By Damon Martin – Editor/Lead Writer
Follow on Twitter @DamonMartin
Game of Thrones has already started pre-production on the upcoming fourth season that will debut on HBO in the spring of 2014. The fourth season is expected to finish out the third novel in creator George R.R. Martin’s sprawling universe surrounding the fantasyland known as Westeros called “A Storm of Swords”.
The plan will then move for season 4 to continue into book No. 4 titled “A Feast of Crows”. Now it’s widely known of all of Martin’s books in the series called A Song of Ice and Fire, the fourth is generally regarded as the weakest with several storylines not being touched or finished from previous books.
It’s with that the producers and writers at Game of Thrones will likely power through the fourth book in rapid fashion with hints of jumping into the fifth book “A Dance with Dragons” during season 4 and season 5 of the critically acclaimed show.
That leaves Martin’s vision for the final books in his series in a bit of jeopardy because he still hasn’t finished the sixth book called “The Winds of Winter”, with a seventh and final book still to go before the series is wrapped. The television world doesn’t slow down much, and if showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss continue at the pace they’ve been setting, Game of Thrones will catch up to Martin’s writing in just a couple more seasons.
Martin, who has been notoriously slow in turning around his Song of Ice and Fire novels (there was a five year gap between books 3 and 4, and a six year gap before book 5 arrived), knows the pressure is on to get his story finished his way to allow the television show to follow his intended path for the characters on Game of Thrones.
“I have to finish The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. That’s going to take me a while, and I have to write quickly here because David and Dan and these guys are catching up to me,” Martin said when speaking at San Diego Comic Con last weekend. “The locomotive is coming down the tracks behind me and I’m still laying the tracks.
“They’re not quite on top of me yet, but I can see the smoke over the next hill. I’m working on that.”
Martin has admitted in the past that he has told Benioff and Weiss the outline for how he envisions his series ending just in case he doesn’t live long enough to tell the story (Martin is currently 62 and in fine health) or if the show catches up to him before he can finish.
HBO Executives speaking at a press tour recently admitted that they are putting the pressure on Martin to get his series finished his way so they can use that as source material for the show and not veer too far off course from his vision.
“Our line to George was keep writing,” said HBO chief executive Richard Plepler.
Programming president Michael Lombardo echoed those same feelings by adding, “Yes, get busy writing” when addressing Martin’s time to finish his series.
There is still no definitive timeline for when Martin will release the sixth book in his series, although hopes are that it will hit bookshelves by sometime in 2014. That would mark three years between books for Martin.
Unless that timeline speeds up quite a bit, it’s hard to imagine Martin finishing his seventh and final book of A Song of Ice and Fire before the television show that bears the name of the first novel in his series Game of Thrones catches up to him.