Menu

user avatar

A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE Might Be 8 Books Because George R.R. Martin

Oh George. What are you doing, buddy? Why are you making all of this so hard on yourself? Fans of Mr. R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire (source material for HBO’s Game of Thrones) have long known the story to be a seven booked thing. But according to his editor, Anne Groell, everyone’s favorite overachieving epic fantasy master may just end up writing eight books instead of seven. Say WHAT?

Over on SUVUDU — a digital community for writers, bloggers, and fans of fantasy, science fiction, comic books and all things delightfully nerdy — Groell did a Q&A with members, breaking the news that the song of ice and fire, originally a trilogy (ha ha ha!), may end up being an even bigger behemoth than already was intended.

I begin to wonder—though 7 is what we currently have under contract. I remember when he called me, years and years back, to confess that his little trilogy was…well…no longer a trilogy. He predicted four books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he said five books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he went to six. I said… Well, you get it. Finally, we were on the same page. Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Good. Only, as I recently learned while editing THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE (another awesome thing you must buy when it comes out!), there are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay. Also, he has promised me that, when he finally wraps this great beast us, I can publish the five page letter outlining the bare bones of the “trilogy.”

Listen, we’re not complaining — by any stretch — we want to stay in Westeros as long as possible. But considering how long it takes him to write each mind-bogglingly long novel, in addition to the pressures of the television series catching up, is an eighth book really such a good idea? Is it even feasible?

Well, according to Martin the plan is still to hit that lucky seven. Buuuut as is usually the case with anything original (particularly in the hands of this guy), you really never know until it’s done. In an interview conducted with Entertainment Weekly on Tuesday, Martin explained that his “plan is to finish in seven, but my original plan was to finish in three. I write the stories and they grow. I deal with certain things and sometimes I find myself not at the end of a story.”

Still, he remains firm in his commitment seven books — so we know, at least, that we’re not getting any less, at least. “My plan right now is still seven. But first I have to finish Book Six. Get back to me when I’m half-way through Book Seven and then maybe I’ll tell you something more meaningful.”

What do you think? Are you betting on seven or eight? Jump down to the comments and let us hear it.

Tags , ,

24 comments

  • I can see the ending now: a winter landscape, nothing alive as far as the eye can see, just white walkers shambling about with the odd one being scooped up and devoured whole by a ravenous dragon

    • Hate to disappoint everyone, but while the creators of the HBO show know the general story/possible ending (in the event of Martins death). They already announced that the show will deviate from the books. They are going to continue at their pace with or without Martin. The end of the show could and possibly will be completely different from the books. Which I personally am okay with as long as they keep the show relevant and good (like it currently is) and doesn’t go off the deep end like True Blood did.

    • Well, they are only through book 3 by season’s end and that book took 2 seasons.

      Book 5 is a little longer than book 3 so if that is 2 seasons also then they have at least 3 more seasons before reaching book 6 on the show.

      Martin is saying the final 2 books will likely be 1500+ pages which means book 6 could take up as much as 3 seasons on the show.

      I think he still has 5 years before any risk of the show catching up to the books (and a large portion of the final book should at least be mapped out). HBO could put the show on hiatus for more than a year if it wanted to in order to buy additional time. I am more worried about characters having to be recast with the show possible being 10 seasons or more.

      • Thanks for the correction by the two of you. I haven’t been able to read the books yet. I knew they were taking liberties by adding in some scenes and removing/adding in characters to make the show work. I hadn’t realized they moved up some events. I thought 10+ would be a lot and it makes me feel better about everything (even though book 7 probably will not be finished in time).
        I do however think a hiatus would be possible. The Sopranos for example had a 2 year break before it’s final season with only a million viewers lost (and without Amazon Streaming, HBO Go, On Demand etc. being so prevalent to keep building a fanbase)

      • The showrunners already said they want to make 7 seasons max, maybe 8 if they can’t finish all the storylines before that. There is absolutely ZERO chance that HBO would put the show on hiatus, and they shouldn’t because it wouldn’t be smart. And since they aged up all the child characters, they don’t have to worry about recasting so much. 
        They’re already deep in book 4&5 in some instances. So by this time next year the show will caught up with the books in most storylines imo. They could have moved slower in season 4 if they would include Greyjoyes, maybe they come in season 5 then? But since they know how the storylines end, they can make their own paths to those endings. 
        GRRM already talks about possibly having 8 books so that he can finish the story, sadly I don’t think we will get all those books. But at least we can get to the end with the show if nothing else. 

      • I’m sorry Josh but that is not correct. The stuff with Brienne, Reek and the latest events with Sansa are from book 4 and 5. Also book 4 and 5 occur at the same time from different perspectives until book 5 catches up with book 4. It’s very possible books 4&5 could be finished with two seasons and may even start going beyond. 

  • I hope it doesn’t end up like Robert Jordan!  Who kept writing more and more and more books, never wanting to finish and then he died :P  He just needs to lock himself away for a few months and write his little heart out!

    • you should be.  Robert Jordan died in his 50s from a rare blood disease, but was otherwise reasonably healthy until the end.  George R R Martin, on the other hand, is older, and has his own share of health problems.   an additional book could be the difference between the ending, and a heart attack that deprives us of any closure.