the leeches with Gendry’s blood.

    Stannis wouldn’t trust in the Melisandre’s power if only 2 of the 3 died.

  257. eneile
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Summer is Coming,

    Well, I wouldn’t have minded more clues, or actual mentions, etc. of him before he pops up well into the story.
    Trying to explain my point of view here:
    He’s annoying because he’s too perfect a leader (at least for now) and has no depth. There’s no time to get involved in his character. Looks like it adds complications that are not necessary: Dany’s claim is already quite challenged as it is. I don’t about Dany, actually, but it would have been fair that the one to double cross her on the crossing the narrow sea plan had been there for a little while longer, even if us readers did not know of their identity or intentions.
    The story is clustered and complex enough, in a good way, but it became a bit too crowded with suddenly appearing Aegon.

    I found the kingsmoot part more interesting than his for instance. I could do with an extra short Tyrion journey and no A. if it means more Greyjoys…

  258. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Kilgore Tully,

    Yes, leave the poor multi millionaire alone. Wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings or anything. Good for him indeed.

  259. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    We definitely do not want to hurt his feelings while asking him to do something.

    And, yes, good for him. He built his success word by word.

    Don’t misconstrue me as pitying him. I’m admiring him, and being practical about how to encourage him to finish.

  260. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    eneile,

    A wild Aegon appears!
    Also, I don’t see how he’s a good leader. He definitely didn’t leave a good impression on me. I will never forget “pick it up.”- that was some Joffrey level prickery

  261. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    eneile,

    My feeling on ‘Aegon’ is that if he really is Rhaegar’s son, then I don’t like him, but if he is a Blackfyre I am intrigued.

  262. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Macharius:
    To be honest, the vast majority of AFFC and ADWD is travelogue, often quite boring travelogue too. It can be cut. I also think they will cut the majority of the Ironborn and Dorne stuff out as well. Most of it is just filler with no real bearing on the overall story.

    Umm, that’s actually not good in my opinion. It’s obvious they can finish in 7 if they cut a bunch of things, but I don’t want to see these things cut. Travel logs can be at a bare minimum but Dorne and the Iron Islands should stay (even if slightly streamlined).

  263. cosca
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Kilgore Tully,

    I’m not asking him to do anything. I’m pointing out that he isn’t going to finish, and that he will probably die before completion. At this point, I don’t really care all that much about the last two books at all, beyond how they affect the show.

  264. Summer is Coming
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    eneile,
    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    I didn’t see him a perfect lider. Varys made it seem so in his speech to Kevan, but he is not. And he ideed has some Joffrey in him when he says “pick it up” – I started to smell trouble for him after that line. But he is a teen, not that is an excuse; His temper, I think it’s his biggest foe, he is to hot-headed. He is as flawed as any other character.

  265. fuelpagan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Kingsmoot can happen off screen. Arianne and Doran may be introduced enough to show who they are and that Arianne is ambitious. Doubt we will see her trying to make Myrcella queen.

    Quentyn’s journey could go either way. I like it kept in, simply to fulfill the prophecy of the sun that rises in the west and sets in the east. However this could be cut down to him leaving Dorne and then showing up in Meereen a few episodes later to complete his part in the story. The fact it was a difficult journey could be implied by the way he looks when he arrives verses the way he looked when he left Dorne.

    Connington and fAegon I’m pretty sure will still be there otherwise the game Varys and Illyrio are playing falls apart. Since most of these include Tyrion anyway I don’t see them being cut.

    Brienne’s journey will be trimmed quite a bit.

    Victarion could be cut, or just have him show up sailing his fleet as he closes in on Meereen and introduce who he is and what he is up to at that time.

    Sam’s journey can be trimmed to him being ordered to leave for OldTown. The 4 of them in trouble in Braavos. Them reaching OldTown with maybe a FPM (since this is HBO and can’t miss an opportunity for a sex scene).

    The simple fact that we are watching a show eliminates large chunks of AFfC and ADwD describing landscapes and food. Some cuts will be made, but I don’t see them as being vastly more drastic than any we have already witnessed. With several parts of Feast and Dance already in season 4, I don’t see a problem being ready to move onto Winter by Season 6.

    I imagine after talking with GRRM, D&D and Cogman roughly outlined the rest of the seasons marking what needs to happen and what can be eliminated for the show. The final season could have a couple more episodes added, but I doubt it will be a double.

  266. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    well you dont need to if GRRM say tomorrow no more books. that is it.

    Just as any biz can close if the owner say so.

    it is called freedom.

  267. Easteros bunny
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Just imagine if the final harry potter film finished before the final book was out.

    It’s silly, I want to read the ending before I see it. He has to be nearly finished with winds, how many sample chapters are out there? How many readings has he done?

  268. Dolorous Ned
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Easteros bunny,

    Quite a few, but they were all moved to Winds from ADWD after it became too long to publish. So the amount of sample chapters sadly isn’t an indicator of GRRM’s actual progress on Winds.

  269. Kilgore Tully
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Fair. So what I’m about to say is not pointed at you, but about GRRM criticism in general.

    There is so much cognitive dissonance at play. “He’s lazy; he completely fills his days with other activities.” “He doesn’t care about the world of Ice and Fire anymore; he just wasted his time writing The World of Ice and Fire.” “He’s gonna die soon; he shouldn’t act like he’s semi-retired.”

    The biggest thing is just that many people express their desire to see him finish–which should a big compliment to a writer–through insults and criticisms. Of course you can like a book and dislike how long it took, but you can’t like how GRRM writes and dislike how he writes. The words and the process are intricately linked.

  270. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Here’s my guess for what will get cut and what will be kept from AFFC/ADWD organized by POV chapter. More will be cut from Feast than Dance IMO. With a lot of material from them being introduced in the upcoming season, they’ll probably wrap it up by the end of season 5.

    Bran – It’s unlikely anything will be cut since they’re already dipping into ADWD material and he only has three chapters in that book. If anything, they might add some things because warging has been a little underexplored so far.

    Dany/Barristan – Since they have a history of stretching Dany material as far as possible, it doesn’t seem likely there will be much cutting. We might not get Quaithe again and they might leave out the fact that Qarth has reemerged as an enemy. I’m thinking the battle of Meereen will be episode 9 material and the incident at fighting pit in mid season.

    Arya – With three chapters in AFFC and two in ADWD, her material will be mostly left intact.

    Tyrion/Jon Con – The first half of the ADWD storyline will need to be condensed so he catches up with the Dany storyline. I don’t think they’ll cut Jon (though they might give him a new name) and fAegon. Aegon is too important I think. That means they’ll need to keep the Golden Company, but their backstory might be axed.

    Sansa – They won’t cut any of her story and they’ll possibly add some LF scenes.

    Davos – He’ll probably get the short shrift a little, but I think they’ll keep the hunt for Rickon in.

    Theon – His story line is getting moved up it seems. We might see TWOW stuff in season 5. It’s still a mystery what they’re going to do about the fArya plot. I just don’t know what to think anymore.

    Sam – No idea. There will be some condensing for sure, but I don’t know if they can cut out Oldtown completely. All signs point to the maesters having an agenda that’s important to the story.

