HBO Renews Game of Thrones for Season 4 Thanks to Record Ratings (and Common Sense)

In today's duh-doi news, HBO has renewed its hit fantasy epic swords-and-sorcery-and-dragons-and-direwolves-and-shadow-babies-oh-my drama Game of Thrones for a fourth season, because HBO is not stupid and is in the business of making sound decisions that will help it make money. The news comes just two days after the show's Season 3 premiere, which aired Sunday, and weeks after actor Charles Dance (who plays Tywin Lannister) pretty much told everyone there would be a Season 4. Surprising news this ain't.

Sunday's telecast set series highs for the program, drawing an average of 4.4 million viewers, according to HBO. That's more than its previous high of 4.2 million viewers, which belonged to last season's finale. Don't forget this is HBO we're talking about here; the pay-cable network is in only a fraction of the homes that have broadcast and basic cable. 

Presumably, Season 4 will continue the TV adaptation of A Storm of Swords, the massive third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series that Game of Thrones is based on.
   


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter if you want to: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Better hurry up George! The show is starting to catch up faster than you think. After the 4th season they are going to run out of material to make a good season. Plus I am absolutely dying to read Winds of Winter! :-)
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With over 4 million viewers I am curions how many viewers the show would draw on a network with wider coverage. Still wonderful news about a great series being renewed.
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Common sense. Just common sense.
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Fantastic and epic tv series that keeps getting better and more interesting, I never doubted HBO to renew GOT for a season 4.
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Come on.... It's a given really! HBO would be effing retarded to cancel this show anytime before the end of the books.
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Calling it now, Season 10 and book 7 in 2020.
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God I hope you are wrong about the book 7 in 2020. I will go nuts if I have to wait that long to read the final book!
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i was being optimistic. It is only 7 years away.. and if you realize the first book came out 17 years ago and GRRM's writing schedule it is not a bad geusstimate.
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In other news, HBO admits that it likes MONEY.

No real surprise here. People are still eating it up, and there's still more source material left from which to build.
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Really don't understand people who complain that the story moves slow or "nothing happens" or "they just walk around and talk". If u just want abundant battle scenes and dragons and cgi go watch something else. Personally I prefer intelligent, complex writing and these lil things called plot and character development.
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What's amusing to me actually is I was just musing to myself the other day that what I most often enjoy comparing Game Of Thrones to is Lord Of The Rings, or, to put it more aptly, to justapose against it.

Sure, I like Lord of The Rings, but I could barely sit through even the second viewing of the massive directors cut. I say massive, but the three movies, directors cuts included, amount to about one season of Game Of Thrones. By all rights, Game of Thrones should be more bloated due to all the extra stuff afforded by it being a TV show over a movie, and yet, I feel like it's Game Of Thrones that moves along comparatively, and Lord Of The Rings which feels like a bunch of people walking and talking for roughly three movies (I believe Randal via Clerks 2 put it very well).

So yeah, to me Game of Thrones is like a more enjoyable genre piece compared to LoTR (yes I realize LoTR is a bit heavier on the fantasy and CGI and kapow effects but that only puts an even finer point on the whole thing. Game of Thrones still manages to feel more exciting in a fantasy esque realm (after all there are still giants and dragons and warlocks and frost zombies ect) while barely showing you any of it and constantly teasing it's subtle underlying presence (that doesn't mean I still don't squeel when we do get to see a giant or a dragon or a warlock or frost zombie do something crazy).
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It's a bit arrogant to say those of us who want the story to move along as people who don't like plot and character development. I like the series but season two had a lot of unnecessary scenes that didn't add to plot or character development and made the show feel disjointed. The funny thing is the battle scenes were excellent. You must remember that many of us have not read the books. The producers have and, according to many of you here, are keeping very true to the books. Keep in mind that 30 or 40 pages in the book can work out to a 2 to 5 minute scene on tv. This can make an episode feel disjointed if too many of these scenes are in an episode. The producers are going to have to do a better job at adapting the books to episodic television. This means cutting things out and joining scenes together to make scenes longer to keep a better flow.
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There's a something else with abundant battle scenes and dragons and cgi? What is this awesomeness I'm missing out on?!
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I love how HBO and Showtime do the free week of their channel when a series returns and then they get to boast about how many tuned in to watch it.
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At the rate the show is going it will back for as long as GRRM books are available
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Thanks to all seven gods.
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and a collective "duh" could be heard all around the world and beyond
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Is it even a news? :)
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well I wont be tuning in IMO S3 premiere was very boring and disappointing
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Didn't they already announce season 4 when they announced season 3?
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It's going to be 2021 at least by the time the last book comes out, since there are at least three more to come. They'll have to split the remaining books as well and probably take a longer hiatus at some point, I think.
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GRRM on a possible 8th book and the criticism that his ASoIaF series is too complex and complicated (from two separate interviews published in late 2012):

