George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones could have gone ’13 seasons’; Funko prepares two new releases

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George R.R. Martin speaks at Dublin 2019: An Irish WorldCon last week.

Dublin 2019: An Irish WorldCon, the 77th World Science Fiction Convention, wrapped up just a few days ago in the Irish capital, and the creator of Westeros himself, George R.R. Martin, had been a prominent figure, attending events and giving interviews. It’s always nice to hear from the man who built the fictional world we love, especially when he’s offering interesting tidbits into things like his writing process and how he designed the shape of the fictional continent itself (spoiler: it’s just the map of Ireland turned upside down!).

As part of WorldCon and in conjunction with the Irish Film Institute, Martin gave an extension interview to the website Joe.ie, covering a wide range of questions about Game of Thrones, the prequels, the possibility of pitching his other series to HBO, and much more. The interview is a lengthy one, but some of the intriguing moments include:

In the show, is there an actor, or performance that best encapsulates the character as you envisioned them on the page when you were writing?

Well, that’s a hard question because you’re asking me who’s my favourite child! … They’re all great. You know, the one that was the easiest to cast — although it could have been the hardest to cast — was Tyrion. We never really looked at anyone besides Peter Dinklage. We auditioned no one else for that role.

What’s your ideal writing process like? I’m sure plenty of aspiring writers are curious about what it takes to reach your levels.

It’s different for every writer. I have friends who can write anywhere at anytime. … When I’m in my own place and office with my own computer, I can fall through the page. I can go to Westeros and be these characters. That’s what I need to write. Anything that disrupts that isolation and takes me out of that process, I don’t like that. I do my best work in the morning. I get up early and have a coffee and start to work. Even if I’ve got an appointment at 4 pm, that’s going to distract me at 11 am. Just the knowledge that I’ve to break off at 3:30 pm to make that 4 pm appointment throws me off.

When the show ended, you said you had ‘mixed feelings’ about it because in an ideal world, you wanted it to continue on for more seasons.

Yeah, I’ve got to finish my books. I said everything I had to say about that years ago. There’s enough material in the books that if they had included all of it, we could have gone for 13 seasons instead of eight. Really, we did seven-and-a-half seasons because the last two seasons were shortened. … Who knows? Maybe that was the right decision. You can’t quarrel with the most popular television show in the world, but I have my books in mind and I’m going ahead. I know I’m very slow, but I’ll get there eventually.

How are the prequels going? A few months ago you said that things are coming along nicely but since then, I believe Jane Goldman’s pilot has wrapped filming. That must be good news?

Jane Goldman’s show has wrapped up in Belfast. I just saw her in London, she’s deep in the throes of post-production. I hope to see a cut of it (the pilot) probably by early September.

And you said that there are three other shows are in various stages too? 

Well, we’re counting her’s as one of those shows, but there are two others that are still in the script stage.

There’s so much material in your back catalogue that’s perfect for adapting. What would you love to dip into and adapt – not HBO now or another studio – but what would you love to see made?

Any of the material in Fire and Blood. When I was going through that, there’s 20 novels there and at least a dozen TV shows if they want to make them. There will be equally as many in Fire and Blood: Part Two.

Again, the entire interview is much longer than we what summarized here, but definitely worth a read — you can find it in its entirety here.

Meanwhile, the Thrones merch train is making another stop! Two stops, actually, and both will be wonderful additions to anyone’s collection: Funko, maker of those adorable big-headed interpretations of our favorite fictional characters, will be offering new Hodor and Brienne Pop! figurines. Beware, though — both are kind of heart-breaking, albeit for different reasons.

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HODOR!

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The “Lord Commander of the Kingsguard” Brienne is my favorite Brienne.

Hodor holding the door! Brienne as the knight (and Lord Commander of the Kingsguard) she deserves to be! It’s too early in the morning for me to be this teary-eyed. Funko didn’t release any additional information about when these two new Pops will be available or their price points, although website Entertainment Earth has the Hodor one listed at $24.99 with an estimated ship date of January 2020. Take that with a grain of salt, however, since it’s not from the official Funko source. I suggest signing up for Funko’s newsletter so you can get the news directly from them when these two beauties will be ready to take home.

44 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Yes, I’m sure GOT could have gone on for 13 seasons, but “could” and “should” are two entirely different things. GOT is the only show I can think of that maintained its quality for 8 seasons. Other shows either ended at 7 seasons or lower, while others went past the 7 season mark and took a serious dip.

