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HBO’s monster hit Game Of Thrones is arguably the most acclaimed show currently on television. Since being adapted for the small screen, the book series, A Song Of Ice And Fire, has also increased greatly in popularity. The one problem is that the author, George R.R. Martin, has taken a famously long bit of time to write the epic novels, and now Game Of Thrones has caught up to its novel counterpart. Martin recently made a statement about the progress of his forthcoming book The Winds Of Winter, and how it apparently won’t be ready before the new season of Game airs:
Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, “I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER” on or before the last day of 2015.
Well, this sucks. It seems like George R.R. Martin is taking longer than originally anticipated to finish the sixth incarnation of the Ice and Fire series. This statement is a big let down to the fans of both the novels and the TV series. After all, Martin published the first book, A Game Of Thrones, back in 1996, so readers have been forced to wonder about the fate of the characters in Westeros for 20 years now. Considering Martin has another two books to complete in total, it looks like this wait may likely span another ten years before the conclusion is finally made.
Since HBO’s Game Of Thrones has now caught up to its novelization equivalent, this means that the upcoming sixth season will explore entirely new territory. More importantly, when the new season airs in April it has the potential to spoil the events of final two novels. Since Game of Thrones' initial fan base came from book readers, it’s a sort of betrayal to the audience who preferred to read the books before they watched the television adaptation.
Showrunners and writers of Game Of Thrones now also have the added pressure of not being able to reference the original novels. No longer will they be able to look to the P.O.V. characters, and then write based upon what each character is thinking and feeling. Instead, they will have to create their own perspective on those characters’ psyche.
There is also the possibility of HBO’s adaptation completely separating itself from the final two books. Indeed, Game of Thrones has taken a few big liberties that depart from the source material; the Tyrells were expanded, characters have been killed, and Sansa’s fate was made more miserable. Will HBO make entirely new plot points moving forward? To put it bluntly: we might not know for years.
Game Of Thrones will return to HBO in April. Who knows when the next book will come out. I guess just keep your fingers crossed.