Maxxine

So Maybe It's Not All GRRM's Fault (Vast Majority his Fault but Not All)

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 So I had this thought because I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to watch Season 6 of Game of Thrones. On one hand I don't want to be spoiled, but on the other hand I binge watched 3 seasons before I even knew there was a book, so it's not like I haven't been spoiled before. 

I know a lot of the criticism has been on GRRM (and rightly so) for the show catching up with the books. I'm not one of those fans who's like "oh it's ok GRRM. Take your time. blah blah blah." I understand that sentiment, but at the end of the day this man has two college degrees. I know he knows how to meet deadlines and as a person who has to meet deadlines and can't say "well my creative process doesn't work under that pressure" my understanding and sympathy is limited. I personally think that the issue is ASOIAF is just not his priority, which I'm fine with and would be more understanding if he just said that as opposed to the bs deadlines excuse.

But anyway this post is not really meant to be about GRRM because while he deserves the majority of the blame for the current issue HBO deserves some blame too. Why did HBO feel the need to rush through the books? I feel like while we were holding onto hope it pretty apparent after Season 4 that it more likely than not that GRRM was not going to finish Book 6 in time. So knowing this why didn't HBO slow down. You could easily turn Feast and Dance into 2-3 seasons. It's possible that HBO only wants 7 seasons or that the contract is only for 7 seasons, but those things can be changed if not catching up to the book was a priority. They could have especially slowed down Season 5 just by adding in some characters they left. I understand the attention span of tv audience is limited since most don't read the books, but there are still some characters or storylines that could've been easily added.

1) Lady Stoneheart - If the Walking Dead is any indication, tv watchers like zombies, so LSH could be made interesting. Change her storyline from the book and put her at Winterfell tormenting Theon and pushing people off the walls (takes the place of the Manderleys). Push the Theon-Sansa escape back a season.

2) Quentyn - I can't stand Quentyn. Trying to steal a dragon has to be one of the dumbest ideas ever, but that stupid idea would work on tv. Push Dany riding off on Drogon off a season.

3) Arianne - To me Arianne would have to be added to better explain Quentyn, plus add the attack on Myrcella as opposed to just killing her while she leaves with Jaime

4) Aegon - I think his storyline would have to be completely changed and you would have to significantly tie him to another already established character.

These are just some ideas that could have slowed down the series. I'm sure there are others. My only point is they could have slowed it down to give GRRM more time when it became apparent he probably wasn't going to finish in time. So HBO probably deserves some criticism too. Not a lot. Maybe 10-15%. 

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Per page, he is taking as long as Harry Potter writer.

Who knows how long it took to write Lord of the Rings, since there was almost two decades between the start of writing and publishing of the books.

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It's already been 20 years, just counting from the publication of GOT, and not whenever he started writing, so it seems a fact that the series is going to take MUCH longer than LOTR to complete.

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36 minutes ago, Maxxine said:

Why did HBO feel the need to rush through the books?

They're not rushing through the books. They just don't have the time and luxury Martin does to dwell on every little plot and subplot. It's not feasible for television.

This show is expensive. Really expensive. It can't go on for long. Audiences lose interest in TV shows the longer they last and that's why the creators established how many seasons they would do early on. The actors have lives and careers to think about. You can't expect them to commit 10+ years of their lives to this series just because Martin couldn't finish the books in 20+.

39 minutes ago, Maxxine said:

These are just some ideas that could have slowed down the series.

Exactly. Slowed down the series. No one wants that. You're proposing the series delays and dallies and it will be totally obvious to viewers that nothing is happening. And because Martin is Martin, there's no guarantee that delaying the series would mean he would finish the books.

There was no way Martin would beat the series. ADWD came out during season one. That means he would have had to write two books in five years.

 

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Yes, HBO should've spent 3 seasons with Feast and Dance...if what they wanted was to kill the effing show. 

