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Do we think George passed 1500 manuscript pages?


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We're still coming back to that New Year's post of 2016, and I feel that we will do so many more times. How strange that he thought in mid-2015 he could have it finished by Halloween that year. By then, it had been four years since the release of ADwD. Those days are now more than five years ago. He has had more time to write TWoW after that blog post than he had before it. Assuming (probably erroneously) a constant writing speed, he could have started completely from scratch after that blog post and been further along now than he was back then. 

I'm not wondering what happened as much as I wonder why he felt the goal was so close, so long ago. Even if the book were finished tomorrow, the blog post would stand earlier than the half-way post in the writing process. What obstacle could have seemed so easy, yet taken so many years to resolve?

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I am currently going through his NaB posts from 2006-07-08, and he constantly says that "it'll be done by the end of the year" or "I hope to finsih by June"... Him thinking he was close to finishing in 2015 isn't new at all. In fact he's always been very optimistic, and in the end, a very similar situation happened with ADWD, only it happened multiple times. Some of us think something terrible happened that made him start from scratch or something along those lines only because he hasn't given us any substantial TWOW update since then. Until now. 

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On 11/28/2020 at 3:54 PM, Kyll.Ing. said:

I'm not wondering what happened as much as I wonder why he felt the goal was so close, so long ago. Even if the book were finished tomorrow, the blog post would stand earlier than the half-way post in the writing process. What obstacle could have seemed so easy, yet taken so many years to resolve?

I posted about this in the first Winds of Winter July thread, most people believed that he came across a majour plot hole that required lots of rewriting. 
 

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On 12/1/2020 at 5:31 PM, Ghostlydragon said:

Does anyone think he will do what was done with storm and dance but release them in 3 volumes rather than 2?

Or release the characters per book by location like with feast and dance rather than just in 3 volumes, but all on the same day of course?

Perhaps he'll release TWOW in the form of two books, with around 50-60 chapters each, IF he goes the AFFC-ADWD road in terms of chapter length and amount of descriptions.

However, he might still actually be sticking to the original plan and release TWOW in the form of one huuuge mammoth book with around 90 chapters (maybe) IF he decides to go the ASOS road in terms of utilitarianism (does that word even exist?) in his chapters, meaning less lavish description, more plot progression. 

Most of the sample chapters seem to show given their current state that the most likely/feasible solution is option 1, but we have to keep in mind that all the sample chapters were originally written to be included in ADWD, hence why some of them are still very slow-paced and descriptive. 

But it looks like George is still intending to go with option 2 (as per the original plan for TWOW), unfortunately meaning that the sample chapters are in for a major overhaul, or rewrite, or in the worst case scenario, deletion/combination. We know from George's last TWOW update that he is rewriting/revising sample chapters, meaning that he either needs to adjust them to his recent progress, or that he's cutting material and "trimming the fat" so that the story can fit in one single giant book.

Edited by The Winged Griffin
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On 12/1/2020 at 4:40 PM, TheLastWolf said:

What's the mathematical symbol for never

Time is an aspect of physics, not math, as far as I understand, so there isn't a mathematical symbol specifically for "never". But there's always the mathematical "Error 404" symbol, the Empty Set. The symbol is ∅.

An empty set is a set of data that contains no elements and has no size. An example is "numbers larger than eight but smaller than three" or "triangles with four or more sides" or "legal opening moves in chess that involve a king". You can define the set's parameters, but its contents are impossible.  

It is also sometimes used as a symbol of atheism: "The god you are looking for does not exist".

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I've heard from a second-hand source that in the NotACast Podcast it was said that George R. R. Martin was actually "almost ready" in 2015. However, he was dissatisfied with the end result and ended up in a depression. He didn't write anything ASOAIF related until 2018, with Fire & Blood.

I am also a member of the NotACast Podcast, which is run by BryndenBFish and PoorQuentyn - both well-known figures in the ASOIAF fandom. BryndenBFish seems to have some insider information (see here and here). However, I do not have a sufficiently high membership on Patreon to gain access to potential rumors related to The Winds of Winter (€19 to €28.50 per month). Unfortunately, I am therefore unable to confirm this information.

