Benioff and Weiss estimate 10-15 hours remain for Game of Thrones after this season

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The potential endgame for Game of Thrones is the subject of much discussion these days, with everyone wondering just how long we have left in the run of the show.

“We are writing the final act now,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss tell the Hollywood Reporter in a new interview today. The showrunners address the recent talk about the show’s future, and estimate that the series will run for “10-15 more hours beyond season six.”

Benioff and Weiss explain, “We’re approaching the finish line. From the outset, our hope was to tell a complete story — beginning, middle and end. We are writing the final act now, and the last thing we want to do is stay on stage after the play is over.”

The showrunners further say, “In the beginning, we hoped that if the show worked, we’d get seven seasons to tell the tale. Seven kingdoms, seven gods, seven books — seven felt like a lucky number. The actual messiness of storytelling might not be quite that numerologically elegant, but we’re looking at somewhere between 70 and 75 hours before the credits roll for the last time.”

Benioff and Weiss say that they “see the upside” in Game of Thrones diverging from the source books. “[B]ook readers won’t be spoiled by what’s to come on the show, and the show audience won’t have to worry about spoilers from the unpublished books.”

Over at Goldman Sachs this week, David Benioff sat down for a uniquely personal interview-a talk with his father, former GS chairman Stephen Friedman. The interview covers a lot of familiar ground, such as how Benioff and Weiss got the GoT job and how he and his writing partner met, but as far as the discussion at hand, Benioff does refer to there being two seasons remaining after season 6.

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    1. First they 13, now “10-15” (13 being in the middle of that range). I’d think the number of episodes in Season 7 would be largely locked down at this point, so the question is how large Season 8 is.

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    2. Sounds about right to me. I personally hope it’s towards the upper end of that estimate (13-15 hours), but as I have said before I trust them to do what they believe is right and I will support their decision completely; they know how much story is left to tell, I don’t.

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    3. I was disappointed at first, but I trust them 100%. If they say it’s time to wrap it up, I believe it. Nothing worse than a show dragging things out for money.
      Plus, just think about how awesome it’s going to be to read the books and how much more we’re going to have to discover once Martin gets around to finishing them.

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    4. Do not post any kind of first episode spoiler leaks/description/discussion or requests for links to that kind of material on our site. Thank you!

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    5. so let it be 15. 10 is ridiculous.

      i hope they say soon how seasons we will have and how many episodes in each season.

      and again they said ´´. “[B]ook readers won’t be spoiled by what’s to come on the show, and the show audience won’t have to worry about spoilers from the unpublished books.”

      i dont like this.

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    6. Their strong confidence on this really convinces me that the final shot of the season is either the wall falling down or Dany flying on Drogon across the sea with a huge fleet following behind her.

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    7. 15 hours at 55 mins per episode is roughly 16 episodes…maybe we’ll get 7 and 7.

      Season 7 can be two halves of seven each…?

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    8. Does my Heart good to hear D&D having things planned out, looks like they have things under control.

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    9. Just food for thought, but what if Daenerys’s bittersweet ending is her finally getting to Westeros. I don’t really see that happening. Who knows…she could die in Essos and never make it to Westeros.

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    10. Euron must be a huge endgame player then if they are introducing him now with 10 episodes left after Season 6.

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    11. They’re doing the right thing. Would much rather see an appropriately concluded narrative arc rather than one that stretches on to just make more money.

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    12. book 6 and 7 will be big, with great events. they (the books) for sure can make at least 4 more season. but how we dont have they. for DD words, they will create theyr own way to the end history and a much short way, you guys be sure about it.

      central things will have in the show and book, but will have a lot of diferences from now, like, much more than we already saw betwen the books and the past seasons. and im pretty sure de end game will be absurdly different between the show and the books.

      put that in your minds, from now the thins will be more diferente than EVER was. and the way to the end game in the show will be shorter and the end will be diferent.

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    13. Mihnea:
      they are clearly still negotiating.

      I think will get either 13 or 15. not less, but not more either.

      Huh, I thought that meant they were still writing. I would assume HBO would give them whatever number they said was needed.

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    14. Igor Thadeu,

      I disagree profoundly.

      Martin told them how he wants to end the story and the fate of every major character.

      Sure Missandei and GW, for example, can have different endings but not Dany, Jon, Tyrion,…etc.

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    15. Jack Bauer 24:
      Euron must be a huge endgame player then if they are introducing him now with 10 episodes left after Season 6.

      …or does he end up as an extension of Theon’s story somehow. After all, he’s the Greyjoy we’ve been with since the beginning.

