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“Game of Thrones”: What’s author Martin going to do after HBO killed off half his characters?

June 28, 2016

From my article, “The Ice Is Melting,” in the Weekly Standard:

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage on HBO): One of the books’ few interesting creations


The Ice and Fire series was already getting out of hand by the year 2000, when Martin published A Storm of Swords, its 1,008 pages well exceeding those of A Game of Thrones and its successor, the 784-page Clash of Kings (1999). The next manuscript that Martin turned in would have yielded a whopping 1,809 printed pages. He was unwilling simply to divide it in two. Instead, he broke out some of the manuscript’s viewpoint narratives into a fourth novel, the 784-page Feast of Crows (2005), saving the rest for the 1,056-page Dance of Dragons. The awkward format of two novels proceeding more or less synchronically, except published six years apart, was one that only an already-bestselling author could sell to his publishers.

Not surprisingly, the combination of Martin’s prolific output and his dilatoriness in producing it has forced HBO’s Weiss and Benioff to hurry their series to some kind of resolution, if only to keep the actors who play the parts (especially the child actors) from looking too old. The first season of Thrones hewed closely to the story line of A Game of Thrones, but in subsequent seasons, Weiss and Benioff have killed off and/or conflated characters, telescoped incidents, and otherwise substantially altered Martin’s narrative—even before they ran out of narrative to work with.

I certainly hope that George R. R. Martin manages to finish Ice and Fire one of these days, if only to spare himself the ignominy of having a fan-fictioner complete the job for him.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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