"I’ve already written 400 pages of my sixth book. However, of these 400 pages, only 200 are really finished because I still have to revise the other 200 pages, which are in a rough version and I still have to work on them a lot. But you have to keep in mind that the last book, Dance with Dragons, was 1.500 pages long and this one will be more or less the same extension, so I have a lot of work. I hope after this tour I can go back home in order to write as a possessed man. But the sixth volume won’t be released in 2012 or in 2013. I really look forward to publishing it in 2014, but I am really bad for predictions, you may know it. And then, there is another fact: when I finish this saga I will be judged for the quality of the books, not for the speed of my writing."

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"Wrapping everything up in two more books is my plan, my intent, that's what I'm going to try to do. But at this point, I know better than to promise anything and write it out in blood.

There's no doubt that I've wrestled with this book and the complexity and size of the series, and that may be one reason why my writing has slowed down. But my intent right from the beginning was to do something huge and epic, with a cast of thousands and many different settings.

With the general construction of the books, in some ways I took the Lord of the Rings as my model. Tolkien begins very small, in the Shire with Bilbo's birthday party, and from there, the characters all accumulate. First there's Frodo and Sam, and they pick up Merry and Pippin, and then they pick up Aragorn in Bree, and they pick up the rest of the fellowship in Rivendell, but they're still altogether. But then at a certain point, they begin to go separate ways-Frodo and Sam cross the river, Merry and Pippin are captured by orcs, and Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas are chasing them, and they continue to separate. You get this sense of everyone being together, and then the world gets bigger and bigger.

My scheme is very similar to that. We begin in Winterfell, and everyone except Daenerys is in Winterfell, even characters that don't belong there, like Tyrion. And they set off together and then they begin to split. In that sense my books are bigger than the Lord of the Rings because there are more characters and they split further apart. It has always been my intent, as with the Lord of the Rings, that eventually it would curve around and they would start moving back together. I think I'm reaching the turning point, that's starting to happen now.

Maybe I did make it too big two books ago. But I've thrown the balls in the air and I feel obligated to keep on juggling them as best I can. You can't just forget about some of the balls, you have to deal with the plot threads that you've introduced. If I can pull it all off the way I want hopefully it will be great. And if I don't, I'm sure the world will let me know."

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I don't think 2015 is a melodramatic claim at all. I'm expecting (and hoping) TWoW will be released in late 2014. GRRM's publishers would love that (holiday season and all that). As for the show, we know book 3 is being split up into two seasons (and I've read the latter half of season four might show a little bit of books 4&5). We also know that ASoS is roughly the same size as ADwD, so they could stretch the rest of books 4&5 into seasons five, six and seven, or condense them into only two seasons. Since the show will present books 4&5 chronologically, they might be able to pull it off in two seasons, but they will have to sacrifice quite a lot to do it. But for arguments sake, let's say they do indeed condense books 4&5 into two seasons (it is probably the likelier option), that takes us to 2016 with 2017 being the year of the season seven premier, when (once again hopefully) GRRM is at least two years into writing ADoS.

*DEEP BREATH*

Okay, if TWoW is as large and epic as GRRM says it will be (and there's no reason to doubt his claim), the showrunners will have to split it up into two seasons like they are currently doing with ASoS. THAT will take us past seasons seven and eight, into the year 2018, with 2019 being the year of the season nine premier.