      Unless a different kind Ironborn Horniness comes into play

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    16. Mihnea,

      they AGAIN sayd ´´ book readers wont be spoiled´´ and we see the exactly same end in the show first than the books is the bigger spoiler possible.

      you will see, a lot of things will be diferent, this episodes 9 in season 6, im 100% sure wont hapens in the books. a lot of thins wont, they will make a short way and with difirent things withs a diferrent end. martin will write another end, with another one in the iron throne.

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    17. Dont forget, they know what Martins endgame is. They know the broad strokes. Theyve already done some things different from the books, but Im confident that they arent going to do something completely different from what Martin intends. The details might be different, but they arent going to go crazy and go in the opposite direction from Martin. We have to realize, we have an entire season to watch first. After season 6, it may not seem all that crazy to only have a dozen or show episodes left. Season 6 might really get things to where that seems appropriate. We just dont know because we havent seen it yet. We have 10 hours of story to get us to that point….

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    18. Mihnea,

      He told where these characters (at least major five) will end but story to that end will be different. But anyway as Benioff said they will respect George and his work, but ultimately this is their version of the story from now on. I’m fine with that and in fact it will be better.

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    19. Assuming 55 min.s on an average per episode, we have min 11 and max 16 episodes. 17, if they push a little.

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    20. Igor Thadeu,

      They’ve already spoiled the books if you’d not read the first five books, and they already spoiled some of Book 6: Longclaw and Valyrian steel kill Others; Shireen gets burned; Stannis loses the battle. Yes, we may not be certain what is or isn’t in the books, but we will definitely be spoiled. D&D would like to convince readers not to avoid the show, but they’ve always said that they are heading to the same place as George.

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    21. Niranjan Pandit:
      Assuming 55 min.s on an average per episode, we have min 11 and max 16 episodes. 17, if they push a little.

      Episode length has nothing to do with the Episode count.

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    22. Igor Thadeu,

      The person who ends up on the iron throne, if there still is one, will be the same in the book and show. That is the only thing I am positive will be the same. But I agree that the battle that happens in episode 9 this season won’t happen in the books. Nor do I think a rumored death will happen in the books.

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    23. Jack Bauer 24,

      Yes

      Dany needs Euron’s fleet to get her army to Westeros

      I like that D&D have a plan, even if it is for fewer episodes. At this point in the game if they said “we have no idea how long this series will continue” I would be a little worried.

      I think we’ll all be satisfied. This was and is probably the best produced TV series ever and I expect it to stay that way for a LONG time.

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    24. Since they keep saying the show won’t spoil the future books, I really hope they don’t make the endings completely different. I know there are many things changed and let out already, but the main lines are the same. If they’re going to take the main line somewhere else then in the books, why the hell did they even follow the books?

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    25. If that’s the case then some big stuff has to go down this season. R+L=J….The Wall coming down…And Dany has got to get moving towards KL sooner rather then later…Just to name a few things.

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    26. Geralt of Rivia,

      I never denied that.

      That is exactly what I think will happen.

      for example. He told them that Dany unites Westeros, for example and faces a lot of problems in uniting the lord beneath her rule but in the end she manages to unite westeros.

      What lords and what problems might be different. But the end, her uniting them, will be the same.

      Another example.

      Let’s say Martin didn’t release ADWD and was telling DD, Dany’s story.
      She tries to rule Meereen. The locals/masters create a insurgency group against her, she faces many problems, the city is on the brink of civil war.
      to appease both sides she marries a Meereenese master.

      At the fighting pit she is attacked and Drogon saves her, then she flies on his back.
      She lands in the dothraki see where she meets a khalasar.
      The end.

      This is how I think Martin told them the story.

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    27. Jack Bauer 24,

      Guessing an expected range here, with an assumption or two. The point is, looks like there is a chance of having more than the 13 (speculated) episodes.

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    28. That is an AWESOME interview! Awww….. Benioff’s dad interviewing him!
      1. Season 6 will be primarily beyond the books territory, with only a couple of instances of things from the books.
      2. Biggest horse battle ever? They must be talking about the battle for Meereen, since the Northern battle will be a mishmash of mounted troops and those on foot.

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    29. The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring may be 1200 pages long each, but that doesn’t mean that they contain 4 seasons worth of story that the show can draw upon. Neither one yet exists in published form. A Dream of Spring exists only as a potentially scant outline in Martin’s notes. It may never be released.

      Furthermore, many parts of The Winds of Winter – potential comprising hundreds of pages – have been rendered unsuitable for adaptation because of previous choices that the show has made. Let’s run down the list:

      Any chapters involving Theon and Asha in Stannis’s camp? Gone. Stannis is dead.