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I actually think TWOW will come out in 2021, probably around Autumn time. How far the book actually takes us to the end would be my concern

The story has become so convoluted now that even if TWOW was 2000 pages it would not be enough to get the story where it needs to be. These are the plot points that NEED to be resolved in the next book:

Jon resurrection

Battle of Ice

Sansa in the Vale

Cersei returning to power

Aegon's Invasion of Stormlands, then meeting Arianne

Daenarys getting the Dothraki on her side & sorting out the battle in Meereen, then heading to Westeros 

Margaery trial & Faith sparrow 

Euron invasion of the Reach

Arya receiving training then leaving the House of Black and White

Brienne and Jaime with Lady Stoneheart in the Riverlands

 

On top of resolving all these plot points, TWOW would have to set up for the final book. It is clear why GRRM is struggling, there is just too much plot points to resolve in 1 book.  As a result, I am fairly certain this series will either never be finished OR it will have to be extremely rushed just to provide an ending. Not sure which is the worse option, but I believe that is where we are at 

The very slow plot progression of AFFC & ADWD most likely doomed this series unfortunately, hope I'm wrong of course, but we'll see. 

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22 hours ago, Muffin King said:

I actually think TWOW will come out in 2021, probably around Autumn time. How far the book actually takes us to the end would be my concern

The story has become so convoluted now that even if TWOW was 2000 pages it would not be enough to get the story where it needs to be. These are the plot points that NEED to be resolved in the next book:

I have to say that the plot in the Winds of Winter has to go much further than what you say. This post is a modified version of an earlier post from me on Reddit:

George R. R. Martin wanted to end the ASOIAF book series with seven books and according to him his storyline consists of three acts:

  • The War of the Five Kings: the war of succession after the death of Robert I Baratheon, in which five pretenders to the throne (Joffrey, Stannis, Renly, Robb and Balon) fight for kingship. With A Storm of Swords this storyline is more or less over, although AFOC and ADWD highlight the direct consequences of the war. Some claim that only the first phase of this war is over, phase two is the battle between the next pretenders (Tommen, Stannis, Aegon VI, Euron and possibly also Jon Snow if he becomes King of the North with Robb's Will).

  • The Second Dance of Dragons: this is a war of succession between Aegon VI and Daenerys I. This was confirmed by George R. R. Martin in an interview in 2003:

Quote

Hi, short question. Will we find out more about the Dance of the Dragons in future books?

The first dance or the second? The second will be the subject of a book. The first will be mentioned from time to time, I'm sure.

Moreover, George R. R. Martin hinted since 2000 that Aegon VI might still be alive, although in a vague way.

Quote

I was wondering if you could answer (or take the "fifth") one teeny little question I've been dying to ask for the past year: Are Aegon and Rhaenys, Elia''s children, well and truly dead?

All I have to say is that there is absolutely no doubt that little Princess Rhaenys was dragged from beneath her father's bed and slain.

The second act has been planned a long time ago, but it hasn't started yet. Aegon VI has only conquered Storm's End in (hopefully the beginning of) The Winds of Winter, waiting for a confrontation with the Tyrells. Daenerys would hang around the Dothraki in the first half of that book and must first return to Mereen before she sails towards King's Landing.

  • The war against the Others: this was originally planned for the third book of the trilogy, after the Dance of Dragons. We know almost nothing about these mythical creatures. I believe that Brandon Stark with his supernatural powers will find out something about their culture or motives. There is nothing that hints at a fight against the Others in the short term.

 

We still have two books with two story acts to start. I see the (second phase of) the War of the Five Kings only end when Aegon VI conquers the Iron Throne and with the restoration of the Stark-rule. Both will happen at the earliest (although unlikely) only halfway TWOW. The Second Dance of Dragons can only begin when Daenerys lands on Westeros, after the coronation of Aegon VI. There is then only a maximum of one and a half books to cover the two upcoming story acts, which is very tight.

That worries me a lot, which means that the upcoming story acts will have to be shortened, in a very rushed timespan. Even the tempo of A Storm of Swords doesn't seem to me sufficient to complete both acts with just two books. I'm afraid that a very rushed timespan will be at the expense of worldbuilding, which is George R. R. Martin's best talent after all.

Note that in addition to the three story acts, the storylines of about twenty POV characters also need to be completed. As it stands now:

  • The Wall and beyond: Jon Snow was murdered by his own men as a result of violating the political neutrality of the Night Watch. This causes absolute chaos in the Night's Watch, with three warring parties.

