Game of Thrones Book Series May Extend to Eight Books - Update

shiajun

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Ukomba said:
This is the longest @$!#ing prolog I've ever read already, will book 8 finally get to the actual story? I'm tired of the aimless dicking around.

Lucky Brandon Sanderson puts out better books faster.
I haven't read any of the books, just watched the show. Just based on this (and knowing some things were changed for the adaptation) I can't say Martin is a good writer at all. Oh, he may be good with dialogues and making up cool scenes and cliffhangers, but he doesn't know how to trim his story. Details are what make good characters come to life, but a good author also knows that you shouldn't go into everything in full depth. I keep hearin that in the books the overall arc just keeps being dragged around, plot lines that branching rather than convergin. To me, that's the sign of a writer who has been giving way to much reign and not enough slaps on the hand to keep focused.
 

Ukomba

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shiajun said:
Ukomba said:
This is the longest @$!#ing prolog I've ever read already, will book 8 finally get to the actual story? I'm tired of the aimless dicking around.

Lucky Brandon Sanderson puts out better books faster.
I haven't read any of the books, just watched the show. Just based on this (and knowing some things were changed for the adaptation) I can't say Martin is a good writer at all. Oh, he may be good with dialogues and making up cool scenes and cliffhangers, but he doesn't know how to trim his story. Details are what make good characters come to life, but a good author also knows that you shouldn't go into everything in full depth. I keep hearin that in the books the overall arc just keeps being dragged around, plot lines that branching rather than convergin. To me, that's the sign of a writer who has been giving way to much reign and not enough slaps on the hand to keep focused.
I haven't seen the show but have read all his books and I'm really not impressed. The fact that this has gotten so popular, I think, is likely because the producers of the show have managed a good adaptation.

So ya, it drags and has no focus. It really comes off like a really elaborate setup for a future book series. Not sure how he managed it, but it comes off like he's writing prequels.
 

K12

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I've strongly suspected that 8 books might be necessary but this is not evidence to support that idea.
 

Dirty Apple

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Darkong said:
Dance with Dragons was so dull I'm not sure I can stomach another one. It seems to have fallen into the same problem that Wheel of Time did in that things are just getting dragged out mercilessly.
I'm not sure if you're just baiting fans of Martin, like myself, with that comment, but I just had to respond. While the quality of book 4 and 5 are debatable, they are still no where near Jordan's rambling middle books. I made it to book six of the Wheel of Time before I gave up on the series. By book 5, Jordan's storyline was a bloated, directionless mess. The Wheel of Time is a classic example of a series that started off with some promise, and then proceeded to squander it thoroughly. Jordan is to Martin as beef jerky is to steak.
 

Ariseishirou

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Yeah, I dunno. I get this sinking feeling it's never going to be completed, too. It seems like the most likely outcome at this point. At least he's told the producers of the TV show how it ends. ...And to be honest, ADWD was so terribad that I'd put money on them doing it as well as GRRM at this point, or possibly even better, if he plans to phone everything else in too.
 

Evil Smurf

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Maybe, Daenerys Targaryen finally takes back the Iron Throne. I'm rooting for you girl.
 

Jandau

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At this point, I'm pretty sure that A Song of Ice and Fire is the living manifestation of Zeno's paradox about Achilles and the tortoise [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes#Achilles_and_the_tortoise], meaning we'll never reach the end and it'll just stretch out for decades until Martin dies. Hell, it might turn out to be a curse, with any subsequent authors who take up the series failing to finish it as it stretches to infinity, not because they continue the story, but rather because they can't ever finish the current story... :p
 

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Steve2911 said:
This isn't news to anyone who's even remotely familiar with the books. George has been saying 'yeah it'll totally be 7 unless I can't finish it in 7' for years now. This is just the speculation of his editor, who hasn't even read the majority of his TWOW material yet.
Considering he originally planned 3 and now it's up to 7, with the possibility of an 8th now, is anyone thinking his editor needs to actually hold the line here(which editors apparently get afraid to too once someone gets popular)?