Let's be absolutely real here, no fan goggles: Feast and Dance don't have enough material for one good season, let alone three. They don't even have an ending, for crying out loud. You'd be asking the audience to stick with Tyrion changing hands for one or more seasons, then not meeting Dany, and then nothing. Brienne walks in circles, meets Stoneheart at the very end then nothing. Baelish tells Sansa his plan and then nothing.  Nothing, nothing. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. You'd making two or more seasons of build up with no pay offs, no climaxes, no resolutions. I mean, the most tv-exciting event that happens in those books is a naked woman being paraded around KL. And I guess Daznak's Pit. And that's it. That is IT. You want Sam sailing to Oldtown for 3 seasons? Bran sitting on a cave for 3 seasons? Davos being in Manderly's dungeon for 3 seasons? One doesn't have to be a tv producer to know this just wouldn't fly. 

And something else: it's ridiculous to stall an ongoing show just to give more time to a guy who just doesn't seem to try to catch up anymore. Why should the show have to pay for Martin's slow pace? The show has a vast audience beyond us readers, so why should they deserve diminishing returns just so we could get our book when we wanted it? How's that for entitled, Neil Gaiman?

And before someone says "The show is crap anyway, and they had tons of filler of their own too, like Arya walking around the Riverlands for two seasons", well, yes, it's absolutely true, but that's not an excuse. People should want the show to improve, not to get even worse. For example, I was severely underwhelmed by the Tyrion-Dany interaction in the show, I thought they were boring and flat, but I was damn glad that Tyrion at least got to meet Dany on the show instead of like riding a pig, or going to see the Widow or the Whore or whatever she was, or wiping a fat guy's ass. Which is what he'd be doing if the show had dedicated 3 seasons to those books. 

I do agree that they should've tried to include some of the storylines/characters that the OP mentioned, but not at the expense of plot and pace. 

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1 hour ago, RoamingRonin said:

They're not rushing through the books. They just don't have the time and luxury Martin does to dwell on every little plot and subplot. It's not feasible for television.

This show is expensive. Really expensive. It can't go on for long. Audiences lose interest in TV shows the longer they last and that's why the creators established how many seasons they would do early on. The actors have lives and careers to think about. You can't expect them to commit 10+ years of their lives to this series just because Martin couldn't finish the books in 20+.

Exactly. Slowed down the series. No one wants that. You're proposing the series delays and dallies and it will be totally obvious to viewers that nothing is happening. And because Martin is Martin, there's no guarantee that delaying the series would mean he would finish the books.

There was no way Martin would beat the series. ADWD came out during season one. That means he would have had to write two books in five years.

 

I definitely agree that there are different things tv has to account for that the books don't. I tried to make it clear that I recognize that the series can't do everything because you have to account for the short attention span of the tv audience. That's why I tried to think of storylines that would be interesting to a tv audience. I'm not overly concerned about the actors because their have been plenty of series that have lasted a long time and the actors are fine with doing it. However, that point did make me think about a serious flaw in my OP and its the ages of the kids in the show. I forgot about them. Even if the HBO producers wanted to slow the series down they cant because they need to get everything done before these kids for lack of a better term, age out of their characters.

29 minutes ago, Good Guy Garlan said:

Yes, HBO should've spent 3 seasons with Feast and Dance...if what they wanted was to kill the effing show. 

Let's be absolutely real here, no fan goggles: Feast and Dance don't have enough material for one good season, let alone three. They don't even have an ending, for crying out loud. You'd be asking the audience to stick with Tyrion changing hands for one or more seasons, then not meeting Dany, and then nothing. Brienne walks in circles, meets Stoneheart at the very end then nothing. Baelish tells Sansa his plan and then nothing.  Nothing, nothing. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat. You'd making two or more seasons of build up with no pay offs, no climaxes, no resolutions. I mean, the most tv-exciting event that happens in those books is a naked woman being paraded around KL. And I guess Daznak's Pit. And that's it. That is IT. You want Sam sailing to Oldtown for 3 seasons? Bran sitting on a cave for 3 seasons? Davos being in Manderly's dungeon for 3 seasons? One doesn't have to be a tv producer to know this just wouldn't fly. 