  1. The Baratheon camp (under Selyse) that wants to marry its own men to the wildlings (without success).

  2. the wildlings themselves who want to leave the Night's Watch to save Mance Rayder.
  3. Bowen Marsh and his men who simply want to put order back into the Night's Watch.

Mellissandre is the only POV currently at the wall. I have my doubts that Jon Snow will be brought back to life in her first chapter.

Brandon Stark is still in ADWD just starting his training as a greenseer, with the three-eyed crow, Brynden Rivers. I'm assuming this will largely happen off-page, except for events like "Hold the Door" (actually Hold the Pass).

  • The North: Stannis is still preparing to defend the Crofter's Village, where an attack by the Frey's and Manderly's is expected. Stannis is expected to win this battle (possibly according to the Night Lamp theory) and later to conquer Winterfell for the Starks. There are few other options: it is unlikely due to distance and weather conditions that Stannis will lose, march back and burn Shireen, who is now at the wall. This will only happen later in other circumstances. But the whole Stark-restoration does have complications:

  1.  Davos Seaworth will spend some chapters in Skagos, where he will probably find Rickon Stark, who may become the  Lord of Winterfell. However, one must also take into account the time of the outward and return journey.
  2. On the other hand, we have Jon Snow (who lies dead on the Wall in the present), who can somehow be legitimized with Robb's Will and thus be crowned King of the North. Here, too, the distance has to be taken into account. And nobody knows how Robb's Will will be made known and when.

This whole succession of the North will not happen without problems, there will probably be a succession conflict between Jon Snow and Rickon Stark, a conflict with two possibilities: independence or service and subordination to King Stannis. Sansa might also want to make a claim.

  • The Vale: Sansa Stark may or may not be married off to Harry Hardyng. Petyr Baelish will also get into trouble with his rule over the Vale and the Riverlands (he doesn't have an army). I don't expect Sansa to stay in the Vale either.

  • The Riverlands: Brienne and Jaime will be judged by Catelyn Tully, now known as Lady Stoneheart. What will happen to them is still rather unclear. There are hints that point to a second Red Wedding and a fairly important role for Nymeria, Arya's wolf.

  • Crownlands/Westerlands/Reach: We will see the decline of Cersei after she somehow regains the role of regent. Because they are surrounded by the throne pretenders Euron and Aegon VI, it will be an enormous chaos. Expect the preparation for these wars, a reaction to Kevan's murder, a confrontation with the High Sparrow, the return of Myrcella Baratheon and the fact that Nymeria Sand will participate in the small council. According to George R. R. Martin, we will also see Highgarden and Casterly Rock in TWOW. We may also meet Willas Tyrell in one of the two books, as once said - the Tyrells will continue to be a significant player.

  • Euron and House Hightower: Euron is now at war to conquer the Reach, which I think will be mostly off-screen (some will be viewed from the perspective of Samwell Tarly or Aeron Greyjoy). As far as Samwell is concerned, he is still in the process of completing his training to become a maester, although I have my doubts that he will complete it.

  • Dorne: according to George R. R. Martin, Dorne will play a major role in TWOW, which includes the Sandsnakes in King's Landing. It is very likely that Dorne will form an alliance with Aegon VI Targaryen. Quentyn's terrible death may also be made known to Doran Martell. There is also still a hunt for Gerold Dayne

  • Aegon VI and the Stormlands: According to Arianne's two POV chapters, Storm's End has been conquered (although George R. R. Martin also plans to dedicate some POV chapters to the battle - which was originally off-screen. Also expect a decisive battle that will allow Aegon VI to conquer the Iron Throne without too much trouble, for example a kind of Battle of Agincourt against the Tyrells (as Bryndenbfish describes in his essays Blood of the Conqueror). Aegon VI Targaryen will have to sit on the Iron Throne before the Second Dance of Dragon starts.

  • Braavos: George R. R. Martin has already written many chapters for Arya in Braavos, but I have my doubts that she will complete her training to become a Faceless Man. The first opportunity for Arya to return to Westeros is through Justin Massey, Stannis' advisor who wants to hire a mercenary army with a loan. He will only leave after Theon's first chapter in the Winds of Winter. Taking into account the distance it will take some time before he arrives in Braavos.

