So here’s the deal ‘Game of Thrones’ fans, the TV show is probably going to pass the book material pretty soon and chances are by a long shot considering author George R.R. Martin might possibly push into an eighth book before the series is said and done….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
For almost two decades fantasy readers have been enthralled by George R.R. Martin’s universe known as ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ beginning with the first book in the series titled ‘A Game of Thrones’ first released in 1996. The hype around the ultra popular series reached a fevered pitch when Martin sold the property to HBO for a TV adaptation to be made and ‘Game of Thrones’ was born and has now become one of the most watched cable shows in the history of television.
When Martin first started to write the series he said it was a trilogy and then thousands upon thousands of pages later it was seven books need to tell the real story of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. As the TV show began it seemed as if there was no way they would possibly catch up to Martin’s writing considering he released the fifth book in the series just months after the series premiered on HBO and plans were for a sixth book to land on bookshelves well ahead of the TV version bearing down on him.
Well now we sit in 2014 and book six — ‘The Winds of Winter’ — still hasn’t been released and chances are it won’t come out until at least sometime in 2015, which would likely mean around the same time as ‘Game of Thrones’ season five. Now the show runners have already built in a contingency plan with Martin, finding out how each character will progress and reach the finale just in case they ultimately pass him up at some point (which they undoubtedly will).
Now in an even more jarring piece of information, it seems Martin’s writing process — which is very long and involved — could force an eighth book before it’s all said and done. Martin’s editor Anne Lesley Groell recently did a Q&A with fans where she revealed how the author’s plans never seem to go quite as well as he hopes, which is why book four ended up actually becoming books four and five because of how much material he wrote.
“I begin to wonder—though 7 is what we currently have under contract. I remember when he called me, years and years back, to confess that his little trilogy was…well…no longer a trilogy. He predicted four books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he said five books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he went to six. I said… Well, you get it. Finally, we were on the same page. Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Good,” Groell said.
“Only, as I recently learned while editing THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE (another awesome thing you must buy when it comes out!), there are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay.
“Also, he has promised me that, when he finally wraps this great beast us, I can publish the five page letter outlining the bare bones of the “trilogy.”
For his part, Martin spoke to EW later in the same day to ‘clarify’ how long the final book or books may be although clarification is really loosely used when talking about his statement. You see Martin’s ‘plan’ is really more of an idea that he has to finish in seven books, but once the writing really gets going he can’t predict where it will end.
In other words people, get ready for eight books.
“My plan is to finish in seven,” Martin said. “But my original plan was to finish in three. I write the stories and they grow. I deal with certain things and sometimes I find myself not at the end of a story. My plan right now is still seven. But first I have to finish Book Six. Get back to me when I’m half-way through Book Seven and then maybe I’ll tell you something more meaningful.”
Either way, there’s virtually no chance ‘Game of Thrones’ the TV series doesn’t pass up Martin somewhere next season given some of the storylines they’ve already exhausted up to the point in books four and five. Now there are plenty of stories still going on from the third book (which is the best in the series in my humble opinion) but Martin has a tendency to virtually leave out some characters outside of some mentions in certain books and well, the TV show can’t exactly fire an actor or actress for a year waiting for the author to catch up to them.
Chances are assuming Martin’s grand plan is set in stone, Game of Thrones will probably tell the end of the Westeros story long before the books are finished. Then again at the pace we’re currently on, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ will be released around the same time some Hollywood genius options the series for a ‘reboot’ in 2025.