    Jaime – It looks like some of his Feast stuff like left handed sword fight practice and the break up with Cersei looks to be in season 4. I think they’ll leave the Riverrun scenes but cut the revisit to Harrenhal. I’m not sure about the visit to Blackwood because I don’t know if that huge weirwood tree with all the ravens signals that it’s important or not.

    Aeron – He could very well be cut. I’m not sure we need him. If he does something important in TWOW, he can be introduced in season 6.

    Areo – He probably will be minor if they have him at all, but Doran will be kept for sure. Nymeria and Tyene will stay and Obara and Sarella might be cut. There’s probably no need for the youngest Sand Snakes.

    Cersei – Some of the side characters could be cut, but the meat of the Cersei-Margaery drama is too juicy to be trimmed down. We’ll probably see some added scenes with Margaery and Mace and possibly Olenna will stick around.

    Brienne – A lot will be cut here. We might get Randall Tarly and the Quiet Isle, but possibly no Hyle or Meribald. I’m starting to fear we won’t even get UnCat and she’ll just be captured by the BWB sans LS. We’ll see.

    Asha – The Kingsmoot will probably be cut or take place off screen without her. She probably won’t return to the II at all. Sadly, this means the Reader is a goner. Her ADWD will be more or less intact I think.

    Arys – He will be cut along with the Queenmaker plot.

    Arianne – She’ll still be in, but I don’t know what they’ll do with her besides have her pressure Doran into taking action.

    Victarion – I’m holding out hope they’ll include both him and Euron, but I can see the case for just having Euron.

    Quentyn – He’s the one that releases Rhaegal and Viserion so he probably won’t get cut. His part might be trimmed down though. We don’t need the stuff that occurs before he reaches Meereen and we don’t need his friends.

    Melisandre – I don’t think they’ll cut her and Stannis much if at all.

    Jon – They can replace some of his angsting with his learning about warging. Hopefully! He’s one of the most heavily promoted characters along with Tyrion and Dany so I don’t see big cuts.

  271. fuelpagan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    eneile,

    While the kingsmoot is interesting, it doesn’t do more than establish who is now king of the Iron islands. Which could easily be established in a report from Varys. Victorian leading the ships to Meereen could be introduced later if needed for the story, or Dany can get ships some other way.

    Connington, fAegon and the Golden Company are the end game Varys and Illyrio have been working on since the beginning. Eliminate that and you have to establish new motives for Varys and Illyrio. I see the potential of these characters being critical to the overall story. If it turns out they aren’t, then D&D will eliminate them for sure. The kingsmoot is more of a detour that could easily happen off screen.

  272. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Dany haters won’t like what I’m about to say.

    I think that Aegon is kind of a red herring. He’s probably going to end up as dragon kibble shortly after Dany gets to Westeros. Then she’ll inherit most of his supporters and all of the land and castles he won.
    Dany haters are laboring under the delusion that she’ll die immediately after getting to Westeros and won’t have any supporters and won’t do anything. That would make her whole story pointless though. I’m not saying she’ll end up on the IT in the end, but Aegon definitely won’t. He’s doomed from the get go IMO. He was introduced too late to be a major player.

  273. Dolorous Ned
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    eneile,

    Regarding Aegon…

    He irritated me at first, too and his introduction could have been done better. However, I think the lack of clues is intentional and his sudden appearence is a clue in itsself as it points to him being fake. And as he is the central part of Varys’ plan, who has been an important player since AGOT he fills a crucial role. (That being said, I’m not sure if I like that reveal… it just doesn’t seem like a realistic plan.)
    I even think it’s really important storywise that he arrives in Westeros before Dany. We’ve watched her evolution from a sympathetic figure to a much darker personality at the end of ADWD. She won’t come to Westeros as a savior to fight the Others. She will come as another force of destruction. If she would have arrived in Westeros to take it from the Lannisters readers would cheer. If she fights her supposed family member who just defeated them that’s quite a different thing. So I think Aegon is actually crucial to Dany’s plot.

  274. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
  275. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    “Aegon” will sit the Iron Throne at some point, IMO. GRRM stated on the Emmy panel last year that there will be several more people who will sit the Iron Throne before the end of the series. It is unknown whether he was including Tommen, but even if he was, that leaves at least 2 more people. Aegon is closest to the throne and the Lannisters are in disarray. If he gains the support of Dorne then he is in good position to take the throne. But he will not live to the end.

  276. Greenjones
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    What was Ciarin Hinds like, Bob? And do you have any lines? You said on twitter months back that you might come back next year…

  277. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    While we are on the ‘Aegon’ subject. If he is to be included, it will be next season. With that in mind, they have to start hinting at him this season, IMO. This can be easily done with Oberyn in the mix, but if Aegon is a fake and a Blackfyre, then the show needs to do some exposition on them as well. We should have a good idea about where the show is going and which storylines will be included after watching this season.

  278. Satin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    lol, people really think that? I mean, I’m hardly interested in Dany, but it’s beyond obvious that she has a large role to play in the conclusion of the story. Besides, she hasn’t finished her character development by far (part of that would include realising that she can’t repeat the past by fighting against the families who opposed her father, I’d think. These books never made the case that vengeance at all costs is a good thing right, Oberyn?).

  279. Lord Davos
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Dolorous Ned,

    There where clues…

  280. Turncloak
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Easteros bunny:
    Just imagine if the final harry potter film finished before the final book was out.

    It’s silly, I want to read the ending before I see it. He has to be nearly finished with winds, how many sample chapters are out there? How many readings has he done?

    I read somewhere that GRRMs international editor estimated TWOW arrival in 2015

  281. Jon Blackfyre
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Havent D & D always said 7-8 seasons? So thats really not news. I just want to know if fans will get a heads up on when we will start getting into future book territory. And im not just talking about plot points but character development things as well. Character Developement in Television advances at a different pace then books. LikeTyrion and Arya both of there developement seems to have been really slown down. compared to where they currently would be in the story in the books. Changes like that can really spoil where a character is going to go in later books. Plus things like Arya and Mel. she said they will meet again. Did GRRM tell D and D that this would happen so they added that forshadowing in the Show.

  282. Dolorous Ned
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    I didn’t say there were no clues, but there weren’t many. And the cloth dragon stuff actually hints at Aegon being fake. What I meant is just that Aegon feels jarring, because he’s ment to feel jarring.

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I’m not sure if Aegon will make the cut, but I really can’t see them including all the Blackfyre backstory. It confused the hell out of me until I read the later Dunk&Egg stories. I guess they could go with the basics – “A hundered years ago there was a war between different Targaryens and the defeated ones were exiled to Essos”.

  283. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Lord Davos,

    There was one clue, it came in one paragraph in ACOK. And even then there was no way to connect the dots to who he was, or was impersonating. Sure, there were theories about Aegon’s body being unidentifiable because his head was crushed, but there are theories about every character, or so it seems, and 99% of them are incorrect.

  284. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Jon Blackfyre,

    GRRM wrote the scene between Arya and Mel, it was just moved from his episode.

  285. ZackB
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    This is an example from GRRM’s blog, where GRRM admits that he is busy. . . but declares that he is going to Australia and New Zealand for a month.

    http://grrm.livejournal.com/344971.html.

    As others have accurately pointed out, GRRM famously stated that he does not write while he travels. As such, his month-long trip perfectly illustrates why the show is overtaking the books – GRRM would rather outsource his work to HBO and enjoy the fame rather than finish the work to which he owes his fame in the first place.

