George R. R. Martin Interview on Game of Thrones and More at World Con 2018

FILE - In this March 18, 2013 file photo, author George R.R. Martin arrives at the premiere for the third season of the HBO television series "Game of Thrones" at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles. "The World of Ice & Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones," a companion volume to Martin's "Ice and Fire" series, will be released Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (Photo by Matt Sayles /Invision/AP, File)

(Photo by Matt Sayles /Invision/AP, File)

In the realm of Game of Thrones, news has been rather quiet during this final off-season. While we anxiously wait for the first teaser trailer to appear (likely waiting for several months, if I’m guessing correctly), there are some high-profile soundbites floating our way, courtesy of our Con of Thrones friend, Ashaya. Ash, one of the creators and hosts of the History of Westeros podcast was fortunate to attend World Con, where she was even more fortunate to attend an interview with the man who created Westeros himself, George R. R. Martin. Speaking in an interview with John Picacio, we gained many ‘The Winds of Winter’ spoilers a fascinating insight into the mind of fantasy’s most popular author. Since we had Ash on hand to live tweet us through the event, let’s dive in and see what George had to say!

And boy did she ever – we are so lucky to have her tweets to recap the events!

As we reported a while ago, ‘Fire and Blood’ a massive tome of Targaryen history is due on November 20th. I’m the guy who brought a history textbook as reading material to camp one year, so we’ll see if fake history shakes out as interestingly as real history for nerds like me. I guess George had to speed up his writing process on that.

For those aspiring writers out there, remember to keep an eye on your coffers…

Remember how ‘A Dance with Dragons’ came out right after season 1, and we’ve seen no follow-up book since? Turns out, George was not expecting the pace of the show to move as briskly as it did.

Does Stannis yet live?!?!?! Who will come to Gondor’s aid?!

On the future of GOT’s successor show(s?), we have quite a bit of what the teens refer to as hot goss:

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I believe it was George Takei who introduced the words ‘Oh My!’ to English vocabulary. What are the other three premises? What sentences inspired entire shows? How much further back could we possibly go? Maybe we’re talking a real who came first, the White Walker or the Dunk Egg scenario?

Turns out George relates heavily to the season 2 debate over the nature of power:

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“Power is a curious thing. It’s a trick – a shadow on the wall. And those damn Hollywood tycoons never relent”Varys, season 2

My absolute favorite quote of George’s is this biting remark:

People have debated for centuries whether ‘the movie’ or ‘the book’ is better. I say, who cares? They are different and different is good. Things don’t have to be the same. I will die on this hill shouting that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is my favorite Harry Potter book but also my least favorite movie because the movie tried too hard to be the same as the book, and did so very badly. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is my second favorite Harry Potter book and most favorite movie because of its effort to be the same story…in a DIFFERENT way. I read and loved the A Song of Ice and Fire books several years before Game of Thrones existed. I have watched and obsessed over Game of Thrones, same as all of you have. I love and appreciate their differences; they are two sides of the same coin. There are things I love about each and a few things I dislike about each. But never forget just how lucky we are to have both in our lives.

Anyway – a HUGE thank you to Ash for live tweeting what I’m sure was an incredibly exciting event. There are many more tweets from the interview, where George delves into his work outside GOT. I encourage you to head over and check it out. In the meantime, thanks again, Ash!!!

62 responses

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    1. That’s a great photo.

      ‘re: “some people died in the show that will never die in the books”

      My pet theory is that in George’s original concept both Barristan and Stannis died in Winds of Winter originally and that after they died in the show, he changed his mind about one of them or BOTH of them, leading to a massive rewrite of Winds that inevitably delayed things…

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    2. Thank you very much!

      because of its effort to be the same story…in a DIFFERENT way

      I have some things I don’t care for in AFfC and ADwD that I really wish George hadn’t added. I could have done without Quentyn entirely for example. I’m thinking that the show might have gotten a little long in the tooth for many viewers had they tried to do a lot of the stuff they eliminated in the last couple of books. If they had changed focus to Cersei, Brienne and Dorne & Iron Islands characters primarily and ignored pretty much everyone else like AFfC did I don’t think it would have gone over very well. The adaptation would have been closer to the books but would it have been as interesting? Some shows try to drag too much along for too long *cough-TWD-cough*

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    3. Stannis isn’t going to survive. Don’t even think about it. He may die somewhat differently, but he’s not taking any thrones.