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    2. Yeah George and it would never have finished. Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss ended it brilliant in 8 and that’s exactly what I wanted. I’ll always be grateful.

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    3. Young Dragon:
      Yes, I’m sure GOT could have gone on for 13 seasons, but “could” and “should” are two entirely different things. GOT is the only show I can think of that maintained its quality for 8 seasons. Other shows either ended at 7 seasons or lower, while others went past the 7 season mark and took a serious dip.

      Star Trek: The Next Generation (Sept. 28, 1987 – May 23, 1994) lasted 7 seasons but had 178 total episodes. Judging from its IMDb ratings (for what they’re worth), the show’s quality improved over time, and its 105-minute series finale scored a 9.1.

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    4. Ten Bears,

      I’m not familiar with the Star Trek shows, only the movies. The shows I’m talking about are the ones whose high quality remained consistent from start to finish, like GOT, Breaking Bad, The Americans, The Shield, etc. Still, ending a show strong after 178 episodes is impressive.

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    5. Young Dragon:
      Ten Bears,

      I’m not familiar with the Star Trek shows, only the movies. The shows I’m talking about are the ones whose high quality remained consistent from start to finish, like GOT, Breaking Bad, The Americans, The Shield, etc. Still, ending a show strong after 178 episodes is impressive.

      The Americans was awesome, and a pretty good ending. I think that was a tough show to have to end, but I never lost interest.

      Regarding TNG and other Star Trek shows. I think TNG is really a different animal to use for comparison. Although there were some arcs to the overall story over the seasons, each episode really stood on its own. Episodes could be studied for ethical and political issues. Even though TNG had 178 episodes it was still one less season than GOT (7). There was really only one child character I followed on TNG (Wesley Crusher played by Wil Wheaton). He did age during the seasons and they had stories that followed his aging. He appeared less often in later seasons. I think the child actor factor in GOT was a major factor on why they had to end it sooner than later. At some point, the actors were going to be too old for their roles. Taking longer on TV to tell a story by going into more details just isn’t possible with child actors, since they age too much if you take too long to get there. Also, as Maisie Williams indicated, a 10 year contract is a long time not being able to be free to do other things. Even though actors are thankful for a job, most will want to see what else they can do. It was a huge accomplishment that GOT was able to keep the main cast in place for 10 years. They may not have been so lucky to pull it off much longer.

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    6. Ten Bears: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Sept. 28, 1987 – May 23, 1994) lasted 7 seasons but had 178 total episodes. Judging from its IMDb ratings (for what they’re worth), the show’s quality improved over time, and its 105-minute series finale scored a 9.1.

      Star Trek: Generations was extraordinary.

      Sometimes I see what is written by some posters then I realise how little of the world they must have seen. Of course, old fogies like me will have failed hips and knees and perhaps be dead when they are entering their autumn years.

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    7. I am surprised by the posts that seem a bit hard on GRRM especially from posters that praise and praise and praise D&D. GRRM created a rich source for GOT. He also has continued to engage the public about his work showing pride in his output.

      I think he is fully aware that he did not finish the books but D&D knew that when they started the show and should have taken than risk into consideration. In a number of interviews he had used language to point out that the pacing of the show was a problem. Everyone should have noticed that except the truly deluded.

      It is fascinating that he stopped working with D&D yet has found time to work with other writers for other shows. I wonder why he needed time to write then but continues to work with others even though he says he in not finished. Maybe he will never finish.

      He has indicated that his story is not exactly the same as D&D and his end points and related storyline for some characters are different. He said yes, no,yes,yes, no, no in one interview without linking his responses to characters. He also used the “sliding doors” concept to describe different possible realities and that D&D may have gone with different options that he might. He also mentions the realities of different media (TV vs books) and the constrains. D&D may have made choices for strong visual images that GRRM may not need in his books…if he ever finishes.

      He is old and should be able to select to do what he wants.

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    8. 13 seasons would have been too much. When they announced an 8the season I was already: noooo! Not that I don’t like the show, I love it, more than the books. But when you’re following something so intensively, you just want it to end at some point because otherwise it’s too much. And I can also imagine the main actors to want to move on at some point. The older actors have a reach career behind them, but for the younger ones now is the time show you are more then GOT. Only then you can have a career as long as Dame Diana Rigg or Charles Dance.
      And also stories have a beginning, a middle and an end fase. Those are the stages in theatre, but they also apply to movies. That’s my problem with the books. There is a clear beginning, but GRRM keeps on adding plots in the middle. I’m glad the show didn’t do that. I only liked episode 2 of season 8. I do think the show failed somehow with trying to end the way GRRM would have ended it, while the characters in the show seemed to go in another direction. But maybe if GRRM had maintained a tight structure, he would have finished the books already and the show would have had something to work from. I did not like all the episodes prior season 8, but I liked the structure it was following and I was happy the show didn’t introduce all the Greyjoy’s or sandsnakes because I fount those chapters very boring and too much meandering.