  • Meereen/Daenerys/Tyrion: Barristan Selmy and later Victarion Greyjoy get involved in the Second Siege of Meereen, which will take place in the beginning of The Winds of Winter. I assume that these will take up quite a few chapters. Tyrion will also join the court of Meereen. Meanwhile, Daenerys will be in the Dothraki Sea (perhaps as a prisoner). It will take a long time before Daenerys and Tyrion will meet (so expect a reasonable late return). Moreover, things have to be sorted out in Meereen before Daenerys travels to Westeros with the help of Victarion's fleet. Moreover, it is possible that Braavos (the House with the Red Door) and Pentos (the Tattered Prince) will also play a role in Daenerys' storyline.

You can see how many storylines still have to be completed before act two, the Second Dance of Dragons can take place... A lot happened in A Storm of Swords, I know that, but I still have my skepticism that George R. R. Martin can complete all these storylines even at that pace. I wouldn't be surprised if The Winds of Winter were about the same size as A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons together,

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23 hours ago, $erPounce said:

You can see how many storylines still have to be completed before act two, the Second Dance of Dragons can take place... A lot happened in A Storm of Swords, I know that, but I still have my skepticism that George R. R. Martin can complete all these storylines even at that pace. I wouldn't be surprised if The Winds of Winter were about the same size as A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons together,

 

My biggest fear, one that isn't talked about all that much, is that when TWOW is published, George announces that there will actually be another book before ADOS, and that A Song of Ice and Fire will now be 8 books instead of 7. If this happens, everyone, probably including him, would know that ADOS is doomed.

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On 12/14/2020 at 3:40 PM, $erPounce said:

I have to say that the plot in the Winds of Winter has to go much further than what you say. This post is a modified version of an earlier post from me on Reddit:

George R. R. Martin wanted to end the ASOIAF book series with seven books and according to him his storyline consists of three acts:

  • The War of the Five Kings: the war of succession after the death of Robert I Baratheon, in which five pretenders to the throne (Joffrey, Stannis, Renly, Robb and Balon) fight for kingship. With A Storm of Swords this storyline is more or less over, although AFOC and ADWD highlight the direct consequences of the war. Some claim that only the first phase of this war is over, phase two is the battle between the next pretenders (Tommen, Stannis, Aegon VI, Euron and possibly also Jon Snow if he becomes King of the North with Robb's Will).

  • The Second Dance of Dragons: this is a war of succession between Aegon VI and Daenerys I. This was confirmed by George R. R. Martin in an interview in 2003:

Moreover, George R. R. Martin hinted since 2000 that Aegon VI might still be alive, although in a vague way.

The second act has been planned a long time ago, but it hasn't started yet. Aegon VI has only conquered Storm's End in (hopefully the beginning of) The Winds of Winter, waiting for a confrontation with the Tyrells. Daenerys would hang around the Dothraki in the first half of that book and must first return to Mereen before she sails towards King's Landing.

  • The war against the Others: this was originally planned for the third book of the trilogy, after the Dance of Dragons. We know almost nothing about these mythical creatures. I believe that Brandon Stark with his supernatural powers will find out something about their culture or motives. There is nothing that hints at a fight against the Others in the short term.

 

We still have two books with two story acts to start. I see the (second phase of) the War of the Five Kings only end when Aegon VI conquers the Iron Throne and with the restoration of the Stark-rule. Both will happen at the earliest (although unlikely) only halfway TWOW. The Second Dance of Dragons can only begin when Daenerys lands on Westeros, after the coronation of Aegon VI. There is then only a maximum of one and a half books to cover the two upcoming story acts, which is very tight.

That worries me a lot, which means that the upcoming story acts will have to be shortened, in a very rushed timespan. Even the tempo of A Storm of Swords doesn't seem to me sufficient to complete both acts with just two books. I'm afraid that a very rushed timespan will be at the expense of worldbuilding, which is George R. R. Martin's best talent after all.

Note that in addition to the three story acts, the storylines of about twenty POV characters also need to be completed. As it stands now:

  • The Wall and beyond: Jon Snow was murdered by his own men as a result of violating the political neutrality of the Night Watch. This causes absolute chaos in the Night's Watch, with three warring parties.

