A Song of Ice and Fire


Everyone saw this coming. Everyone. Even GRRM had to know by at least 2 years ago that even if he managed to hit the deadline on this upcoming novel there was no way he could then turn around an entire next novel in less time than it took to get the next season to television. This has been a forgone conclusion since Season One Episode One aired.

I am sure his publisher is pissed. It would have been a perfect storm of marketing mania to have the new novel released weeks ahead of the next season of the show, and it would have sold millions of additional copies. Now it’s relegated to also-ran status whenever it does come out, and while it will still sell millions of copies (I’ll be buying it myself) the publisher knows the sales won’t be nearly as strong as they would have been prior to the show spoiling everything.

And that’s the real loss here. Now we have the show acting as spoiler for the books instead of the other way around. Every pivotal “oh shit!” moment in the books will show up in the show first. Want to know if Jon Snow is really dead? Show. Want to know who Jon’s parents are? Show. Want to know what’s really up with Bran? Show. White Walkers? Show. Tyrion? Jaime? Arya? Where’s Rickon? Show, show, show and show.

I suppose you could still read the books if you’re really dying to find out how to make Manderley Eel Stew or how Lord Whosit MakesNoDifference successfully defended some castle somewhere only to be betrayed by his own nephew for some reason nobody cares about. Even if GRRM concocts a completely different series of events and ending to his story from that of the TV show, it’s going to seem like a reach to make the books look different instead of the canon conclusion to a much-loved series.


I loved the first three books but I’m 100% confident that the show will do a better job of wrapping everything up, even though it has its own issues. I imagine many people will just consider the show canon and won’t ever get around to reading the books (if he even finishes them.)

EDIT - yep, I agree with everything Slainte Mhath posted right above. My guess is that Martin’s going to endlessly churn over his remaining plot knots for years to come, twisting his stomach into knots with the stress of working it all out. Meanwhile the show’s going to takes its reduced cast of characters and finish up (hopefully) satisfactorily way before the books ever end.


When the books were first recommended to me, which must have been back in the 90s, I thought I’d hold off until the series was completed (as I planned to do with Wheel of Time). When the TV show was announced, I thought, I’ll wait until I’ve read the books, but then its popularity grew and grew and I caved in and watched the whole first season in three days, but I still held off on reading the novels, because by this time, the second season was only a couple of months away. Then came the second season and when it ended, I couldn’t stand the idea to have to wait another year for the series to continue, so bought all the five books then, loving the first three, being kinda disappointed by the latter two.

The adaptation of books 4 and 5 seemed like a distillation of the good parts of the books for me, even if they were still weaker than the earlier season, so I’m happy to stay with the TV show for the rest of the story. I doubt I’ll re-read books 1-5 when book 6 eventually does come out and I’m not sure if it would make much sense for me to read book 6 and 7 without first re-reading the others, considering all that I’ve forgotten, so count me among the not-really-caring anymore crowd. I’d rather read The Kingkiller Chronicle, once that’s finished of the Wheel of Time, which I never did read after all.


Now I am worried that Kingkiller Chronicles will suffer the same fate as game of thrones.


Like it or not, the show is canon now, not the books. The first three books were amazing. He has absolutely shit the bed since then and will continue to do so based on the delays and resulting books 4 and 5. I would not at all be surprised if the books are never finished, by Martin at least.


hopefully they’ll diverge a bit. i am only 36% or so through the last book. It’s not gripping me like the first ones did. Really enjoy the show so far though.


That’s because the last book is terrible. My recommendation, with no snark, is “stop reading.”


I tell everyone who asks now not to bother reading the books as they will never be finished. You will only end up frustrated. And yea, the 4th and 5th books are boring over indulgent tripe. Which is sad to say because I loved most the characters the 5th book is based around.


You know, I recently re-read the fifth book and found myself really enjoying it far more than I did the first time.

Moreover, what I liked best about it was the stuff that we will never see in the TV show: Lord Manderly’s cannibal adventure; Mance Rayder’s mummer’s show in Winterfell and the rescue of the faux-Arya; Bran’s training as tree.

And yeah, there was a LOT of garbage in there - the Dornish prince; the entire trip down the river; the mummer’s dragon & Griffin’s Roost. But overall I think the good outweighed the bad by a pretty decent ratio.


Oh that’s sad. I do a lot of reading online but this was the first set of books I actually read, read… although the last one I just picked up ebook style for some plane trips… still didn’t get very far. I keep wanting to sing over by the river as i read this bit about people going down a river… forever.


The 5th book rewards rereads quite a bit IMO. And I enjoyed the whole fAegon faction, especially the Griffin’s Roost chapter and then the epilogue that the Golden Company is landing all over Cape Wrath. This is going to lead to good stuff, likely the sack of King’s Landing in book 6 and then the 2nd actual dance of dragons once Dany arrives (probably book 7 material).


Shots fired!

“No,” she said when asked about potential deadline problems on her upcoming books. “Unlike George, I write no matter where I am or what I’m doing.” Ouch. Cue heavy “ooooohs” from the audience, and a lot of laughs.


I had no idea Ron Moore was back on TV with another critically acclaimed new show. I loved Deep Space Nine and most of Battlestar Galactica. I need to check out this new show. (As well as that short-lived HBO show he did about the circus or something).


Is Outlander actually supposed to be good?


I don’t blame the dude. He writes as fast (slow) as he writes. The series and its success can’t change him into someone more prolific that he’s ever been.

I kinda like the idea that he gives HBO the key beats for the series, but years down the road as he writes he goes an entirely different way and the books don’t hew close to the series. Can HBO force him to write the future books to coincide with their show? I mean, writing is a process…


No, HBO cannot legally force him. And you have it backwards. He supplied details and HBO has in large part ignored them and gone their own way, particularly in season 5.


I’m OK with the TV show and books ending up completely different. It just means more stuff for me to enjoy in the end :-)


I have no idea why, but when reading something last night, I abandoned the two books I was switching between (never a good idea), and started Game of Thrones again from the beginning. My timing is horrible. I was going to wait until he finished the series before I started over. But I have this pressure to watch the TV series. But if I watch the TV series even once I’ll never be able to read the books again without those particular actors popping into my mind as I read.

Already as I started reading, I couldn’t help but picture Sean Bean as Ned Stark, and that guy from the latest X-men movie as Tyrion Lannister. Luckily those are the only two castings I know about.

I got drawn back in immediately. The writing is so unburdened from pretensions. The descriptions are so well written, he’s one of the few authors where I don’t grow impatient and try to look ahead in the paragraph, since his descriptions draw me in. I love that he focuses not just on visuals but on sounds.

The fourth and fifth book will be completely new to me.

Still, damn it. This is terrible timing. I hope I’m done with the five books around the time he releases the 6th one, at least.


I liked the first episode, but there is a strong indication of a Barbara Cartland type of story to it as well.


My wife liked it so we watched the entire season. It does some things that I haven’t seen in a television show before. The acting is really good. Tobias Menzies plays two different roles in it. You might know him as Brutus from Rome, among others things. He is brilliant in this. I don’t want to give any spoilers but there is an episode that focused on the intimacy between a man and woman that is beautifully portrayed. It then gets subverted later on, in an episode I was unable to finish watching. The episode was done well, but it had a level of misery that I couldn’t sit through. So a complete digression from the topic at hand, but to answer the original question I think Outlander is worth a try.