Last week, news broke first from from George R.R. Martin’s editor, and later, from George R.R. Martin himself, that he may end up writing an additional eighth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. He’s not really sure yet, and he won’t know until he gets into the sixth book. All he does know is that he still has a lot of story to tell, although HE’S TAKING HIS OWN SWEET TIME IN TELLING IT.
Turns out, HBO wouldn’t mind that, either. In fact, they’d be delighted. At least that’s what HBO’s president of programming Michael Lombardo told Vulture last night:
When George R.R. Martin said that he might extend the Game of Thrones series to eight books, did that make you delighted or horrified?
Delighted beyond comprehension.
Yes. I’m a huge fan, I mean [blanches; he could not possibly articulate his love of the show] I am a huge fan, I am a Game of Thrones geek. It’s a show I’m depressed I have to work on because it means I have to read the outlines before I experience it in real time.
The whole production seems so daunting that I didn’t know if an eighth book would be considered one more obstacle.
No, no. Honestly, I mean, the thought that we would end it [is upsetting] — by the way, there’s so many stories left to tell, I just hope [showrunners] Dan [B. Weiss] and David [Benioff] are still game. It’s a little bit of a personal challenge I don’t think they contemplated when we initially found our location in Belfast, what that meant for them personally … Belfast is not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half of the year.
Woah, woah, woah. Now wait a second here. I was under, perhaps the mistaken assumption, that no matter how long Martin decided his book series was going to be, that Weiss and Benioff were done with Game of Thrones after seven seasons, that they were closing up shop, shutting down the series, and leaving well enough alone. I sure as hell don’t want to see anyone else take over, and I KNOW I don’t want to see Dany wandering around for yet another season waiting for the big showdown.
Plus, the timing would make NO sense. It’s taken Martin nearly 20 years to write five books. We’ll probably have to wait another decade to see the eighth book (if there is one), and there’s only three planned season remaining of the HBO series. What are they going to do? Go on hiatus for FIVE YEARS?
It doesn’t make sense, and I’d like to believe that, no matter what Martin does, Weiss and Benioff are going to finish off these characters in the 7th season, probably jump ahead of the books, and ultimately make it their own story (with some consulting advice from Martin).
I’m just going to assume that either Lombardo was talking out of his ass, or he was simply being diplomatic and supportive of Martin. Because working an eighth book into the series feels like it’s out of the question, or at least it should be.