  1. The Baratheon camp (under Selyse) that wants to marry its own men to the wildlings (without success).

  2. the wildlings themselves who want to leave the Night's Watch to save Mance Rayder.
  3. Bowen Marsh and his men who simply want to put order back into the Night's Watch.

Mellissandre is the only POV currently at the wall. I have my doubts that Jon Snow will be brought back to life in her first chapter.

Brandon Stark is still in ADWD just starting his training as a greenseer, with the three-eyed crow, Brynden Rivers. I'm assuming this will largely happen off-page, except for events like "Hold the Door" (actually Hold the Pass).

  • The North: Stannis is still preparing to defend the Crofter's Village, where an attack by the Frey's and Manderly's is expected. Stannis is expected to win this battle (possibly according to the Night Lamp theory) and later to conquer Winterfell for the Starks. There are few other options: it is unlikely due to distance and weather conditions that Stannis will lose, march back and burn Shireen, who is now at the wall. This will only happen later in other circumstances. But the whole Stark-restoration does have complications:

  1.  Davos Seaworth will spend some chapters in Skagos, where he will probably find Rickon Stark, who may become the  Lord of Winterfell. However, one must also take into account the time of the outward and return journey.
  2. On the other hand, we have Jon Snow (who lies dead on the Wall in the present), who can somehow be legitimized with Robb's Will and thus be crowned King of the North. Here, too, the distance has to be taken into account. And nobody knows how Robb's Will will be made known and when.

This whole succession of the North will not happen without problems, there will probably be a succession conflict between Jon Snow and Rickon Stark, a conflict with two possibilities: independence or service and subordination to King Stannis. Sansa might also want to make a claim.

  • The Vale: Sansa Stark may or may not be married off to Harry Hardyng. Petyr Baelish will also get into trouble with his rule over the Vale and the Riverlands (he doesn't have an army). I don't expect Sansa to stay in the Vale either.

  • The Riverlands: Brienne and Jaime will be judged by Catelyn Tully, now known as Lady Stoneheart. What will happen to them is still rather unclear. There are hints that point to a second Red Wedding and a fairly important role for Nymeria, Arya's wolf.

  • Crownlands/Westerlands/Reach: We will see the decline of Cersei after she somehow regains the role of regent. Because they are surrounded by the throne pretenders Euron and Aegon VI, it will be an enormous chaos. Expect the preparation for these wars, a reaction to Kevan's murder, a confrontation with the High Sparrow, the return of Myrcella Baratheon and the fact that Nymeria Sand will participate in the small council. According to George R. R. Martin, we will also see Highgarden and Casterly Rock in TWOW. We may also meet Willas Tyrell in one of the two books, as once said - the Tyrells will continue to be a significant player.

  • Euron and House Hightower: Euron is now at war to conquer the Reach, which I think will be mostly off-screen (some will be viewed from the perspective of Samwell Tarly or Aeron Greyjoy). As far as Samwell is concerned, he is still in the process of completing his training to become a maester, although I have my doubts that he will complete it.

  • Dorne: according to George R. R. Martin, Dorne will play a major role in TWOW, which includes the Sandsnakes in King's Landing. It is very likely that Dorne will form an alliance with Aegon VI Targaryen. Quentyn's terrible death may also be made known to Doran Martell. There is also still a hunt for Gerold Dayne

  • Aegon VI and the Stormlands: According to Arianne's two POV chapters, Storm's End has been conquered (although George R. R. Martin also plans to dedicate some POV chapters to the battle - which was originally off-screen. Also expect a decisive battle that will allow Aegon VI to conquer the Iron Throne without too much trouble, for example a kind of Battle of Agincourt against the Tyrells (as Bryndenbfish describes in his essays Blood of the Conqueror). Aegon VI Targaryen will have to sit on the Iron Throne before the Second Dance of Dragon starts.

  • Braavos: George R. R. Martin has already written many chapters for Arya in Braavos, but I have my doubts that she will complete her training to become a Faceless Man. The first opportunity for Arya to return to Westeros is through Justin Massey, Stannis' advisor who wants to hire a mercenary army with a loan. He will only leave after Theon's first chapter in the Winds of Winter. Taking into account the distance it will take some time before he arrives in Braavos.