      Barristan has more to do before his time is up, I feel sure. His arc needs to run into some challenges to his loyalty to Dany, simply because he has been too perfect a paragon of the unquestioning follower. My wild hope is that he will cross paths with Septa Lemore who will turn out to be Ashara Dayne, the great love of his life, who will recruit him to Team Griff, or try to.

      The most likely ones not to die, however, are Pyp and Grenn, who have been already reassigned to other outposts at the Wall and were not present during the Battle of Castle Black. We may simply not hear any more about them.

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    4. Hmmm. Interesting tidbits. This is the first time I’ve heard the suggestion that the show psssed the books because the show burned through the source material faster than expected – as opposed to GRRM taking longer than expected to complete the books.

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    5. Ten Bears,
      To be honest, I read that as just another excuse and in contrast to comments made in the past. I seem to recall it being mentioned fairly early that they were going to cover roughly one book per season. He also seemed to have a pretty good idea when they were going to catch his published material. I believe he also stated he’d have ADwD completed by (that time).

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    6. Ten Bears:
      Hmmm. Interesting tidbits. This is the first time I’ve heard the suggestion that the show psssed the books because the show burned through the source material faster than expected – as opposed to GRRM taking longer than expected to complete the books.

      That’s kinda dubious?

      The whole reason D&D and the HBO executives had the fabled meeting in 2013 where supposedly George gave them the outline for the last two books and they supposedly discussed the book endings of all the characters was that everyone and their mother already knew that the show would pass the books before the last one was published.

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    7. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, I heard that Martin thought the show would adapt AFFC/ADWD into 3 seasons. Considering those books lack proper climaxes and are mostly filler, how that would have been possible is anyone’s guess.

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    8. I mean, George always seemed fairly confident that WOW would come out before the end of the show, but Dream of Spring? Considering George’s writing process, yea, there was no way that was going to happen.

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    9. Clob: I believe he also stated he’d have ADwD completed by (that time).

      * TWoW *

      My computer is hating me trying to edit today 🙁

      He and we were foolish to ever believe he’d have his entire series published before the show caught him.

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    10. Since he was a screenwriter himself, he should not have been surprised that a lot of the content would be cut.

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    11. I think GRRM is a very smart man, I would have loved for him to have a say in how the show progresses but he created such a huge world that it seems he lost the initial enthusiasm over time.

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    12. Clob,

      Quentyn chapters weren’t a great read for many, but they were essential to show how things are really working in essos from a POV other than Danny’s and how much of a mess it really is, so I enjoyed the chapters but I understand why many didn’t.

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    13. Clob,

      I looked up two interviews GRRM gave to Time and to Collider back in early 2011, right around the time or just before Season 1 premiered. I think I had read the Time interview before because he’d talked about the almost impossible challenge of casting the child actors.

      He also talked about the pace of the books as compared to the show (assuming S1 was a success and HBO renewed it after that.)

      For some reason I couldn’t cut and paste excerpts from the Time interview; I included the link. I did excerpt the pertinent portion of the Collider interview.

      ______________
      GRRM Time Interview by James Poniewozik, published April 15, 2011 (link below); and Excerpt from 2011 Collider Interview by Christina Radish

      • 4/15/2011 Time Interview

      http://entertainment.time.com/2011/04/15/george-r-r-martin-on-game-of-thrones-from-book-to-tv/

      ___________________

      • Excerpt from 2011 GRRM Collider Interview by Christina Radish

      Q: It’s been rumored that you like to take forever to write your books because you put a lot of time into them. So, if you do get five seasons, will you have enough time to write your sixth and seventh books, in order to finish the story?

