Season three of Game of Thrones is over with and season four is 9-10 months away. Seems like a silly time to worry about season six or seven, right? Book readers are more than familiar with George R.R. Martin's slow writing. It took GRRM five years to finish A Feast for Crows (book four) after A Storm of Swords (book three) came out. Then it was another long and painful six year wait for the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons. The HBO show Game of Thrones decided to split A Storm of Swords into two seasons so next season will wrap up that book and possibly cover the first part of AFFC. Books four and five split the characters although the timeline is the same so they will be combined into the same season for HBO. It's not known if that will be just season five or if it will be season five and six. Either way, we are 2-3 years from the show catching up with the books.

George R.R. Martin says he's not worried. "I think the odds against that happening are very long. I still have a lead of several gigantic books. If they include everything in the books, I don’t think they’re going to catch up with me. If they do, we’ll have some interesting discussions." As for when the next book, The Winds of Winter, will be out? "I’ve given up answering that question. I’m working on it and it will be done when it’s done. Hopefully it won’t be as long of a wait as the last book.” As a longtime fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, I also hope it won't be as long of a wait as there was between Feast and Dance. That was a killer wait. Still, there is a lot of money involved and HBO has to look at contingency plans. Martin mentions how Spartacus took a year off and did a prequel. GRRM recently signed a development deal with HBO and it's possible they will do a prequel of sorts with his Dunk and Egg stories which tell tales of Westeros roughly 100 years before the War of Five Kings.

Game of Thrones producer David Benioff brings up another point. "There is a ticking clock here ... We can’t wait too long because of the kids Issac’s [Hempsted Wright who plays Brandon Stark] voice is changing. Everyone is getting bigger. We have this wonderful cast, but we don’t have an infinite amount of time … We don’t want to become a show that outstays its welcome and tries to turn each book into three seasons. Part of what we love about these books and the show is this sense of momentum and building toward something. If we tried to turn this into a 10-season show we’d strangle the golden goose.” The best solution is if GRRM can just put aside his other projects and get The Winds of Winter finished. Call me optimistic but I have a feeling he's farther along than we know and it will be out around the time season four starts next spring!

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