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Aegnor

How is this going to work long term?

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the series as he planned it has only really got longer once: before aGoT was even finished, he changed from a three book to a five book plan.

Not quite. Way before aGoT was finished he switched from a 3 book series to a 4 book series. When he began aCoK he switched to a 6 book series. There was no change then until he started writing the 4th volume, when he announced it would be finished in 7. I had my doubts after reading aDwD that he could finish it in 2 but he has remained on message in every interview since, so I don't see why I should doubt him. Not like he was shy of announcing the previous changes.

Does George want the real ending given away before he writes it? I don't think so. So I suspect the series has to diverge in a meaningful way at some point anyway, so why not do it at the point where the books are the most challenging and there is the least reward for staying completely faithful? Otherwise the series will have to stall until George finishes it.

GRRM certainly doesn't want the producers to do their own thing with his world and they haven't suggested they want to do such a thing. Not like they can ignore what he has told them already about the ending. (And they'll see tWoW a lot sooner than we will).

It comes back to the fact that we have at least 5 seasons worth of material available already. This gives GRRM plenty time to finish at least tWoW. In TV they are never going to worry about what they are going to do with S7 when not even on S3. You people go crazy sometimes. :P More subplots will probably be cut if we ever get beyound S3 but that's not at all similar to the idea that they will do their own thing.

Five books have been written and we haven't gotten to the original book 2 yet.

What do you mean? The original book 2 was originally called aDwD. You should have read it by now. :) I'm sure the book is different from his original (very rough) idea but we are never going to get that original idea on page.

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I'm not saying it's impossible that it will be finished in two more books, just unlikely. What he thought would be one book turned into three. What he thought would be a gap between books turned into a book, then two books with more material that couldn't fit into them. Characters headed for Meereen haven't even gotten there yet, much less resolved anything. I don't mean this in a negative way, but Dance does not read like a book written by an author who is in a hurry to wrap up his story. His track record is for everything to take many more pages to write than he thought it would. If the Wall doesn't get breached early in Winds I don't see it happening in only 2 books.

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I'm not saying it's impossible that it will be finished in two more books, just unlikely.

What GRRM says himself will always trump what people say on the internet. :) He is going to know how to finish the series. We can just speculate and guess.

GRRM is not still writing about what happened in the original 5 year gap between book 3 and book 4. He has given up on the idea of a 5 year gap and events that were supposed to happen in 5 years time have already happened. You read about them in aDwD and aFfC.

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The best predictor for people's future actions is what they've done before, not what they say they are going to do. It doesn't really matter the particulars of how anything relates to the planned gap, just that Feast ended up having to be split into two halves, and then he couldn't fit everything he wanted to in Dance either. Everything he's written in the series has taken more than he planned. He can make the book series as long as he wants, so long as he lives long enough to finish it. TV doesn't have that luxury. When they try to drag out tv series indefinitely they end up going out with a whimper.

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The best predictor for people's future actions is what they've done before, not what they say they are going to do.

And in this case, when GRRM previously realised he couldn't finish the book in 2 or 3 more books, he announced that he would need an additional book or 2. But now you are suggesting a change in behaviour.

Doesn't add up, sorry.

GRRM has never actually worked on the second last book of aSoIaF before. The closer he gets to finishing, the better idea he will have about how much more work is required. I wouldn't have been surprised if he said that he needed an extra book after aDwD. He didn't though. That's what we have to go with.

When they try to drag out tv series indefinitely they end up going out with a whimper.

If they have good material from the books, "drag out" doesn't apply. I'm not worried about them dragging out the show. The cast, producers or HBO may get tired of the show or the audience may move on. That's more possible. But its not an imminent worry.

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And in this case, when GRRM previously realised he couldn't finish the book in 2 or 3 more books, he announced that he would need an additional book or 2. But now you are suggesting a change in behaviour.

As far as I understood, he wasn't even going to start writing Winds until this year, after finishing the companion World of Ice and Fire. All that is written is what is leftover from Dance. So how would he know at this point?

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All that is written is what is leftover from Dance. So how would he know at this point?

How would he know how much more he has to write? How does an author ever know?