      MARTIN: There’s no denying that it’s taken me a real long time to write this last book, and the one before it, which actually began life as part of the same book. But, I haven’t always taken that long. The first three books in the series came out much more quickly, and I’m hoping that the troubles and difficulties that I’ve been going through are just difficulties affecting this particular volume and, once I’ve delivered it, I will pick up speed again. Hopefully, The Winds of Winter and The Dream of Spring – the last two books in the series – will go much more quickly. Although nothing has been decided, I think we will have a number of seasons to go. We’ve done Game of Thrones as 10 episodes, for this first season. With Clash of Kings for the second season, that’s a slightly longer book. I would love it, if we got 12 hours for that one, instead of 10, but we could probably do it in 10. Once you hit the third book, A Storm of Swords, it’s too big. It’s 500 manuscript pages bigger than the second book, which itself is 100 manuscript pages longer than the first book. There’s no way that they can do that in one season, so I think you would have to divide that one into two seasons. And then, when you hit the fourth and fifth books, which would have to be recombined, the fifth book is even longer than Storm of Swords, so that’s another two seasons, for three seasons total to cover those two books. So, I have a considerable head start. If I could just finish these next two books more quickly than I did the last two, I think I’ll be fine.

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    14. I also saw Ash tweet about a question she asked George: Did Bloodraven take Dark Sister to The Wall? Answer: Yes.

      Hm..

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    15. George,

      I was not aware of that 2013 meeting or its purpose. From what I had read, GRRM had kept the showrunners apprised of the significant events and endgames for the major characters all along.

      I guess it doesn’t matter now. The show has already veered off into story line detours I’m sure GRRM never intended – while also stealing some of the thunder from GRRM by revealing twists and confirming theories yet to be resolved in the books e.g., ToJ; Hold the Door; Jon “I’m not dead yet…I’m getting better” Snow; and the Gravedigger.

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    16. Enharmony1625:
      I also saw Ash tweet about a question she asked George: Did Bloodraven take Dark Sister to The Wall? Answer: Yes.

      Hm..

      _________
      But did he leave Dark Sister at the Wall (Castle Black?), or take it with him when he became Tree-Man in a Cave/3ER? Or did he bury it in a time capsule in a secure location, and leave instructions to have it delivered to a certain Warrior Princess in the future?

      After show-only (?) scenes in which Arya name-dropped Dark Sister in her Visenya Targaryen fangirling session with Tywin; and Melisandre told Arya “I see a darkness in you”, it would be a disappointment for me if that sword doesn’t show up.

      Then again, Arya’s already got an iconic VS weapon… It just doesn’t have a cool name. Yet.

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    17. Allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our commenters for refraining from any Georgebashing. I was certain that by now there’d be at least a few “What is he doing screwing around af WorldCon when he should be finishing the books?” -type comments.

      😇

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    18. Enharmony1625:
      I also saw Ash tweet about a question she asked George: Did Bloodraven take Dark Sister to The Wall? Answer: Yes.

      Hm..

      There is a speculation going around that the sword Meera picked up from the cave wall in the show was in fact the show’s “nod” to Dark Sister without actually mentioning it or referring to it, just like Dawn was shown in the show but not referred to by name, or how Max Von Sydow’s Three Eyed Raven clothes clearly resembled Night Watch’s clothing in tatters (but his background was never mentioned)

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    19. So who are the characters that have died in the show that won’t die in the books??? First guess is Barristan. And just like Firannion said earlier, I think Barry will be Dany’s “betrayer for love” and Lemore will be Ashara and he’ll jump ship to team Griff.

      Other possible candidates could be some of the sand snakes? Maybe the Tyrells? Thoros? The Tarlys? Blackfish? Summer? I think Stannis & Rickon may both be goners. It’s intriguing to think of who it could be and the role they could still play in the novels…

      I so want to read Winds. I pray my theory of him releasing Fire & Blood is to lay some Blackfyre (Varys/Young Griff) groundwork for Winds which will drop next year. And if not a second coming of the Blackfyre Rebellion then most certainly laying the groundwork for the second coming of the Dance of Dragons…

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    20. Ten Bears:
      George,

      I was not aware of that 2013 meeting or its purpose. From what I had read, GRRM had kept the showrunners apprised of the significant events and endgames for the major characters all along.