  286. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Dolorous Ned,

    So Aegon will simply be a fake with no cool backstory and The Golden Company will just be a random sellsword company with no cool backstory? Nuts! The only interesting part of ‘Aegon’ is the potential Blackfyre connection. I’d just assume they cut the character if that is the case.

  287. Greenjones
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Where was that said? I’ve heard people say that but have never seen a source for that and it wasn’t mentioned by GrrM during the commentary.

  288. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Here I go: (this is what I expect and not what I want and a lot of it has changed following this interview- I was sure it was 8 seasons)

    Tyrion: ends season 4 as he ends ASOS. Ends season 5 either at Meereen or on a ship heading for Meereen from Volantis. I’m still iffy on if they can fit the battle in or not. If not, he’ll end in or around Volantis with Jorah. The rest of his ADWD arc would then get rushed through a couple of episodes (they take a ship and get captured in one episode, Tyrion gets sold as a slave and begins manipulating his way into the Second Sons/whatever in a second episode
    Dany: ends where ADWD ends. Though I’d prefer an end in the Daznak Pit
    Jon: all of ADWD
    Arya: a rearranged version of what has been seen in AFFC and ADWD
    Jamie: after meeting Brienne outside Riverrun, maybe we already get a scene from TWOW material
    Brienne: she reaches Stoneheart in season 4, but we don’t get the hanging scene just yet. We get the ASOS epilogue for the season finale, but Brienne will be watching as the Frey gets hanged. Season 5 will begin showing Stoneheart questioning her and calling her an oathbreaker, then she and Pod get hanged and she screams sword. We’ll get a few Brienne+BWB scenes before she leaves (after hearing Jamie is coming to Riverrun) and then sets off on another journey (but generally she has very few scenes in season 5), where she gets an adaption of Septon Metibald/Quiet Isle in the mid-season before meeting Jamie.
    King’s Landing: reaches AFFC, with the 1-2 chapters in ADWD being pushed into season 6.
    Dorne: remains relatively intact. Doran and Arianne make the cut, two Sandsnakes make the cut (Obara and Tyene?), Areo is an extra or multiple extras, Aerys makes it because sex scene and death scene, Darkstar makes it because GRRM seems to be implying that he is actually important and not just a stuck up douche. But I guess he’s ripe for the cutting if D&D don’t think he’s important (they know the story, not us) which would mean all of the Myrcella plot gets cut.
    The Iron Islands: not sure. This really depends on where Yara ends up this season. I think we’ll get Euron but that Vic and Aeron will get cut. I still think there is a chance for a Kingsmoot as Euron’s introduction. Balon’s death can happen anywhere, really. Season 4, season 5… Yara will assume Vic’s role in the first half of the season (as Euron’s nemesis) but Euron will be the one going to a Meereen with the horn while Yara keeps to her book arc. Again, this is very dependent on season 4.
    Sansa: everything from AFFC plus original scenes. It might even dip into TWOW, if anything big happens early in that book.
    Bran: season 5 is completely original here. They’ll be working off of one chapter- but that chapter presents a lot of ideas that could be expanded and opens a lot of opportunities. Maybe they’ll fill up Bran’s arc with the much needed yet so far avoided prophecies from the books.
    Sam: leaves early in the season (episode 3ish), disappears until a surprise meet up with Arya and gets some scenes in Braavos. Then he gets to sail his fat pink mast into Gilly and Aemon dies. Their season ends before they reach Oldtown, possibly with Oldtown in the distance. Season 6 introduces the Oldtown characters.
    The Griffs: the arc remains intact. Aegon lands at Westeros in the first episode of season 6 and quickly meets up with Arianne, moving on to the unknown.
    Theon: ends season 4 at Winterfell. Ends season 5 with Stannis, after the first battle for Winterfelk in the snow (though I don’t think that is the last, climactic battle of Winterfell). Their fates remain ambiguous until after Jon reads the Pink Letter and gets shanked. After that, it is revealed that Stannis is playing a ruse on Roose (assuming that’s what happens in the books).

  289. Al Swearengen
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Given how ADWD ended seven seasons seems like wishful thinking.

  290. Josh
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Kilgore Tully: Yeah. Like when I order a burrito and they bring me chips and salsa as an appetizer, and I’m like, no, I wanted a burrito. I mean, I still eventually get the burrito, and I eat the chips, but that’s…out of spite?

    I never said it was out of spite, just not really taking into account what we want. And your analogy works perfect though, so thank you.

    You get your chips and salsa, but if your munching on chips and salsa and waiting two hours for your meal, only to have it come out a little cold and no where near worth the wait, you’re bound to be upset. So while all the chips and salsa in the world is a great, you didn’t go to that restaurant for chips and salsa. You came for the burrito and if the burrito disappoints, the chips and salsa really doesn’t matter, does it?

  291. Bob Miller
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    Ciaran was a true gent and very approachable…in my line of work I’ve no problem talking to people…and when I asked for permission for the picture, he happily accepted…much to the surprise of the other extras…but that’s life…make the most of it when you can. Other than screaming my head off at our enemies and losing my voice…no lines spoken to camera. All the featured generals, if any of us survive, would like to come back for season 5 and be involved in a major blood-letting on The Wall in protecting a leading character (getting close to a possible spoiler here). On a final note: I tip my hat to the extras who work the long hours.

  292. redviper
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    It still astounds me the level of pissing and moaning that goes on on this site daily.

    All the speculating and ranting about … “if it’s only seven seasons it will be ruined, if it’s 8 or 9 or 10 seasons it will be ruined… if they cut this character it will be ruined, if they don’t include this scene it will be fucked” etc. etc. etc. ..

    So far, D & D, in collaboration with GRRM, have brought these characters to life brilliantly in three spellbinding seasons of television.

    People people people … stop worrying and moaning about how horrible everything will turn out and just trust that they will continue to do the great job they have been doing so far.

    And to those who keep crapping all over AFFC and ADWD … I have re-read those two books at least four times and I enjoy them more and more every single time and cannot wait to see some of those plot lines play out on TV … Yes there will be some fat to trim, but there is still tons of great material in there.

    I love the books – I will read then enthusiastically when(ever) they come out.

    I love the show – I will be watching to the last minute.

    In D&D & GRRM I trust …

    The North Remembers!

    Rickon and Shireen as Lord and Lady of Winterfell!!

  293. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    Was there a giant horn and a pregnant lady in Mance’s tent?

  294. eneile
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Dolorous Ned,
    & fuelpagan,

    Yeah, I guess I understand; I hadn’t really considered it that way. Then I hope as someone said that they do a little background explanations on Illyrio (since we already know Varys a bit). And they need to show how the people react to his arrival. Is it said if they welcome him ? The only one with proof of her Targaryen descent is Dany. Though I guess the people could embrace him even with doubting his ancestry, since they’re tired of war and starvation.
    Then if he starts to realize he’s just a tool in their plan, it will make for good development and add drama to him. Hope they play on that in the series then.

    About the Kingsmoot: yes, it’s not important in the bigger picture. But it was an interesting part. A new culture, and part of Asha’s journey, so it was compelling, more than Aegon’s one.
    Though it might be like everyone says, just the one uncle comes back, and takes the throne easy with Balon being dead and Yara gone, then sets off to Essos at the end of season 4

  295. Bob Miller
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    No spoilers other than I kept my hazelnut chocolate bars in the tent, which I shared with Ciaran (he refused), while the generals gobbled them up.