      Any chapters involving Arianne or Jon Connington that tie in to the fAegon plot? Gone. Those characters have been cut. The relevant aspects of their storylines have been folded into Dany (who Varys now supports), Jorah (greyscale), and other Dornish characters (once and future Targaryen allies).

      Any Tyrion chapters featuring him outside Meereen with the sellsword company, up to the point when he finally meets Daenerys? Gone. Tyrion has already met Dany, and established himself in Meereen.

      Any Victarion chapters up to or including the Battle of Meereen? Gone. He’s been cut. The relevant aspects of his storyline will be given to Euron, Yara, and/or Theon. Dany already has her ships.

      Any Barristan chapters up to or including the Battle of Meereen? Gone. Barristan is dead. The relevant aspects of his storyline will be given to Tyrion.

      Any chapters featuring Sansa in the Vale, playing politics and flirting with Harry the Heir, before she presumably heads North? Gone. Sansa already went North in Season 5, and she’s not leaving now.

      Any chapters involving Davos searching for Rickon on Skagos? Gone. Davos is at the Wall, and while he will be traversing the North with a Stark, the Stark in question will be Sansa, and they’ll be heading to Bear Island, not Skagos. Rickon’s whereabouts are unknown, but he’s more likely to be at the Last Hearth than on Skagos (though Sansa and Davos may find him eventually).

      Any theoretical chapters that might involve Jon warging into Ghost? Gone. The show is not going to spend excessive time with Jon being played by a wolf. When Jon is revived this season, he will be played by Kit Harington.

      Then there are two minor POV characters. Aeron Greyjoy and Areo Hotah. Aeron will supposedly be in the show, but we have no idea how important he’ll be in Season 6. Material from the chapters where he plans to undermine Euron may not make the cut. Areo Hotah, meanwhile, has only had two POV chapters so far. He exists solely as a POV solely to provide us with a pair of eyes on Doran. And Dorne’s storyline has been altered, so nothing from any future chapters of his may be applicable anyway.

      That’s got to be at least several hundred pages right there. For the purposes of the TV show, The Winds of Winter just got a whole hell of a lot shorter. What does that leave?

      It leaves Daenerys in the Dothraki Sea, Arya in Braavos, Bran with Bloodraven, Cersei in King’s Landing after her Walk of Shame, Jaime and Brienne in the Riverlands, Samwell in Oldtown, Melisandre at the Wall, Jon post-resurrection, and Theon and Asha/Yara post-Stannis. The show looks to be adapting those storylines, but as always, a 30 page-long chapter may only generate enough story for a few minutes of screentime.

      Tyrion’s story will be mostly original material, with a few elements of Barristan’s role as the Queen’s Hand and his own chapters after he meets Dany, and perhaps Quentyn’s role in releasing the dragons, sans torching (and for those people who think Quentyn’s alive in TWOW, I don’t buy it at all).

      Davos and Sansa’s stories may contain some scant elements of their TWOW chapters post- Rickon search and post-arrival in the North, but it’s more likely that their stories will be mostly new material, especially since Sansa replaced Jeyne Poole as Ramsay’s wife, and Jeyne is unlikely to become a major player in the story.

      And while there are some sparse elements of AFFC and ADWD that have yet to be adapted (in the Iron Islands and the Riverlands, mostly), they’re likely to be hybridized with material from TWOW, and some original material as well.

      That’s not nearly as much material as it sounds like. Near the end of Season 6, the show may be dipping into theoretical ADOS territory.

      Martin has told Benioff and Weiss his endgame. When they said they’re not going to spoil the TWOW, that doesn’t mean they’re leaving the core story of the books behind – just some extra twists and turns in the road. Martin may have told Benioff and Weiss who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end (among other things) but he may not have told them how they will get there, because he may not know himself. Benioff and Weiss need to forge their own path. Unlike Martin, they’re not gardeners. They’re architects, and they have a plan. There’s no need for them to take the long way round.

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    30. Watchers of no Trailers,

      It’s Victarion’s fleet in the books and in the show Daario captured for her Meereenese fleet with exact same numbers as in the books. We might see Yara and her fleet or army join them.

      Not to mention Volanese fleet or others will join.

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    31. I’m so glad they’re bringing it to a close at a high point and have a solid end game planned. Now I’m really psyched for Sunday.

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    32. Jared:
      The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring may be 1200 pages long each, but that doesn’t mean that they contain 4 seasons worth of story that the show can draw upon. Neither one yet exists in published form. A Dream of Spring exists only as a potentially scant outline in Martin’s notes. It may never be released.