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I don't think A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons are filmable. Bits and pieces of them are (Bran, Theon, and Cersei's descent into madness come to mind), but the structure of those two books isn't suited to a TV series in the way the first three are. Maybe the series ends with A Storm of Swords and it ends with many of its plot threads unresolved, maybe they cut several subplots from the books and try to make it work (even then, I think they would need to rewrite much of Tyrion, Jon, and Dany's POV, and give characters like Littlefinger a bigger role), maybe they do a final fifth season that diverges substantially from the books and wraps up the loose ends from the first three books in a unique way.

Of course they are filmable, just not in the way they were released in text. That is because publishers can't handle releasing books over 2000 pages. With minimal effort you can mesh both books together chronologically. HBO could then do something like AMC has done with The Walking Dead, splitting one really big season into 2 parts with a couple month break between the first 7 shows. The other option would be doing what GRRM was trying to avoid, following all the characters, telling half a story and leaving us hanging for the rest for a year.

As for the topic at hand I share the opinion of the optimist on the board who feel HBO can make this work. It is becoming obvious with some of the character omisions of this season that the show will be taking liberties. Part of that can lend itself to aging the characters logically. I'm of a mind with another fellow who feels that Bran having a growthspurt will be probelmatic for poor Hodor, and it'll risk looking silly, but maybe Bran's special horse and sadle will be salvaged amidst the chaos that will ensue.

Wars tend to drag on, it is only natural that some time elapses, they can manipulate the storylines to accomodate this. As others have mentioned, Arya plays the part of a boy for very little before she is outed. The idea pf recasting her is ridiculous. Rickon could be done as he is hardly noticed in the first season, but the rest were pretty solid.

What's important to consider in all of this is that if they age the characters approprietately we'll get to see a Sophie Turner full frontal when she is of age. See, it isn't all bad is it!

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Of course they are filmable, just not in the way they were released in text. That is because publishers can't handle releasing books over 2000 pages. With minimal effort you can mesh both books together chronologically. HBO could then do something like AMC has done with The Walking Dead, splitting one really big season into 2 parts with a couple month break between the first 7 shows. The other option would be doing what GRRM was trying to avoid, following all the characters, telling half a story and leaving us hanging for the rest for a year.

I think "not filmable" doesn't mean you physically can't do it, sure you can. But if you weave Feast and Dance together over two seasons you have the majority of the main characters not really having anything to do for the first season. You can't stick Peter Dinklage in a barrel and forget about him for 3 episodes. Dany doesn't really have anything to do. Jon is the one main character with actual meat to his story but you can tell it in one season. How many episodes of Cersei screwing things up in King's Landing can there be? Of Brienne wandering around Westeros?

It needs to be drastically changed and done in one season. As I've said, I think it's just foolhardy to try to stretch out the available material on the thought that by doing so GRRM will have the rest of it written in time for you. Maybe it could work out, but you can't bank on it. You have to do what's best for the show, which means making the most out of the characters you've spent years developing, not putting their stories on the back burner while you keep bringing out new characters.

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But if you weave Feast and Dance together over two seasons you have the majority of the main characters not really having anything to do for the first season. You can't stick Peter Dinklage in a barrel and forget about him for 3 episodes.

I don't see why you can't stick Dinklage in a barrel. They've already skipped characters for episodes in season one, and they're probably going to end up doing more of that as they have to juggle more characters and storylines going forward.

Dany doesn't really have anything to do. Jon is the one main character with actual meat to his story but you can tell it in one season. How many episodes of Cersei screwing things up in King's Landing can there be? Of Brienne wandering around Westeros?

How many episodes of Eddard screwing things up in King's Landing could there be? Well, they did a few. I think the way to go is to select the strongest storylines to focus on, and then marginalize the others (I realize that's pretty obvious). For 'Feast' the King's Landing storyline is the strongest, IMO, and it would be very continuous from the adaptations of the first three books, where KL is a central storyline. The other storylines are going to be fairly easy to shrink, especially stuff with a lot of travel like Brienne's story and a few of the threads from 'Dance'. In 'Dance' the Dany story in Meereen could've been a strength, but didn't work out as well in the book as I would've liked. I could definitely see them trying to spend some time in the show on that thread, though, and maybe try to beef it up a little as far as the intrigue at court. They could also try to get some of the characters heading east to Meereen get there a little faster. In 'Dance' the strongest POV storyline was Theon's, IMO, and those chapters and the rest of the storylines from the North could certainly be a strong focus to base episodes on.