  296. stevelabny
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know what’s more surprising to me.

    The fact that a lot of you seem to think that you can’t easily EASILY turn books 4 and 5 into one season of TV because theyre soooo padded with nothing important.

    or the fact that most of you seem to really think George is going to be able to tie this up in 7 books.

    He’s going to need 8 books.

  297. Greenjones
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Bob Miller,

    Thanks for answering! Was there any singing going on by the way? Something about the Last of the Giants

  298. Dolorous Ned
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    eneile,

    I’d definitely like to see the Kingsmoot on screen. It’s such a grandiose, colourful event, it’s made to be filmed. But it’s not essential to the plot, so with only 7 seasons it will have to get cut.
    How much we see of Euron and Victarion really depends on how their story plays out in TWOW. If Victarion’s just Dany’s ride to Westeros they can easily make her use the fleet of Meereen/Volantis/whatever. It’s not like they’ve paid much attention to logistics in the last seasons.
    But if the dragon horn plays a huge role and Victarion gets himself a dragon for a while, he might make it in.

  299. Bittersteel
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion/Jon Con – The first half of the ADWD storyline will need to be condensed so he catches up with the Dany storyline.I don’t think they’ll cut Jon (though they might give him a new name) and fAegon.Aegon is too important I think.That means they’ll need to keep the Golden Company, but their backstory might be axed.

    Can you really get rid of the Golden Company’s history since it will probably tie into so much of Aegon’s identity? So much backstory has been sacrificed already how would show watchers have any clue about the Blackfyres and why they’re so dangerous. I guess they could use Bran’s weirwood visions but it runs the risk of turning his arc into a gigantic info dump.

  300. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    Lollius Palicanus:
    Alan,

    I think skipping fAegon would be a bit much. As I interpret it, this will have a huge impact on the storyline later on. Also it finally reveals what Varys is all about.

    It may be. But seven seasons is a short time. A lot of stuff needs to be cut.

  301. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Shmofo:
    Roosebolton,

    I wrote some weeks ago, that GRRM should join the writing team for the last two seasons, but I think it’s too soon to announce it, majority of people haven’t yet smelled the coffee and faced the truth — the book series will remain unfinished. Before anyone says, that this “side project” will just delay the future books, well, forget it, there were so many side projects already in a decade, this one will at least be something worthwile.

    I’ve been accused in previous thread of hating the Pizzaman. Well, I don’t. I don’t think I hate anyone, at least hope so. I lost any respect for him, that’s true, but hate, hate is a strong world. If he does the right thing now, and joins the writing team, at least as I am concerned, he’ll gain some of this respect. That would be the right thing, for fans and for his legacy.


    PS
    Just to make a point again. The lost respect is not about him writing slow or fast, bad or good prose, I’m well beyond this point, anyway. The lost respect is that from some time I don’t believe he’ll finish the book series. It’s about being scammed to buy a book in previous millenium, somewhere before 2000, on the premise that the trilogy (was it trilogy back then?) will get finished.

    So to be clear, you’ve lost respect for someone, not because of something they have actually done, but because of something you believe they won’t do, with no real evidence towards that being true? (And just stop — blog postings are not evidence of anything other than twenty minutes spent here or there.)

    That’s a stunning bit of logic. It’s a good thing breathing is a non-voluntary function, or I’d fear for some people.

  302. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Michael Tschuertz:
    Can somebody plz explain to me why it is bad that the show will finish the story before the books come out?

    For many book readers, it’s unfortunate. I always like to read the book first; it’s my personal preference and I’d rather have the plot reveals to be in book forms and I expect a lot of other big readers agree. It’ll be tough for a book reader to stop the show and avoid spoilers; it’s just not how I’d rather do it.

    For show-only folks, I think it’s less of an issue. But I think there’s still an issue. I liked City of Thieves and 25th hour and I think D&D have done by and large a good job. But they aren’t nearly as good storytellers as Martin is. They aren’t as good with dialogue or plot; these aren’t the people who wrote the RW or Ned getting killed or whatever. That’s not a knock — Martin is very, very good, even outside of ASOIF.

    Without a complete book as a guide — with only a basic, untested, unfinal guidelines, I don’t think then end product will be AS good as it could be. Still should be good.

  303. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    mal:the Red Viper he will live past the fight with the Mountain and become his crippled brother King instead of intro that character. .

    Well, that’s not going to happen, mostly because it creates a massive plot problem if you thnk about it. It also destroys one of the best scenes in the series. I think we can chalk this up to “I’m going to propose a totally non-sensical and unnecessary divergence just to make a fuss.”

  304. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Greatness Arrisessss: You’re an idiot, not gonna waste my time with you.If you don’t think LOTR is better then ASOIAF, than shame on you.

    LOTR is very creative and it helped define a genre. It’s great from a plot standpoint, but Tolkien’s actual writing skills, especially in dialogue and character development, pale in comparison to Martin’s.

    Martin is a vastly superior writer, IMO, and ASOIF has so far been a much better work. When I first read it, around age 11, I loved it, and I’m not sure I could ever disassociate it from my 11 year-olds self’s view of it. But if I read it for the first time now? I’d probably find it pretty shallow as a novel. It’s pretty simple at its heart.

  305. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Josh: He’s no one’s bitch but he’s unprofessional and inconsiderate to th fans. I’m sorry but “not writing while he travels” “not writing during football season” “The Song of Fire and Ice Encyclopedia”, the many many appearances, the writing an episode a season, the bringing of Dunk and Eggs to TV…

    I’m sorry but he has a job and yes he should take his time but he should also make this book his number #1 priority, which I never got the feeling he did. He seemed to love his fame way too much.

    JK Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss…They focus. JK Rowling is one of the most famous women in the world, she had two children while writing the Harry Potter books. Yes they aren’t as complex as these books, but IMO the finally Harry Potter books are better than the last two Song of Fire and Ice books by A LOT.

    So there just an excuse because it isn’t as if book 5 came out and it was THE BEST BOOK EVER. If it was, if every single word was worth the wait I’d be like “Okay give him time”, but I’d rank it #4 out of 5.

    And now the show will catch up to him, and Martin will be damaging both the show and the book, and both sets of fans.

    Was there any fan crying out for an encyclopedia right now? No, we wanted Winds of Winter.

    Was any fan crying out for a short story in a compilation book? No, we wanted Winds of Winter.

    Usually I don’t do the “Write Martin, write” because I’ve always had faith he’d finish the books before the show but yeah….not so much anymore.

    There’s so much extrapolation in this.

    Writing while traveling actually is pretty hard. I struggle to work while traveling and I don’t have other huge endeavors. But I suppose he could travel a bit less, though some of these travels are contractual, or commitments he’s made to people for years or people he cares about.

    Not writing during football season? Where did that come from? That’s simply not true.

    The Encyclopedia is valid and a commitment he overdid. But he didn’t write it all and the short stories in compilations he’s had this are FROM the encyclopedia — he obviously cut the 4th Dunk story and replaced it with the same work from the TWOIF.