      Furthermore, many parts of The Winds of Winter – potential comprising hundreds of pages – have been rendered unsuitable for adaptation because of previous choices that the show has made. Let’s run down the list:

      That’s got to be at least several hundred pages right there. For the purposes of the TV show, The Winds of Winter just got a whole hell of a lot shorter. What does that leave?

      That’s not nearly as much material as it sounds like. Near the end of Season 6, the show may be dipping into theoretical ADOS territory.

      Martin has told Benioff and Weiss his endgame. When they said they’re not going to spoil the TWOW, that doesn’t mean they’re leaving the core story of the books behind – just some extra twists and turns in the road. Martin may have told Benioff and Weiss who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end (among other things) but he may not have told them how they will get there, because he may not know himself. Benioff and Weiss need to forge their own path. Unlike Martin, they’re not gardeners. They’re architects, and they have a plan. There’s no need for them to take the long way round.

      I also remember Martin mentioning wanting to write some storyline whose setting is in Casterly Rock and Highgarden which will probably fill some portion of the two books. Likely the show will not go to Casterly Rock and Highgarden.

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    33. I just spent the past 10 minutes trying to argue against 10-15 more episodes. The heartfelt argument couldn’t hold ground to reality. Expediting character archs and outright excluding other characters makes this undeniable.

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    34. Igor Thadeu,

      Igor, I understand your opinion, and I am not entirely sure how I feel about it, to be honest, but part of me wonders if having a different ending would not be a good thing after all…
      Abraço!

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    35. Tim of House Deddings,

      I thought that the rumored Casterly Rock storyline was just the TWOW prologue (which will reportedly include Jeyne Westerling). But perhaps there’s more to it. If it’s important enough for the show to adapt, then it will likely be adjusted so that it centers around a major character (maybe Cersei flees there after the situation in King’s Landing becomes untenable). Otherwise, you’re right … the show will probably just drop it.

      As for Highgarden and the Reach … I know that Martin has hinted that Willas and Garlan Tyrell have important roles to play in his future books. However, he’s also claimed that he’s not adding any more POV characters, and I’m taking him at his word (which may be a foolish prospect).

      As for the show’s purposes, well … Sam’s heading toward the Reach right now. Depending on what the story is, he could be our central character for any relevant parts of the story in that area of the world. Alternatively, if the story in question is military in nature, the show could give it to Sam’s father Randyll Tarly … or even spring Loras from jail if necessary. If it’s political, they could give it to Lady Olenna, or extract Margaery from King’s Landing somehow. Or, as you suggest, it could be cut entirely.

      Without knowing what Martin has planned, we’re just guessing as best we can. But Benioff and Weiss almost certainly know, and the decision – whatever it is – has likely already been made.

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    36. Jared,

      I wonder what effect the condensed seasons will have on Martin finishing the books. I almost believe that he will take his time now (even more than he already has) and that any pressure he has felt in finishing them quickly will be abated.

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    37. Everyone have a good weekend – only 2 sleeps until the premiere! I am hightailing it out of here because I know someone is going to

      Snape kills Dumbledore

      me. Until Sunday night… Valar Morghulis. 😛

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    38. They would be as well as just taking their time and giving us one big seventh season to wrap everything up. I’d rather wait for that than have the season split into two.

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    39. Chuck,

      Martin will write as fast (or, more appropriately, as slow) as he always has, most likely. If he was feeling some kind of crushing pressure or anxiety related to trying to get TWOW published before Season 6 premiered, well … that should be gone now (and the fandom seems to have forgiven him for it, which is nice). If that was all that was holding him back, then perhaps he will suddenly find a new burst of energy and/or inspiration and The Winds of Winter will be released within a year.

      However, I think it’s far more likely that he’s just struggling the incredibly complex nature of the beast that he created, and how to cultivate his garden in such a way as to tie up all of those hanging plot threads in a satisfying manner. If that’s the case, it will be a long while yet before he’s finished, and he’s better off taking as much time as he needs so that his books can stand on their own. It’s now guaranteed that the show will finish the story before he does, so it’s in his own best interest to take as much time as he needs.

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    40. It feels like they would be rushing things. I am not a bookreader so I can’t say anything about that. But as a showwatcher I am not just interested in the fate of the characters but also about the political and social fallout of all the upheavels we are witnessing. For instance, what will be the social and political implications and effects of an invasion of Dothrakis? Same question regarding the wildlings. Will the populist movement of the Faith Militant have any effect on how Westeros will be governed, no matter who ends up on the Iron Thron? Fifteen episodes sound like an awfuly short time to develop these issues and bring them to some satisfactory conclusion. Maybe they will not be considered important. But after all I have seen during the last 5 seasons, I would be very disappointed if that would be the case. But then maybe the end would be just the WW invasion and most (if not all) human life is destroyed and all those questions remain moot.