SO

That leaves GRRM four years to write his seventh and final book, if, of course, the seventh book is his last one. And since the possibility of his series going to an eighth book hurts my head, I will pretend there is no chance of it actually happening.

SO (Part 2)

Seeing as there's NO chance of an eighth book, the seventh (and you've got to figure longest) book of the series will need two more seasons to get right (nine and ten). Which means the closing date of the television series will be:

June, 2020!

Or if books 4&5 take up three seasons:

June, 2021!

Or if GRRM writes an eighth book and completely screws up my timeline:

June, who the fuck knows! ...

My god this comment spiralled out of control. GoT does strange things to me.
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"And then, there is another fact: when I finish this saga I will be judged for the quality of the books, not for the speed of my writing."
Well there is his problem right there. He's too focussed on making it quality...hear me out!

See there is no doubt he can write, the first 3 books are stunner. However book 4 and 5 are so full of extra characters and POVs being introduced that the flow of the main story comes to a grinding halt.

I can't help but feel he's too worried (for lack of a better word) about his world building being too narrow, that he stuffs all manner of minor side stories and fates in there, that could easily be thrown in a novel of its own (much like the Dunk and Egg series he's writing).

Ow and PS.
I can't see book 4&5 taking 3 seasons, unless they reeeaaaally turn down the speed. They will already have to merge the events of the 2 seeing as each book has its half of main characters each.

If he announces an 8th book, I will burn my ASOIAF collection and pretend it never existed. Will make me a happier human being for years to come.
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I totally agree about books 4 & 5. I think the show will get canceled after they finish season 5 or 6. Cause all the main characters don't really do anything.
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I think your timeline's pretty good for the show. My prediction for the books is that Winds will come out next year (fingers crossed) and Dreams will be out three years after that, so 2017. If he needs an 8th book then hopefully he just decides to split it chronologically and not by characters (that's what caused the problems for book 5), then the show'll probably be finished around 2023, with the books being finished around 2020.
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*Applause for epic comment of epic reasoning*

We're on the same... page, then!
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I've read somewhere that the producers of the TV show will follow the books, but if they do catch up and no new book ready to come out, they will start to create on their own based solely on Martin's input.
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There's actually only 2 more to come. Only one book has been split into two, in part because he had serious problems with writing it and it got out of control. The whole "it'll take him forever to finish the series" thing is just people being melodramatic
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People are not being melodramatic. The first edition of A Game of Thrones was published in 1996, so in 17 years he has only published 5 books. Obviously it won't take him forever to finish it, but it is annoying to have to wait 4 years between books when it is a continuing story.
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It is being melodramatic when people aren't taking into consideration the problems that caused the huge delays.

There was a gap of 3 years between the release of the first book and the second, then 1 year before the third book was released. When he started writing the 4th book he was going to do a jump forward in time (by about 5 years) then released a year in that that wasn't going to work and had to go back and fill in the gaps - effectively restarting the book. Then he hit problems with the size of the book and decided to split it into two but, instead of going chronologically, he went geographically. This meant that the book wasn't just finished at the time, and caused him immense difficulties in releasing the 5th book. The huge delay with Dance was caused by the fact that he had to keep the chronology strait.

The entire time he was struggling with this he was vocal about how he was having problems with it. Furthermore, when he released Dance he said that he was aiming to have the next book released about 3 years after Dance - so a release of next year. The problems that he had with the last two books aren't ones that we should expect in the next two, so we can anticipate much earlier releases.

