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I believe the show will need to deviate from the books, do you? [BOOK SPOILERS]

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I think it is clear, the show will need to take a different approach than the books or it will lose its audience and succumb to some half hearted attempt to wrap things up once HBO pulls the plug after many viewers move on. And i mean a drastic story changing deviation. Would you be ok with this?

After this episode, the Dany fanclub is at an all time high in membership. She now has dragons, a huge army, and two loyal knights after only 2.5 books/seasons (in a non reader's eyes). She is only missing ships, and the producers should give her some in a completely different way than she attempts to acquire her own in the books. I cant imagine the outrage that will come when by season 6 nothing has changed and she hasnt traversed over the sea. Or the fact that by the end of book 3 we have Tyrion going to find her and by the end of book 5 he still hasnt.

We all know the first 3 books were the best, I wouldnt be shocked at all if HBO completely tore through some of the story lines and went their own direction after this season. There is no shame in not following the source material to the letter, in my mind. All movies and shows are their own adaptations and it is right about now that the show needs to make this decision.

I think the introduction of Dorne and the Iron Islands as major players would be a mistake. I think introducing Aegon would be a mistake (wasnt his head 'dashed' against a wall? :).

TV viewers cant handle more characters and plotlines and they certainly wont stand for story lines that, literally, do not develop after books and books (seasons and seasons). Can we really watch Ayra do her assassin training for two seasons?

It'll be a sad day if the show keeps following the books and then have it fizzle unceremoniously.

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It would be even more shame if the show was to abandon some pretty important plotlines (while Dorne chapters are tedious, their implications elsewhere aren't). Plus flying lizards need to grow.

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Absolutely not. The show up until S4 (the end of SOS) could easily have been made to the same degree of faithfulness as season 1. After that point the books could probably be adapted at the same degree of faithfulness as season 2 was actually adapted. The only huge hurdle is AFFC/ADWD but I think that 1 perhaps extended season would allow them to condense all of the interesting events of those books and speed into TWOW which will no doubt be very exciting.

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I think what they need to do is keep the same overall storylines, but spice things up with new invented subplots. Keep Dany on Meereen, but make her struggle much harder against the slavers in their own game of thrones. Keep Quentyn Martell, but make him find more trouble on the way, some fighting maybe, just drop the whole Windblown thing and make him arrive at Meereen as an envoy. Keep Aegon, but show his interactions with the Golden Company. Keep the Iron Islands, but focus more on badassery with both Euron and Victarion kicking ass in battles. Keep Brienne's journey, but, like Quentyn, give her more obstacles on the way, with more trouble. Keep Arya's training, just focus more on the assassinations. The most boring parts would be Brienne's and Quentyn's, but those could be easily improved with some minor changes.

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Brienne's part... boring? Come on, wanton slaughter everywhere ;) Skirmish vs. Shagwell and co., hint at Sandor surviving (that would be a hard one to pull off...), then fighting Biter with Genrdy and being hanged in the end... Plenty of movie stuff there ;)

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Brienne's part... boring? Come on, wanton slaughter everywhere ;) Skirmish vs. Shagwell and co., hint at Sandor surviving (that would be a hard one to pull off...), then fighting Biter with Genrdy and being hanged in the end... Plenty of movie stuff there ;)

Aye, but that's after a dozen chapters where she's just wandering around random places asking random people about Sansa :P

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The only storyline I have absolutely no idea what they could do to improve it is Bran's. We can't have him appear in only two episodes in each season.

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Absolutely not. The show up until S4 (the end of SOS) could easily have been made to the same degree of faithfulness as season 1. After that point the books could probably be adapted at the same degree of faithfulness as season 2 was actually adapted. The only huge hurdle is AFFC/ADWD but I think that 1 perhaps extended season would allow them to condense all of the interesting events of those books and speed into TWOW which will no doubt be very exciting.

Keep the interesting plot points at the cost of character development?

No thanks. ;)

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No, they have to keep with the same general plot arcs - and in that Dorne and the Iron Islands are key players. If they start deviating from the book massively come Season 5, the show will spiral rapidly out of control.

Instead, what I suggest, is that they vastly cut down on journey times. Because most of the journeys are boring. So Quentyn travelling to Dany is virtually cut, Tyrion's journeys shortened and made more interesting (but with the same result), Brienne's journey massively cut etc. Couple that with increasing character arc overlaps and the story will suddenly start to get more interesting.

But yes, D&D will have headaches galore come season 5 - the number of character arcs ramps up so much it is almost unworkable on tv. Almost.

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We all know the first 3 books were the best

I don't remember ever knowing that...

