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"The words 'Let that be a lesson' are a tad redundant at this juncture."
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March 16 2010

Jane Espenson writing an episode of Game Of Thrones season one. She will write the sixth episode of the new HBO series, as a freelancer.

Cool. It's being filmed here in Belfast. I tried reading the first book but it was a bit too grim for my liking. Might try again in the near future.
Result! One of my favorite writers penning an episode of a show I'm greatly anticipating based on novels I love.
That's amazing news! Loved both Jane and the books for a long time and have been closely following the development of the HBO series. Great to see two great things combined like this. Just wish it would start already.
I've never read the book, but I came across a comment by Matt Roush (TV Guide Magazine critic) about the series:

http://www.tvguidemagazine.com/ask-matt/ask-matt-no-lie-4373.html

Question: You recently sounded enthusiastic about HBO green-lighting the George R.R. Martin Game of Thrones series. Speaking as someone who loves the books, I am very, very apprehensive. And not for the normal book-translations reasons ("It will never hold true", "They will get it all wrong" blah blah). I don't care about any of that. My worry is Martin himself. If you are not familiar with the books, here is the short version of my complaint. Game of Thrones was published in 1997, theoretically the first of seven books. Now, 13 years later, we have seen 3.5 of those books. The ".5" comes from the last book, which was half of what he intended; he split the "4th" because it got too long and bumped the series up to 8 predicted books. At the time he said that the "second half" was essentially written and would be out quickly, but that was in 2006, and nothing since. He used to update his blog on his progress, but nothing there since Jan. 2008 except for vague references about being stuck.

Martin is an amazingly talented and imaginative writer who started a fantastic series, but seems to have either lost interest, has bitten off more than he can chew, or just doesn't have time. (A parallel situation happened with the fantasy author Robert Jordan, who resolved it by dying before finishing.) Reading these books is quite an investment, but I've had to accept that I'm never going to get the payoff. Hence my worry about a TV series which I would otherwise be very excited about. Itís bad enough that we have to worry about the premature ending of any TV show for the normal reasons (low ratings, low profits, whatever). But to add to this the unreliability of the author and it really makes this sound like a bad thing to invest time into.óJohn

Matt Roush: A fair concern, and one I share since I have chosen not to start reading the fourth book until the fifth is published so I can have a more complete reading experience. I only read the original trilogy a few years ago, anticipating the sale to HBO, and was transfixed, but also awed by its scope and range of characters; I often found myself ending a chapter and paging forward to see how long it would beósometimes 100 pages or moreóbefore Iíd be able to return to a specific set of characters or narrative point of view. It is a daunting task to adapt something like this for TV, especially given that the end of the story has yet to be written, and depending how much of the tale each season eats up, the TV show could eventually outpace the literary version. (Funny you mention the Robert Jordan series; I tried that one, too, in the immediate wake of the Lord of the Rings movies, and when it stalled about seven or eight books in, I just gave up. I much prefer the Martin series.) But all concerns aside, Iím so excited to see this epic fantasy come to life, and on a network that can handle its adult concerns and support its ambitions, that Iíll worry about these other matters if weíre lucky enough to get to that point. Bottom line, though, a memo to George R.R. Martin: Get a move on!

For those of you who haven't heard about Game of Thrones yet, here is a news piece about it from the fall which includes links to GRRM's livejournal and a collection of photos of the entire (excellent) cast...
I have heard great things about the series, and even bought the first book to check it out. I'm trying to delay starting on it until I find out when the fifth book comes out, cause I'd hate to read the first four and then have an indeterminate wait for several of the character's story-lines. But I definitely will get the first book read in time for the tv series, which sounds like it has the potential to be awesome, especially considering HBO's track record. And Jane writing an episode is just icing on the cake.
Ohhh, awesome news. I've already been bouncing off the walls in excitement about the show since HBO officially greenlit it, this just makes it even better... I'm a *huge* fan of the series, probably my favorite, and the cast they've assembled is incredible, as well. Lena Headey, Sean Bean, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jason Momoa, Peter Dinklage, to name a few...