Also, The Song of Ice and Fire books are not the only works that he's released in the last 17 years. And release dates of 3-4 years apart is actually pretty typical of books this size, especially when the authors have other projects in the works as well.
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I agree with myrddinde below, he choose such a huge project, he should stay committed to it. It's not the readers fault if the writer over stretches themselves with their content, and if he wants to write an epic fantasy novel he should concentrate on it instead of writing/doing other projects. What if the makers of the tv show said we want to get this right so we will do one season now, but the next is in 4 years, then 1 year, then another in 18 months. They know the fans wouldn't put up with that. Martin is obviously a fantastic writer, I love these novels, but he also has time management issues.
Also most fantasy novels are not 3-4 years apart. The standard is one or two years, it is authors like Martin or Patrick Rothfuss that are the exception. It is one year from hardback to paperback, often the new title is released to coincide with the paperback, to maximise publicity on multiple titles.
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GRRM isn't a young guy anymore and he may actually not live to finish the series, just because he chose in between that he wanted to do something else for a couple of years.
He wanted to do a huge project, but that also means to stay committed or having to live with people that are annoyed when they read that he travels around doing this and that, writing on this and that instead of concluding the story.
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According to his own estimations, book 6 will be out in 2015 at the earliest. And he doesn't seem expressly certain that there won't be an 8th. It'll be 2016 (-17?) before he starts writing the 7th book after all the touring, plus producing the TV show which will certainly be on air. He might take another 3 years to write the 7th book and he could have a lot more of the story to tell at that point. It's a pretty reasonable timeline just based on how he has worked so far, not really "melodramatic".
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His estimates (as of the release of Dance) put Winds being released in 2014 - which if he's making time on it (there's been nothing on his blog to suggest otherwise) is reasonable. There's a quick turn around from completion to publishing on these books; Dance was announced as completed just a few months before it was released. If we take his 3 year estimate as valid for both books, then there's an estimate release date of 2017 for Dream.

His estimates aren't necessarily all that bad - there was a 3 year turn around between Game and Clash, and 1 year between Clash and Storm. The huge time for the release of Feast and Clash occurred because midway through he realized that the plan he had (to jump forward in time) wasn't going to work and he had to go back to the start to fix the problem he had developed (for Feast), then for Clash untangle the mess of chronology that he'd created by separating the two books in the way that he did.

As there isn't any jump between Dance and Winds, and he's not splitting the characters up again, there's no reason to believe that he's going to write for a year or two then realize that the book isn't working, or have to deal with figuring out the chronology of two parallel stories again.
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The 3 year estimate was based on a year to promote the previous book then 2 years to finish up writing the book itself, and he gave it in 2011, hence the 2014 estimate.
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To rishab. He said three years after he completed Dance in 2011. So 2014 is a good estimate.
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Oh, I didn't know he said 2014. He resumed writing Winds last year and gave the 3 year estimate, which is why I think 2015 seems more realistic. And he won't be able to start Dream immediately, he's going to be on the road for a while. I don't see that being out before 2019, really.
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Since, at the rate he writes, and at the rate people age, and at the rate shows get cancelled, this show will never finish the story on the air, do suppose it will cause more people to read books when they have no choice but to read the last couple for the remaining story?
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I can't wait to download the whole season and watch it straight through...yeah, I said it. There's no way I'm paying an extra $10/month so I can watch maybe 10-20 hours of TV on one of the channels in the movie package each YEAR. If they want advertising dollars and the cable providers want subscription dollars, let us buy the extra channels individually. I'll happily pay an extra $1/month for HBO alone.
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Seriously - an episode of Game of Thrones is only worth 25cents to you?

Now that Australian cable have it on the same day as US I have signed up for cable with HBO. Spending an extra $60 a month, I watched the first 2 seasons online because it wasn't available in a timely fashion legally.
I can't imagine having basic cable already and not wanting to spend the extra to get GoT. GoT is awesome, and I'm glad I am giving them (likely a very small fraction of) my money.