Obviously the show WILL deviate, it already has a lot and thus is forced to deviate more over time. But, it will not go so far as to cut books 4 and 5, all that would do is skip to the ending of the series - they would be able to get 2-3 seasons more tops if Dany were to suddenly make it to Westeros. Otherwise they would have the same problem as you're saying they have now, immobile plot-lines that will push viewers away.

Unless they want to just end the series at 5 seasons they will keep Dany in Meereen and the changes will be to keep her story relevant and interesting. There are already setups for several new plotlines that aren't in the books to fill time and extend the series in interesting ways (that still keep true to the spirit of the world of asoiaf).

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I think it is clear, the show will need to take a different approach than the books or it will lose its audience and succumb to some half hearted attempt to wrap things up once HBO pulls the plug after many viewers move on. And i mean a drastic story changing deviation. Would you be ok with this?

After this episode, the Dany fanclub is at an all time high in membership. She now has dragons, a huge army, and two loyal knights after only 2.5 books/seasons (in a non reader's eyes). She is only missing ships, and the producers should give her some in a completely different way than she attempts to acquire her own in the books. I cant imagine the outrage that will come when by season 6 nothing has changed and she hasnt traversed over the sea. Or the fact that by the end of book 3 we have Tyrion going to find her and by the end of book 5 he still hasnt.

We all know the first 3 books were the best, I wouldnt be shocked at all if HBO completely tore through some of the story lines and went their own direction after this season. There is no shame in not following the source material to the letter, in my mind. All movies and shows are their own adaptations and it is right about now that the show needs to make this decision.

I think the introduction of Dorne and the Iron Islands as major players would be a mistake. I think introducing Aegon would be a mistake (wasnt his head 'dashed' against a wall? :).

TV viewers cant handle more characters and plotlines and they certainly wont stand for story lines that, literally, do not develop after books and books (seasons and seasons). Can we really watch Ayra do her assassin training for two seasons?

It'll be a sad day if the show keeps following the books and then have it fizzle unceremoniously.

I definitely think that the show will deviate from the books, and that some differences will be fairly important. I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing, since TV is a different medium than literature. However, I don't think it's going to happen the way you suggest.

I believe the Iron Islands will be featured in Season 4. Not necessarily with all the characters - most likely Victarion and the Damphair would be merged into one, for example - but Balon's death will be followed by a fight for the throne, someone will be sent to find Dany, and there will be pillaging of the Reach. They already introduced Theon and Asha Yara, so there would be no sense in cutting out their future plotlines. Also, they are an easy way to "spice up" the slower pace of AFFC & ADWD.

Likewise, I don't think Dorne will be left out. Some of the Sandsnakes disappearing would not surprise me - but they're probably going to leave in one or two to up the number of proactive women. And there must be some mention of what happened to Myrcella, since they based a lot of Cersei's hatred for Tyrion around that betrothal. This may or may not happen in Season 4, but Oberyn will offer the first introduction to Dorne.

Aegon... too soon to tell. But yes, I'm pretty sure there will be some changes and/or additions to Dany's storyline in Meereen. They did it to Qarth, after all. They'll pack some more action scenes in there, I'm sure, perhaps centered around the whole issue of feeding the dragons. (Or maybe not, since CGI is so expensive... but I guess they could show the aftermath rather than the dragons themselves.)

The traveling parts - Brienne, Tyrion, Quentyn (if he's even included) - may well be shortened down, or packed with more fighting or running into other characters. No idea what they'll do with Arya; I'd say that depends on what GRRM has told them about her future storyline.

All that said, please be careful with phrases like "We all know that X is Y." That way lies board fighting. I'd suggest something more like "I think a lot of people will agree that..."

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And what would we do when Daenerys makes it to Westeros, far before she actually does in the books? They can't do that. I wouldn't mind if she wouldn't appear that much in the fifth season, so that we have time to explore the Dornish characters, and Oldtown for example. Then there's Samwell Tarly etc. Daenerys could show some meetings with her people and stuff, something with the Harpy etc, but they cannot simple make up a whole new plotline which deviates too much from the books. I mean, her new plotline in Season 2 when her dragons were gone and stuff, worked rather well, since it didn't change her overall story. Bringing her to Westeros earlier, would change her overall story, and that of everyone else. I'd rather have them focusing on other characters, than just Daenerys and her ''cool dragunz!''

Yes.

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I hope they show Eurons sack of the Shield islands.

Its intresting because if GRRM doesnt get his finger out and finish the books then theres a real danger that HBO will catch up to the books and I cant imagine them sitting around waiting for the final books to be published.