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    9. I look forward for the upcoming books. It is strange for me how some people still believe the “their are not finished” story. George had this story planed since 1996 and even earlier. This is the most important story of his work. This is the most important story in Planetos’s history. He did not focus on finishing his career’s main story… but had time to be distracted by the TV show, had time to be involved in 5 developing projects for HBO and 2 for Hulu, had time to write Fire and Blood, had time to develop some video games, apparently he had time for everything else except his most important story.
      Initially, he intended to have the well known 5 characters to survive. Now there will be 7. But the main ideea of the story will not change.
      I very much look forward to see why this story is more important than Aegon’s conquest, the doom of Valyria or the first long night.
      I know there’s only one more year of waiting…

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    10. Young Dragon,

      This. Look at the Walking dead yikes. And the writer tells us that they could and are going to make 22+ seasons. We are at 9 and it’s already going downhill for seasons.

      I still hoped they had made Feast and Dance into 2 seasons. And having season 7 and 8 split into 3. That would made a 10 season show. But 13 no way. GRRM always though that Feast and Dance could cover 4 seasons at least. That would never have been possible.

      And now we know how much time he needs to finish the books. 13 seasons. Or better 12. He wanted to finish the books before the show.

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    11. Considering the extra plots he added in the last 2 books, I have no doubt that it could have gone on and on, but these actors need to move on. I personally think skipping LSH was a mistake, and that seems to have irked GRRM considerably too. I would have liked to see Young Griff as well but I understand why that didn’t happen. In an ideal world we would have gotten 8 seasons of 10 episodes, the last 2 felt too streamlined for me and led to my main issues with the last seasons.

      Not sure about that Brienne funko, I don’t like her in the KG so won’t be buying. Now if they ever give us her blue/black armour, I will buy it in a heartbeat.

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    12. I am very disappointed by the last 2 seasons but I undertand that there was no way they would have gone for 13 seasons.

      Firstly, because the actors were exhausted, 8 seasons represents almost 10 years of your life, thats crazy! and also D&D would have ended so burned out, and rightfully so. And also, how can you make sure that the biggest show on the planet stays relevant for 13 seasons? thats a lot of time.

      Lastly, George is a marvelous writer, but the thing is, but if the show is not as brilliant as it should have been (imo), its partially George´s fault too, I am not saying he is the biggest responsable or anything like that, but D&D get a lot of s*** for the last couple of seasons when they actually made a contract with George to ADAPT the books into the show, and they did a brilliant job the first 4 seasons, it was honestly extraordinary.

      And then after years of promising that they would be able to adapt TWoF and aDoS, George was like “nope, sorry mate, havent finished them yet” and they were force to close the history arcs of literally hundreds (and, in the long run, not introducing Faegon and Arianne´s plot was the smart choice to make) relevant characters with the knowledge of only the main ones (Arya, Jon, Daenerys, Sansa, Tyrion and Bran). They had to improvise the rest, and I will always aplaud them for their bravery, even though I think they did not deliver.

      Again, I undertand George for taking his time and giving us this extraordinarily writen books with this great complex characters, and I know he is working really hard to give us the best ending we can get, but I cannot help but wonder what would have happened had he finished the books as he promised.

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    13. Mango,

      D&D gave us brilliant seasons of storytelling and created the biggest television series in history, and yet that didn’t stop you from turning on them when, in your mind, they stopped producing quality material. I’m not saying you’re wrong to do this, only that it’s the same with Martin. I will always be grateful to Martin for creating Westeros and for writing my 3 favorite books, but he seriously dropped the ball with this series. He wrote himself into a corner with Feast and Dance, a corner he still hasn’t been able to write himself out of, and now his series was spoiled by different writers. Yes, the books will be different in many aspects, but the major plot points will stay the same. Even if the journey is different, the fact that I know what it’s building up to and how it ends will make it a lesser reading experience.

      How could D&D have known this was going to happen? It’s never happened before, as far as I know. When Martin sold the rights to his books, he gave himself a deadline, a deadline he failed to keep. Most writers would have had the discipline to meet that deadline.