Watching things illegally is (kind of) a necessity down here - not just something we do because we don't want to pay.
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No, the show is really good. But not $240/year good, or $60/year if I change my TV plan and get the movie package for just the three months it's out. And that's on top of the $100 I'm already paying.
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I guess it's worth different amounts to different people, I've committed to spend about $600 all because I love me some GoT - and I wanted to reward the cable company for taking the right steps towards getting us shows in good time. (previously they would advertise it being "fast-tracked" and it would be 2 weeks behind - it's now "express")
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are you kidding it is not even worth 5 cent!

i get that people find it a good show,if you like drama
but for a fantasy it sucks,you dont see a thing,one lazy dragon they build 2 season's up to that.

the battle's you dont see a thing
they close a season with a big effect zombie thing and they open a new season with out it,,,agian you dont see a thing.

sorry i stick with the downloading mabay watch it.

so glad that downloading in holland is't iligal:D
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Don't watch it then, if you don't even think that it's worth 5 cents, then it definitely isn't worth your time to watch it, and certainly not worth your time to read/write about it on the internet. Or maybe your time is worthless.
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The kickstarter programs are quite popular these days.

Can't we start one aiming to teach GRR Martin to write faster and do less touring around the US?
Waiting 5-6 years between books is hell!
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Good to see this formality has been completed. Imagine if they had not renewed the show and it had ended up on a cliff hanger mid way through A Storm of Swords!
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At least there would be the books. So if it ended with a cliffhanger, maybe more people would actually take the time and read the amazing work Martin has done.
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Now if only he'll finish the series...
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Last week, Comcast offered viewers a free look at past episodes of shows including current premium channel ones. Since I no longer get any of those channels, I thought I'd check a few shows out including GoT.

I have never seen a series that was like a book you could not put down. You know it's late at night and you think, "OK, one more chapter", and the next thing you know it's 4 or 5 in the morning. The first night I only watched the first episode, but all nights after was 2 to 4 episodes on Friday or Saturday. The last night odf the offer was Sunday and I got through episode 8 of season two before the offer ended and I would have to pay to see 9 and 10. I did tape them previously just in case, but have yet to get to them.

I do have nagging questions.

What was the point of trying to have the Stark kid killed with Tyrion's dagger? Stark never mentioned it when confronting the queen about her kid being Jaime's. Never asked if she was the one who put out the hit on his kid, etc. Tyrion mentioned it once when lady Stark was bringing him to her sister's place, but never again, particularly when alone with his sister, the queen. Did he have the dagger with him on that first episode's trip to Winterfell? How did the queen or Jaime get it? Why was that dagger in particular used? Did Tyrion try to kill the kid after all or was he being framed or all just stupid coincidence? At the moment, it seems like a dropped plotline.

What exactly is the Stark relationship with the wolves? Are they masters, companions, something else? As I watch, it seems the wolves are their for a plot device, but not there when it seems they should be. For instance, Lord North in the frozen north and his encounter with the redheaded girl and her people. Where is Ghost in all of that? Where did he go and why is he not protecting North?

Why didn't Arya's "dance" instructor pick up a real sword when defending himself and her against the knights that came for him? Was he that foolish to think his wooden one would suffice? You wonder what he could have done with a real one that he could have taken from those he initially put down.

I also wish Arya had kept Needle in its sheath.

Aside from those things, it's a great show. it's sad, but nicely realistic, that characters like Stark (Sean Bean) get killed off. I thought he would be a long central character, but now you never know. I've not read the books, so... I also can't help think what a great family show this could be if the more adult stuff could be at least greatly toned down or suggested. I'd be curios to see how this would do in syndication and what editing would do to it unless they shot alternate scenes for that stuff, which would have been smart for this reason.
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Ned's death was intended to surprise you. it sets you up for the feeling that anyone can die - in the first book he's the primary protagonist, and but dies 3/4ths of the way through. There was no way they could do an alternate thing - Ned's death is central to the plot and really fuels the later events in Westeros.

I'm thinking that by "Lord North" you mean Jon Snow. He's not actually a Lord, he's called as much rather mockingly because he's the bastard son of a lord. Ghost will definitely be reapparing in time, he plays an integral role to the development of Jon (as do the other direwolves). The connection between the individual Starks and their wolves is not developed as well as it could be in the show, but I think we're going to start figuring it out this season. I would suggest really paying attention to Bran and his dreams - that's where things kind of get hinted at the most, although it hasn't been spelt out yet. It will be, don't worry.