And something else: it's ridiculous to stall an ongoing show just to give more time to a guy who just doesn't seem to try to catch up anymore. Why should the show have to pay for Martin's slow pace? The show has a vast audience beyond us readers, so why should they deserve diminishing returns just so we could get our book when we wanted it? How's that for entitled, Neil Gaiman?

And before someone says "The show is crap anyway, and they had tons of filler of their own too, like Arya walking around the Riverlands for two seasons", well, yes, it's absolutely true, but that's not an excuse. People should want the show to improve, not to get even worse. For example, I was severely underwhelmed by the Tyrion-Dany interaction in the show, I thought they were boring and flat, but I was damn glad that Tyrion at least got to meet Dany on the show instead of like riding a pig, or going to see the Widow or the Whore or whatever she was, or wiping a fat guy's ass. Which is what he'd be doing if the show had dedicated 3 seasons to those books. 

I do agree that they should've tried to include some of the storylines/characters that the OP mentioned, but not at the expense of plot and pace. 

You're right. There's no way I would want them to include all of the storylines from Feast and Dance. A lot of them are tedious and would not work for tv (they really did not work for the book but that's another discussion). Brienne and Alayne would never work for tv. I'm definitely glad they skipped all of Tyrion's adventures. But there are some of those storylines that could work and those are the ones I tried to think of. You could do a lot with LSH on tv and some idiot trying to steal a dragon. Considering a season is only 10 episodes they could have included this stuff and pushed off the end of Dance for one season, especially considering what season 5 wasn't great compared to other seasons. 

Also my initial thought was going off of the assumption that HBO did not want to catch with books. It wasn't just because I wanted the book first. That's sort of the tone I've been getting from some of the articles I've read. So if you didn't want to catch the books then help that goal by slowing down. Obviously, if this was never a priority for them then they should do what they want and not worry about the book. But it seems to me they did not want the series to overtake the book and that they expected to GRRM to be finished by this point.  

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The thing is: George could in the 1990's write Arya being nine, and twenty years later he can sit down and write her being twelve. No problem. A writer can do that. For a TV producer, however, there's such thing as biology. Every year the actors grow one year older, and the longer the age gap between the actor and the character grows, the more ridiculous it looks. And even if they did stretch it for one or two more seasons, let's not kid ourselves, GRRM needs much more than that to finish the series. There's TWOW, then there's ADOS, and then there's no guarantee that that's gonna be the final book.

By the way, yes, twenty years. You guys noticed that this year is the 20th anniversary of AGOT being published?

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I refuse to believe some of you are older than 21 years of age and have seen the world beyond the scope of college.

The amount of entitlement among ASOIAF fans is too incredible for an adult-male to stomach. I'm flabbergasted whenever I read some fan reactions to GRRM not being able to "make deadlines."

 

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10 minutes ago, Ferocious Veldt Roarer said:

The thing is: George could in the 1990's write Arya being nine, and twenty years later he can sit down and write her being twelve. No problem. A writer can do that. For a TV producer, however, there's such thing as biology. Every year the actors grow one year older, and the longer the age gap between the actor and the character grows, the more ridiculous it looks. And even if they did stretch it for one or two more seasons, let's not kid ourselves, GRRM needs much more than that to finish the series. There's TWOW, then there's ADOS, and then there's no guarantee that that's gonna be the final book.

By the way, yes, twenty years. You guys noticed that this year is the 20th anniversary of AGOT being published?

Yeah unfortunately I realized the ultimate flaw in my argument after I posted. Smh. These child actors are going to age out even though HBO aged them up to begin with, particularly Arya and Bran are an issue. It's sad because I've discussed the issue of their ages in regards to the series  before and completely forgot about it when I posted this. 

