Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin gave fans of his A Song of Ice and Fire novel series a few hints about what they can expect from his next book, and the next season of the critically acclaimed HBO series based on them.
Martin appeared at a Game of Thrones panel on March 19 at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences where he gave a few updates about The Winds of Winter, the next book in his incredibly successful series, and gave a few details about Season Three of the HBO series.
The panel featured members of the cast and production team for HBO’s Game of Thrones, but before it got into the swing of things, Martin spoke to The Huffington Post about his next book and the third season of the show, which premieres on March 31.
“Last night was the first time I’d seen any actual footage, which was very exciting,” Martin said of the Season Three premiere. “I loved it.”
Though he has promised before that the HBO series will not advance beyond his novels, Season Three will adapt A Storm of Swords (though it is said that the second half of the novel will be adapted for Season Four). That’s book three of five currently out, and Martin plans for at least one more novel after The Winds of Winter. So when it the sixth book due?
“I am working on it. It will be a long time coming. I have many many more pages to do, but I have some great stuff planned for it: a lot of blood and fire and death and devastation and ravens coming home to roost,” he said.
On the panel, Martin said that HBO producers are killing off characters on the TV show who are still alive in The Winds of Winter. Executive producer Dan Weiss gave his reasons for diverging from the novel.
“We need to make room. It’s a huge cast and sometimes you need to clear some people out of the way. When you have a world like the world George has built, you start to realize how quickly that story real estate gets taken up. There have been places where we did just have to clear out space to make room for all these guys that we love so much and are so invested in, to do them justice,” he said.
But Martin isn’t too bothered about it, and said that he understands the differences that need to be made between his novels and the TV show. He noted, “given the realities of production, it’s incredible, what they do.”
You can watch the video of the Game of Thrones panel discussion below. Season Three premieres Sunday, March 31 at 9pm ET/PT on HBO.