AnotherFireflyfan, last Martin mentioned his progress, he was on page 1311. Given that's twice as much as any of the other books, you gotta think he's getting ready to either complete it or cut it apart and work the latter parts into book 6.

[ edited by zombiecow on 2010-03-17 00:00 ]

[ edited by zombiecow on 2010-03-17 00:01 ]
Sometimes the Gods are good and sometimes they are most excellent. Go Jane!
This is all good to me. I just started reading the first book. And have the 2nd one standing by. I look forward to this.

Would love to see the Thomas Covenant Chronicles made into a series on HBO. With Liam Neeson in the title role.
I read all four books back to back about a year ago and they were absolutely fantastic. The fact that Jane Espenson is planning to write an episode for the HBO series just makes it all that much more excited. Although I must say I share concerns about the books being finished in time for the show. I mean even if he manages to put out the fifth book this year there's no telling how much longer it would take for the subsequent books. Here's hoping he manages to pull it all off.
Zombiecow wrote:
AnotherFireflyfan, last Martin mentioned his progress, he was on page 1311. (...) that's twice as much as any of the other books

Yeah, but that were manuscript pages, which apparantly will translate to a lower page count when the book finally is published (so it's not the largest book so far, but somewhere between a Clash of Kings and a Storm of Swords.) Still, sounds like he's getting close. And yes, it would indeed be awesome if it could be published this year.

I think worries about HBO getting ahead of the books are very premature. They have 4 books already. That should be enough material for years to come. We haven't even seen the show yet. It seems a bit silly to already start worrying about what will happen if Martin isn't finished in 6 or so years. The enormous 3rd book also could easily be made into something of a huge double season, like the Sopranos S6, which I think would justify taking at least two or so years for that one.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2010-03-17 00:50 ]
It's just possible this news might make my heart burst - Jane Espenson and A Song of Ice and Fire in the same sentence? Not in my wildest dreams!
I think worries about HBO getting ahead of the books are very premature. They have 4 books already. That should be enough material for years to come. We haven't even seen the show yet. It seems a bit silly to already start worrying about what will happen if Martin isn't finished in 6 or so years. The enormous 3rd book also could easily be made into something of a huge double season, like the Sopranos S6, which I think would justify taking at least two or so years for that one.


Yes, it's probably silly (alright it's completely ridiculous) but can't you tell "concerns about the books being finished" really translates to "I'm greedy and want more!"
I love the books to death. Absolutely brilliant news, this. Cheers, ProgGrrl!
They keep getting good people for this. Either it's going to be excellent, or an astonishing letdown considering how much quality has come together to make it.

And I made a rule that I would only re-read the books when a new one came out... I'm getting awfully impatient.
Yeah, but that were manuscript pages, which apparantly will translate to a lower page count when the book finally is published (so it's not the largest book so far, but somewhere between a Clash of Kings and a Storm of Swords.)

Shows how much I know of how things work. Still, from what I've seen from watching his livejournal, he's gotten a lot done so far this year. Generally quite a bit faster than the last however many years have been. I've lost count.

Heh, I also try to reread the books when a new one comes out, for any series (except for the Wheel of Time and Malazans, GOD those take forever to read)... However, I did reread ASoIaF a couple years ago, expecting it would be out later that year (GRRM said so!). Oh well. At least it's still somewhat fresh.
There's always the possibility that since the original creator is involved they might choose to go in a different direction that still more or less conforms to the original but may not necessarily spoil if one overtakes the other. There's Buffy to some extent from the TV show basically replacing the movie, with BKV's Y: The Last Man screenplay I read the first 20 pages of and he seemed willing to change some of the character backgrounds and has gone on record saying there was the potential for a different ending... Then there's that upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie that condenses all six or seven books into one film even though he was still working on the final book while the movie was in production.

Something about that article itself though-- is OhNoTheyDidn't that much of an actual concern that a journalist needs to actually threaten them specifically?
orangewaxlion, I seem to recall a kerfuffle between those folks and Televisionary; it seems they cut and pasted an entire True Blood article of his without proper attribution and then bombarded him on Twitter with some pretty nasty stuff when he objected. Of course, I am feverish and could have them confused with someone else. Heh. If so, my apologies to ONTD.