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16 minutes ago, OIL, BLOOD, Water said:

I refuse to believe some of you are older than 21 years of age and have seen the world beyond the scope of college.

The amount of entitlement among ASOIAF fans is too incredible for an adult-male to stomach. I'm flabbergasted whenever I read some fan reactions to GRRM not being able to "make deadlines."

 

It's not a sense of entitlement, it's pointing a bs excuse. As an adult, how many times are you able to go to your boss and "I don't know how meet deadlines." Not too many before you get fired. "I don't know how to meet deadlines" is an excuse children and teenagers because they don't know better. Once you hit college or the "real world" your life is dictated by deadlines and you're only going to get so many chances to not make a deadline before it hurts. So no I don't believe a man in his 70s with two degrees has never learned how to make deadlines. Had he just said I didn't get to Winds because I was busy travelling, watching football, writing tv scripts, etc I would've been fine with that. Winds wasn't a priority. It's his life, he can prioritize how he wants. Yeah I'm disappointed, but I can't say he should've been writing Winds instead of whatever else he was doing. That would be entitlement. Calling him out on a bad excuse is not.

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I've waited before for over a decade on the next book in a series before that started in the early 80s and was only finished in 2010. As long as GRRM writes awesome, I don't mind how long he takes.

As for the show - I think they should have kept the plots but then spoiled parts of tWoW already for S5. They could have done Alayne storyline in S5 by going into tWoW events. Same for Brienne with the BwB. And they could have used the fake Arya plotline for Theon and Ramsay too. It doesn't even have to be Sansa. After all they gave a battle of Winterfell which isn't in aDwD either, and at the same time they didn't want to spoil the battle and the result was horrible.

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https://youtu.be/FLFuAtFbg6w

What year was AFFC published. 2005

What year was ADWD published. 2011

What year was AWOIAF published. 2014

The contract for AWOIAF was inked in 2006. AWOIAF contract was inked in 2006 and published in 2014. Eight years, give or take.

 

Add into that the dealings of the combining of the three short stories of Dunk & Egg into A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms published in 2015. Who the hell knows when that contract was inked.

HBO has a contract, the details of which I do not know. I believe as someone else posted, ASOIAF is no longer a priority to Martin. Sure an author has the right to write or not write, but let’s get real,  WoW does not seem to be a priority. He is a businessman now not a professional writer. To add insult to injury, no matter what he writes, it won’t live up to the hype. HBO & Martin have put themselves in a box.

 

People are still going to watch the show. People are still going to wait for the book. The hype of Martin being the Tolkien of our age… meh.

In case the first link didn't work I'll try with a repeat.

 

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2 hours ago, OIL, BLOOD, Water said:

I refuse to believe some of you are older than 21 years of age and have seen the world beyond the scope of college.

The amount of entitlement among ASOIAF fans is too incredible for an adult-male to stomach. I'm flabbergasted whenever I read some fan reactions to GRRM not being able to "make deadlines."

 

I'm 40.  I was 23 when I first read AGOT.  I work in projects, usually for for large multinational organisations.  Quite often I have accountability for an entire multi million pound project and am expected to deliver it within agreed timescales and pressured to deliver it under budget.  I am flabbergasted when I read some fan reactions defending GRRM on failing to meet his deadlines.

GRRM has lost all motivation.  The whole saga went belly up when he ditched the 5 year plan and then died a death the moment GRRM became ultra rich and famous.  By his own admission he isn't turning down holidays to Dubai and he can't write away from home (unless it's his Not a Blog it seems.  I'd love for someone to do a word count on his posts dating back from the end of ASOS to now.  If only he showed that passion and desire in writing the series that has made him infamous).