    He loves his fame too much? He goes to a few cons. Do you take days off in a week? Ever take a vacation? I don’t know how people can begrudge some downtime. You’re also smoking something if you think people work faster without it. Vacations help.

    Does anyone really think he’s taking that much time with the Jean Cocteau? Or that he negotiated his other contract with HBO? Really? Just because he promotes it on his blog doesn’t mean he’s general managing the theater.

    I’d love him to write at the speed of Brandon Sanderson. But he doesn’t (and he’s a much better writer. Sanderson is fun and good, but he’s not Martin). The Harry Potters were very good, but Rowling was just faster. There’s no standard writing speed. (And the movies were generally crap). And Rothfuss? He’s as slow as Martin and Book 2 of that was pretty awful.

  306. Alan
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    ZackB:
    This is an example from GRRM’s blog, where GRRM admits that he is busy. . . but declares that he is going to Australia and New Zealand for a month.

    http://grrm.livejournal.com/344971.html.

    As others have accurately pointed out, GRRM famously stated that he does not write while he travels.As such, his month-long trip perfectly illustrates why the show is overtaking the books – GRRM would rather outsource his work to HBO and enjoy the fame rather than finish the work to which he owes his fame in the first place.

    That tour was, of course, actual work, promoting both the books and the tv show that you are talking about.

    It’s often a contractual requirement. I’m sure he enjoyed some aspects of the con and speaking, and enjoyed some of the area, but book signings are not exactly enjoying his fame.

  307. Vin Sidious
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Anyone ever tell you you’re a little judgmental? :(

    Greatness Arrisessss: You’re an idiot, not gonna waste my time with you.If you don’t think LOTR is better then ASOIAF, than shame on you.

    :(

    Greatness Arrisessss: You’re an idiot, not gonna waste my time with you.If you don’t think LOTR is better then ASOIAF, than shame on you.

  308. Vin Sidious
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Totally agree. Tolkien’s imagination is wonderful, but his actual writing style not so much. I found turning pages in the LOTR books to be like slogging through molasses.

    Dragonslayer: I like both but I think Tolkien is a good world-builder and a bad storyteller. GRRM is better at storytelling and he writes not that manyboring black/white-characters.

  309. John M W
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    The wonderful thing about Tolkien and his work is that they don’t require any defending. ;)

  310. True reader
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:22 am | Permalink

    The Lannisters’ hair, as previously mentioned, is horrible. This may be just coming from a book reader, and I hate to say something negative because I love the show and books.. But the red hair? There are sooo many references to the blonde hair of the Lannisters. So I say, WTF.

  311. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    True reader,

    It does look really ginger in this photo, but Cersei at least looks much better in the trailer. I think the lighting as well as Photoshop/effects done to the picture might have made it seem more ginger. It also doesn’t help when put beside Dany’s silver-white hair. It’s hard not to compare.

  312. Adam Whitehead
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:36 am | Permalink

    Josh
    JK Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss…They focus.

    I like Patrick Rothfuss, but I don’t think you can ever say he ‘focuses’. He allegedly completed the KINGKILLER CHRONICLE five years before THE NAME OF THE WIND was published. He flat-out, 100% promised that the entire trilogy was completed and done, and the books would be published at one-year intervals, which was a key factor in getting many people (otherwise burned by GRRM and other long waits) to buy the first novel.

    He then spent four years just ‘editing’ THE WISE MAN’S FEAR. And now another three years ‘editing’ THE DOORS OF STONE. He’s since said that the trilogy wasn’t anywhere near done when he said it was, with entire chapters that were just brief outlines. So…why did he say the trilogy was 100% completed and ready to go when it wasn’t?

    There are many authors you can hold up as being faster than GRRM – Rowling, Sanderson, Erikson (although he’s slowed down a lot recently) – although there’s others who are a lot slower – Susanna Clarke, Tolkien back in the day, David Gerrold, Melanie Rawn – and others who are in the same ballpark, like JV Jones. One author I don’t think you can hold up as being a lot faster than GRRM is Rothfuss. If anything, he’s slower and inexplicably so.

  313. John
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    On season 5 they will probably bring a lot of “being a leader” with the Jon, Daenerys and Cersei story lines and end with stabbing, flying away and walking.
    Early on season 5 we could get the kingsmoot and the Greyjoyes arrive at Mereen toward the end of the season (end of ADWD) and Quentyn appear early in s5 at Mereen (w/o the traveling arc, Quentyn could – like he did for Dany and company – appear out of nowhere and die mid-season. The Doran and Arianne storyline could be told around the same time (which makes sense, to tell the viewers of Dorans secret plan and see that plan vanish around the same time – which Doran doesn’t know)

  314. Satin
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer: I agree on that. But there’s no way that’s Shireen. I can’t see her saying “seven hells” ever, she’s too cute a character for that.

    You’re right, of course, although we don’t know if that is the first part of the sentence. (Gilly or Yara saying Seven Hells! makes no sense, either, since neither believes in the Seven.) For me the hint was actually the braid that keeps the hair back, which neither Yara or Gilly wear – they only have their hair tied back in a small ponytail. (Of course, no one forbids them to wear it differently, but I have difficulties seeing Sam, or better yet, one of the 50 meanest killers on the Iron Islands braiding the girls’ hair.)

  315. Nihil
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read all the posts so I don’t know if this has been mentioned before.
    They could do something similar to the Walking Dead, where the comic and the TV-show tell the same story (in broad strokes), but the characters and the subplots deviate enough to make it suspenseful to both read and watch.

    I would definitely prefer GRRM to take his time with the last books and not rush it. If that means the show would have to create alternate “routes” for each character, that’s fine with me. I’d rather be able to enjoy both the books and the series, and not having to choose one.

  316. jentario
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Satin,

    As I said before, I believe with all my heart that that person is actually the woman which Melisandre burns on a pyre (which can be seen in trailer #2). They have a similar hair color, and general shape. It would also make complete sense for her to go apeshit on Melisandre before she gets burned, and she probably believes in the Seven (or Mel woudn’t have her burned). Also, the background in that shot looks a bit earthy, like the set in Dragonstone where the people get burned.

    You know what? After rewatching both shots I am SURE it is the same woman. She is wearing rags in both shots. Here, look:
    0:54- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2ZNaLQD60Y
    1:25- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZY43QSx3Fk

  317. Satin
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    jentario,

    it’s totally possible it’s her. We’ll know for sure in a week or so, when the first people have seen the episode in… what was it? New York? And it’s shown again a few days later at the Belfast Film Festival, apparently.

  318. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Nicely done. You make a lot of good points, and summarize things well.

    Essentially, the true Season 5 problem is Tyrion. Most of the other storylines line up very well because as you point out, Sansa and Bran will need additional material, Arya should work out just fine, the Dornish should have just enough and they’re secondary anyway (minus Quentyn, I’ll get to that), and as you point out the Cersei-Margaery fight in King’s Landing is going to be delicious and lead to a lot of great stuff there. Jon Snow has enough to do for sure, and same with Dany, and Stannis/Melisandre.

    And I think they’ll keep Davos/Rickon and White Harbor (give me Brian Blessed as Wyman Manderly!!!).

    To me the 5th Season should as another poster said focus on the three leadership characters – Dany, Jon and Cersei, and their subsequent downfalls. Then you have the ones “on a journey,” so that’s Bran, Arya, Jaime, Brienne, Victarion (I think he stays) and Tyrion.