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    14. Iul,

      The reason we don’t think the books are finished is we have no reason to believe they are finished. 5 years for Feast, 6 years for Dance, 8 years and counting for Winds. The man is dramatically slowing down, and no matter how many theories you try to spin, HBO asking Martin to withhold the books doesn’t make sense, nor does Martin agreeing to withhold his books. I may have my problems with Martin at the moment, but I still believe he has respect for his work and his fans so he would never do this.

      I’ll make a deal with you, though. If Winds comes out by his July, 2020 deadline, and if Dream comes out no more than 2 years after that, I’ll take your theory into consideration. If he doesn’t, you have to reconsider your theory all together.

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    15. I guess if Benioff and Weiss were publicly “crying” how hard their job is, that they have to finish unfinished unadaptable story, how stressful that is, people would like them more. Everyone likes the victim.

      But I guess they realized how unprofessional and ungreatful it would be to whine and cry in public while you are earning millions of $.

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    16. Not only George told them “nope, sorry mate, havent finished them yet”, but he did it after they saw how he kept doing any other project under the sun but finishing the books.

      And if you were disappointed by the last 2 seasons, so was I, but I knew that was coming after watching seasons 5-6. And I predict now, that George either won’t be able to finish the series or we will be disappointed by how rushed book 7 is.

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    17. Iul:
      I look forward for the upcoming books. It is strange for me how some people still believe the “their are not finished” story. George had this story planed since 1996 and even earlier. This is the most important story of his work. This is the most important story in Planetos’s history. He did not focus on finishing his career’s main story… but had time to be distracted by the TV show, had time to be involved in 5 developing projects for HBO and 2 for Hulu, had time to write Fire and Blood, had time to develop some video games, apparently he had time for everything else except his most important story.
      Initially, he intended to have the well known 5 characters to survive. Now there will be 7. But the main ideea of the story will not change.
      I very much look forward to see why this story is more important than Aegon’s conquest, the doom of Valyria or the first long night.
      I know there’s only one more year of waiting…

      I don’t think ASOIAF is his most important story though. For him. Not any more.

      The world he created for it has taken over the original story in his imagination, and he became absorbed in filling it out, expanding the borders and inventing histories. The story he began with has been pushed aside, unfortunately.

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    18. Grandmaester Flash,

      I think you’re 100% right. It’s as if GRRM didn’t heed Show! 3ER’s warning that if you stay too long visiting the past you can get stuck there.
      I get the impression GRRM is preoccupied with ancient Targaryean history and lore, and can’t find his way back to the ASOIAF “present.”
      And as a pre-books fan, I take it from book readers’ comments that he overpopulated the fourth and fifth books with so many new characters, side stories and locations that it’s become a daunting mental task to prune and weed his crowded garden.

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    19. Max,

      astly, George is a marvelous writer, but the thing is, but if the show is not as brilliant as it should have been (imo), its partially George´s fault too, I am not saying he is the biggest responsable or anything like that, but D&D get a lot of s*** for the last couple of seasons when they actually made a contract with George to ADAPT the books into the show, and they did a brilliant job the first 4 seasons, it was honestly extraordinary.

      And then after years of promising that they would be able to adapt TWoF and aDoS, George was like “nope, sorry mate, havent finished them yet” and they were force to close the history arcs of literally hundreds (and, in the long run, not introducing Faegon and Arianne´s plot was the smart choice to make) relevant characters with the knowledge of only the main ones (Arya, Jon, Daenerys, Sansa, Tyrion and Bran). They had to improvise the rest, and I will always aplaud them for their bravery, even though I think they did not deliver.

      This. I am so thankful that George wrote those books. D&D did a great job adapting them (with some odd change and arcs) but then left hanging, esp after season 6. If George had finished at least one book, it would have helped. Ah well if wishes were horses…..Lets just say i do not believe anything George says at this point and if he actually does fiish one book its gonna be a mess.

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    20. Chilli,

      13 seasons would have been too much. When they announced an 8the season I was already: noooo! Not that I don’t like the show, I love it, more than the books. But when you’re following something so intensively, you just want it to end at some point because otherwise it’s too much.

      I agree. I came late to GOT, bought the entire set from iTunes after season 8 had ended. I missed all the season 7-8 controversy. For me the story as a whole worked seamlessly, seasons 7-8 seemed a good and fitting finale (though not predictable which is good). There was no disconnect after season 6.

