As the three year anniversary of "A Dance With Dragons" approaches — and as multiple "Game of Thrones" plots begin to accelerate at a pace that will soon find characters surpassing their on-the-page counterparts — fans of the "Song of Ice and Fire" franchise are royally freaking out. And George R. R. Martin's editor, Anne Groell, didn't exactly help things when she said that now there might be eight books in the saga instead of the originally allotted seven.
“There are really technically eight kingdoms,” Groell said (via Hypable). “So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay.”
Groell's statements threw the internet into a tizzy, so Martin took to Entertainment Weekly to set the record straight — he's not planning to write eight books, but hey, you never know!
“My plan is to finish in seven,” Martin said. “But my original plan was to finish in three. I write the stories and they grow. I deal with certain things and sometimes I find myself not at the end of a story. My plan right now is still seven. But first I have to finish Book Six. Get back to me when I’m half-way through Book Seven and then maybe I’ll tell you something more meaningful.”
Okay cool, we'll get back to you in 2035 when "The Winds of Winter" has finally hit stands, then afterwords we'll hit up the freezer where we cryogenically froze Maisie Williams so they'd never have to recast Arya Stark.
To be clear, no one is exactly faulting Martin for wanting to take as long as he damn well pleases to write his own books. As a human and an author, that is his right. It's the thousands of jobs and boatloads of money behind "Game of Thrones" that we should be concerned about, and arguably the most disconcerting element of this whole ordeal is the growing clash of kings between Martin — who wants to extend and cap the series with movies — and "Thrones" show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who have already made plans to end the show after seven seasons.
“I don’t think [seven seasons] will be enough to tell the story we’re telling in the books,” Martin concluded.
Gulp. However this pans out, it's fairly obvious that Benioff and Weiss will go their own way, and end the show on their own terms. We just hope that The War of Two Show Runners (and one meandering author) doesn't have to go down before we get there.