  • Meereen/Daenerys/Tyrion: Barristan Selmy and later Victarion Greyjoy get involved in the Second Siege of Meereen, which will take place in the beginning of The Winds of Winter. I assume that these will take up quite a few chapters. Tyrion will also join the court of Meereen. Meanwhile, Daenerys will be in the Dothraki Sea (perhaps as a prisoner). It will take a long time before Daenerys and Tyrion will meet (so expect a reasonable late return). Moreover, things have to be sorted out in Meereen before Daenerys travels to Westeros with the help of Victarion's fleet. Moreover, it is possible that Braavos (the House with the Red Door) and Pentos (the Tattered Prince) will also play a role in Daenerys' storyline.

You can see how many storylines still have to be completed before act two, the Second Dance of Dragons can take place... A lot happened in A Storm of Swords, I know that, but I still have my skepticism that George R. R. Martin can complete all these storylines even at that pace. I wouldn't be surprised if The Winds of Winter were about the same size as A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons together,

If I was GRRM I would just simply drop most of those plotlines in the next couple books.  Skip them entirely.  Cut down to the main theme and plot and get through the slog before age and weariness prevent me from the finish line.  Once that's done, he could always go back and flesh them out in additional books and novellas.

But clearly that's not what GRRM is doing, or else we'd have a new book by now.  I personally doubt we ever will.    

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5 hours ago, argonak said:

If I was GRRM I would just simply drop most of those plotlines in the next couple books.  Skip them entirely.  Cut down to the main theme and plot and get through the slog before age and weariness prevent me from the finish line.  Once that's done, he could always go back and flesh them out in additional books and novellas.

I've always thought it'd be fun if he just cut some of the knots entirely. Have Cersei stumble drunkenly down a stair, thinking "wait, wasn't there a prophec-" before hitting her head on the floor. Let Jon stay dead. Reveal that the Others were actually just a myth, a figment of imagination, mass hallucinations, or just overall totally disinterested in Westeros now that the humans are all south of the Wall again. Make Arya succumb to one of the many occupational hazards of being an assassin (slipping off a loose roof tile during a night sneak across the rooftops of Bravoos or something like that) Pretend Dorne never existed. Make Daenerys decide to stay in Essos (where she's revered as a saviour and great leader) instead of going to Westeros (where she's never set foot). Have Tommen give up the throne voluntarily. Have Euron drown when his ship sinks during a storm or something. Spend remaining energy and interest on whatever plotlines are left to untangle.

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6 hours ago, Kyll.Ing. said:

I've always thought it'd be fun if he just cut some of the knots entirely. Have Cersei stumble drunkenly down a stair, thinking "wait, wasn't there a prophec-" before hitting her head on the floor. Let Jon stay dead. Reveal that the Others were actually just a myth, a figment of imagination, mass hallucinations, or just overall totally disinterested in Westeros now that the humans are all south of the Wall again. Make Arya succumb to one of the many occupational hazards of being an assassin (slipping off a loose roof tile during a night sneak across the rooftops of Bravoos or something like that) Pretend Dorne never existed. Make Daenerys decide to stay in Essos (where she's revered as a saviour and great leader) instead of going to Westeros (where she's never set foot). Have Tommen give up the throne voluntarily. Have Euron drown when his ship sinks during a storm or something. Spend remaining energy and interest on whatever plotlines are left to untangle.

The insane thing is that when you read the TWOW sample chapters, they're still moving at the pace of ADWD. For instance, in the 2 Arianne chapters we've seen so far, she has not yet met Aegon. That is just far too slow if we ever want to see the conclusion of this story.

 

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On 12/15/2020 at 12:40 AM, $erPounce said:

I have to say that the plot in the Winds of Winter has to go much further than what you say

  • The War of the Five Kings: the war of succession after the death of Robert I Baratheon, in which five pretenders to the throne (Joffrey, Stannis, Renly, Robb and Balon) fight for kingship. With A Storm of Swords this storyline is more or less over, although AFOC and ADWD highlight the direct consequences of the war. Some claim that only the first phase of this war is over, phase two is the battle between the next pretenders (Tommen, Stannis, Aegon VI, Euron and possibly also Jon Snow if he becomes King of the North with Robb's Will).

  • The Second Dance of Dragons: this is a war of succession between Aegon VI and Daenerys I. This was confirmed by George R. R. Martin in an interview in 2003:

Moreover, George R. R. Martin hinted since 2000 that Aegon VI might still be alive, although in a vague way.