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Over at WIC see the interview - Q and A with Bryan Cogman , not long ago:

http://winteriscoming.net/2013/04/ask-a-got-writer-bryan-cogman-on-the-writing-process-robb-and-talisa-and-renlys-peach/#more-25821

This the second time Dave and Dan have visited George in Santa Fe, Bryan was not along the last time.

No , no spoilers or even hints of where GRRM is going with the story.

But things are getting down to rail road-ing time.

I have the feeling that with such an early greenlight from HBO about season 4, now Dave and Dan have to start blocking out season 5.

As maybe known, as George has said, Dave and Dan (now I guess Bryan) know the 'rest of the story'.

My guess is that the showrunners and Bryan talked about how to tackle Crows and Dragons. I also have the feeling that Dave and Dan have some ideas to structure season 5 (and 6 too!) to keep the visual narrative kicked up.

As prose , I didn't find Crows and Dragons a drag, I love George's travelogues, I thought Tryion's was actually fun to read and Arya's story weird enough to keep me glued to the page.

But HBO have probably pressed Dave and Dan about how many seasons?

I mean you have to keep making a zillion dollars , which looks like HBO will do this year, and looks as if next year won't be shabby either. But the out years , there is story there, but it's TV and it going to take some imagination to make it click.

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They will draw out Dany's conquering of Slavers Bay for a good while yet I think.

The battles at Yankai and Mereen are pretty much left to the imagination of readers with very little commentary(not a criticism).

I can see the Series going more into the sieges and travels between cities and use this as an opportunity to develop certain characters. If this is what happens then I'm good with it.

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They will draw out Dany's conquering of Slavers Bay for a good while yet I think.

The battles at Yankai and Mereen are pretty much left to the imagination of readers with very little commentary(not a criticism).

I can see the Series going more into the sieges and travels between cities and use this as an opportunity to develop certain characters. If this is what happens then I'm good with it.

Well George gives a pretty good summary of the battles of Yankai and Meereen , even if the action is 'off page'.

From the looks of previews something about the battle of Yankai will show up this season, I can't figure how how elaborated it will be.

My guess is , dead sure, the battle for the Wall will be big budget stuff season 4.

That leaves the Battle for Meereen , HBO could pony up for putting that on screen but I am guessing not, I hope they surprise me.

There is very interesting and engaging story in Crows and Dragons , some action, the fight Asha has at Deepwood Motte is not a big battle but could be fleshed out and would not be expensive.

Victarion and god-knows-who else breaking the siege at Meereen could be bigger than Black Water and the Battle for the Wall put together , but we don't know what George is going to do about that.

The battle for Westeros against the Others could trump everything that has happened, but lord! I will not try to out guess GRRM on that one!

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I've posted this before, but we still don't know how important the Iron Islands and Dorne are to the overall plot. If the purpose of Victaron sailing to Dany is to shuttle her back that can be done many different ways.

So far Dornes contribution has been a trial by combat and letting the other two Dragons loose.

But.... We are about to lose several key characters over the next two seasons, so there will be plenty of room to develop these new story lines.

At this point, Imo, the book story is more a soap opera than anything else. Characters dying (some reanimated), random paths crossing, new characters introduced, but it doesn't seem the plot has moved forward greatly.

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When you break it down, they're going to need a lot of filler scenes involving Tyrion, Theon, Varys etc starting around episode 6 this season.

Daenerys in Mereen might also have a few surprises for book readers in season 4, and probably in season 5.

The reasons aren't really as you say, to keep the tv audience happy, but more so to keep the actors happy. Can't have an actor wait a year or two until they're written back into a tv series(ie Alphie Allen).

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But yes, D&D will have headaches galore come season 5 - the number of character arcs ramps up so much it is almost unworkable on tv. Almost.

Yes. I have my doubts as to whether AFFC and ADWD are even filmable, either as is or "spliced" together as we expect they will be. Because if you splice them together, you have the following separate plotlines to sort through: Victarion/Dany/Quentyn/Tyrion/Sam/Sansa/Arya/Arianne/Jon/Jaime/Cersei/Brienne/Asha/Theon/Bran/everyone else. It was one thing when the characters were somewhat more centrally located, but a lot of these POVs are happening completely cut off from each other: Sansa, Arya, Bran, Arianne, etc. It seems way too hairy to boil down into a coherent narrative. Heck, critics are complaining about the fragmented storylines as it is.

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I think it may depend on when Winds of Winter comes out. AFFC and ADWD are both not very telegenic, when it comes to battles and deaths. Both are more of epic fantasy soap operas which is great in its own way. If HBO is content to put out a soap opera for a couple of seasons (seasons 5 and 6), then that would work, I guess. However, if WOW comes out by then (around 2016, and we have been promised some battles in the beginning of the book), maybe those battles could help in retaining the viewership numbers for post season 5/6.

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