    So Tyrion. His storyline has several distinct parts in a long, long, journey:

    –His trip on the Rhoyne
    –His capture by Jorah
    –The trip on the ship/meeting Moqorro
    –The wreck of the ship
    –The capture by slavers and joust before Dany

    To me the best end for Season 5 for Dany is her taking off on Drogon’s back, so that means you can leave some of the bloody flux and Second Sons until early Season 6 – Tyrion’s end in Season 5, then, is resolving to break away from the slavers. And the entire Barristan/Shavepate coup, along with the Quentyn plot, can be left until Season 6.

    (Quentyn, similar to Dontos, the Magnar of Thenn, and a few others, are closed loops – they’re significant enough to include, but they don’t establish relationships important enough with other characters to justify keeping them in the show for as long as they’re in the books, so you have to diminish them. You can introduce Quentyn in Season 6 and have him release the dragons shortly before the battle of Slaver’s Bay. He’d be a one or two-show wonder.)

    But that’s a LOT of material to cover, and a lot of plot, and a lot of characters. Assuming we keep Moqorro we have to cut somewhere. So I’d go something like this:


    5.1 – Tyrion in Pentos with Illyrio and Varys where he meets Young Griff and Griff
    5.2 – Trip on the Rhoyne. This part has to be sped up. So we keep Varys on the boat and reveal Aegon too, because it builds character and keeps the familiar character of Varys (who then exits the boat somewhere down the line)
    5.3 – The Stone Men, which is exciting and horrifying.
    5.4 – Volantis and the taking of Tyrion by Jorah Mormont. Jon Con/Griff go off on their own, and we don’t revisit them until 5.10.
    5.5 – The boat. Penny. Moqorro.
    5.6 – The wreckage, and the drift of the boat, and capture by a slave ship.
    5.7 – We skip the auction, it’s pointless. The ship belongs to Yezzan as it turns out.
    5.8 – The early joust, a game of cyvasse (a good way for Tyrion to become acquainted with Brown Ben Plumm, as we’ll see him earlier in the year).
    5.9 – Daznak’s Pit.
    5.10 – The escape from the slavers.

    It’s a tough one. It involves a LOT of ground covered by Tyrion at a time when many other characters will not be covering the same amount of physical ground (thankfully very few characters are doing a lot of moving around, just Sam, and he only has 1-2 notable destinations). But this is what would make it most notable.

  319. Lord Davos
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I hope the auction are kept, its a great moment, and it ties in to Melisandres life story.

  320. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I really hope you are right on the pacing of Tyrion’s story. It definitely creates problems, though. That may be the optimal way to go, but it would be next to impossible to finish in 8 seasons if you keep 3-4 ADWD episodes there- especially in the Dany storyline, which still has a LOT of ground to cover. If it’s to be done in seven seasons, she’ll pretty much have to get to Westeros by the end of season 6, and this probably makes pulling the battle of Meereen into season 5 more logical.

    It should be 8 seasons!

  321. Lord Davos
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    There was foreshadowing, end of the first chapter on the boat. Does it matter if no readers figured, when Hugo did?

  322. Strider
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber:
    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Essentially, the true Season 5 problem is Tyrion.

    But that’s a LOT of material to cover, and a lot of plot, and a lot of characters. Assuming we keep Moqorro we have to cut somewhere. So I’d go something like this:

    5.1 – Tyrion in Pentos with Illyrio and Varys where he meets Young Griff and Griff
    5.2 – Trip on the Rhoyne. This part has to be sped up. So we keep Varys on the boat and reveal Aegon too, because it builds character and keeps the familiar character of Varys (who then exits the boat somewhere down the line)
    5.3 – The Stone Men, which is exciting and horrifying.
    5.4 – Volantis and the taking of Tyrion by Jorah Mormont. Jon Con/Griff go off on their own, and we don’t revisit them until 5.10.
    5.5 – The boat. Penny. Moqorro.
    5.6 – The wreckage, and the drift of the boat, and capture by a slave ship.
    5.7 – We skip the auction, it’s pointless. The ship belongs to Yezzan as it turns out.
    5.8 – The early joust, a game of cyvasse (a good way for Tyrion to become acquainted with Brown Ben Plumm, as we’ll see him earlier in the year).
    5.9 – Daznak’s Pit.
    5.10 – The escape from the slavers.

    That is a good split of Tyrion’s POV chapters from ADwD, if you want to pace them all out through season 5. But putting that into practice on a TV screen in 60 min an ep, with all the other GoT established characters still having a big chunk of screentime will be close to impossible in my opinion.

    It is just too much, considering that Tyrion is not the one through the eyes of whom we see everyone else he meets. All those new characters will have to be presented somehow on their own or the viewers will be sick of Tyrion. Mine is a personal take on what cannot be translated well from page to screen without hurting the quality of the story, so don’t take it as a complete shutdown of your point of view. I would though love to see all of that on screen and if they ever go with more seasons it could probably be done.

  323. 3waywithCersei
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Seven seasons is more than I hoped for, but to me it feels like they would have material for 8 maybe even 9, this would be even without having Winds of Winter to work on.

    I would say it’s now certain that the show wraps up before the books are finished, but the books and the show are separate entities and offer different experiences, so even if I’ll see the end of the story on the TV rather than reading it, I don’t feel like either experience will suffer greatly. I’ll admit however having preferred that the books would have been done before the show ended.

  324. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Lord Davos:
    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I hope the auction are kept, its a great moment, and it ties in to Melisandres life story.

    It’s a good point, yes and I’ve restored it below in a revised Season 5 arc.

    Hand of the Kingslayer:
    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I really hope you are right on the pacing of Tyrion’s story. It definitely creates problems, though. That may be the optimal way to go, but it would be next to impossible to finish in 8 seasons if you keep 3-4 ADWD episodes there- especially in the Dany storyline, which still has a LOT of ground to cover. If it’s to be done in seven seasons, she’ll pretty much have to get to Westeros by the end of season 6, and this probably makes pulling the battle of Meereen into season 5 more logical.

    It should be 8 seasons!

    I agree on 8 seasons. I tend to think 8 seasons probably works best as well, but I think some of Dany’s ADWD storyline can be trimmed back; I think we’ll lose Reznak but keep the Green Grace.

    Strider: That is a good split of Tyrion’s POV chapters from ADwD, if you want to pace them all out through season 5. But putting that into practice on a TV screen in 60 min an ep, with all the other GoT established characters still having a big chunk of screentime will be close to impossible in my opinion.

    It is just too much, considering that Tyrion is not the one through the eyes of whom we see everyone else he meets. All those new characters will have to be presented somehow on their own or the viewers will be sick of Tyrion. Mine is a personal take on what cannot be translated well from page to screen without hurting the quality of the story, so don’t take it as a complete shutdown of your point of view. I would though love to see all of that on screen and if they ever go with more seasons it could probably be done.