I think Arya's dance instructor didn't grab a real sword because there wasn't one there at the time. I also really doubt he was thinking that the wooden one would suffice to save him - his aim at that moment was to hold them off long enough to get Arya out (in which case, it did suffice).

As for the dagger, the significance of that will come back. The revelation of who the knife truly belongs to will explain who ordered the hit on Bran in the first place.
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Thanks for the correction. I must have been thinking the north location and put it as his name too.

I was thinking the instructor could have taken a sword from one of the knights he defeated, which seems he had a chance to do, or he should have known, being an apparent sword master, that he probably would be better off to grab one in the process being confronted by a real threat or make an attempt at one. It's a small thing in the long run, but still...
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Yeah, just a piece of advice, don't get too attached to anybody. Also, the Starks connection to the direwolves is sort of addressed more in later books. At least in regards to Bran, but it seems like the explanation for Bran is sort of the explanation for the other Starks, maybe just to lesser degrees?
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The explanation for Bran also comes up with Jon, it just takes a bit more for it to happen. We see it more when he's with the Wildlings. It's hinted at in the books that Arya has the same kind of connection but isn't aware of it because no one's there to tell her (and because Nymeria isn't with her anymore). There's also a lot to suggest that Rickon and Robb both have that undeveloped connection as well, but because the books aren't told from their POV we don't get that confirmation. Sansa is left out, but Sansa's wolf is dead, orphaning her in that sense.
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They would come back to the dagger in this season or the next one. The stark children have extreme emotional ties with their wolves, in the books arya still feels a connection to Nymeria even though she lost her a long time ago. As for Syrio the dancing master: what other sword did you expect him to take, there wasnt a real sword lying around and his enemies werent just gonna toss him one.
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The books come back to Tyrion's dagger later on, you can understand why it wasn't the highest priority for most of the characters during the War of the Five Kings.

The Stark's family sigil is a direwolf so members of the family would feel some sort of kinship with direwolves. When the Starks came across the 6 direwolf pups direwolves hadn't been seen south of the wall for 200 years and I think decided that fate had something to do with them finding the direwolves. So they're are loyal pets and protectors and maybe more than that. In the books Jon told Ghost to return to Castle Black around this part of the story, I'm not sure he did so in the show but Ghost should have returned to the rangers after leaving Jon's side.

And musing that Game of Thrones could be a family show is beside the point. The story told is of people living in mediaeval times. These were harsh times to live in and the story fully realises that. A family friendly version of the show would be dishonest and facile.
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I didn't mean family show in the "Walton's" or "7th Heaven" sense.

I think what I meant was that it's an odd show in that there are a lot of elements in this series that younger people could enjoy too, Arya and her story to name one, but the strong adult stuff and character deaths makes that prohibitive to many. It's likely younger people are watching anyway, but for those who have stricter families and such, they are missing out on a pretty good adventure otherwise.


