At the rate HBO is going, they’ll catch up with the five books George R. R. Martin has written of A Song of Ice and Fire in four-six years. That may seem like a long time but consider that it was about six years between the release of the fourth and fifth book. Martin plans seven total for the series. Do the math. If Martin releases books at the rate he has been, the HBO series is going to outpace him.
It’s a harsh reality many fans have considered, and it’s very much on Martin’s mind. He’s got to release the last two books of the series faster to keep up. He said the following in an interview with HBO:
“I am aware of the TV series moving along behind me like a giant locomotive, and I know I need to lay the track more quickly, perhaps, because the locomotive is soon going to be bearing down on me. The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I’ve got a considerable headstart, but production is moving faster than I can write. I’m hoping that we’ll finish the story at about the same time … we’ll see.”
If that’s meant to be reassuring, it fails. That makes me more concerned that Game of Thrones will catch up, and that we won’t get to see the entire series played out on our screens. If production gets held up the cast has to move on to other projects. You can’t re-cast that late in the game either. Now I’m just spinning and worrying.
Martin also mentioned that he’s working on other Ice and Fire material besides book six. There’s a concordance, a map book, and some prequel series. I think that’s all wonderful, and I will read and buy all of it. I’d just rather he finish the series first.
Then again, as Neil Gaiman once pointed out, George R. R. Martin is not our bitch.