George R.R. Martin’s notoriously slow pace with the next novel in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, The Winds of Winter, doesn’t have HBO executives worried about the production of the Game of Thrones television series.
HBO co-president Richard Plepler and programming president Michael Lombardo both responded to questions about the possibility of the show getting ahead of the books Thursday at a Television Critics Association press tour, but showed a lack of concern despite stating that they don’t have a plan.
A Game of Thrones was first released in 1996 with the following two novels taking only two years each to write. Things have since slowed down with the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, taking five years and the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, taking six years before it was released in 2011. Martin is currently working on the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, but there’s no indication that it will be completed any time soon.
“Obviously, George is an integral part of the creative team on this. At least with respect to next season every step, every move is being choreographed very closely with him,” Lombardo told the critics (via Broadcasting & Cable). “I think, certainly after next year, we will have to figure it out with George. The book’s not finished at this point. But we’re in conversations with him. We’re not concerned about it.”
For now, Game of Thrones season five will be based on the fourth and fifth novels, which run nearly concurrently with one another but told from the perspective of different characters. Season six will be based on The Winds of Winter while season seven will be based on the seventh book, A Dream of Spring.
There’s always the possibility that the series could be stretched out another season or more beyond season seven, as well given all the material that has already been cut for the first four seasons, but going through season seven is assured at least.
“We are not talking about ending the show within the next two seasons,” Plepler commented per the LA Times.
Plepler also shot down a question about the possibility of a Game of Thrones movie being used to conclude the popular TV series, due to statements Martin has made in the past.
“He is 100 percent focused on his books and the series,” Plepler said, “and has only held out the movie conversation as something way down the road.”
“There’s no conversations about a movie,” Lombardo added to close out the line of questioning.
It was interesting that these questions came up just a day after Martin flipped the bird and told those worried the 65-year old writer might die before finishing the seventh novel to “f*** you.” Even if he doesn’t finish the novels in time, he likely has the notes and outlines to share with the Game of Thrones showrunners, plus the show’s producers have shown the willingness to diverge significantly from the books already.
Game of Thrones picked up the most prime-time Emmy nominations of any series earlier today with 19 total. This included best drama and a best supporting nomination for Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister).
[Images Via Vanity Fair and Bing]