GRRM lacks professionalism.  It's as simple as that.  And I don't care about all that creative people can't be like that nonsense because I work with people far more creative than any novelist and they can be exactly like that.  He lacks professionalism and can't be bothered to treat his writing as a job anymore.  And form a human perspective why should he?  He is not getting any younger and he has new found riches.  If he was to drop the whole thing now I'd be furious but I'd understand.  Stringing people on about how gutted he is at not finishing and how hard he is working to finish the books when in reality he spends more time writing about "Puppies" or roided up freaks who are more battle armoured than any knight aren't man enough to play rugby.

Thankfully most people will still get to find out the big reveals and the ending thanks to the TV show.  I know two people who loved the books, talked about them endlessly and died before finding out how they ended.  The sooner the TV series is done the sooner most of us can give up on the books altogether.  GRRM states that it's the "journey" that matters not the ending.  What a load of BS.  It's like watching a crucial sports match.  If you're watching it without knowing the final score it's tense, exciting, thrilling, harrowing etc.  If you watch it for the first time knowing the score?  It can be interesting but it's not tense or exciting anymore.  And you're likely to fast forward through the dull bits.  Just like people will be skipping chapters galore in the books.

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The showrunners purpose is to create the best show they can, given the resources they have.  They want this to be a show that taken as a whole, is great from start to finish.  Their goal is not and has never been "let's adapt asoiaf exactly", nor could it be.  Regardless of anyones opinion on their level of success I believe they are sincere in their intention.  

Now I think that D&D were thrilled to have ADWD finished in time to use that material, and I think they would have been even happier to have more written material finished.   But the fact is they don't.  So, they are using what they have.  They nmhave the existing books, preview chapters, and a conversation about the endings of the major characters.  Using that, the see that they have 3 more seasons left of material.  Given they have more info than any of us I'm going to tend to believe they are right in that.  

And no, a feast for dragons could absolutely not have been 3 seasons on its own for the reasons GGG stated.  

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10 minutes ago, A spoon of knife and fork said:

The showrunners purpose is to create the best show they can, given the resources they have.  They want this to be a show that taken as a whole, is great from start to finish.  Their goal is not and has never been "let's adapt asoiaf exactly", nor could it be.  Regardless of anyones opinion on their level of success I believe they are sincere in their intention.  

Now I think that D&D were thrilled to have ADWD finished in time to use that material, and I think they would have been even happier to have more written material finished.   But the fact is they don't.  So, they are using what they have.  They nmhave the existing books, preview chapters, and a conversation about the endings of the major characters.  Using that, the see that they have 3 more seasons left of material.  Given they have more info than any of us I'm going to tend to believe they are right in that.  

And no, a feast for dragons could absolutely not have been 3 seasons on its own for the reasons GGG stated.  

Spot on.  Foolishly on their part maybe but I genuinely believe HBO thought they'd have all the source material available to them before the TV show concluded.  The moment it was obvious to them they didn't then naturally they had to start going their own way.

As demonstrated with the Shireen fiasco and Mercy chapter I am sure that GRRM has filled them in on certain upcoming events (although I think GRRM will now change some of those upcoming events with the intention of making them different from the TV show).  However GRRM has also admitted he doesn't actually know where some of the minor story arcs are going yet and so I don't blame D&D one bit for going their own way or not including those characters at all.

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1 hour ago, Ser Gareth said:

I'm 40.  I was 23 when I first read AGOT.  I work in projects, usually for for large multinational organisations.  Quite often I have accountability for an entire multi million pound project and am expected to deliver it within agreed timescales and pressured to deliver it under budget.  I am flabbergasted when I read some fan reactions defending GRRM on failing to meet his deadlines.

GRRM has lost all motivation.  The whole saga went belly up when he ditched the 5 year plan and then died a death the moment GRRM became ultra rich and famous.  By his own admission he isn't turning down holidays to Dubai and he can't write away from home (unless it's his Not a Blog it seems.  I'd love for someone to do a word count on his posts dating back from the end of ASOS to now.  If only he showed that passion and desire in writing the series that has made him infamous).

