George R.R. Martin: I'm Worried That Game of Thrones Will Catch Up with Me

George R.R. Martin is notoriously slow. Though lauded for his expansive, enthralling book series A Song of Ice and Fire (which was adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones), the author is often criticized for his pace, which has yielded two books in the series over the past eleven years. The fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, was released shortly after the first season's conclusion in 2011; if Martin continues at this pace, the next entry, The Winds of Winter, will be released after the seventh season of the HBO series -- at which time the plot of the adaptation will surpass that of the original material. 

Martin himself has acknowledged the risk, but doesn't seem to be doing too much about it. The author is juggling a lot of other projects, he tells, meaning that the danger of being passed by the series is very, very real. "It's a slow process, the way I write," he remarks, "especially books of this size that are as large and complex as they are." 

"I am aware of the TV series moving along behind me like a giant locomotive, and I know I need to lay the track more quickly, perhaps, because the locomotive is soon going to be bearing down on me," he says. "The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I've got a considerable headstart, but production is moving faster than I can write. I'm hoping that we'll finish the story at about the same time... we'll see."

Martin is touchy about criticism of his pace, but it certainly seems like it's in his best interests (and the best interests of fans) to put aside his side projects ("we're also coming out with a big concordance called "The World of Ice and Fire," which is about the whole history of Westeros and will be lavishly illustrated. So I've been filling in some of the histories of the kings who ruled 200 years ago or 500 years ago. We've also been doing a map book, and I'm working on a new novella about Dunk and Egg, the prequel series I have," he says) for the moment and focus on the main series. 

If Martin falls behind and doesn't finish the final books in time, fans of the HBO series need worry not. He's already passed along notes to executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, giving them some idea of the future of the series in case the need arises for them to plot their own course. 

Game of Thrones season 3 will premiere in spring 2013. 

- Game of Thrones
- George R. Martin

Written by: mcpherson
Jun 15th, 2012, 2:43 pm


Message Posted On Jun 20th, 2012, 8:31 pm
Don't forget it's been confirmed that next year they'll roughly only adapt half of book three.

Message Posted On Jun 20th, 2012, 8:30 pm
Don't forget next year they plan to only coverhalf of the third book...

Message Posted On Jun 19th, 2012, 8:37 am
There's no chance Martin will finish the series before the producers run out of content to adapt. It took 5 and 6 years for the last two books. HBO is doing one season (book) a year. They will catch up to Martin in 3 years. I doubt Book 6 will be finished in 3 years at Martin's rate. He gets distracted way too easily. If the TV show does force Martin to write faster, I guess that can only be a good thing.

Message Posted On Jun 18th, 2012, 12:59 pm
The quality is important but after the third book the series becomes rubbish so really... George should just sit down and finish... I'm sure the show will be cancelled by the time the third book ends anyway... unless the director/producers just throw away the script and write a good one on their own.

Message Posted On Jun 18th, 2012, 3:32 am
Screw that. Write faster. As a reader of the books, waiting 5 years in between books (for a book that was already written, but just split into 2 books) is ridiculous. Maybe if he actually treated it like a job, he would get it done before he dies of old age.

Message Posted On Jun 17th, 2012, 7:33 pm
While Im soaking it up at a rate faster than Martin can write it. I have to agree the quality is important and there are many side stories to the other characters that would be very interesting; including going back into the history to see where all the old hatred for the dead and gone kings springs from. Keep up the good work Martin.

Message Posted On Jun 17th, 2012, 5:17 am
Honestly I think that Martin is in his right to take time to write a good book. If HBO goes way fast, heck they are cramming way too much stuff in just one season. They can always branch out and do back stories, use the time to use some more material from the other books with the stories of the old kings and just expand. Also lets face it, George is not a young man, and even if he was he could still kick the bucket without finishing. Lets hope not, I desire no one to suffer an untimely end. But we have examples of other great writers who have gone to a better life before they could finish their work, like Robert Jordan. Again, I hope nothing happens to Mr. Martin, but its always withing the realm of possibility, we are mortals after all.

Message Posted On Jun 16th, 2012, 7:41 am
If the HBO do more then 10 episodes, they could transmit 5 episode weekly, and the 6 episode after 2 weeks or something like that. By doing example 15 to 20 episodes, skipping 2 week with 2 or 3 episodes, they can prolong the tv shows more. And besides, with 15-20 episode, it will be expensive, but they people will stay watching HBO channel's for more time. Me, by example, after finished the season 2, i don't watch HBO channels anymore.
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