‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ May End Up Being Eight Books

This has to be the most bizarrely frustrating news/rumor I’ve heard in a while. Could it be that the planned series of 7 books in the mega popular series A Song of Ice and Fire might actually add another chapter? It’s now clear that the HBO series Game of Thrones (currently on its fourth season) will overtake the books within a year or two, unless Martin starts releasing the books once a year (hahaha). However, it is just a conjecture from George R.R. Martin’s editor, at this point. Here’s the excerpt from Anne Groell:

I begin to wonder — though 7 is what we currently have under contract. I remember when he called me, years and years back, to confess that his little trilogy was…well…no longer a trilogy. He predicted four books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he said five books. I said Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Then he went to six. I said…Well, you get it. Finally, we were on the same page. Seven Books for Seven Kingdoms. Good. Only, as I recently learned while editing THE WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE (another awesome thing you must buy when it comes out!), there are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay. Also, he has promised me that, when he finally wraps this great beast us, I can publish the five page letter outlining the bare bones of the “trilogy.”

It’s frustrating because I honestly just don’t know how to feel about the news. Sure, another book down the line sounds great. Anne Groell certainly makes it seem like a splendid idea. But it’s frustrating because the books really should come first. When the show overtakes the novels, it’ll take extreme creative liberties due to lack of direction from any written guideline. By pushing the story back further you skew it all up even more. Also, it’s commonly worried about within the fandom that Martin won’t actually live to finish telling the tale (literally), and someone else will have to finish it for him. Why would he push the end of the series even further off?

There’s currently no release date or an estimated time of arrival for GRRM’s sixth installment, The Winds of Winter. The seventh book is currently known only as A Dream of Spring. Would the supposed eighth be breaking up the last two books, or coming after A Dream of Spring? I personally don’t think I’ll be buying into this comment from the editor as a fact. If she thinks that an eighth is only warranted because of an eighth kingdom…


13 thoughts on “‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ May End Up Being Eight Books

  1. It’s simple, really. The editor knows that Martin ran out of room in his last book. That his original plan called for a 5 year hiatus that HBO nixed, Ergo, more books!


  2. Okay, this frustrates me as well. I don’t want the show to go on without a clear direction, although I heard the rumor that Martin told the producers how the story is supposed to end in case he dies before finishing the books (which I definitely hope doesn’t happen!)
    I don’t know how to feel about all of this, but the meme at the end is amazing!!!


  3. I’m not surprised one bit. I was actually thinking about it the other day while I was on my way to work. It’s not unheard of for grand epics to become larger that originally intended; Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” trilogy became 15 books (or is it 16?). Even if the HBO show exceeds the time-line of the books, that’s okay. Martin is still kind of a producer, so he’ll sort of have some say. And honestly, I’ve never understood why people get so upset when a TV series or a movie diverts from the book. They’re really just two separate things to enjoy. I would find it kind of boring to read one thing and then have to watch the exact same thing to play out. (Although that being said, there are truly some horrendous adaptations out there.)


    1. 12 books by Jordan, 2 by Sanderson. If you want to throw the prequel in there for good looks, that’s just about 15 books lol.

      I disagree with your sentiments on how adaptions play out. Many times we may find ourselves rereading a favorite book of ours, or recapping a series before a new installment by rereading the books up until that point. If a story has reread value, that should hold beyond the narrative medium of novels. A story [should be] (but rarely is) just as good on screen as it is in writing. And if you’re a fan of something, seeing an adaption to something you like stray off course could be unnerving. I prefer my book to movie adaptions as literally adapted as possible.


  4. It doesn’t really surprise me. HBO announced that the show will span 8 seasons a couple of months ago. Of course I’m big enough of a fan to appreciate the news that HBO has all the necessary information to complete the series if Martin should croak before he finishes – which, by all accounts, might be the case. However, I’m a petty enough geek to hate that I’ll be watching the show basically on the same platform as all the regulars who don’t read the books. I mean, one of the biggest joys that I derive from watching the show is – despite the slight script changes -already knowing pretty much what’s going to happen. George R. R Martin is really screwing us over on this one.


  5. I think there is a danger of this becoming like The Dark Tower series from King (which had a huge gap in the series). The gaps between books will grow longer and longer until he Jordans the series at the end and another writer comes in to finish it.


    1. Yes. His editing job sucks. Particularly the last book, where he couldn’t even put the major battle it needed in, because he Ran Out of Pages.


  6. Apparently Martin had actually been advising the producers on how to continue the story if he should happen to not complete the series. They know the ending, or at least the one he wants for the show (could be different for the books I suppose). I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d also be given them advice on where to take the show during the wait for the next book.


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