      There is a statistical reason why the end seasons of a show like GOT had to be shorter. All the previous seasons except the first where everything was new had been divided between (a) developing existing story lines and (b) introducing new ones. It was not a self-contained episode by episode story like Star Trek or Dr Who. Threads were long and entangled and extended for many episodes. When you get near the end you can’t carry on doing (b) – unless you want a weird unnatural end. Neither GRRM or D&D whatever their differences, wanted that. So keeping final seasons the same length would require packing with more detail with threads not going anywhere. That would have detracted from the clarity that the actual ending had. In that case we would have been getting complaints of padding and distracting unnecessary detail. It is to D&D’s credit that that didn’t happen.

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    21. ash:
      Max,

      This.I am so thankful that George wrote those books.D&D did a great job adapting them (with some odd change and arcs) but then left hanging, esp after season 6.If George had finished at least one book, it would have helped. Ah well if wishes were horses…..Lets just say i do not believe anything George says at this point and if he actually does fiish one book its gonna be a mess.

      Yes. I suspect (and this is purely my speculation) that George got the hump when it became clear that some of his newer characters and plotlines weren’t going to make it on to the screen. He should have known better, of course, but I think he did want everything included nevertheless. Hence his allusions to 13 series, and the like.

      I also suspect that he could have given D&D a LOT more help in the later stages had he chosen to.

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    22. Yes, it could have gone thirteen seasons… thankfully it didn’t! Glad D&D knew when to pull the plug.

      Eight amazing seasons were enough!

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    23. What I don’t understand is that in this interview George is saying the show could have lasted for 13 seasons, but in the last interview posted here, he was blaming the show for slowing his writing down. I honestly believe he is just now realizing that he has made the story too big for itself and he can’t figure out a way out of it.

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    24. JSchmeh:
      What I don’t understand is that in this interview George is saying the show could have lasted for 13 seasons, but in the last interview posted here, he was blaming the show for slowing his writing down. I honestly believe he is just now realizing that he has made the story too big for itself and he can’t figure out a way out of it.

      I have to announce I just finished book 2 today and on to book 3. Yay! I found some of the differences very interesting and I won’t spoil them here for non book readers. I will be interested in seeing how he paints himself in a corner in the later books (as many have posted about). I did read in his interviews that he thought the show added pressure, but I’m thinking he just got more interested in other things. He did write plenty more about the world as others have said. Unfortunately, GRRM isn’t really a fan of fan fiction from interviews I’ve watched. He wants people to get their own original ideas. I would think since he enjoyed building the world so much, he would enjoy seeing how people live in his world through their own fan fiction. Perhaps he just doesn’t want them to write for his characters.

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    25. Tron79,

      read this version with the fourth and fifth book. It’s better read then reading the books after each other.

      https://boiledleather.com/post/25902554148/a-new-readerfriendly-combined-reading-order-for-a

      And skip that chapter when asked. And that other chapter read before the other one. It’s a better reading experience. And you need to skip those chapter when you read the book first, why? you only watched the show and it’s about non-show characters with a plot twist.

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    26. kevin1989:
      Tron79,

      read this version with the fourth and fifth book. It’s better read then reading the books after each other.

      https://boiledleather.com/post/25902554148/a-new-readerfriendly-combined-reading-order-for-a

      And skip that chapter when asked. And that other chapter read before the other one. It’s a better reading experience. And you need to skip those chapter when you read the book first, why? you only watched the show and it’s about non-show characters with a plot twist.

      Hummm. Interesting.

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    27. Tron79,

      It’s much better reading that way, chronical. Else you will miss Dany, Jon, Tyrion etc for a whole book. But the problem with combining is that at the end of Feast a certain plot-twist is revealed, that is coming into play in Dance early on. With this the plottwist remains. For reread I would just read the boiled leathers but not skipping chapters.

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    28. I certainly agree about reading the spliced-together version of books 4 & 5.
      I had got about a quarter of the way through AFFC, and was finding it a bit of a slog, when I discovered there was another way.
      So I began again and found it a much better read.
      The version I read was “A Ball Of Beasts”.
      https://ballofbeasts.weebly.com

      I would not be at all surprised if the books are not re-published in a similar form one day. In fact it would also not surprise me if this had been the original intention, but it got too unwieldy and was taking too long.

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    29. kevin1989:
      Tron79,

      It’s much better reading that way, chronical. Else you will miss Dany, Jon, Tyrion etc for a whole book. But the problem with combining is that at the end of Feast a certain plot-twist is revealed, that is coming into play in Dance early on. With this the plottwist remains. For reread I would just read the boiled leathers but not skipping chapters.