Can we get the man a "Wrap it up" Box?
 

Sol_HSA

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Dalisclock said:
Steve2911 said:
This isn't news to anyone who's even remotely familiar with the books. George has been saying 'yeah it'll totally be 7 unless I can't finish it in 7' for years now. This is just the speculation of his editor, who hasn't even read the majority of his TWOW material yet.
Considering he originally planned 3 and now it's up to 7, with the possibility of an 8th now, is anyone thinking his editor needs to actually hold the line here(which editors apparently get afraid to too once someone gets popular)?

Can we get the man a "Wrap it up" Box?
See: Wheel of Time. Planned 3 books, ended up taking the rest of the author's life, and beyond.
 

Darkong

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Dirty Apple said:
Darkong said:
Dance with Dragons was so dull I'm not sure I can stomach another one. It seems to have fallen into the same problem that Wheel of Time did in that things are just getting dragged out mercilessly.
I'm not sure if you're just baiting fans of Martin, like myself, with that comment, but I just had to respond. While the quality of book 4 and 5 are debatable, they are still no where near Jordan's rambling middle books. I made it to book six of the Wheel of Time before I gave up on the series. By book 5, Jordan's storyline was a bloated, directionless mess. The Wheel of Time is a classic example of a series that started off with some promise, and then proceeded to squander it thoroughly. Jordan is to Martin as beef jerky is to steak.
Don't get so defensive, I never said it was as bad as Wheel of Time, that became so slow I skipped a Jordans last book and jumped straight to the Sanderson ones, but that it was falling into that slow, rambling, lots of people moving around but doing nothing problem that WoT did, if it ever gets that bad we'll all be dead of old age before SoIaF finishes.
 

MetalMagpie

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Dalisclock said:
Steve2911 said:
This isn't news to anyone who's even remotely familiar with the books. George has been saying 'yeah it'll totally be 7 unless I can't finish it in 7' for years now. This is just the speculation of his editor, who hasn't even read the majority of his TWOW material yet.
Considering he originally planned 3 and now it's up to 7, with the possibility of an 8th now, is anyone thinking his editor needs to actually hold the line here(which editors apparently get afraid to too once someone gets popular)?

Can we get the man a "Wrap it up" Box?
Why is it in his editor's interest to pressure him to end the series? The more books he writes, the more books get sold.

You could read her comments here and come to the conclusion that she's actually been arguing him up over the years. ;)
 

RonHiler

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Seracen said:
Pretty sure he addressed this. I believe he discussed at length with the show creators the major beats of future books. I also believe he has prepared notes for a ghost author, should one be required after he passes (much like Sanderson for Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series).
Nope. He's said many times that the series dies with him. He will not allow another author to finish it. Which is a total dick move, but it's his IP.

Now, I think you are correct in that D&D know some details on how it goes. So if nothing else, at least we will get the screen adaptation (if you adapt from a book that doesn't exist, is it still an adaptation?)
 

Elijah Newton

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I'm going to say this a couple times for clarity's sake : I'm all for authors making pots of money so long as fans are having fun, and writing at whatever pace most pleases them. That being said, GoT has completely pulled a WoT (Wheel of Time).

Both had superb introductions and solid second books. They so, so needed to stop at three. It was painfully obvious the scope of the story had been budgeted for three books. ( I really wanted to read the end as it should have been, with the same attention to economic storytelling. ) Either series could've bloated to four or - if carefully paced to completion - five and not suffered for it, but beyond that? Nope. Jordan wasn't capable of coherence at that length and neither is (in my opinion) Martin.

Dance with Dragons was a mess. Again, I like that Martin's making bank as an author and I think fans who demand output on a certain schedule ought to be laughed off. But that was not six years of the quality of work he showed with the first two books. He's slipping badly.