GRRM lacks professionalism.  It's as simple as that.  And I don't care about all that creative people can't be like that nonsense because I work with people far more creative than any novelist and they can be exactly like that.  He lacks professionalism and can't be bothered to treat his writing as a job anymore.  And form a human perspective why should he?  He is not getting any younger and he has new found riches.  If he was to drop the whole thing now I'd be furious but I'd understand.  Stringing people on about how gutted he is at not finishing and how hard he is working to finish the books when in reality he spends more time writing about "Puppies" or roided up freaks who are more battle armoured than any knight aren't man enough to play rugby.

Thankfully most people will still get to find out the big reveals and the ending thanks to the TV show.  I know two people who loved the books, talked about them endlessly and died before finding out how they ended.  The sooner the TV series is done the sooner most of us can give up on the books altogether.  GRRM states that it's the "journey" that matters not the ending.  What a load of BS.  It's like watching a crucial sports match.  If you're watching it without knowing the final score it's tense, exciting, thrilling, harrowing etc.  If you watch it for the first time knowing the score?  It can be interesting but it's not tense or exciting anymore.  And you're likely to fast forward through the dull bits.  Just like people will be skipping chapters galore in the books.

You wouldn't want to vacation in Dubai?

Olenna Tyrell: "I congratulate you upon your restraint."

Edited by OIL, BLOOD, Water

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Very well put, Ser Gareth. 

 

I have wondered whether GRRM may me content at this point to just let HBO finish the story?  :unsure:

 

...sigh....

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Just now, OIL, BLOOD, Water said:

You wouldn't want to vacation in Dubai?

Olenna Tyrell: "I congratulate you upon your restraint."

Would I take a free holiday?  Sure.  Would I take a free holiday if it meant it significantly increased the risk of missing a key milestone on a project I was running?  No.  I'd get fired from my contract!

Which is where GRRM obviously doesn't have to worry.  He is now rich.  He doesn't ever have to release another book in his life.  Funny thing what he doesn't seem to have grasped is that his loyal fans who have been with him from the early days are the ones he is truly shafting.  And they'll be the only ones that care about TWOW or ADOS after the TV series has concluded. Most other people, including the majority who picked up the books because of the TV show, are more than likely to move on to the next box set rather than pick up a novel where they already know how the story ends.....

 

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8 minutes ago, Ser Gareth said:

Would I take a free holiday?  Sure.  Would I take a free holiday if it meant it significantly increased the risk of missing a key milestone on a project I was running?  No.  I'd get fired from my contract!

Which is where GRRM obviously doesn't have to worry.  He is now rich.  He doesn't ever have to release another book in his life.  Funny thing what he doesn't seem to have grasped is that his loyal fans who have been with him from the early days are the ones he is truly shafting.  And they'll be the only ones that care about TWOW or ADOS after the TV series has concluded. Most other people, including the majority who picked up the books because of the TV show, are more than likely to move on to the next box set rather than pick up a novel where they already know how the story ends.....

 

The irony is that you saw GRRM interviews (Because you know about the Dubai thing) and you still somehow choose to believe your delusion that GRRM is somehow changed by his earned-wealth. Top kek 

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2 minutes ago, OIL, BLOOD, Water said:

The irony is that you saw GRRM interviews (Because you know about the Dubai thing) and you still somehow choose to believe your delusion that GRRM is somehow changed by his earned-wealth. Top kek 

I never saw the interview.  I just read it.  The fact that GRRM is still even giving interviews proves the point.  If he was truly passionate and serious about the book he'd clear his entire diary.  But he won't.  He loves the fame and the money.  He made snarky comments in the past about Harry Potter and clearly felt he was undervalued.  Well now he has notoriety and acceptance from thousands that he is some sort of genius.  The motivation has gone.  I'd guess all of those factors play a part although he was clearly in trouble before this as demonstrated by AFFC and ADWD.  Neither of which are very good books.

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