"Game of Thrones" is running out of time.
The HBO fantasy series wraps its fourth season on Sunday night, and beyond that, the world of Westeros as told on television is quickly catching up with George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels. Only two more published books in the series exist, both of which could easily be combined over the next one and a half seasons — and with no publication date for the sixth novel, "The Winds of Winter," in sight, it's looking increasingly likely that "Thrones" will outpace "Ice and Fire."
It comes as little surprise, then, that Martin wishes HBO would extend its episode order for each of the "Game of Thrones" seasons. As it stands, any given season of "Thrones" is comprised of only ten episodes, as opposed to the 12 or 13 given to other shows on HBO.
"I wish we had more episodes," he told The New York Times. "I'd love to have 13 episodes. With 13 episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer."
Budgetary issues have prevented HBO from extending the episode orders, but Martin raises a valid point; more episodes per season could pave the way for smaller character moments (in the interview, he lamented the loss of one early scene from the books between Arya and Sansa that establishes their sibling rivalry), and thereby widen the gap between the show's pace and Martin's pace on the novels.
As for when that sixth novel might roll along? It's still too early to say. Asked about the progress of "The Winds of Winter," Martin simply told the Times that "it's going along." It's the same answer he's given since the publication of "A Dance with Dragons" in 2011.
The "Game of Thrones" season four finale airs on Sunday night at 9 PM ET.