It needs to be drastically changed and done in one season. As I've said, I think it's just foolhardy to try to stretch out the available material on the thought that by doing so GRRM will have the rest of it written in time for you. Maybe it could work out, but you can't bank on it. You have to do what's best for the show, which means making the most out of the characters you've spent years developing, not putting their stories on the back burner while you keep bringing out new characters.

I don't see those two books shrunk to one ten episode season. Even cramming the relatively simple (compared to the other books) GoT to one season felt rushed, and 'Clash' will probably be the same. Two seasons would probably work about right for those two books.

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I just can't see how the showrunners can make two seasons out of AFFC and ADWD without doing something completely different. They should stick to original Martin's plan where AFFC and ADWD were one book, before he got lost in the thoughts of Areo Hotah.

Daenarys sits in Meereen and fantasizes about Daario's golden tooth.... for two seasons?

Tyrion travels from A to B, without even reaching B (Daenarys)... for two seasons?

Stannis travels from the Wall to Winterfall without even engaging the Boltons.... for two seasons?

Sansa sits in castle and then moves down... for two seasons?

Arya is ... whatever... for two seasons?

Jon is counting the wildlings, counting food supplies, argues with Marsh, read letters ... for two seasons?

Just can't see it work, all those stories (when you cut them down) fit into one season. If we'll get ASOS in two seasons, as it is rumoured, they can additionally move some ADWD/AFFC material to the 4ths season, and one season for AFFC/ADWD gets even more logical.

EDITED: Many spelling mistakes, a lot of them probably still there...

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If we'll get ASOS in two seasons, as it is rumoured, they can additionally move some ADWD/AFFC material to the 4ths season, and one season for AFFC/ADWD gets even more logical.

Except it wouldn't be 1 season for aFfC/aDwD since you have moved material into another season. :P I'd be stunned if they try to squash all of aFfC/aDwD into 1 season or push it into 2 seasons for that matter (although the latter is slightly more likely I guess, given the show could go supernova).

I do agree though that given the strong rumours that aSoS will span over 1 season, I think we shouldn't get hung up on the idea that each season has to cover 1 full book or 2 full books etc. After aCoK, I think where they cut the seasons will break from the books. One of the HBO guys has already said there is no 1 book, 1 season policy. The showrunners can do whatever they think will work. Including (and why not) moving stuff from tWoW into the end of aDwD if they want to give some of the endings in that book more power.

Either way, we'll know a lot more when we hear about definite plans for S3 (and can hope for a few more).

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Except it wouldn't be 1 season for aFfC/aDwD since you have moved material into another season. :P

Well, I was thinking that the logical ending of S3 would be RW, it would be an anthological season ending. As the RW happens after some 3/4 of ASOS, they must add something from later books not to make the full season out of 1/4 of ASOS. But as I am meditating now what events they move from ADWD/AFFC to the S4, I realize that they can actually move the whole of ADWD/AFFC to S4, so yeah it's even less than one season material in that last two books :P

The first 3 books are on high tempo, the showrunners can't (shouldn't, wouldn't ...) slow it down, as an author of the series could do it. The action must roll on, there's no time of prolongued episodes where Tyrion admires the scenery of Rhoyne riverbanks or Jon starting to count cabbages in episode 2 and finish counting them in episode 5. I'm afraid the only two options are: 1) show will either get cancelled or 2) will remain faithful to the tempo of the first 3 books (by squeezing AFFC/ADWD into one season and even by adding Winterfall/Ice battle and Meereen battle to this one season from TWOW, which anyway were originally meant to be in ADWD).

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I don't think is really difficult

To summarize:

SPOILERS

SPOILERS

Season 1: Game of Thrones

Season 2: Clash of Kings

- Season finale : with no Reeds and Reek, it probably will end with Theon taking Winterfell + Blackwater + House of Undying + Jon with Wildings + Arya free

Season 3: Storm of Swords I

-Finale: Red Wedding + burning Winterfell + Dany in Yunkai + Jon leaving wildlings + Arya with the Hound

Season 4: Storm of Swords II + AFFC/ADWD I

Finale: Euron King + Martell plans + normal ending of SoS (Tyrion and Arya leaving Westeros, Dany ruling Mereen, Jon Lord Commander, Lysa's fall, etc)

Season 5: ADWD II + TWOW I

Finale: Battles of Mereen and Winterfell full revealed + Jon's ending + Brienne/Jaime ending + Dany with Dothraki + Sansa wed?

