Thursday, March 13, 2014


I'd heard that George R. R. Martin is taking too long to write his books, and the TV series Game Of Thrones might catch up before he finishes.  So I checked up on the Song Of Ice And Fire series on Wikipedia (carefully avoiding spoilers) to see how things were working out.

He's written five books in the series so far, and plans two more to finish it out.  The books seem to be getting longer (and with their success Martin can afford to be self-indulgent--happens to a lot of sequels).  The first two series of GOT dealt with the first two books, but the third and fourth seasons covered the third book.  So it sounds like two season per book from now on, except the fourth and fifth books take place simultaneously, and amount to one huge book, so how many seasons they represent I can't say, but let's guess seven seasons will take us to the end of the five books.

At a season a year, that means we'll run out of stuff already out there by 2017.  By then, one would hope, Martin will have finished the sixth book, giving GOT two more seasons at least.  He's been taking longer and longer to write the books but 2017 (or earlier) sounds reasonable.  That'll get us to 2019 or perhaps 2020, however, and unless Martin rushes maybe he won't finish in time.  However, he never had the TV series to think about until this last book, so maybe, somehow, he'll move faster. I doubt it, but it's a hope.

Best of all (though Martin may not think so), he's told the producers of the show the main plot points in case he dies.  So, if nothing else, we'll get an ending (unless the producers both die).

Martin does feel a commitment to the fans, and to himself, to do it right. He says he wants an ending worthy of The Lord Of The Rings (which some people think is a high goal indeed, but not me), and he's stated he wants to avoid an ending that disappoints a lot of fans, like Lost did.  I don't quite see how that can happen. Lost was, at its heart, a mystery. You can either like the solution or not. Game Of Thrones is a massive work with hundreds of characters and numerous locations, but, even though there's magic, there's not much mystery.  It's about a bunch of characters who are fighting to be in charge.  While there are countless permutations, one still expects, at the end, many of the contenders to be dead, and, in fact, much of the landscape to still be smoking, while the "winner" (Daenerys?) takes the Iron Throne, to the delight/dismay of those left alive.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's created a world more than a story arc and the appeal of his series is more like that of a soap opera. I don't think he can achieve a Lord of the Rings type ending unless he blows up his world or has it transmogrify into our time or something cheesy like that.

Tolkien brought on the age of men at the end of the trilogy and while there is a lot of additional Tolkien literature out there, I am not familiar with any that have much to do with the Fourth Age.

I think the GOT world becomes more like the Star Wars Universe- endless possibilities for more either in the past or the unwritten future. Though perhaps though, GOT may have clearer strategy for artistic control of the theme than Star Wars (there is a lot of dreck out there) though its hard to say no to dripping mountains of steaming cash (to really butcher a metaphor).

If the GOT franchise remains as popular, it will be an interesting rights negotiation as Martin gets older and finishes this series. It will be interesting to see how the series treats the last two books and whether the popularity remains.

6:02 AM, March 13, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

I would guess the show will remain popular. It's about to go into its fourth season and it seems to have more viewers than ever.

The show does take its time--as does Martin, I suppose. Things happen, certainly, but from the very first episode there was the threat of White Walkers and we're still waiting.

The series could be ongoing if Martin and the producers wished, inasmuch as the Game of Thrones never ends--there can be an unending supply of contenders to rule Westeros. But I'd rather (and I assume this is what they're doing) they take the top names already identified and have most die (as some already have) while someone makes it at the end, even if that hold is tenuous.

10:24 AM, March 13, 2014  
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10:09 PM, December 22, 2016  

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