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top show.easily 1 of the best on tv.
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At this point, I mainly tune in for the incredible opening credits and Emilia Clarke ("Dany"). I also really like Peter Dinklage along with a few other characters, but at the pace this story moves, GoT would need to be renewed at least 11 more times. Hopefully, the action picks up soon.
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The series has 5 books released, with an expected 2 more. Right now the series is on book 3, but it's been predicted/outright stated that this is only going to be about half the book (it's a big book). If they do that for all the later books, then it'll probably be about 12 seasons (or 120 episodes). Because of the way books 4 and 5 were done, though, I would predict that collectively they might be 3 seasons instead of a full 4, making it 11 seasons (110 episodes) in total.
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Yeah, I guess what I was trying to say is that for a show with so many characters and storylines, little actually happens. Things tend to move at a snail's pace, which is why it will likely have over 10 seasons.
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YES!!!!!!. But I have a question... HBO is not part of basic cable in U.S.?
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No - It's a Premium channel you have to pay extra for to receive.
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Thanks for the reply... Wow, I'm impressed, I live in Chile and here it's part of the basic package in all the cable operators.
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Bingo Bango Bongo.
I hope they don't use any real horses though.
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I can't stress this enough. HBO is forbidden from ever considering canceling this show. Not until they tell the entire Game of Thrones story. This is one of the best TV Shows EVER made. This is TV on the same quality level of Hollywood blockbusters.
How did they manage to get so many good actors and visuals and sound, and so on into a TV show?
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I second this, since I'm a paranoid person I worry about them cancelling it but I can't honestly see them ever doing it considering what a success it's been. And I'm assuming that there's some kind of contract to make them convert at least every book. Something like they have to keep making it as long as it gets a certain number of viewers every episode. Either way it would be terrible if they did cancel it but that's not likely to happen.
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WOOT and book 3 is the best. The second half of book 3 is my favorite. Therefore, season 4 will probably be my favorite. And YAY.
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I fancy how HBO ever questioned the show to wait after the season 3 premiere to announce a season 4 renewal.
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Hooray!
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to those who say more than 10 episodes per season
1) Would either mean lower budget per episode or higher budget which means less profit (DVD prices wouldn't sell as well if the price was increased in proportion to budget). Less profit means show might not run to completion.
2) The creators David and Dan said that they physically cannot do more than 10 episodes. Their current schedule already has them at their limits.
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D&D also said that each episode in season 3 is ~4minutes longer than before, so we essentially get an extra episode if we add it all up
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If they need more money... (Not a spam, it is a clip from South Park, could not resist after seeing the word "profit")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts
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Let me just say in High Valyrian, Valar Parhaeris!

Translation: ALL MEN MUST PARTY!
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Valar Parthaeris!
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Yeah! High Valyrian > Latin.
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DUH DOY!
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Really, they might as well renew this show for as long as it takes GRRM to write the rest of the books, because let's face it, we all know there won't be a major loss in viewers any time soon.
Unless of course, they take the creative freedom to kill literally everyone from Jon Snow to Hodor, and the rest of the show will be a musical with Ros in the lead role.
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do any of the people clamoring for a longer season know how expensive this show is to make?
the producers said not once that even if they wanted to do 13, there is no money...
and i agree the 10 episode model works perfectly for GOT...
8 Seasons and a movie!! :)
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I think it's actually going to be closer to 10 or 11 seasons.

1 each for books 1 and 2 (as we've seen), 2 for book 3, then I would say 3 for a combination of books 4 and 5, then 3 or 4 for books 6 and 7.
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Why ruin it with a movie there is no way a book could be encompassed in a 2 or 3 hour movie. Season 4 will be the last half of book 4. If the show doesn't do all the book 3 is the closest thing to a stopping point. But hopefully they will do all 7 books which means at least 2 seasons if not more for the combined story of book 4 and 5 because they occur during the same time period. Then at least a season more for the last to books maybe more.
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my last sentence was more of an off comment, and was supposed to be takun in humor.. :)
a reference to the 6 seasons and a movie community fan's campane.. excuse my terrible spelling..
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last half of book 3*

That's a question that's bothering me lately: Will there be a gap between two seasons until Martin has finished the two last books, or will HBO stretch out the current and next books over the following seasons so that there won't be such a gap?

Maybe it will go like this:

Book 1 - Season 1
Book 2 - Season 2
Book 3 - Season 3 en 4
Book 4 en 5 - Season 5, 6 en 7
Book 6 en 7 - Season 8, 9 en 10

That way Martin has 4 years to finish the last two books. Maybe that's too optimistic.
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When Dance came out Martin projected a 3 year plan for releasing Winds - a year of promotion for Dance, then 2 years to complete Winds. If he sticks with that timeline for both books then from the release of Dance (2011) to the release of Winds should be about 6 years - with Winds expected to be released in 2014 and Dream to be released in 2017.

I'm going to be generous and go with an 11 season plan that looks like this:
Game - Season 1 (2011)
Clash - Season 2 (2012)
Storm - Season 3/4 (2013/14)
Feast/Dance - Season 5/6/7 (2015/16/17)
Winds - Season 8/9 (2018/19)
Dream - Season 10/11 (2020/21)

If Martin makes his projected release date, then Winds will be out next year, as they're airing the end of the seasons based on Storm, and Dream will be out as they finish up with Dance.