      Yes, but they went into much more details in that 2013 meeting. Also, there have been persistent rumours/speculation based on a couple of past comments by Peter Dinklage that at the time he was cast as Tyrion, the only way he was convinced to take the role was to tell him the “full arc of his character” including spoilers for his ending, because Dinklage was initially reluctant to take the part of what he thought was going to be a “stereotypical Fantasy Dwarf” role…

      And there’s Liam Cunningham’s account about George telling him spoilers about Davos…

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    21. George,

      Yeah that was speculated. However, if you watch closely, the sword she picks up when the NK attacks the cave is the same she carries all the way to CB. The problem I have is that that sword is a piece of shit. If it’s suppose to be something as important as Dark Sister or even a “nod” to it I don’t think they’d make it look so bad, have it just laying around and not focus on it more before Meera took off.

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    22. Doran is another good bet for a character who’s going to stick around. He plays the long game, better than most. There was no reason to kill him off other than the show wanting to cut its losses on the highly unpopular Dorne storyline.

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    23. Firannion,

      I thought of Doran too but didn’t mention him. I could see his health giving out before the story is finished though. Maybe even by the end of Winds. But we could definitely see him going team Griff if a Blackfyre Dance does occur between Griff & Dany.

      Griff is supposedly Elia’s. In that case Doran could stick around longer or be Dany’s 1st victim in the war. He definitely has future story potential. Or at least Dorne still does in the books…

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    24. Ten Bears,

      I have some doubt as to whether the blade itself will make an appearance in the show, but I’m hopeful that we learn Arya’s dagger was forged from Dark Sister. If she finds out about that (from Sam probably), that would be such a great callback to her talk with Tywin in season 2.

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    25. Firannion,

      Ah, Doran is a good guess for who might survive the books as opposed to the show. It’s no secret that D&D pretty much swept the Dorne plot under the rug, much to the chagrin of Alexander Siddig. I read an interview with him after season 6 where he pretty much blasted D&D for writing him off the show like that, which suggests they initially had a somewhat larger role for him to play. Whether they always planned to kill him off eventually, who knows..

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    26. George always liked to bring up Mago (one of Drogo’s bloodriders) as a difference between the show and the books. Killed by Drogo on the show, currently a Khal in the books. Dany swore she would make him beg for death. She may go full Cersei on him and keep him alive to torture him forever. You’ve also got Irri who is still alive in the books. Also Jeyne Westerling.

      I suspected that the powers that be at this point are more interested in getting George to give them more material to work with for spinoffs than finishing ASOIAF itself.

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    27. I’m currently about to be on the third novel of ASoIAF and so I’m really excited to know what most of you guys are talking about lol.

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    28. Firannion:
      … My wild hope is that he will cross paths with Septa Lemore who will turn out to be Ashara Dayne, the great love of his life, who will recruit him to Team Griff, or try to.

      Aegon the Icedragon:
      … And just like Firannion said earlier, I think Barry will be Dany’s “betrayer for love” and Lemore will be Ashara and he’ll jump ship to team Griff.

      Aaahhh…my favorite untold storyline! I’m holding out hope that GRRM will tell the story of Ashara and Ned and Barry and Dawn, and that Dawn makes a real appearance in the story before the end.

      As for Doran, he needs to survive to watch every chance pass him by and crumble to dust while he waits. The long game, indeed.

      I also want to know more about Marwyn…

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    29. Firannion:
      My wild hope is that he will cross paths with Septa Lemore who will turn out to be Ashara Dayne, the great love of his life, who will recruit him to Team Griff, or try to.

      Aegon the Icedragon:
      I think Barry will be Dany’s “betrayer for love” and Lemore will be Ashara and he’ll jump ship to team Griff.

      I have actually somehow never heard of this theory, but I’m totally on board. I definitely think Barristan stays alive in the books, at least much longer than he did on the show. And bringing in that Ashara storyline and making him question which Targaryen to follow would be perfect. I’m all in.

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    30. As to the Doran discussion… I definitely think he has a much bigger role to play in the books. I mean, he already has, but my bet is that he will continue on as being the most central/important character in Dorne and Ellaria won’t have a huge role, nor the Sand Snakes. I do wonder what he’ll do now though that Quentyn is a goner… he’ll have to back someone else.

      I was always a little disappointed that the show never went the route of crowning Myrcella in Dorne. Cersei’s prophesy did say (I believe in the show too) that all of her children would wear golden crowns and golden shrouds… yet Myrcella was never (attempted to be) crowned. That was the only interesting bit of the Dorne storyline that I actually liked from the books, anyway, and I think it could’ve adapted to the show fairly well.