I'm glad the tv show is doing so well and (as someone who had waaaay too many Forgotten Realms books back in the day) I'm pleased that a fantasy series is doing so well without existing as a byproduct for an RPG. But what I'd like most is for him to bring it to a close as neatly as he opened it. I'm ok with an off book - one of five (so far) isn't bad - but at this point I seriously question if he can rein it in. From a technical / plotting standpoint it's got to be incredibly tough and, frankly, I question if Martin has the ability to close it off as neatly has he started it up.

Whether or not he wants to end it is a completely different matter and, eh. *shrug* I can't exactly fault him, or any author, for opting to print money as opposed to not print money. But snark aside, I think the question at hand is can, not would or should, he end the song.

Also, whatever editor they assign has to [gender]-up and do the work that earns them their paycheck. Authors, however good, need editors.


Side note : wouldn't it be cool if at the series's end he pulled a WildCards ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Cards ) and open sourced the Westeros setting?
 

NortherWolf

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Dirty Apple said:
Darkong said:
Dance with Dragons was so dull I'm not sure I can stomach another one. It seems to have fallen into the same problem that Wheel of Time did in that things are just getting dragged out mercilessly.
I'm not sure if you're just baiting fans of Martin, like myself, with that comment, but I just had to respond. While the quality of book 4 and 5 are debatable, they are still no where near Jordan's rambling middle books. I made it to book six of the Wheel of Time before I gave up on the series. By book 5, Jordan's storyline was a bloated, directionless mess. The Wheel of Time is a classic example of a series that started off with some promise, and then proceeded to squander it thoroughly. Jordan is to Martin as beef jerky is to steak.
Want bait? Here's bait for ya; GRM wishes he could be as good as Jordan was, and that's coming from someone who never liked Jordan. I cannot understand the praise Martin gets, because it's not like when people praise Jordan and I can sort of understand the charm, or when people claim this or that fantasy author is awesome. But Martin...Why? The "surprise character kill!"-gig and a loose focus seems to be what places him apart. And hell, Feist did the "Oops, did I kill off your favorite character?!"-thing long before Martin.

Add to that that he has a very obnoxious fan following who praise the man to the high heavens and you have a recipe for "Cannot tolerate. Get out."
 

Amnesiac Pigeon

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Elijah Newton said:
I'm going to say this a couple times for clarity's sake : I'm all for authors making pots of money so long as fans are having fun, and writing at whatever pace most pleases them. That being said, GoT has completely pulled a WoT (Wheel of Time).

Both had superb introductions and solid second books. They so, so needed to stop at three. It was painfully obvious the scope of the story had been budgeted for three books. ( I really wanted to read the end as it should have been, with the same attention to economic storytelling. ) Either series could've bloated to four or - if carefully paced to completion - five and not suffered for it, but beyond that? Nope. Jordan wasn't capable of coherence at that length and neither is (in my opinion) Martin.

Dance with Dragons was a mess. Again, I like that Martin's making bank as an author and I think fans who demand output on a certain schedule ought to be laughed off. But that was not six years of the quality of work he showed with the first two books. He's slipping badly.

I'm glad the tv show is doing so well and (as someone who had waaaay too many Forgotten Realms books back in the day) I'm pleased that a fantasy series is doing so well without existing as a byproduct for an RPG. But what I'd like most is for him to bring it to a close as neatly as he opened it. I'm ok with an off book - one of five (so far) isn't bad - but at this point I seriously question if he can rein it in. From a technical / plotting standpoint it's got to be incredibly tough and, frankly, I question if Martin has the ability to close it off as neatly has he started it up.

Whether or not he wants to end it is a completely different matter and, eh. *shrug* I can't exactly fault him, or any author, for opting to print money as opposed to not print money. But snark aside, I think the question at hand is can, not would or should, he end the song.

Also, whatever editor they assign has to [gender]-up and do the work that earns them their paycheck. Authors, however good, need editors.


Side note : wouldn't it be cool if at the series's end he pulled a WildCards ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Cards ) and open sourced the Westeros setting?
I'm curious why you think A Dance with Dragons was a mess.

I'd rank it amongst my top three with A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords.