The second act has been planned a long time ago, but it hasn't started yet. Aegon VI has only conquered Storm's End in (hopefully the beginning of) The Winds of Winter, waiting for a confrontation with the Tyrells. Daenerys would hang around the Dothraki in the first half of that book and must first return to Mereen before she sails towards King's Landing.

  • The war against the Others: this was originally planned for the third book of the trilogy, after the Dance of Dragons. We know almost nothing about these mythical creatures. I believe that Brandon Stark with his supernatural powers will find out something about their culture or motives. There is nothing that hints at a fight against the Others in the short term.

 

We still have two books with two story acts to start. I see the (second phase of) the War of the Five Kings. Second Dance of Dragons can only begin when Daenerys lands on Westeros, after the coronation of Aegon VI. There is then only a maximum of one and a half books to cover the two upcoming story acts, which is very tight.

You can see how many storylines still have to be completed before act two, the Second Dance of Dragons can take place... A lot happened in A Storm of Swords, I know that, but I still have my skepticism that George R. R. Martin can complete all these storylines even at that pace. I wouldn't be surprised if The Winds of Winter were about the same size as A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons together,

You made a good starting point, TWOW has to take plot further than tying ADWD's loose threads, but I couldn't disagree more with the rest.

Books in the works now simply aren't books George set out to write in early '90s, it would be something like Farseer Trilogy which he was possibly inspired by. Since then story grew into political fake history extravaganza we know and love.

If he sticks to the tripartite scheme we would get The Dragon winning in the end of TWOW or first half of ADOS and than getting some "Frodo must take ring to Mordor" fantasy hero's journey of our more magically inclined protagonists, for whole book or the majority of it, which would be kinda lame. 

Everything points out that game of thrones and Dance of Dragons II Dragon Harder (who is the best dragon and who sits at iron chair) will finish, at least just before (like chapter before) final confrontation with Others (or subversion of the concept), if not after, which would in my opinion make the most sense in regards to the narrative so far.

And there is almost no chance for Aegon or alternative dragon to ever win the game of thrones before Daenerys joining the fun.

Now this is more speculation than analysis I shared so far, but whole Dance of Dragons being in the aftermath of the Other's invasion can be made even more like the previous one by centering the war on issue of inheritance. Since showdown with Other's is likely to leave some of the major players dead or incapacitated and their heirs in play, which could be the spark that starts the whole thing. Besides it would drive home the point that even after uniting against apocalyptic threat, rifts in the alliance and business as usual will soon follow.

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10 hours ago, Muffin King said:

The insane thing is that when you read the TWOW sample chapters, they're still moving at the pace of ADWD. For instance, in the 2 Arianne chapters we've seen so far, she has not yet met Aegon. That is just far too slow if we ever want to see the conclusion of this story.

 

Spoiler alert, "we won't."  Outside of some faux historical like fire and blood, I just don't see any possible way GRRM is finishing this series.  If we get one more book we can count ourselves blessed.

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2 hours ago, Equilibrium said:

You made a good starting point, TWOW has to take plot further than tying ADWD's loose threads, but I couldn't disagree more with the rest.

Books in the works now simply aren't books George set out to write in early '90s, it would be something like Farseer Trilogy which he was possibly inspired by. Since then story grew into political fake history extravaganza we know and love.

If he sticks to the tripartite scheme we would get The Dragon winning in the end of TWOW or first half of ADOS and than getting some "Frodo must take ring to Mordor" fantasy hero's journey of our more magically inclined protagonists, for whole book or the majority of it, which would be kinda lame. 

Everything points out that game of thrones and Dance of Dragons II Dragon Harder (who is the best dragon and who sits at iron chair) will finish, at least just before (like chapter before) final confrontation with Others (or subversion of the concept), if not after, which would in my opinion make the most sense in regards to the narrative so far.

And there is almost no chance for Aegon or alternative dragon to ever win the game of thrones before Daenerys joining the fun.

Now this is more speculation than analysis I shared so far, but whole Dance of Dragons being in the aftermath of the Other's invasion can be made even more like the previous one by centering the war on issue of inheritance. Since showdown with Other's is likely to leave some of the major players dead or incapacitated and their heirs in play, which could be the spark that starts the whole thing. Besides it would drive home the point that even after uniting against apocalyptic threat, rifts in the alliance and business as usual will soon follow.