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    41. I’m hoping there will be 16 more episodes (8 for each season.)

      I’m so happy D&D are professionals that want a beginning, middle and end. Too bad GRRM couldn’t be the same way and act more professional.

      These guys and all of their hardworking crew will give us an entire TV series in the amount of time it takes GRRM to write one book. How embarrassing.

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    42. Yoyo,

      Well since you’re not a book reader, i will tell you what they will miss from the books: GRRM’s useless filler that has plagued the last two books and from what i have seen regarding the sample chapters released from the next book,this won’t change . The man is too in love with worldbuilding and he has forgot about advancing the plot .

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    43. asfastasican:

      These guys and all of their hardworking crew will give us an entire TV series in the amount of time it takes GRRM to write one book. How embarrassing.

      Yeah! That one guy should be ashamed for taking his time while not under a deadline because that group of hundreds of people do their job on an explicit schedule!

      That’s the asinine sentiment we’re going for, right?

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    44. Kilgore Tully,

      Not on a deadline ? Uhh,i’m pretty sure Martin himself admitted that he missed the deadline for Winds LAST YEAR and had to apologise to his publishers for it,the only reason he is able to pull of this is because of his fame but if he was a new up and coming writer be sure he would have got his ass canned by now .

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    45. Season 7 is the last one. I’m 100% sure.

      Mad Men Season 7 was split in two and both part 1 and part 2 got nominated for Best Drama Series.

      Even better Season 5 part 1 & 2 of Breaking Bad both won Best Drama Series in 2013 and 2014. 2 Emmy “Best Drama” for only 1 season. A record.

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    46. They are KIDDING themselves in they think they can wrap this whole thing up in 10 more episodes, 15 still wouldn’t cut it either, if they stick to their minimal estimate in which 10 more episodes are commissioned then surely a season 8 won’t even exist, they can’t do 5 + 5. it would have to be full 10 episode order on S7, which contradicts them saying that they wouldn’t be able to do a full season run with S7 due to the sheer size of the upcoming season, time/financial restraints etc, them backtracking like this is annoying as hell..

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    47. Resident Evil,

      Well, yeah. He can get away with it. I should have said “enforceable” deadline. But that’s the difference; if the production schedule goes off the rails, the show falls apart and doesn’t get made. GRRM biffs a deadline and…the book comes out later.

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    48. Resident Evil,

      Yes, in the author’s own words (from his Not A Blog):

      “Here it is, the first of January. The book is not done, not delivered. No words can change that. I tried, I promise you. I failed. I blew the Halloween deadline, and I’ve now blown the end of the year deadline.”

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    49. Wayne Gleeson:
      They are KIDDING themselves in they think they can wrap this whole thing up in 10 more episodes, 15 still wouldn’t cut it either, if they stick to their minimal estimate in which 10 more episodes are commissioned then surely a season 8 won’t even exist, they can’t do 5 + 5.it would have to be full 10 episode order on S7, which contradicts them saying that they wouldn’t be able to do a full season run with S7 due to the sheer size of the upcoming season,time/financial restraints etc, them backtracking like this is annoying as hell..

      We don’t know where the story is at the end of Season 6 yet, so depending on progression they could wrap it up in 10 more episodes.

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    50. Gayle:
      17 more. That would end it at 77 hours, which would hit their 7 markers on the dot.

      I don’t think their obsessive compulsive disorder is that bad..

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    51. They are KIDDING themselves in they think they can wrap this whole thing up in 10 more episodes, 15 still wouldn’t cut it either, if they stick to their minimal estimate in which 10 more episodes are commissioned then surely a season 8 won’t even exist, they can’t do 5 + 5. it would have to be full 10 episode order on S7, which contradicts them saying that they wouldn’t be able to do a full season run with S7 due to the sheer size of the upcoming season, time/financial restraints etc, them backtracking like this is annoying as hell…..

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    52. Jared:
      The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring may be 1200 pages long each, but that doesn’t mean that they contain 4 seasons worth of story that the show can draw upon. Neither one yet exists in published form. A Dream of Spring exists only as a potentially scant outline in Martin’s notes. It may never be released.