At any rate, I doubt that Mo Ryan would be wagging a cautionary finger at them without good reason. She's pretty fine stuff.
Well, I'd count this as good news. A Song of Ice and Fire has been on my 'want to read'-list for ages, but I've stalled reading. I did the same thing with The Wheel of Time after I read book 9 and Jordan's health dropped; I picked the series back up when it was confirmed the story would be finished - and I'd like to add that Brandon Sanderson did an excellent job of it. His co-written book is quite possibly my favorite of the series so far, and at the very least a return to the form of old. (Also keep a look-out for his 'Mistborn' series which was one of the most expertly plotted, intelligent trilogies I've read in ages).

Anyway: as for Martin's books, I was meaning to stall beginning to read them, to protect myself from investing in a great but unfinished story, after all the delays in releasing book 5. However, now that HBO is going to be bringing the books to TV, I'll just dive in regardless, as I do want to watch (and don't want the TV show to be my first introduction to that world).

As for the pace of the show: I guess we're assuming one book per season or something? Has any of that been confirmed? I imagine it's quite hard to plot single episodes from a book which is plotted in a completely different fashion, with different beats and different tempo of revelations etc.
One book per season has more or less been confirmed, I believe. Not all details are perfectly clear, like the number of episodes per season, or whether book 4 & 5, which cover the same time period, will end up being merged and than split in two again, but basically a book a season is the idea.

Anyway, have fun reading GVH (and madmolly, AnotherFireflyfan and everyone else who might be planning to give it a try.)

Now I'm off to check out Mistborn...

ETA: And if you don't like the prologue, don't give up on the books immediately. It's the only part of the books I didn't like and I'm very glad I decided to read on.

[ edited by the Groosalugg on 2010-03-17 18:54 ]
Every professional writer/blogger I know hates OhNoTheyDidnt, because that site pulls entire articles from original sources (often without even bothering to credit the original source), and therefore pulls tons of traffic away from the content creators' own sites.

C'est La Vie Digital.
Thanks, the Groosalugg. And I'll be sure to stick with it. I usually give books a good long chance, even if they don't immediately grab me. I can only remember a few instances where I actually stopped reading the entire thing. Sometimes I have stopped reading a series when book 1 disappointed, but I'm sure that won't be a problem with Martin's series :). And also: hope you enjoy the Mistborn trilogy, if you decide to pick it up! :).
@ orangewaxlion

There's always the possibility that since the original creator is involved they might choose to go in a different direction that still more or less conforms to the original but may not necessarily spoil if one overtakes the other.

Excellent point and examples, and in addition to those that you mentioned, there's also the upcoming The Walking Dead comic adaption at AMC by Frank Darabont. The comic's creator, Robert Kirkman, is maintaining some involvement with the show and he's already said that while the overall feel of the TV series and most of the events will conform to the comics, there will be some divergences on that project too.
This seems like great news, and hopefully both the AGOT Series and Jane Espenson will benefit.

Meanwhile, I can't encourage people enough to check out the world that George RR Martin has created with these books. I'm definitely a big fan, though the one caveat, as has been mentioned above, is that even if it's not too much longer until the next book in the series, A Dance With Dragons, is released then there are still at least two more books planned to come afterward.

That being said, even if we were to never get any more stories set in this wonderful world, then I am very happy to read what has been written. In the same way, even though I hate that there is so little Firefly, and not enough Angel, and I would have liked to have seen Dollhouse continue, if I had to choose between not enough of those stories versus none of those stories, then I am absolutely glad to have gotten what we did. A Game of Thrones and it's succeeding novels were hugely enjoyable to me, as were the prequel short stories, "The Hedge Knight", 'The Sworn Sword" and I'm eagerly awaiting my shipment of the Warriors Anthology released yesterday that contains the third prequel story "The Mystery Knight".

[ edited by Risch22 on 2010-03-18 00:15 ]

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