I didn't mention it in my previous post, but I certainly expect an overlap between the Second Dance of Dragons and the war against the Others. It can hardly be otherwise.

I also don't expect the Game of Thrones to be won (= all other pretenders destroyed and the throne secured) before the Others arrive. I do think that Aegon will be on the throne after defeating Tommen's men, although he won't be recognized by Daenerys who declares himself a pretender to the throne. However, the conflict will be temporarily interrupted by the fall of the Wall and will be continued later on.

If we were to completely separate the Second Dance of Dragons from the War against the Others that would obviously not be a good idea. I think the North, for example, will hardly play a role in the events in King's Landing after the reoccupation of Winterfell. The North will then mainly be focused towards the Others (except for Jon Snow's potential Targaryen identity, and his potential connection to his "brother" Aegon). Ultimately, by separating the two story arcs, the storylines of the North will become completely isolated from those of King's Landing, which is far from ideal - as you say. Overlapping is necessary, in my opinion.

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On 12/16/2020 at 6:18 PM, argonak said:

If I was GRRM I would just simply drop most of those plotlines in the next couple books.  Skip them entirely.  Cut down to the main theme and plot and get through the slog before age and weariness prevent me from the finish line.  Once that's done, he could always go back and flesh them out in additional books and novellas.

But clearly that's not what GRRM is doing, or else we'd have a new book by now.  I personally doubt we ever will.    

I wouldn't mind if Jon loses his POV chapters after he is revived. He will have a more aggressive, dark personality as a result of his resurrection. It would work if we only look at him from the perspective of other characters. The POV perspective ensures that you have a biased view of a certain character, which tends to rationalize immoral acts. I absolutely do not expect the outside world to have any sympathy for Jon after his interference in foreign politics during his time as Lord Commander and thus breaking his oath.

That would at least work better than, for example, keeping Jon Snow dead. This would lead to fewer chapters being needed to complete certain storylines.

But... Jon remains a very central character. It still seems to me necessary that Jon keeps his POV perspective at some crucial moments. How does he react to his resurrection, which is a real display of Melissandre's power? Is he giving up his religion for the Faith of R'hllor? How does he react to the announcement of his appointment to King of the North with Robbs Will, or when his Targaryen identity is discovered? For these moments it is certainly interesting to read about his thinking and his inner struggles.

Removing the POV chapters for Daenerys would have the same result. She is also already going the dark way. We would see her from the perspective of Barristan/Victarion/Tyrion. But Daenerys also has some crucial moments, such as the House with the Red Door, with which she is personally connected (it will play a role in the upcoming books according to GRRM). For such things, POV chapters would be recommended.

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25 minutes ago, $erPounce said:

I didn't mention it in my previous post, but I certainly expect an overlap between the Second Dance of Dragons and the war against the Others. It can hardly be otherwise.

I also don't expect the Game of Thrones to be won (= all other pretenders destroyed and the throne secured) before the Others arrive. I do think that Aegon will be on the throne after defeating Tommen's men, although he won't be recognized by Daenerys who declares himself a pretender to the throne. However, the conflict will be temporarily interrupted by the fall of the Wall and will be continued later on.

If we were to completely separate the Second Dance of Dragons from the War against the Others that would obviously not be a good idea. I think the North, for example, will hardly play a role in the events in King's Landing after the reoccupation of Winterfell. The North will then mainly be focused towards the Others (except for Jon Snow's potential Targaryen identity, and his potential connection to his "brother" Aegon). Ultimately, by separating the two story arcs, the storylines of the North will become completely isolated from those of King's Landing, which is far from ideal - as you say. Overlapping is necessary, in my opinion.

Cool, it seems we are in total concord about three major conflicts being intertwined, which is all I wanted to point out to.

As for the second part I said it's pure speculation to form additional parallels with the original Dance. I don't necessarily think it will be that way, but it is seldom broached possibility I wouldn't disregard completely. Depending on the possible conclusion of Others stuff it could be either parallel or inversion of Winter Wolves from the first Dance. Also with Jon's probable parentage, Stark kids being major powers by then and imperative of Daenerys coming North eventually for the Others related events, I doubt North would be isolated from the story in that case. 

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