      Furthermore, many parts of The Winds of Winter – potential comprising hundreds of pages – have been rendered unsuitable for adaptation because of previous choices that the show has made. Let’s run down the list:

      That’s got to be at least several hundred pages right there. For the purposes of the TV show, The Winds of Winter just got a whole hell of a lot shorter. What does that leave?

      That’s not nearly as much material as it sounds like. Near the end of Season 6, the show may be dipping into theoretical ADOS territory.

      Martin has told Benioff and Weiss his endgame. When they said they’re not going to spoil the TWOW, that doesn’t mean they’re leaving the core story of the books behind – just some extra twists and turns in the road. Martin may have told Benioff and Weiss who will sit on the Iron Throne at the end (among other things) but he may not have told them how they will get there, because he may not know himself. Benioff and Weiss need to forge their own path. Unlike Martin, they’re not gardeners. They’re architects, and they have a plan. There’s no need for them to take the long way round.

      Yes. I have a feeling that book 6 is just another filler book. I know book readers have high expectations for it, but considering that GRRM managed to screw up not one, but two books in a row, it may be just another letdown. I pretty much agree with your arguments and I think most of the book 6 will be adapted in season 6, at least the relevant parts.

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    53. I’m pretty sure I can’t be more hyped about the premier in 2 DAYS! That said, I’m so afraid of getting a last minute spoiler (as was almost the case in the other thread), that I’m signing off for the weekend. I can’t wait to read comments and discuss S6E1 on Monday!

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    54. umuckurlife:
      I’m pretty sure I can’t be more hyped about the premier in 2 DAYS!That said, I’m so afraid of getting a last minute spoiler (as was almost the case in the other thread), that I’m signing off for the weekend.I can’t wait to read comments and discuss S6E1 on Monday!

      I am not waiting Monday, I am going here as soon as the episode finishes 😀

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    55. Jared,

      (and the fandom seems to have forgiven him for it, which is nice).

      Forgiven might be the wrong word. Resigned perhaps

      Yoyo,

      For instance, what will be the social and political implications and effects of an invasion of Dothrakis? Same question regarding the wildlings. Will the populist movement of the Faith Militant have any effect on how Westeros will be governed, no matter who ends up on the Iron Thron?

      Good questions, and actually an excellent exercise to do with most stories that end with everything all wrapped up (Princess Bride does that in the book, the movie took that piece out leaving it to our imagination) It would make an interesting spin off, GOT – the new age or something like that. But I think that the end of this story has to be coming soon. I think I’d prefer one more season but split in two so we are not waiting for over a year to the ending. Just my opinion. I have enough confidence in them to think that they are going to do their best to show us that end in a satisfying way.

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    56. 15 hours left, well hows about 6 episodes per season for two seasons._.That would leave 3 hours left for a movie. Its a little too ironic, don’t ya think?

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    57. Watchers of no Trailers: I bet GRRM keeps Stannis alive for a while to keep the book readers on their toes.

      GRRM is not going to go back and rewrite stuff that he wrote years ago at this point! Remember, the “Battle of Ice” was initially going to be in Dragons: and we basically are told how it ends at the end of Dragons in another plotline. Given how slowly GRRM writes, and given that he claims to want to get this thing out ASAP, it’s hard to imagine that he’ll write some extraneous chapters that just delay the inevitable without advancing the story at all.

      Ginevra: . Yes, we may not be certain what is or isn’t in the books, but we will definitely be spoiled.

      heh, of course, one of those spoilers was in final chapters of the last book!

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    58. Chuck:
      The wall has to come down by the end of this season now right?

      The evidence before the court is, incontrovertible,
      there’s no need for the jury to retire…..

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    59. Igor Thadeu:
      Lord Parramandas,

      screw up 2 books? filler books? dude. really…

      I forgot to add “In my opinion” but yes, in my eyes, those two books were a letdown on almost every level, especially when comparing them to book 3. The TV series would have been awfully boring if these two books were adapted 100%. I’m glad that the producers rewrote the story.

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    60. Wayne Gleeson: They are KIDDING themselves in they think they can wrap this whole thing up in 10 more episodes, 15 still wouldn’t cut it either,

      Most of us probably will not be saying this in another 10 episodes.

      Igor Thadeu: screw up 2 books? filler books? dude. really…

      Yeah! It was just one filler book: there is some good stuff in Dragons.

      Lord Parramandas: I’m glad that the producers rewrote the story.

      Strictly speaking, they adapted it very aggressively. It was still the same “kill the boy (or girl), let the man (or woman) be born” story. And without all of the irrelevant Crows filler, it was much more concisely told on TV than in the books.