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But as I am meditating now what events they move from ADWD/AFFC to the S4, I realize that they can actually move the whole of ADWD/AFFC to S4, so yeah it's even less than one season material in that last two books :P

Now you are just been silly. One season for 1/3 of aSoS and all of aDwD/aFfC? That's not even worth discussing.

And the RW does happen 2/3 through aSoS, not 3/4. There are actually a lot more major events (probably more than twice the number) actually happening in aDwD/aFfC than in aSoS up to the RW. So there is certainly no issue about a maintaining a reasonable tempo. The books actually ebb and flow tempo wise. It begins with a bang in aGoT, ebbs with aCoK before building up to a climax with aSoS. It naturally ebbs with the subsequent books again before presumably building up to more climaxes. The ebb and flow in aCoK/aSoS is presumably why they decided to split aSoS and not aCoK.

Its also reasonable to think that the producers wanted to keep a very high tempo in S1 but now that it have won praise, I don't think they will be as concerned about that issue (since they aren't going to stop the tempo altogether). I'm not convinced that they will pick the RW to break off S3 but we'll see.

And talking about events been in other books is misleading also. Originally tRW was supposed to be in aGoT! And a lot happened to Tyrion on the Royne. Lets not exaggerate. I have a few issues with aDwD but it wasn't Tyrion's time on the Royne.

I'm probably more in agreement with Javi but I think its clear from some of the commentary from HBO that we will see beyond Theon taking Winterfell (although its possible we won't see the burning of Winterfell in S2).

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I just can't see how the showrunners can make two seasons out of AFFC and ADWD without doing something completely different. They should stick to original Martin's plan where AFFC and ADWD were one book, before he got lost in the thoughts of Areo Hotah.

Daenarys sits in Meereen and fantasizes about Daario's golden tooth.... for two seasons?

Tyrion travels from A to B, without even reaching B (Daenarys)... for two seasons?

Stannis travels from the Wall to Winterfall without even engaging the Boltons.... for two seasons?

Sansa sits in castle and then moves down... for two seasons?

Arya is ... whatever... for two seasons?

Jon is counting the wildlings, counting food supplies, argues with Marsh, read letters ... for two seasons?

The one book idea for 'Feast'/'Dance' would've only included half or so of what ended up being the final 'Dance', and that would've been a massive book, bigger than 'Storm' which doesn't seem to be able to fit into one season. And I hate it when people use over exaggerations/simplifications to make their arguments. Arya is "whatever" for two seasons? She just spent an entire season taking a few sword lessons and chasing cats. She does a lot more in 'Dance' and 'Feast', so acting like those storylines just couldn't work as two seasons of television doesn't make sense. There are going to be characters with minor storylines. What did Tyrion do in season one? Hang out in Winterfell, travel to the Wall and hang out there for a week, travel south and get kidnapped, argue with a gaelor and make masturbation jokes, then get knocked out for a battle? Even the first three books move pretty slowly, and you can simplify most of the characters' storylines down to a synopsis that indicates nothing happens. What did Eddard even do for season one? Attend some council meetings, have a couple of implied-threat-laden-conversations with Cersei, fight Jaime, then

get his head knocked off?

GRRM has said in multiple interviews that he can see books 4 & 5 spread over three seasons, and I think he'd know more about the lean of the producers toward this type of thing than most people.

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It doesn't matter how massive book combined ADWD/AFFC would be, but if the material is "massive" enough to fit in two TV seasons. In my opinion far from it. The main characters (Arya, Sansa, Bran, Jon, Dany, Tyrion...) either travel somewhere or are static.

Stannis would be slowly moving from Wall to the Winterfall for two seasons? Jon in books 2 and 3 is sent deep into enemy territory on scouting mission, saves an innocent life, kills (somehow) his commanding officer, joins the wildlings, falls in love, has sex (I hope HBO doesn't change it into threesome with Ros), returns back/turns cloack for the second time, fights the wildlings (his love gets killed), defends the wall in an epic battle, is named lord commander. In the next two books he does... Well, he gets killed, but not even that. Whatever is Jon doing in the books 4 and 5 besides reading and writing letters and counting men, women and things, it's not something that would be wise to stretch over two seasons (as in many /nearly all/ cases character's "doings" are described only in one book). There are events in Jon's AFFC/ADWD story, I'm not saying there aren't any, but still not enough for two seasons, and the same goes for other characters.