    I agree with you. It would be quite difficult. The best way, perhaps, would be to keep Tyrion out of one or two episodes. Alternatively, Daznak’s Pit is in 5.10, and the season ends with Tyrion watching Danys fly away on Drogon. And you’re also correct that this is a lot of Tyrion while still trying to add in so many other characters. I agree less that about needing to view those characters through their own eyes, as most of them are minor save Jon Con/Griff, and we don’t get a sense of them for some time anyway (and I think the invasion of the Storm Lands belongs in Season 6 as well). Here’s another take:

    5.1 – Tyrion in Pentos with Illyrio and Varys where he meets Young Griff and Griff
    5.2 – Trip on the Rhoyne. This part has to be sped up. So we keep Varys on the boat and reveal Aegon too, because it builds character and keeps the familiar character of Varys (who then exits the boat somewhere down the line). We also get the Stone Men here, so that gives us an early-season jolt as moments go and a cliffhanger.
    5.3 – No Tyrion. Maybe a brief appearance to show he’s alive, and discussion of greyscale.
    5.4 – Volantis and the taking of Tyrion by Jorah Mormont. Jon Con/Griff go off on their own, and we don’t revisit them until 5.10.
    5.5 – The boat. Penny. Moqorro. A very Tyrion-heavy episode, and the wreck of the boat.
    5.6 – A brief appearance to show the capture of the boat by the slave ship.
    5.7 – The auction and purchase by Yezzan.
    5.8 – The early joust, a game of cyvasse (a good way for Tyrion to become acquainted with Brown Ben Plumm, as we’ll see him earlier in the year). A Tyrion-heavy episode.
    5.9 – No Tyrion. Focus on Cersei/Jon.
    5.10 – Daznak’s Pit.

  325. Jon Blackfyre
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Jon Blackfyre,

    I knew that he wrote that scene but that not what I meant. I dont care if it s George, David, David, Bryan, or Vanessa writting the scenes. I just hope they let us know when we will be getting into details that George has not layed out yet in the novels proper. I know they wont cuz that would be bad for business.

    GRRM wrote the scene between Arya and Mel, it was just moved from his episode.

  326. fuelpagan
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    We may not get Brown Ben Plumm and I think Tyrion’s journey could be done with less. I think something like this would work with Tyrion.
    5.1 Gets on the river boat introducing new characters
    5.3 Start Episode on boat for more character development of new cast, end episode with Stone Men
    5.4 Starts in Volantis and capture by Jorah, end with getting on boat meeting Penny and Moqorro.
    5.6 Wreckage and captured by Slavers
    5.7 Auction
    5.9 The pit. ( I like the idea of having him become a slave and his appearance in the pit be the first time we revisit the character.)
    5.10 Maybe have Tyrion talking with Brown Ben Plumm here if needed, then later the escape.

    If we give each scene an average of 10 minutes (some can be shorter, others will need to be longer) Tyrion is taking up about 100 minutes out of a potential 600 minutes of screen time.

    I think the journey Tyrion had in season 1 was much more complex than this one is. It all depends on how economical the other stories are told will dictate how deep they need to cut Tyrion.

  327. Summer is Coming
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    It should be 8 seasons… really now.. cramming everything from affc and adwd in season 5 especially for tyrion, cersei, dany and jon, it’s just plain sad. What about character development? Everyone is thinking about the already established charcters, but what about the new ones? yes, they all are supporting charcters to the already mentioned, but still.
    D&D.. don’t do 7 just because it sounds good, do 8 because it feels good!

  328. outdoorcats
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Yikes! I guess we’ll just have to accept the TV series will (most likely) be a hugely different beast from the books from now on, albeit it will probably have checkpoints with similar versions of the biggest setpieces from the last few books. Once accepted, I’m starting to come to terms with this pretty well I guess.

  329. outdoorcats
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    The weirdest part is that we’re more than halfway done with the show. :0

  330. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    outdoorcats,

    Not yet, after season 4.

  331. Maginor
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really think we will get Penny at all. She is not the most essential of characters. She opens up some character moments for Tyrion, but that is also an issue with the character. She is not that interesting in her own right. The details in how Tyrion and Jorah get from Volantis to Daznaks pit could be heavily changed.

  332. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    The Daznak Pit belongs in 5.10, as the season ender (IMO). But if D&D decide to speed things up, it could happen in the midseason before Tyrion actually arrives at Meereen, setting up the battle for episode 9.

    On to your new Tyrion arc, I think you’re pacing is a bit off. I think we need more screentime of Aegon and JonCon than we need Tyrion as a slave. Here’s my suggestion:
    1-Tyrion reaches Pentos with Varys. They have a dinner with Illyrio, and they tell Tyrion about the Griffs. We also see a scene where Tyrion overhears a conversation between Illyrio and Varys that gives a few clues.
    2- Tyrion and Varys ride out to meet the Griffs. We also get a scene on the boat. I’m not sure if Varys joins them or not.
    3- Tyrion asks Aegon too many questions and JonCon flips out on him. They pass through the Sorrows (which is what this episode should be called), and the stone men attack- JonCon calls out “My Prince!” or something before Tyrion comes to the rescue. (Tyrion heavy episode)
    4- Tyrion wakes up spitting water, and figures out who Aegon is in an intense scene. Later in the episode, Aegon and Tyrion play cyvasse and he convinces him to ditch the plot to marry Dany, and go to Westeros before her. In the end of the episode, Tyrion goes to the brothel and gets taken by Jorah.
    5- Tyrion and Jorah reach Volantis and take a ship with Moqorro towards Dany. Vogarro’s Whore and Penny can be cut depending on their importance to the story. Meanwhile, Aegon tells JonCon he decides to take hrs Golden Company to Westeros a and not meet with Dany yet.
    6- no Tyrion, finally
    7- Tyrion’s ship gets abducted by slavers, Moqorro disappears in the battle (maybe he gets thrown out in an explosion). Aegon meets with the Golden Company.
    8- Tyrion reaches Meereen. The auction scene. He hears about Dany marrying Hizdahr and making peace with Yunkai, despite the battlements. He also meets Brown Ben/the Tattered Prince in a slave meet up.
    9- no Tyrion. No Meereen.
    10- the lead up to the Daznak Pit scene and the scene itself, with Dany riding Drogon as the season ender. Aegon is shown on a ship, as part of a montage of all characters during a speech by Bloodraven about winter arriving (but that is just what I want to see :P)

    Again, all of this will change if they’re aiming for the Battle of Meereen in episode 9 of season 5. It would have to be much more rushed than that.

  333. Rygar
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I hate to tell ya “I told ya so” about having seven season total. So I’ll let Jentario do it! ;)

  334. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    I will kill you for this. Mark my fucking words, Rygar. And I will burry your corpse in dragon poo.

  335. dsfaegal
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink
  336. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    dsfaegal,

    Weird, but cool!

  337. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer: Again, all of this will change if they’re aiming for the Battle of Meereen in episode 9 of season 5. It would have to be much more rushed than that.


    I really don’t see the Battle of Meereen coming in Season 5. It hasn’t appeared in the books yet, and would be truly rushing things.

  338. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    I don’t see them finishing in seven seasons and still do that without rushing. Can you truly get Dany to Westeros in half a season?

  339. Kenneth
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Part of me likes that they are speeding it up and cutting down to 7 seasons because my favorite character is Dany. So that would mean her story would get straight to the point rather than dragged out like the books. But for all the other characters it pretty much sucks that their story arcs will be a bit rushed. Especially characters like Arya and Tyrion. So much happens with them and I feel like rushing their story is risky.