Loved Quentyns story as well as Danaerys' ruling troubles. Reek's sections were fantastic and I relly like where that Winterfell story is headed.

then again I did start reading it as soon as I finished A Feast For Crows. Skipping the six year wait that seems to lead to people declaring it rubbish.
 

Tono Makt

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Seracen said:
Scars Unseen said:
Cousin_IT said:
For the sake of my sanity, please just come out & say there's never going to be a conclusion to the saga.
If I were the author, I'd have a ready written contingency novel set to be published upon my death entitled "The Throes of Death(or How the Ice Zombies Killed Everyone - Yes, Even Tyrion)."
Pretty sure he addressed this. I believe he discussed at length with the show creators the major beats of future books. I also believe he has prepared notes for a ghost author, should one be required after he passes (much like Sanderson for Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series).

Until such time, I am sort of keeping myself from getting too invested in anything, simply enjoying the scenes I catch in the TV series. I am one of those people who likes to marathon complete works.
Really? I was under the impression that it was the literal opposite - that he was refusing to make notes that another author could use to finish the series because he was against that idea of someone else finishing his series entirely. And that the only reason he gave HBO anything was due to the very real possibility that he will become incapacitated in some way before the show is over, and so HBO would be able to finish the TV series in that eventuality.
 

Tono Makt

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NortherWolf said:
Dirty Apple said:
Darkong said:
Dance with Dragons was so dull I'm not sure I can stomach another one. It seems to have fallen into the same problem that Wheel of Time did in that things are just getting dragged out mercilessly.
I'm not sure if you're just baiting fans of Martin, like myself, with that comment, but I just had to respond. While the quality of book 4 and 5 are debatable, they are still no where near Jordan's rambling middle books. I made it to book six of the Wheel of Time before I gave up on the series. By book 5, Jordan's storyline was a bloated, directionless mess. The Wheel of Time is a classic example of a series that started off with some promise, and then proceeded to squander it thoroughly. Jordan is to Martin as beef jerky is to steak.
Want bait? Here's bait for ya; GRM wishes he could be as good as Jordan was, and that's coming from someone who never liked Jordan. I cannot understand the praise Martin gets, because it's not like when people praise Jordan and I can sort of understand the charm, or when people claim this or that fantasy author is awesome. But Martin...Why? The "surprise character kill!"-gig and a loose focus seems to be what places him apart. And hell, Feist did the "Oops, did I kill off your favorite character?!"-thing long before Martin.

Add to that that he has a very obnoxious fan following who praise the man to the high heavens and you have a recipe for "Cannot tolerate. Get out."
I can understand the praise Gurm gets - he's writing something that's almost unique in the realm of Fantasy. It's not a Story in the classic sense of Protagonist, Antagonist, Goal, Journey, Resolution, Conclusion. It is fictionalized history - it's like writing about the 100 years War from the point from a "real time" perspective. There are so many different factions and people to keep track of and no one knows what is going to happen next. There is no plot per se - just action and reaction. It's a fascinating exercise in writing, and many people are quite impressed by it. I'm quite impressed by it.

However.

This does mean, however, that it is quite easy for other people to dislike it. They expect a "Fantasy" story and at their heart, most Fantasy stories follow the Protagonist vs Antagonist, Goal, Journey, Resolution and Conclusion framework. Without that framework reading Gurm's novels can be tedious, and he doesn't help himself by switching point of view (POV) characters halfway through then leaving fans in limbo for 11 years to get more info about some of the characters they tried to identify as Protagonists and Antagonists. It's a main reason that I've stopped reading the novels entirely - I'm not even going to go reread the novels until the last book is in sight, or the HBO show is over. It's like a history textbook written in a fantasy style, and the fantasy style doesn't overcome the history textbook aspect for me. (So for anyone thinking that I'm somehow insulting people who don't like the novels... I'm one of those people you might think I'm insulting.)
 