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    61. Mihnea,

      I agree with you but everytime I see comments like this I begin to doubt

      Benioff and Weiss say that they “see the upside” in Game of Thrones diverging from the source books. “[B]ook readers won’t be spoiled by what’s to come on the show, and the show audience won’t have to worry about spoilers from the unpublished books.”

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    62. Darkrobin,

      If that’s the quote, I wonder if what they’re saying is “Book readers won’t have to worry about knowing what’s going to happen during the show season, so they’ll have an Unsullied experience,” rather than “We’re going to do everything differently so that readers will still be surprised by Martin’s forthcoming books.” I kind of think they’re saying that readers get a pristine story in the show, rather than a story that ends completely differently.

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    63. Wimsey,

      Having just re-read both, I agree. AFFC … well … it didn’t take long to swim re-read. While in my opinion ADWD could have used serious editing, but there is a lot of good material … told at great length … but better editing would have taken care of that

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    64. fierce as a wolverine,

      True. And I’m not certain it would bother me too much even if there were major differences. To me, there are two quasi-independent versions of the narrative and as long as each is true unto itself, there doesn’t have to be correspondence between the two. For example, if Arya dies in one but not the other, but as long as the result makes sense in the context of that narrative, I could appreciate either.

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    65. Darkrobin: but better editing would have taken care of that

      Oh, I completely agree that it would have been (or could have been) an excellent book with judicious editing. Crows improves greatly with the Ollie North type of editing….. 😀

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    66. They’re just phoning it in at this point.

      They have enough self-awareness that they are adrift without the source material (books 6 and 7). Sure, they can do “Hardhome” style episodes once a season, as they built their resumes on Hollywood action films, but they can’t do literature.

      They are sitting around the planning table saying ” I don’t what to do with this character” and someone offers “kill him”.

      They want the magical blonde haired princess to save the world with dragons and magic, while the personality-deficient prince with good hair plays a supporting role. If that’s what GRRM wants his legacy to be then he is no Herbert or Tolkien and probably shouldn’t finish the series.

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    67. Seriously, people believe there will be someone on the iron throne at the end?! They’re tearing down walls, and institutions.

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    68. Darkrobin,

      I reread both just after season three. I remember how difficult they were to slog through the first time around. But this time it was much easier – of course partly because I was much more familiar with characters, but also because I learned how to skim parts that were just filler and should have been edited out. One of these days Im going to use the boiled leather approach and read them together -maybe after the show is over, and see how well that works.

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    69. Afterthought: If that’s what GRRM wants his legacy to be then he is no Herbert or Tolkien and probably shouldn’t finish the series.

      Um, that’s exactly what those type of authors did. Tolkien in particular despised the very notion of a protagonist: he thought that “eucatastrophe” (better known as Deus ex Machina) was a perfectly acceptable way to tie up a story. What makes Song stand out in epic fantasy (and why it does so well as a TV series) is that it is entirely protagonist driven, with well developed and evolving characters.

      Bongo: Seriously, people believe there will be someone on the iron throne at the end?! They’re tearing down walls, and institutions.

      Um, who are “they”? Yes, there will be an Iron Throne in the end. And some poor sap is going to sit on it and live unhappily ever after. Pity her (or him).

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    70. ash,

      Yes, although I did skim over Arya’s chapter discussing the origins of the faceless men

      which might have been more applicable than I thought at the time 🙂

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    71. Bongo:
      Seriously, people believe there will be someone on the iron throne at the end?! They’re tearing down walls, and institutions.

      Those who endlessly go on about who is going to “sit” on the Iron Throne at the end, seem to have missed the very core of the story. 😀

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    72. Kay: Those who endlessly go on about who is going to “sit” on the Iron Throne at the end, seem to have missed the very core of the story.

      The core of the story is about enduring damned if you do, damned if you don’t dilemmas: it’s about juggling, not tearing things down.

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    73. Wimsey,

      I disagree. To build the future, one has to tear down those parts of the past that don’t belong in the future. Not to juggle. The end is not so far away now; we’ll see soon enough what is the core of the story. In fact, by the end of June, we’ll have a clearer idea of what is the “core” of the story. Until then, let’s just agree to disagree.

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    74. Kay,

      That might be true, but it’s also not terribly relevant: this is not about characters trying to create a particular future. Sure, Daeny is: but she’s the only one. Moreover, that is what introduces her “damned if you do or don’t” angle most of the time: to get anything done, she has to compromise on her goals, and when she doesn’t compromise, nothing gets accomplished.