  340. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I’d be willing to bet that the battle of Meereen takes place in season five. It’s an event that brings a number of disparate characters and story lines together, and considering the scope of the sequence itself, isn’t something that would work well from a narrative or logistical angle early on in a season (where it would naturally fall if it isn’t in season five).

    Especially if they’re only going seven seasons. Even if they were going eight, I’d still assume it would be in season five. It’s the climax of several story lines, and should have been included in ADwD in the first place.

  341. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Kenneth,

    What? A book reader who likes Dany and isn’t me? This is definitely not Westeros.orgy…

  342. cosca
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    Yes. Just have her burn Mereen down, have ships materialise out of nowhere, then head to Westeros. She’d be there in an episode.

  343. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    How about she learns a secret Targ power where she can teleport and gets to Westeros in the season 4 premiere? I am actually willing to bet on this. What we saw in the trailer wasn’t Meereen, it was Castery Rock and Dany is giving Tywin a can of whoopass. Then, Jon Snow kills himself because he’s emo- he then becomes an even more emo ghost.

    Dany, Tyrion and Jon then meet and are renamed Legolas, Gimly and Aragorn (yes, Dany changes sex- who didn’t see that coming) and are the three dongs of the dragon. Then Dany and Jon fall in love and have passionate gay sex. Their child is named Daetaenaemaeraehaereonaerys, and he suicide bombs Joffrey, much to Dany and Jon’s disappointment.

    Somewhere else, there is a steaming pile of dragon poo. It is known.

  344. cosca
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,

    10/10, better than Meereen, would watch.

  345. Damp Hair Aeron
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    The take away from this is: ANY CASTING NEWS for SEASON 5 STORY ESSENTIAL CHARACTERS for the END GAME.

  346. Turncloak
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I would bank on the Kingsmoot being cut. All signs point to Yara/Asha getting captured by Stannis in season 4. No need for a Kingsmoot or for the Damphair in the show. I just hope we get both Victorian and Euron.

  347. Shannon
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I havent even read the comments because there are so many so if this has already been discussed, feel free to refer me to the relevant comments.

    I gather that most people are concerned with the show catching up – I’m not worried about this because I forsee TWOW coming out at the end of this year and AHFS a couple years afterward. The show will delay a season until later than every spring if they need to. What I am extremely worried about is them not actually ending the show. Seven seasons is the plan? So we’re either combining AFFC and ADWD or TWOW and AHFS orrrr were just not ever reaching the ending. I’d rather see the first two combined because I’m sure the last two will be insanely epic, but I’ve heard so much talk about them running parallel seasons for four and five. I honestly don’t see how they can do this in under eight seasons since they made the decision to split three. That decision was the worst exec decision ever made ever – season three was just horrendously boring and drawn out (minus the RW); there was no reason to waste the split on 3 and forget any chance they had of ending the show in seven seasons.

  348. UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Shannon,

    Whats AHFS? Do u mean ADOS

  349. Shannon
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    UnbowdUnbentedUnhodor,

    Yes!! Sorry. I haven’t gotten used to the change yet. It was projected to be “A Hope For Spring” a while back

  350. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    There is one thing which D&D bring to the table which GRRM has needed since 2000: an EDITOR who tells GRRM that he’s doing it wrong and he heeds to pare back the tale. And they aren’t merely ASKING, either. They mean it.

    D&D are going to show in 10-12 episodes events in both AFFC and ADwD. They will distill down to 500 pages of script nearly 3000 pages of manuscript.

    And there are not many of us who will blame them for doing so. Books 4 and 5 are poor in contrast to the first three. GRRM wrote himself into a corner he could not write himself out of.

    And ironically, the “five year gap” that GRRM planned to use — and then ultimately abandoned as a means to “age up” the kids and grow out the dragons — is something that we are getting anyway through the magic of television and the process of natural aging. Like it or not.

    George has nobody but himself to blame for this. We waited 11 years for ADwD. And with D&D we won’t have to wait even 11 months. There it is.

    Whether the series takes a turn for the worst in Seasons 6 and 7 will be something we will all debate. But at least we will begin that debate only 2 years from now — and we will do so with certainty.

  351. Kenneth
    Posted March 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Hand of the Kingslayer,
    Yeah. She can be frustrating to read but I like her whole hero turned villian deal. Its different. I feel like people are quick to hate her cause not many like to see a ruthless female who is overhyped. People like underdogs. Dany is an underdog but since she is always hyped people wanna knock her down and point out her flaws. But the thing is all of the characters in ASOIAF have major flaws

  352. fuelpagan
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind: Whether the series takes a turn for the worst in Seasons 6 and 7 will be something we will all debate. But at least we will begin that debate only 2 years from now — and we will do so with certainty.

    I don’t see this happening. The writers are so familiar with the characters by now to keep them moving in the direction GRRM has provided. In fact, the outline provided by GRRM probably simplifies the job of trimming the fat away.

    I see a backlash happening when the show disproves a book readers pet theory on material GRRM hasn’t written yet, but that is really a separate issue from quality. I would find it difficult to claim D&D screwed up the final 2 seasons before having the book to compare it too.

    I also worry that GRRM will lose all desire to finish the final book if the show beats him to the end. But like you said, GRRM has only himself to blame for this. He dismissed many of his fans’ worry that the show would catch him and kept all those distractions on his plate. Only now does he see our concerns were valid.

    I don’t begrudge the man enjoying football, or taking a vacation, or even his new theatre, because we all must live a life that is more than just work. But to have him travelling for a month, come home for 2 weeks and post about being sick or finishing some anthology during that time, then leave for another 2 weeks for some con was completely frustrating as a fan.

    Anyway, now I at least get some ending to the story in a reasonable time frame and GRRM can take his time to finish his book. Which I well happily purchase when it does.

  353. Steel_Wind
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan,

    Oh I don’t begrudge George his hobbies or any other aspect of his life. The many side projects he got himself involved in along the way is another matter. Those I do have an axe to grind over as its seems demonstrable that it has unreasonably delayed the principal work that made him famous — and made us his fans.

    Some other authors may well have managed all of that without a significant impact — but we don’t have to debate over whether that happened with GRRM or not — we know the results of all that now, don’t we?

    Whatever. Doesn’t matter. It amounts to trying to squirt the cream back up the udder at this point. Whether HBO decides to go for a season 8 or not we will find out in due course. Either way, we will have a complete and, to date at the least, a quality series that depicts my most favourite books of all time with a degree of excellence that far exceeded my wildest expectations of five years ago.

    As a fan, it’s very hard to be upset with that outcome.

    Moreover, as another plus, we are about to see the second half of A Storm of Swords. Really, if the series ended after Season 4, five years ago — I would have considered that a major “win”. It’s my favourite book of all time, I infer from D&D’s lavish amount of time spent on the book that is is one of theirs as well.

    So from the perspective of the hopeful fans we all were back before the pilot was ever shot, this is all gravy at this point.

  354. sherry
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I think 8 seasons is the perfect length to this series. All the books would get covered, and if the last one is not finished by then I am sure GRRM has an outline of whats going to transpire in the story to give to the producers of the show. Realisticly, 7 seasons cuts it short unless a few episodes are added at the 5th, 6th, and 7th seasons. If ADOS just wraps up each major characters story, that can be done in about 5 episodes.


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