At the end this issue will be resolved. Let's all hope the show is not cancelled after the 3rd book, and we get the resolution of the issue. We'll know soon (IMO much sooner than we'll get to know the Ice battle), what HBO will do. I believe they'll shoot themselves in the leg if they go with two seasons, I fear drop of ratings and viewership's complains. If they do it but everyone is still happy with the show, it's fine by me, I wouldn't mind to be wrong in this case. I'm ready to watch ADWD/AFFC over two seasons, I'm afraid that your average John Doe (nonreader fan) is not.

additionally @Padraig

I was wrong, you were right, RW happens at 2/3 of the book.

EDIT: added spoiler tags, just in case (are they needed in such threads?)

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It doesn't matter how massive book combined ADWD/AFFC would be, but if the material is "massive" enough to fit in two TV seasons. In my opinion far from it. The main characters (Arya, Sansa, Bran, Jon, Dany, Tyrion...) either travel somewhere or are static.

Of course, if the producers don't feel that the material is worth adapting, then it doesn't matter and it won't fill a thimble, but you could make a lot of the same claims for the third book, that it's big but not a lot happens for many of those pages, so it doesn't need to go for more than one season, yet everything we've heard from GRRM & the producers and now from Dinklage is the possibility of more than one season for that material. And you can make the same claims for many of the characters that you just made for that group, that they either travel or are static. I mean, seriously, Bran? You're going to hold up Brain as a main character and say that he does nothing in 'Dance'? Compared to what? I could summarize Bran's story from the first three books in a sentence or two. Did you notice how much of Bran's season one chapters made it into the show? And, if the Purple Wedding isn't happening until S4, then what is Tyrion's story for season three? You keep writing that you can't imagine this character or that character's story being spread over two seasons, but you could make the same statement about characters in the first three books, that they don't do much. That's going to be the case for some characters regardless, and the more characters the showrunners are juggling the more they are going to have to split time. It's a problem with adapting these books; it was even a problem with the first book, even though it was the most adapable IMO, and it will be an ever increasing problem with each successive book.

At the end this issue will be resolved. Let's all hope the show is not cancelled after the 3rd book, and we get the resolution of the issue.

Thanks for the tip.

We'll know soon (IMO much sooner than we'll get to know the Ice battle), what HBO will do. I believe they'll shoot themselves in the leg if they go with two seasons, I fear drop of ratings and viewership's complains. If they do it but everyone is still happy with the show, it's fine by me, I wouldn't mind to be wrong in this case. I'm ready to watch ADWD/AFFC over two seasons, I'm afraid that your average John Doe (nonreader fan) is not.

I'm not remotely trying to claim that books 4 & 5 are easy adaptations: they seem like extremely problematic adaptations to me, and I expect more than a few changes. As far as whether people will stick with it, it's beyond me: I couldn't understand how people stuck with 'Lost' with all of their procrastinating and never resolving anything (I only watched the first season and an episode or two of the second, so I'm only describing what I've seen and some of what I've heard about what came after), and there are a lot of shows whose popularity mystifies me. At least with GoT I think it's alway moving toward something. I can certainly see viewers starting to complain about where it's going at some point, but it's a unique show that seems to be forging a devoted following, and it's going to be the only thing of its kind for many genre fans. I think enough stuff happens that they may be able to keep enough fans through the lean times to get to what would potentially be a more satisfying climax. I mean, a lot of fans stuck with 'The Sopranos' during the second half of its run, and millions flocked to watch the deathly boring Prequels.

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I won't compare ADWD/AFFC to ASOS, and how in one book much more happens than in other, I've seen so strange comparisons in this forum, that I don't think it's worthy for me to say what I think on the issue.

Where did I say nothing happens to Bran, anyway, it's not what I think. Things happen to Bran. Book 4 and 5 follow Bran Beyond the wall, from the wall to that CoTF liar. But think about it -- here's the issue, I believe that whatever happens to Bran is enough for one season, where you think his travel Beyond the Wall must be stretched over two seasons. And the same with other charactes. Poor Bran is already travelling the whole 3rd book, now you would stretch him travelling through the North and beyond for four seasons (if they make two seasons out of Book 3). At the end they'll add Ros to Bran's travel to make it more interesting, no thanks, I rather have AFFC/ADWD compressed to one season.

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