      At any rate, the over-arching story is mostly done: and if one cannot tell what a story is 5/7ths of the way through it, then either the story was told poorly or one was not paying attention! However, I think that it was told pretty clearly: it’s about what people do when all of the options are “wrong” in one way or another. The four individual stories to date all have been specific versions of that general story, and Season 6 seems to be in line to tell another aspect of that general story.

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    75. Sue the Fury:
      Do not post any kind of first episode spoiler leaks/description/discussion or requests for links to that kind of material on our site. Thank you!

      Thanks for posting, I’m already irritated that an E9 battle potential leak discussion crept into an unrelated article. This happened last year when I kept getting glimpses of what happened of the first 4 leaked episodes which I didn’t want

      As far as the timescale goes, I have been expecting 7 seasons for a long time, splitting this in two and potentially expanding it is fine if it helps the economics of climactic battles etc being spread over two years

      Personally as long as the show remains intelligent and a good piece of art I’m fine with it being slightly shorter rather than have longer content at sub-standard (relative terms) quality

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    76. They’ve jumped forward months at a time during the telling of this story to get to this point. But they could easily double the episodes they have left it they spent much of the rest of the time in this series presenting the story at a bit slower pace in the day to day and episode to episode build up to the final episode. Not only do they extend the series, the build up to the finish would be even more intense as it all boils to a head.

      Alas, it sounds like they’re just getting tired of the project and would like to do other things… Maybe HBO will wave more money at them and get them to change their mind.

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    77. Sue the Fury:
      Do not post any kind of first episode spoiler leaks/description/discussion or requests for links to that kind of material on our site. Thank you!

        Quote  Reply

    78. joffreysbleedingeyes:

      Unfortunately, the users of this website underuse the forums. That’s really the place for discussion of potential spoilers with an appropriate warning “Possible Spoilers” or something of that ilk. I’m usually very prone to temptation but as we are so close to the new season I have avoided clicking on any links. Of course people can do a lot with photo-shop now.

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    79. Like others, I’d be satisfied with 7 seasons. It’s been a good run and should continue to escalate during the next 20 episodes. Just give us a false summit (presumably one of many) that works for the screen then, respectfully, let the author (fingers crossed) bring us the aftermath of ragnarok.

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    80. They’re rushing it.

      There’s no way they can come to a satisfactory conclusion of all the story arcs, play out the battle for Westeros and depict a satisfactory aftermath in 10-15 episodes, in my opinion. That’s even taking into account where we are likely to end up after the next 10.

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    81. Hodors Bastard,

      Yeah, that’s not going to happen. The overall conclusion will be roughly the same, albeit there will be some differences and obviously in more details in the books.

      However anyone who thinks that George is going to finish the books is living in cloud cuckoo-land. There is not a chance in hell, so I’m just going to try to enjoy the version we are getting.

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    82. Dame of Mercia: Unfortunately, the users of this website underuse the forums.That’s really the place for discussion of potential spoilers with an appropriate warning “Possible Spoilers” or something of that ilk.I’m usually very prone to temptation but as we are so close to the new season I have avoided clicking on any links.Of course people can do a lot with photo-shop now.

      I’m in the same boat as you. I’m usually among the least spoiler-phobic people around. But it’s so damned close right now I’m kind of leaning towards staying more and more away from the net for a day or so in fear of being spoiled on something major at the last minute. Of course, here I am on the net anyway so I’m not sure I can do it. 🙂

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    83. Hodors Bastard,

      The problem is, how many “summits” could work for the over-arching story? We know (or should know) what the story is by now. It has to hinge on the main characters being forced to do something that they do not want to do instead of other things that they do not want to do. There are a few options: but not many.

      Besides, this is realistically the only chance we will have of seeing the ending: the probability of Martin ever completing the series is pretty damned low.

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    84. Kay: Until then, let’s just agree to disagree.

      Wimsey: At any rate, the over-arching story is mostly done: and if one cannot tell what a story is 5/7ths of the way through it, then either the story was told poorly or one was not paying attention! However, I think that it was told pretty clearly:

      Thanks for letting me know that I am not paying attention and you understand the story being told. This is where I end replying to you. Enjoy!

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    85. The nasty bits,

      1. Are you Google Alerts? Because that’s where I get most of our article notifications from, including these ones.

      2. Stop changing your screenname. You’ve been warned about this before. Stick with one screenname or you will no longer be welcome to post here.

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    86. Sue the Fury: 1. Are you Google Alerts? Because that’s where I get most of our article notifications from, including these ones.

      Side note: I love Google Alerts! I use them with Google Scholar and they are great.

      Now, back to your regularly scheduled reprimanding of trolls….

        Quote  Reply

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