Ukomba

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Dalisclock said:
Steve2911 said:
This isn't news to anyone who's even remotely familiar with the books. George has been saying 'yeah it'll totally be 7 unless I can't finish it in 7' for years now. This is just the speculation of his editor, who hasn't even read the majority of his TWOW material yet.
Considering he originally planned 3 and now it's up to 7, with the possibility of an 8th now, is anyone thinking his editor needs to actually hold the line here(which editors apparently get afraid to too once someone gets popular)?

Can we get the man a "Wrap it up" Box?
Not sure how he can wrap it up when the story doesn't seem have even stared yet. When the series started I thought it was supposed to be about the war in the north and winter coming and what not, seems like things were juuuust starting at the end of the last book. If they deus ex dracona away all that in two books the entire series will feel pointless.
 

Elijah Newton

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Amnesiac Pigeon said:
Elijah Newton said:
Dance with Dragons was a mess. Again, I like that Martin's making bank as an author and I think fans who demand output on a certain schedule ought to be laughed off. But that was not six years of the quality of work he showed with the first two books. He's slipping badly.
I'm curious why you think A Dance with Dragons was a mess.

I'd rank it amongst my top three with A Game of Thrones and A Storm of Swords.

Loved Quentyns story as well as Danaerys' ruling troubles. Reek's sections were fantastic and I relly like where that Winterfell story is headed.

then again I did start reading it as soon as I finished A Feast For Crows. Skipping the six year wait that seems to lead to people declaring it rubbish.
The six year wait didn't help matters any. If it'd been rushed out the door I'd be somewhat relieved to use that as the scapegoat for the quality issues I perceive.

There were passages flat-out copied from the fourth book and inserted into this one. It wasn't just a recap, it was pretty much word for word for what seemed like a half dozen paragraphs. This kind of gripe sounds lame and improbable without a citation, so feel free to call me on that, but honestly I don't have the energy or interest to back that up. Pretty sure I didn't hallucinate it, though.

As for the plot lines and comparisons with earlier books? well, liking one thing over another is completely subjective and I'm not going to say what you like is wrong or anything of the sort. But what the series needs in order to conclude as smartly as it began is to follow existing characters to their ends. Sometimes that means characters die, which is great. Or fine, or whatever. The death of characters highlighted important moments, made the reader fear for those remaining and honed the focus of the story. But between resurrecting characters, nerfing cliffhanger threats and introducing new characters, the tale is becoming diffuse. Instead of one group of characters he's attempting to make a story of everything.

By way of segue :

Tono Makt said:
It is fictionalized history - it's like writing about the 100 years War from the point from a "real time" perspective. There are so many different factions and people to keep track of and no one knows what is going to happen next. There is no plot per se - just action and reaction.
I get where folks like Tono Makt are coming from but for me it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. The story doesn't start as a history of everything, it starts as a narrative focused on the Starks of Winterfell, the foreshadowing and execution of their downfall and subsequent diaspora. The world is defined by the Starks as they move through it. Sometimes you'd get a handoff to another character who worked closely with them, and you had the implied foreshadowing of conflict by a similar attention given to Daenerys (but, significantly only Daenerys) whose backstory was not unlike the Starks? blah blah blah. *sigh*

Look, I just think that had it been his intent to write a history of everything, he would've started with an everything perspective in the beginning instead of focusing so tightly on one family. I think what we're seeing is bloat - which could arise from an earnest love of the setting and interest in the characters, but let's call it what it is - explained away as an unconventional structure. I think that's a weak excuse and is hurting the quality of the books.

Martin's insistance on introducing new characters to the mix in book five doesn't just stretch out the series (which one might label 'stalling'), it actively interrupts the pace of what's going on as Martin fills us in on the whole backstory, culture, life events, etc etc. Off the top of my head, compare Brynne's introduction and role with Quentyn's. Her addition was less intrusive. Plus, I mean, even at whatever ridiculous page count he's at, we're getting no follow through on characters he introduced in book 4. If you're not doing anything with Myrcella in book 5, why is she there?

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