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    31. Jaehaerys: Cersei’s prophesy did say (I believe in the show too) that all of her children would wear golden crowns and golden shrouds…

      The “crown” meant that her children would be born with golden hair. Which eventually led Ned to figure out her children weren’t Robert’s.
      The “shroud” meant that they’d all die young (and be covered with golden death shrouds).

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    32. Jaehaerys: As to the Doran discussion… I definitely think he has a much bigger role to play in the books. I mean, he already has, but my bet is that he will continue on as being the most central/important character in Dorne and Ellaria won’t have a huge role, nor the Sand Snakes.

      That’s a possibility. The interesting thing is that so far none of them are pov characters in the books. The two that have been are Quentyn and Arianne while neither being part of the show. Quentyn was an easy cut because… well, he was rather pointless, imo. On the other hand, George appears to be moving Arianne into a fairly prominent role (already being the pov of two of TWoW sample chapters). Her actions are mostly tied to the fAegon arc though so cutting that character may have been necessary. What if she does become an important character though? That would be an element that will be different.

      I’ve always felt that Arianne, along with Quentyn and much of the Dorne stuff has been something George has gotten carried away with. It’s ‘bloating’ the story and in my opinion making it more difficult for him to finish. He does kill characters but he’s so inclined to build his world and create new characters that it just keeps growing.

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    33. Jaehaerys: As to the Doran discussion… I definitely think he has a much bigger role to play in the books. I mean, he already has, but my bet is that he will continue on as being the most central/important character in Dorne and Ellaria won’t have a huge role, nor the Sand Snakes

      I agree, but the Sand Snakes are moving up into more pivotal positions by the end of Dance. Remember, Sarella Sand (“Arellas the Sphinx”) has befriended Samwell Tarly at the Citadel. Tyene (I think) is being sent to King’s Landing to represent Dorne on the Small Council (and won’t this be a counterweight to Mad Queen Cersei?). Then, as has been noted, Arianne is being moved into position to handle “Aegon” (young Griff). I think there’s a lot more going on with Dorne.

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    34. Just an FYI … this is a really big month for George RR. First was the conversation with John Picacio, now it’s World Con, and he’s also on the schedule for the Bubonicon in Albuquerque Aug 24-6 (although his participation is still listed as “tentative” on the website), with an 80 minute session and also speaking at the memorial service for Victor Milan.

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    35. Clob,

      “It’s ‘bloating’ the story and in my opinion making it more difficult for him to finish. He does kill characters but he’s so inclined to build his world and create new characters that it just keeps growing.”

      _________

      That’s one advantage of the visual medium: Too many characters? Fine. Assemble a bunch in one place + ten minutes of cool piano music + BOOM! 💥. Problem solved.

      George oughta try it.

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    36. Clob: I’ve always felt that Arianne, along with Quentyn and much of the Dorne stuff has been something George has gotten carried away with. It’s ‘bloating’ the story and in my opinion making it more difficult for him to finish. He does kill characters but he’s so inclined to build his world and create new characters that it just keeps growing.

      I agree; I have to admit that I’ve generally found the Dorne plots to be annoying diversions that drain the main story’s momentum. Can’t say I was/am that interested in either Quentyn or Arianne. I’m a bit more curious about Sarella Sand in the Citadel, but that’s about it.

      Same with the Iron Islands, to be honest. It does seem like maybe GRRM’s going somewhere with the horn that Victarion has – could that be how Daenerys loses a dragon (since I doubt The Others are going to end up with one the way the Night King has)? But I basically hate everything about Victarion’s character, including his stupid name – it seems like a prank for spellcheck, which wants to convert it to “Victorian.”

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    37. Gwidhiel,

      Totally agree about the Iron Islands plot too. The only person of any interest to me there is Euron; all of the other brothers and Asha are kinda boring and seem to lead nowhere narratively. Euron is one of my favorite characters though… his storyline really intrigues me. I would guess that he does steal one of Dany’s dragons, if that horn actually works (I forget where we left off with it though… I’ve only read the books once and am at the beginning of ADWD for the second time. I feel like I remember someone blowing it though? Although isn’t it also supposed to kill whoever blows it. Anyways…), or I’ve thought that maybe it actually is the Horn of Joramund and he accidentally takes the Wall down with it. That or Sam has that horn that was found with the dragonglass beyond the Wall.

      I do agree with you that I doubt the Night(‘s) King will take one of Dany’s dragons. My guess is when the Wall falls a dragon will immerge and he’ll take that. I don’t know, there’s so many hints of dragons in different parts of Planetos that could come into play… like deep down in Winterfell or in Asshai.

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    38. BTW

      Boston University film students have put up as part of a class project a Game of Thrones Virtual Final Season in YouTube. It shows the students acting out the parts in a read through of the scripts. It’s fantastic and everyone should check it out. The first video is 4 hours and the second is 3 1/2 hours. The students even look a bit like the actors in the show! LOL. Everyone starved for GOT content while we wait for the show and George’s Fire and Blood book should check it out. I think most of the people that frequent this site will find the videos quite enjoyable…

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    39. zandru:
      Ten Bears,

      He already did the Red Wedding…

      I haven’t read the books yet. On the show at least, I think there were only three recognizable characters who got snuffed out at the Red Wedding: Robb, Catelyn and Talisa.

      If, as some book readers have suggested, George has overpopulated his books! world, perhaps a cataclysmic event to cull the extraneous characters wouldn’t be such a bad idea. (On the show, Cersei’s wildfire detonation in S6e10 and Euron’s ambush of Dany’s allies on the high seas in S7e2? removed a bunch of pieces from the board.)

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    40. Interesting thoughts about the Greyjoy & Dorne plots. They did kinda drag on but I think they’ll pick up in Winds. And I’m expecting Winds to be a bloodbath. Many characters (a lot of them POV characters) won’t make it out alive.

      As for the Euron horn and GoT Night King Viserion plots, I just get this feeling that they’re connected in some way… We have never seen the Night King in the books. Could Euron eventually become the new NK?

      Would he stab himself in the heart with dragonglass if he knew it would make him the NK? Maybe he’s going to Oldtown for some research on it? He’s clearly into dark magic. That Valyrian steel armor has to play a huge role in the endgame. I just hope it’s Jon wearing it but the Night King with Valyrian steel armor would be near invincible to kill because VS couldn’t penetrate it…

      Maybe that’s where Dawn becomes important again. And Jon may need Dawn to down Euron (The new Night King) in his Valyrian Steel armor. In the Aeron sample chapter the vision showed Euron with a strange woman by his side… Could that be the Night Queen who corrupted the original NK? Damn I really need to read Winds. GRRM has a lot of ways he can still go with the story…

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    41. GRRM probably expected D&D to feature the Dorne, Young Griff’s claim and Bran training to be the three-eyed raven storylines more prominently. Especially Griff/alleged Aegon, that might have made for another season worth of conflict on the show.

      Also how on earth was GRRM duped into compromising on script approval? D&D have done a terrific job running the show but George is the creator and he should have been given a much larger share, some legit creative control over his creations. Next time George read the contract before signing over your life’s work.

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    42. River: GRRM probably expected D&D to feature …. Young Griff’s claim

      I think I could have enjoyed a couple of episodes of just Septa Lemore skinny-dipping. 😀

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    43. Clob: I think I could have enjoyed a couple of episodes of just Septa Lemore skinny-dipping.

      Oh geez don’t think I share your enthusiasm on that particular scene 😀 but yeah would have liked to see the conflict play out, we might have gotten one more epic clash, battle of the blackwater-ish perhaps. They probably cut the whole Griff storyline so that it wont take away from the perfect Jon is Aegon/rightful heir reveal on the show. It was nicely done so if that was the reason why they left it out, I’m fine with that.

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    44. Clob: I think I could have enjoyed a couple of episodes of just Septa Lemore skinny-dipping.😀

      I’m not at all invested in nude scenes, but I am thoroughly intrigued by Young Griff’s mysterious posse, every one of whom seems to have something to hide. Learning their backstories, connections and agendas is one of the many things I’m looking forward to in the last two books.

