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George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire, The Movie?

Since George R.R. Martin spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, speculation persists the Game of Thrones series will end not with a final season on HBO but a movie (or movies) instead.

Since the publication of that infamous Vanity Fair article, emphasizing how the show was quickly catching up with the (as-of-now) unfinished series, discussion has exploded all over the internet.  What will show creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff do if (when) they begin to surpass the story which George R.R. Martin has published?  There’s a lot of information out there: GRRM is hoping book four and five will take at least another three or four years, giving him time to crank out the last two books. Meanwhile, HBO wants to wrap up the series in 8 seasons, before it can overstay its very warm welcome. To add fuel to the fire of speculation,  at the Game of Thrones  season 4 premier tuesday night (3/18), GRRM was asked about how the ending of HBO’s Game of Thrones. His response? 

“It all depends on how long the main series runs…Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger (in scope). It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know.”

So now we’re looking at a movie to tie up all those loose ends? Let’s get one thing straight here and now: A Song of Ice and Fire in its entirety could never have worked in a single movie — even the first book, A Game of Thrones would have been a travesty of the original work if screenwriters had tried to compress it into two and a half hours. The reason the show works is because HBO allots ten hour-long episodes to 800+ pages of material. Given how each book in the series progressively gets longer and longer (the fifth volume, A Dance with Dragons, clocks in at 1,040 pages hardback), it’s a safe guess that book 7, A Hint of Spring, will be at least 1,000 pages (and easily more). And GRRM wants to spin all of that in 2 hours?  You’re kidding me, right?

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Granted, this is coming from a bibliophile who grew up watching Hollywood butcher my favorite novels. Even with low standards, the film industry can’t do justice to a book only 200 pages long.  GRRM is delusional if he thinks a film, even one with a budget big enough to run a small country for a decade, can present a loyal depiction of the final chapter for ASOIAF.

Assuming the author wasn’t trolling (it’s actually pretty damn likely he was), it’s clear that a bigger budget for CGI effects would be a big draw for him. I argue that, as a huge fan of the novels, multiple seasons on a smaller budget would be preferable — even if it means the dragons look fake as hell.

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What do you think? Would A Hint of Spring be better with a bigger budget and only 2 hours or a smaller budget over the course of a season?

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