      That is really interesting. I did read GRRM’s explanation somewhere where he apologized if your favorite character wasn’t in the book and that it would be in the next one … I was just hoping it wasn’t Arya he skipped 🙂 Then I probably would have definitely gone for the combined edit!

      I’m probably going to read it as is, but I can already see that it makes sense to combine them. I may change my mind before I start book 4, so thanks for the option!!
      Yes, I’m sure he just couldn’t take anymore time and really wanted to make one giant volume for both. With the POV chapters alot can be interchangeable when the stories may not depend on some of the other chapters and the timeline covers the same period..

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    30. Dire guineapig,

      So keeping final seasons the same length would require packing with more detail with threads not going anywhere.

      That was the problem! there were so many hole to fill and laces tie tht ultimately affected the show and the fans response to it. This has been discussed to its death, but a few more episodes would have done much to explain some things.so at least for this show i t really would have made sense!

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    31. Tron79,

      Well his initial idea was one book. But he wrote too much already and decided to cut in half so at least a bunch of characters had an ending in feast. But that also mean that Arya misses the first 2/3 of Dance. But my advice is read it combined, it’s much better and GRRM original plan to be combined.

      ash,

      Same here. Book 4 and 5 were much better combined. Better then 2 for me. But before the combination I didn’t like feast.

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    32. kevin1989,

      When I started the books, all five of them were already released, so the missing characters in Feast didn’t bother me that much because I didn’t have to wait for long to get to them. I can’t imagine that combining the books will change my opinion on them, because my main problem concerns the filler, the plots that went no where, too much focus on the new, uninteresting characters, the lack of a proper climax, and my belief that those two books completely derailed the story and will be the reason Martin never finishes his books.

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    33. Young Dragon,

      The problem is that when he divided the books Feast became too small. And in Dance the climax needed to be pushed to the next book. If he had stayed with one book. He could have had a 2 book story. With Cersei and Bran and maybe some other having a climax in feast. While other’s like Jon needed to wait till Dance for the climax. We could have had the 2 big battles already in dance if he didn’t devided the books. That’s why he have problems with Winds also, because there another climax needed to be in Dream, and then that book need to be split etc.

      For me the combined story of Feast and Dance is my second favorite of the series. With SoS my favorite. (also devided in seasons with the climax of all those stories in 4, only Cat and Robb got an ending in 3). With GoT third, and last CoK.

      I would recommend reading it again combined. It felt better. My only problem with it is. Dany’s chapters should be halved. Or maybe 1/3 cut. We already have Tyrion etc going to her, so Dany’s presence is there, no need for chapters with her. And Iron born should only be through Yara and Victorion. Didn’t like the Dampshair chapter. And with Dorne everything should have been through Arianne instead of that knight (don’t remember his name), I liked the Baristan chapters.

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    34. I fully respect George but I have to disagree here, had the show followed the fourth and fifth books as closely as they did the first three they would have made awfully dull TV. The only real regret I have is not seeing the whole Young Griff plot from the books make it to screen but I suspect that’s just another red herring like Quentyn Martell anyway.

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    35. Young Dragon:
      Iul,

      The reason we don’t think the books are finished is we have no reason to believe they are finished. 5 years for Feast, 6 years for Dance, 8 years and counting for Winds. The man is dramatically slowing down, and no matter how many theories you try to spin, HBO asking Martin to withhold the books doesn’t make sense, nor does Martin agreeing to withhold his books. I may have my problems with Martin at the moment, but I still believe he has respect for his work and his fans so he would never do this.

      I’ll make a deal with you, though. If Winds comes out by his July, 2020 deadline, and if Dream comes out no more than 2 years after that, I’ll take your theory into consideration. If he doesn’t, you have to reconsider your theory all together.

      There are numerous interviews with GRRM where he states both D&D and HBO wanted Winds of Winter to be published before S6 aired. Reading between the lines they had a deadline with George and he was hopeful of delivering the book, he even flew out to New York to meet his publishers then it fell through and after that he seemingly gave up. Presumably he’s pretty far through the book so it will be published at some point but almost certainly we will never see the final book.

      I don’t expect Winds to be all that different to S6 because D&D were talking to GRRM a lot at that time in the 12-18mths leading up to it but likely ADOS would be quite a lot different apart from the broad stroke endings from S7/S8.

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