      Not everyone thinks that expanding the number of characters with each new book constitutes ‘bloating.’ It’s a whole world; of course it’s got a lot of interesting people in it, many of them interconnected in delightfully surprising ways!

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    45. Firannion,

      It is a whole world but that doesn’t mean we have to meet every single person in it. The problem that I have with the characters added in AFFC/ADWD is that I find them to a lot more dull than the characters already developed and they’re dragging the story down.

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    46. Young Dragon:
      Firannion,

      The problem that I have with the characters added in AFFC/ADWD is that I find them to a lot more dull than the characters already developed and they’re dragging the story down.

      For me, the chapters that I dread reading in ADwD because they drag the story down are the ones written from Dany’s PoV, and she’s a character who has been developed from the beginning. Slaver’s Bay is completely uninteresting to me until Tyrion’s arrival. With the Ironborn storyline, I find all three Greyjoy uncles tedious, but I’m fascinated by the Reader, who is a very minor character, and hope to learn more about him.

      It really varies with who’s reading the books. We all have different favorites. I for one like having lots of choices. More characters mean a richer universe, to me, and I’m frankly baffled by talk of some ‘need’ to kill bunches of them off.

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    47. I generally skim through the Greyjoy and Dorne chapters on re-reads. The only part that interests me in any of it was Prince Doran’s “long game”, and the show may have spoiled even that portion.

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    48. “People have debated for centuries whether ‘the movie’ or ‘the book’ is better”… I had to laugh at that since movies have only been around since 1893… 1 century?

      Anyway, I’ll look forward to both the book and TV show!

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    49. Firannion: Not everyone thinks that expanding the number of characters with each new book constitutes ‘bloating.’ It’s a whole world

      I normally don’t consider expanding and building the story world as such, especially in a fantasy series. The “fun reading” Xanth series by Piers Anthony has a new main character within the same world in every book. That works because of how the series is set up. Other series continue to add but also keep the main characters very much in the forefront. George has gone another direction by expanding on certain arcs while almost ignoring main characters entirely. He has to have a plan to bring it all around and back together so it’s probably unfair of me to call it bloating. Still, because to me these characters and arcs aren’t as exciting or interesting, coupled with putting other characters on hold, most of it feels unnecessary and extraneous for the story he had going through three novels. The show is telling the story without these pieces he added and I think it’s going to feel “cleaner” at the end.

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    50. It’s an interesting comment from GRRM that some people who have died on the show will never die in the books however based on some of his other snippets over time I bet he means very minor characters. At best he means Barristan but I’d guess it’s more Osha, maybe Rickon (even then I am sceptical), Lloris Tyrell or maybe Thorne who is slightly different on screen versus his book counterpart. In contrast I don’t see anyway Shireen, Hodor, Stannis survive Winds of winter.

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    51. Clob:
      Thank you very much!

      I have some things I don’t care for in AFfC and ADwD that I really wish George hadn’t added.I could have done without Quentyn entirely for example.I’m thinking that the show might have gotten a little long in the tooth for many viewers had they tried to do a lot of the stuff they eliminated in the last couple of books.If they had changed focus to Cersei, Brienne and Dorne & Iron Islands characters primarily and ignored pretty much everyone else like AFfC did I don’t think it would have gone over very well.The adaptation would have been closer to the books but would it have been as interesting?Some shows try to drag too much along for too long *cough-TWD-cough*

      I am fully with you here, even though S5 is my least favourite and elements fall well below the usual standards set I do feel they managed to adapt those two books pretty well with some spill over into season 4 & 6. I don’t mean they were 100% faithful but they had to cut a lot of unneeded fat whilst still hitting the main story points. I know some book readers fell out of love with the show once season 5 aired but it would have been a TV disaster if they had stuck as closely to the published because simply so little happens.

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    52. Jon Snowed:
      It’s an interesting comment from GRRM that some people who have died on the show will never die in the books… maybe Thorne who is slightly different on screen versus his book counterpart.

      Oh, good catch: I’d forgotten about that Thorney problem having been dealt with in the books by assigning him elsewhere than Castle Black. He may yet live to do more mischief, or simply not be heard from again; but Ser Alliser likely won’t come to the same end, not having been present for the mutiny/assassination.

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