To be honest they managed to get the first season really true to the novel 'A Game Of Thrones' which is 73 chapters long
'A Storm of Swords' up to the Purple Wedding is 62 chapters
Its dangerous to look solely at the number of chapters rather than chapter length. IIRC, page length wise aGoT and aSoS up to the PW is around the same length but there are added elements they have to deal with in S2 (Tullys, Barristan, Reeds, Theon) and a few subtracted elements.
I don't think Robb's death was a big shock for many book readers either. It was the scale of the RW that appalled so many. I also wonder will we see Michelle Fairley after S3. For the few unCat appearances, they could keep her covered in a cloak. And if required, show somebody under heavy makeup. unCat is hardly worth her while as an actress.
I like having S4 end with unCat for various reasons. I think it does end her arc well for S3. I think it would be a bit of a loose thread to put in S4 (GRRM could wait till the end of aSoS because it was all one book and putting in exposition about the BwB killing Frey's wouldn't work as well on screen as it does in the books). I think it will add an extra dimension to Arya's story in S4, as the BwB may try to track her down. I think Cat's return is a very dark event (which should be clear if they do Beric right). Its not a very cheerful moment but I think viewers will appreciate seeing a new angle to the Stark story.
Making a BIG DEAL of Tyrion's wedding suggests that the producers don't think they have enough material for season 3.
In a way yes. But I think its more that they want to give some climax to that story.
I do think your solution would be a good idea, but tbh most plot lines are absent for 2-3 episodes as it is. I think it would be ideal for each episode to include 5-6 plotlines, one of them being KL each episode. Perhaps 7 for the season premier/finale if necessary. Each plot line should have 5/6 episodes, except KL of course.
Luckily, none of the top tier characters disappear as much as Dany and Jon do in aCoK. So, I don't think it will ever be as big a problem again. I'm not sure how I would have solved the problem with Dany in S2. I do think I would forgive a lot if the ending is good and Dany's story didn't end well in S2.
I expected to see very little Bran in S2 also but they did give him more scenes than I expected and given the Reeds' introduction, it looks like they will continue to showcase the character. Although, as mentioned, they wouldn't have to go as far as with Dany because he isn't as important.
Which isn't actually true. It is just that we thought Ned was a central character ("The Hero"), which he wasn't.
Heh. This is one of those circular arguments. Ned isn't a central character to the overall series because he was killed off. But he was a central character in aGoT and if he wasn't killed off, then presumably he'd still be a central character. But at that stage, we'd have a very different series. /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />