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The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors: Ending "Game of Thrones"

By Brian Byrd | Think Pieces | June 13, 2012 | Comments ()


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By any metric - ratings, buzz, prestige, horse decapitations per season -- Game of Thrones has established itself as one of the most popular shows on television. The ambitious fantasy extravaganza exploded in its second season -- a series-high 4.2 million viewers watched the finale, up 38 percent from last year's capper -- to stealthily supplant "Boardwalk Empire" as HBO's signature scripted offering and join "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad" in the pantheon of modern event television. And due respect to Walter White and Don Draper, but they don't have dragons. With a third season about to start production -- and a fourth all but assured given the new two-year deals for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss -- this recent success appears to be the start of a long and prosperous journey for HBO.NBHBO

Well, maybe. One of the show's quintessential themes, explained so succinctly by this season's androgynous Arya Stark, is that anyone can be killed. In the coming years both HBO and "Game of Thrones" will face some difficult decisions about the show's future, ones that will likely be made without all the pieces of the endgame fully evident. Below are the three largest foreseeable trouble spots, along with their likelihood of sabotaging the series before it reaches completion (defined as all seven of George R.R. Martin's books depicted in some form). You'll notice the absence of common gripes like piracy and aging. I've ignored these simply because they aren't particularly crippling -- the show thrives even in the face of rampant online torrenting and the young actors in the series are already much older than their counterparts on the page.

COST - There's no way HBO can continue to fund Game of Thrones for another six-plus seasons

"Game of Thrones" is fucking expensive. Even by pay-cable standards, this series breaks the piggy bank so badly it leaves bones jutting through the porcelain. The first season set HBO back an estimated $60 million. The second, which received a 15 percent increase after Benioff and Weiss pleaded for the money needed to stage a proper Blackwater battle, delivered a tab just shy of $70 million. That's an average $6.5 million per hour ... so far. Why the qualifier? Well, remember the finale of the finale where ravenous snow-zombies ignored the fat-filled 400-pound Night's Watchman cowering behind a rock so they could continue marching somewhere? Yeah, there's a lot more of that as the books progress. In fact, the fantasy elements ramp up dramatically in the next three novels. The third, Storm of Swords, closes with a battle arguably more audacious -- and certainly more difficult to film -- than Blackwater. The world expands outside of Westeros to all corners of the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. Those dragons? They hit puberty. Quickly. All that means new sets, fresh actors and more visual effects work. The prospect of shelling out annual nine-figure budgets is enough to drive the bean counters to raging Xanax addictions.

CHANCES IT KILLS THE SERIES: 20 percent

The television world typically does a poor job of educating the average person as to how the success of a series translates into dollars. Movies have box office totals. Musicians can boast album sales and digital downloads. Television uses ratings as its default yardstick, a metric that's not only antiquated but insufficient when trying to determine profitability.
For a pay-cable service like HBO there are three revenue streams -- subscriber fees, DVD/Blu-ray sales and syndication rights. Forget subscriber fees for now as it's far too difficult to attribute how much of an increase in subscribers, if any, is a result of one show in the portfolio. Home video sales are a different story. These are money faucets for premium cable services due to ownership rights that ensure them huge percentages of the gross sales; popular box sets can generate tens of millions of dollars on the back end. And "Game of Thrones" is very, very popular. After breaking HBO's all-time first-week sales record, the first season went on to sell a total of 840,000 copies on DVD. Or, to put it another way, "Game of Thrones" DVDs made HBO almost $29 million. It earned another $29 million in Blu-ray sales in the first week of release. For those of you who don't like the maths, HBO recouped the first season budget in home video sales alone. If HBO can maintain that pace it makes greenlighting massive expenditures in subsequent seasons that much more palatable.

Then there's syndication. In 2005, A&E shelled out $2.5 million per episode for the rights to replay edited versions of Tony Soprano stuffing his piehole with gabagool. Even a conservative estimate puts "Game of Thrones" - another critically adored, highly rated serialized drama - well north of $3 million per. Assuming the series runs to completion with only the third book split across two years, "Game of Thrones" will have roughly 80 episodes to auction. That's nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in sheer profit just by reselling existing content, more than enough to justify the upfront expenditures. Interest would have to tumble substantially for finances to play a role in cancellation.

LENGTH - The series is too long and too complex to see to fruition.

Five thousand and sixteen. No, that's not the year Martin expects to complete his "Song of Ice and Fire" opus but the number of pages published so far. Obviously, adapting from source material this extensive requires a staggering time commitment.

Thus far the pattern has been one season per book. But that's already changed. "Storm of Swords" is so dense and stuffed with major plot points that the producers announced season three would only cover the first half of the novel. The following two books -- "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons" -- are, respectively, the second-longest and longest books of the series thus far. Worse, they mostly take place concurrently rather than chronologically, likely necessitating a major merging of the narrative to avoid having prominent characters disappear for an entire year. With enough existing material to fuel the television series at least through 2016, does HBO really have the stomach for another three or four seasons beyond that?

CHANCE IT KILLS THE SERIES: 35 percent

If the show continues to print money and cultivate a rabid fanbase it will be exceedingly difficult for HBO to pull the plug. Nor would they want to. In the eyes of fans, HBO prematurely ending the series would be an offense on the level of clubbing a baby seal to death with a kitten. We live in a world where thousands of people mailed peanuts to a network in the hopes of keeping Skeet Ulrich on their television sets just a year longer. Successfully. Imagine the reaction if this show met a similar fate. Rubber heads on spikes sent to HBO offices? Network president Michael Lombardo's name delivered up to the red god?

Furthermore, the adaptation doesn't need to be as lengthy as the source material. "Storm" is the only novel that truly requires two years to bring to life. "Feast" has more fat than Precious watching Hard Boiled at a Cheesecake Factory. Trimming the story and folding the rest into "Dance" without losing the core characters/plot points is more than doable. Should HBO desire they could easily have the first five books of the series completed on screen by the end of 2016. However ...

SOURCE MATERIAL - Martin takes eons to write and will never have the final two volumes ready when HBO needs them. Or ever.

Martin is not James Patterson, shitting out paint-by-numbers fiction twice a year. The dude writes like a tortoise on Ambien. After three books in a period of four years, Martin apparently decided, for whatever reason, to viciously and repeatedly sodomize the concept of deadlines. The gap between "Storm" and "Feast" was five years; "Feast" and "Dance" six. This pace becomes a problem when, say, a hugely popular television show is dependent on your source material to exist.

No release date currently exists for "The Winds of Winter," the sixth book in the series. All anyone knows is that some of the chapters are written and that in an April webcast Martin mentioned that the final two books will weigh in around 1500 pages ... each.

And then there's mortality. As disquieting as it is to consider, there's a possibility that the 63-year-old won't live long enough to wrap the series. Martin resembles Santa Claus in many ways, particularly in the midsection, and the fact that he's a Jets fan can't thrill his cardiologist. Essentially, Martin could be one Mark Sanchezception away from expiration ... and Sanchez throws a lot of interceptions. YOU'RE KILLING AN AMERICAN TREASURE, MARK! THINK BEFORE YOU RELEASE THE BALL!! Point is, there are real questions about both his capacity to have material ready when HBO needs it and his ability to finish it at all.

CHANCE IT KILLS THE SERIES: 60 percent

No one knows when the final two volumes will see the light of day. Given Martin's traditional pace it's highly unlikely that the series is complete by 2016, putting HBO in a very difficult position. Does the show go on hiatus and simply die on the vine? Do they stall and stretch the existing material as long as possible hoping "Winds" sees the light of day, exacerbating the aforementioned money/length problems? HBO can continue operating on a season-by-season basis if need be, although that practice opens the door for actor departures, budget fights, creative strife and all manner of other thorny issues. Absent firm release dates for the final two novels, though, they don't have much choice. And what happens if another five years passes between the release of "Winds" and the final book of the series? Bottom line - if HBO runs out of literary road when they need it, the show is done.

However, should tragedy occur and Martin not live to complete his work, it's hard to say how the network would proceed. Benioff and Weiss were given a detailed synopsis by Martin outlining the story and fates of the main characters should he pass away before the final two books are written, but questions of sensitivity and respect for the author's wishes would force HBO to proceed carefully, if at all. On the other hand, in the event of Martin's death "Game of Thrones" could become the only medium for anyone to learn how the epic concludes. In that scenario it's almost impossible to imagine HBO taking the series off the air, particularly if it had the backing of Martin's family.

It should be stressed that overall the series is in a fundamentally strong place and there's little reason to worry for its short-term future. Then again, that's just when most characters in "Game of Thrones" fall the hardest.



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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • rql

    your mark sanchez comment was hilarious

  • dotsmada

    I read the first three books years and years ago and thought they were ok. I then purchased the first season on blu-ray and was blown away. I now started rereading the series and it is much better. I think for once watching the TV show first before reading the book is actually better in this case. There are so many characters in the story it is easy to get lost but if you can put a face to them by watching the TV show then it helps quite a bit.

    I don't buy many blu-rays each year, but this one will always be on my list. If it was priced at $100 I would still buy it. I hope they can do this with some other fantasy series that I enjoyed.

  • Fieldingb

    I love the audio book and the show. It really is a shame that the DVDs don't come out for another 6 months. Wouldn't they make more of a profit on the DVDs if they sent them out now so more people could catch on the game of thrones fever before the third season?

  • RandomTask

    Just FYI, Martin is a Giants fan, not a Jets fan. (
    http://grrm.livejournal.com/26...

  • QueeferSutherland

    He's both, actually. Tends to root for whichever NY team does better. http://grrm.livejournal.com/27...

  • He will pass away before he finishes the books? Yeah okay. Hard to take the article seriously

  • hels dunleavy

    I can't help thinking that negotiating longer shooting periods with the cast et al and releasing at least two sections/books as feature films in partnership with another production company might negate some of the problems. Of course the extent they'd need to increase the shooting schedule might go beyond punishing into the realm of suicide provocation for all I know. But seriously, if a film could be slotted in between two seasons it'd be great. I would say that though, I think the whole thing should have been a feature franchise....

  • mjlowe

    Another thing, the budget is no great obstacle with a success this large, last year before it even started to take off HBO made $2.5m per episode to license the 1st season for international broadcast, a number that probably went up this year. The first season has made at least $60m from physical media sales, and more from digital & HBO has 40 million US subscribers & 42m from their own international channels. They brought in $1b in international revenue alone last year, the budget is doable for their flagship series for the foreseeable future.

  • dragonfly17

    so love game of thrones..hope hbo will finish all the books

  • I'm convinced Martin has no idea where he's going with this stuff (more than your average writer, anyway) and has no ending visualized yet, rough or not. I imagine it has something to do with Ice and Fire, but beyond that...

  • AudioSuede

    Oh my god, the Mark Sanchez reference in this article is hilarimazing

  • $27019454

    Just my opinion and I don't mean to get anyone all riled up by making a comparison between GoT and True Blood, but TB has made the very wise move of departing from the books and is now gone rogue. As a fan of TB (and yes, I believe this makes me into "soulless dreck") I am releived because now I don't have to get nervous that the show will be cancelled before it plows through the (inferior IMO) source material. I fear a Deadwood scenario and I'd have to cut a bitch if that happened.

    Of course the GoT source material is not ever to be compared with Sweet Valley High With Vampires (Sookie Stackhouse novels), but I think even with great material, at some point a series needs to inject or introduce a novel idea or thought or plot or character(s) to remain fresh to the readers as well as the non readers. At some point, every book devotee is going to get Twisted Knicker Syndrome when the show does not follow or translate something exactly "right." I appreciate the novel twist or rogue plot line. What I don't appreciate is when a show is ended before it's over. I hope GoT (and TB for that matter) avoids that fate.

  • Zed75

    Martin has specifically said in interviews that if the series overtakes the books, he'll supply an outline for the remaining books, and he's cool with finishing second. (Wish I had a link for you...)

  • Strand

    Considering his hilariously antagonistic relationship with the fanbase in the past few years (people constantly giving him shit about delaying Book 5), I wouldn't be surprised if the guy had all his notes burnt on his deathbed just out of spite.

    I understand their frustration, but it's a very very real possibility Martin won't finish the series. He's fairly old, diabetic, overweight and writes at a snail's pace. That frightens me.

  • manting

    Robert Jordan does indeed come to mind, The paralells are creepy. Both are/were overwieght fantasy authors that wrote sprawling fantasy epics that became longer and both kept/keep adding books. Now Jordan is gone and some other guy is writing the final volume.
    Now the show is over the only reason im not cancelling my HBO is that new show with Jeff Daniels about the decline of honesty and integrity in television news.
    Trueblood is a shamey jay of a show that is one part Days of Our Lives and one part skinamax and one other part scifi channel special effects from a movie about a gigantic prehistoric (insert shark, snake, spider, piranha here) vs (insert mega shark, snake, spider, piranha here). The plot has more holes than Sonny Coreleone at a toll booth.
    By the way, "more fat than precious watching hard boiled at a cheese cake factory," is scrumptulescent. Love Chow Yun Phat references
    but what does it matter for all men must die
    and I've tasted the dornishmens's wife

  • Lossoth

    The elephant in the room is that Book 5 fucking sucked. I don't mean to start a flame war, and you don't have to argue this point with me, but Book 5 is utterly unfilmable. Too many settings, too much spectacle, and FAR too many unresolved threads.
    I'm praying that David and Dan take things in a different direction by the time comes to film Dance.

  • I disagree, The events of AFFC and ADWD happen concurrently so the show will be able to use all the meaty stuff from both throughout a 2 season span and cut out a lot of the meandering storylines that some believe drag the books down.

    "FAR too many unresolved threads."

    Why would this be a problem? They've ended every season with many unresolved threads, they're called cliffhangers.

  • I disagree, it will work differently in the show because the events of AFFC happened concurrently to those in ADWD. So the two books will be meshed and they can easily cut out a good majority of the meandering storylines for the show.

    "FAR too many unresolved threads."

    Why would this be a problem? They've ended every season with many unresolved threads, they're called cliffhangers.

  • Strand

    The best of Book 5 was up there with the first 3, but when it sucked... boy it sucked. I had some friends watching season 2 with me who mentioned that Daenerys's story in that season wasn't very good... I felt like saying that it doesn't get any better but that's too cruel.

  • What? Dany's story in book 3 is much better than book 2. So you see it does get better but then gets shit again in book 5.

  • John G.

    What? endless descriptions of food doesn't do it for you?

  • Strand

    I think it's more his bizarre fixation of anything in Dany's rear end: Dragon babies, Drogo fingers, period blood or explosive diarrhoea... the latter of which was super off-putting.

  • pcloadletter

    Don't forget Daario and his sexy sword hilts.

  • Ballard_Curmudgeon

    Martin gave them an outline for the rest of the series. You should do some more research before you write an article about the show.

  • RAS

    You clearly didn't read the part of the article where he wrote "Benioff and Weiss were given a detailed synopsis by Martin outlining the story and fates of the main characters should he pass away before the final two books are written," did you? Perhaps you should do some more research before you complain about the article.

  • stryker1121

    We should consider ourselves lucky if the book series is finished by 2018. I love how HBO's handled GoT, but I want the straight dope from GRRM himself.

  • John G.

    This is old news to GRRM fans, but maybe people here aren't aware of it.

    **no spoilers**

    There's a reason that he took so long to write book 4 and 5. He had originally planned to skip everything in book 4 and 5 and jump ahead in years, telling only the most relevant stuff in flashback. He couldn't make it work, and the book ended up being too much flashback, so after nearly completing that book, he threw it away and started from scratch, writing essentially one really long book that covered those years. Then that book got too dense, and he was years past his deadline, so he decided to split that book in two, and divide it by characters, not time, which added more time and more work.

    All of that stuff is over. He's now ready to move forward with the story that he originally started to tell 10 years ago. It will not take nearly as long to write books 6 and 7. Also, judging from what they felt they could cut out of books 1 & 2, there is a ton of shit they can cut out of 4 & 5 for the TV show. I think they could even do both books in one season.

  • Ender

    I really hope you're right

  • BiblioGlow

    Martin is not James Patterson, shitting out paint-by-numbers fiction twice a year. You overestimated James Patterson. He published 7 new hardcovers in 2011, not counting the 4 Teen/Young Adult releases. Hell, this year alone he's published 5 new books, and it's only June.
    Yes, I meant overestimated.
    I'm grateful Marin takes his time, even if it means I have to re-read the entire damn series every five years or so. It's nice to have a series that is worth it.

  • I_Sell_Books

    He has a book farm, actually, so he's coming up with ideas, they write the book, and then they both get credit.

  • John W

    SPOILER!!

    If I remember the books correctly I think Joffrey is going to club a baby seal with a kitten in the first episode of season 3....

  • What PDamian said, by the time a decision needs to be made about how to proceed without completed books (though it seems most likely Wind will get done in a timely way, but not the 7th), the show runners will have the cache to boldly go forth, and I imagine would collaborate with GRRM on their plotting choices. I don't see that as a real problem, provided the current momentum be maintained in the next year.

    If HBO fat-cats decide to set a limit on how much they'll invest, I would suggest the balance could be crowd-funded by fans. Honestly, if each season pulls the revenues laid out above, it's not hard to imagine raising increments of $10M, since profits are to be anticipated. Shit, we'd probably crowd-fund a dietician and professional coach to keep GRRM upright and moderately productive. Or later seasons could become a pay-per-view event, finally helping HBO figure out some basic market fundamentals, like if people have a willingness and ability to pay, let them.

    Like lowercase_ryan, I'm tempted to vote for some creative license. His neglect of the dragons (won't give spoilers) in action is shameful. Oh what sweet irony for GRRM fans to kill him and take over. You win or you die, big boy!

  • splinter

    this is similar to what i said on a post the other day. book 6 might come just as it's time to be produced. the final book might come out after the story has finished on hbo. irony indeed!

  • Ashley

    george has told the showrunners how the series end in case he should die so in alot of ways they kinda know how it'll end with or without george

  • Phaedre

    I don't know where you all get your information from. Martin himself has stated that he has informed the producers of potential "Butterfly" effects some changes that they made can have down the road but he never told them how it ends. Nobody does. He has said at the Google talk that he did last year that he would not want a Robert Jordan situation, i.e. somebody else finishing the series and there are no notes on how it ends. If he leaves us the series will go with him

  • Morgan_LaFai

    I shouldn't judge, it is Martin's art, but I am really happy Jordan passed on the information so the story could be completed. And the new author is doing a pretty decent job with it.

  • KatSings

    http://shelf-life.ew.com/2011/...

    They all know the main ending, just not all the tertiary endings.

  • Phaedre

    But would we want them to finish it with"some" of the information as this interview suggests? He saxs he knows the broad strokes and has told the producers some of it. Sure you could end the show with that, but as a book fan first I enjoy the show even more with all the additional info I have read before.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Jets fan? What happens if he becomes a Tebow convert?! And the blood, and incest, and nudity go bye bye?!
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
    (grabs random paserby's inhaler ... Takes deep breath)
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    What's the percentage on that, hotshot?

    (throws inhaler ... Better spiral than Tebow has ever thrown)

  • Serpentlord

    Considering that he called Tebow "the worst quarterback in the league" on his livejournal, I'd put the chance of this happening at either zero, or negative percent.

  • DarthCorleone

    I predict that last scenario is going to be applicable but that it won't kill the series. HBO will run out of books, but it will keep going and finish the story using what Martin has told them, thus setting up a horrible schism in the Song Of Ice And Fire fan universe between those that want to keep their book reading pure and actually stop watching the show as they wait for Martin to finish writing and those who just can't wait and continue to watch the show to the end. And you thought the cries of "spoiler" were bad now...

  • jM

    Wait, the first three books were released within a four year period? I thought they all had huge gaps between them and he was incapable of going any faster than that. Dammit, now there's hope. We can get him back in writing shape. Someone get that man an inspirational writing montage, STAT!

  • Phaedre

    Yeah, but he has said that it took him about ten years before the release of the first one. The second was almost done by the time the first book came out. So the "four years" really does not tell us anything. Personally, I believe that "Wind" will be out within three years because we are approaching the end game. Martin had rewrite significant pparts of Feast and Dance because he wrote himself into a corner. He has rounded that corner and will GET THIS DONE AND NOT DIE BEFORE HIS TIME, DAMMIT!

  • monkeysparkets

    I will personally follow him around with a boom box blaring "Eye of the Tiger" if that's what it takes.

  • OMG DON'T! It might bring on the heart attack!!

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I wonder if Martin writing an episode a season is also an inhibiting factor in writing at least one of the remaining books by 2016.

  • George Fisher

    Fantastic analysis and FUNNNNAAAYYY.... "Think before you throw the ball"....well done indeed. Take a new face for yourself from petty change.

  • Fredo

    Love, love the Sanchez lines.

    I'm less worried about the potential passing of Martin (as it concerns the show) given that Weiss and Weinoff have shown considerable talent in condensing Martin's books and even creating whole new scenes to take them where they wanted to go.

    I'm far more worried about cost. We saw this season past how the budget constraints limited things -- direwolves being the biggest factor that faded. Without spoiling anything about Storm of Swords, the world gets bigger and we get entirely new environments and characters. And that's before you get to the whole battle scenes and other key events.

    None of which even takes into account the strategies for HBO's new shows. We're allegedly getting another major fantasy series (Gaiman's American Gods) and TrueBlood still around. HBO has shown it is willing to end a popular show when costs get too big -- see Rome.

  • mjlowe

    True Blood's revenue alone has been funding most of HBO's shows for years now, the ones with acclaim & no viewership. I'm not worried about budget killing Game of Thrones given how much it's made on video here in the US, the very real uptick in subscribers the past two years & it's success abroad. Worst case, I'm sure they could strike a co-production deal with a foreign network for the later seasons.

  • space_oddity

    HBO has also admitted that it pulled out of Rome without considering ex-post-facto DVD sales (which were quite hefty), and has said that it wouldn't make that mistake again. (sorry, I'm too lazy to look for a link).

  • Pants_are_a_must

    It should be mentioned that allegedly the creator of Rome didn't intend for it to go beyond 2 seasons, because of costs, and he doesn't even seem to have a screenplay yet for a movie.

    As fr True Blood, if anything, it shows HBO's reluctance to cancel a show, even if it's gone to absolute shit.

    I wonder how big the American Gods show will be, especially considering it's about to go against the long-awaited production of Good Omens the BBC is about to start pre-production on.

  • gerard taylor

    Actually he planned for 5 seasons
    "I discovered halfway through writing the second season the show was going to end," Heller said. "The second was going to end with the death of Brutus. Third and fourth season would be set in Egypt. Fifth was going to be the rise of the messiah in Palestine. But because we got the heads-up that the second season would be it, I telescoped the third and fourth season into the second one, which accounts for the blazing speed we go through history near the end. There's certainly more than enough history to go around."
    http://www.reuters.com/article....

    But if it's the problem of budget and HBO think Deadwood & Carnivale

  • Fredo

    Rome's costs were split between HBO and the BBC. When the show became a $1 mil an episode show, BBC pulled out and HBO was left with the whole bag. Looking back, I don't think Season 2 was meant to move as fast as it did.

    Good Omens shouldn't affect American Gods. And vice versa.

    Point is that HBO isn't a network conglomerate a la NBC/Universal (which owns NBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo) and can split costs of shows and demote them to their other networks. HBO puts up all of its money on specific shows and then hopes to recoup that money later. But they only fund a certain number of shows.

  • AngelenoEwok

    I generally get really impatient with the, "We're never gonna know how it ends because he's a fat fatty!" pearl-clutching, but you won me back with Mark Sanchez jokes.

  • bananapanda

    A little sensitive about your weight, are we?

  • AngelenoEwok

    Nope. You wish you had my cute caboose, trust.

  • PDamian

    Let me begin by saying that I've read the books, and enjoyed them. Now
    that that's out of the way, let me say this: I fucking
    love HBO's version way more than the books. The
    constraints imposed by the conversion from page to film, the presence of
    editors and screenwriters other than GRRM, the limitations imposed by
    cost that force conciseness and precision in storytelling -- all have
    combined to make a series that's far more tightly plotted and told than
    GRRM's admittedly great but often meandering saga. As long as Benioff
    and Weiss have the end of the story in hand and can bring it to life on
    screen even if GRRM should die (and I'm certainly not wishing death on the man), I
    can deal.

  • Strand

    Oh I don't know, I love both but still consider the show to be an adjunct to reading the book, which is considerably more in-depth. Yes, there are improvements in the show (especially non PoV-character scenes like Robb) and scenes that never made it in the book.

    Ultimately, while the show is lavish, there's no way it can approach the contents on the page which are limited only by Martin's imagination. Even Blackwater, as amazing an hour of TV as it was, still fell short of the book depiction.

  • Personally, I love the show. It's splendid television that really brings the pages to life. The only thing that really put me off was the pacing. It's like the books on fastforward and while the majority of the storylines and plot points are captured remarkably well, some of their impact is lost due to the faster pace. This is what keeps the shows from being better than the books, for me. Their handling of the next couple of seasons will really be the deciding factors (again, for me).

  • lowercase_ryan

    I tried to upvote you multiple times. It wouldn't let me.

  • PDamian

    It's the thought that counts. Thanks!

  • $27019454

    Just as an aside, I am pronouncing your name to rhyme with Idi Amin, because a) I read it first before I put my glasses on and b) it amuses me.

  • lowercase_ryan

    This may sound harsh, but I truly wish the showrunners would finish writing the series. I know it's his story and he can do what he wants with it, but the length and detail and scope of the books ultimately detract from the story in my opinion.
    I sometimes get the feeling that he thinks longer is better, or that he does it out of spite for constraints placed on him earlier in his career, now that he has the clout to do whatever he wants. I think the screen writers have done a great job of fixing it and making it work on the screen.

  • splinter

    i don't think your comment is harsh. you're right: it's his story and he can do whatever he damn well pleases. however, once it's written, it's out there and becomes our story and you have a right (is that the correct word?) to your opinion about it. sometimes i like a story that meanders and getting lost in the world a writer creates. sometimes i hate the unnecessary fluff that detracts from the main plots. both of these can happen in the same book!

    i wholeheartedly agree that the writers have done a very good job of translating the story to the screen. i read the first two books a few years ago and i don't remember all the details which, i believe, is a good thing. i don't get hung up like some people do about this detail or that plot point. i'm enjoying the show for what it is. and i likes it! ;)

    i am really interested in seeing how it all plays out though. will hbo cancel the show in a season or two? will martin try to keep pace with the show? will the show and the books go their separate ways? such fun!

    then again, i just want the damn story to finish.

  • Tinkerville

    I didn't realize Martin gave Benioff and Weiss information about where the series is going. If that's the case then I'd imagine HBO would still continue the show in the event of his death, since the fact that he did that seems to say that he's giving them his blessing and would want it to go on in the event of his passing.

    Which leads me to post this brilliant "George RR Martin Write Faster" song again -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • splinter

    that song was great. thanks for the link!

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Chance that I will have to read the books if HBO kills there series: %100

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