That's assuming, though, that Martin makes the deadlines he's set for himself (he has said that he intends to have at least Winds out before he's overtaken by the show).
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Fringe, I love your replies!
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I replied to rishabhpb's comment and wrote a timeline of my own that nearly mirrors yours. But you guys sure as hell kicked my ass in the brevity and articulation department.
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Books 6 & 7 won't occur simultaneously (like 4 & 5) so at least the showrunners won't have to wait for Book 7 to be released before they adapt book 6. Plus we have to be open to the possibility that there might be an eighth book if Martin has trouble streamlining the story. I think your idea for 3 seasons across books 4 & 5 is a good one.
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Well he's underestimated before and he's had to broaden the story considerably thus far, so while it's probable that he will finish the series in 7 books, to be practical we should at least consider the possibility of 8 books.
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Martin only initially intended to make 6 books but he had to change it because he didn't progress as far as he wanted to in book 5 but he said he is not extending it again and is definetly only writing 7.
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There is definately enough material to do book 4 and 5 for 3 seasons. However Martin already said that book 6 will be back to the original format with all the characters in one book so it doesn't have to be linked to book 7.
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Didn't The Sopranos have like 10 million viewers?
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It did, but you have to remember that a) at the time, there was virtually no competition for the show. Very few big name shows aired on Sundays. Now, you have alot of competition for the night, especially from alot of the premium networks (remember that the GoT Premiere was airing against the Walking Dead finale, for example). It's tough to really compare the two.

Also, b) there is alot more people who don't watch tv on tv anymore. I, and almost everyone I know, watch the show after it premieres by downloading it, DVRing it, or streaming it and watching it at a later time. This sort of thing didn't really exist back in the early 00's when the Sopranos was airing.

If you included everyone watching the show who pirated it, streamed it, or got it on DVR, I'd wager GoT is probably pretty close to the Sopranos all considering. But that's really anyone's guess.
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I live in the UK and as I am a student I do not own a tv so I download it and so do many of my friends. I know that it is on tv here and also in my home country Estonia and probably in loads of other countries as well. Do you know if and/or how they calculate the viewers from outside of the US?
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It was the first show I downloaded ... good ol VCD if I remember correctly. I even had to burn them to these shiny discs in order to watch them on TV, don't remember the name - CD or something.
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I have decided to record all S3 of GoT and then watch it on one go! :-P
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in this day and age, i am pretty sure more people wathed the first episode of season 3 with or without hbo via the file sharing websites.. it is afterall the most pirated show in the world at the moment...
notwithstanding - the sopranos was indeed a tv masterpiece
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Now I have a reason to look forward to next year. (Too dark?)
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Oh My God keep it coming this is the best show ever
and there is a rumor that the writers plan on making GOT an 8 season show each with 10 episodes so if the rumor is true that means we still have a lot of GOT ahead of us
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It's not a rumour, it's a fact. Unless it gets cancelled (unlikely at this point), then the show is going to be at least 8 seasons - there's a projected 7 books and they've split the third book into 2 seasons (3 and 4). Given the size of the books, it's more likely that this is going to be 10 or 11 seasons long.
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I disagree with every one here, I think they should stick to 10 episodes, the walking dead tried extending to 16 episodes and ended up providing us with some really shitty episodes. Stick to 10 but make sure its awesome, pressuring the writers to come up with more episodes will only yield mediocre extensions of the plot that has already been laid out. There's a reason its only 10, because its the ideal number of episodes they need to communicate the story
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No Walking Dead is manufacturing stories on the run (and sometimes epically failing) while Game of Thrones is the most faithful adaptation on tv. The books are huge and the small number of episodes thus far has sometimes hurt the show because plot points have been rushed and/or superficially treated. That's why I'm glad that book 3 (ASoS) has been expanded from 10 to 20 episodes.
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I think in splitting the book into two seasons they've actually found a really good middle ground. This way they don't have to cut as much - they have twice as much money and hours to work with - but they also aren't strapped for cash. A longer season makes for a greater distribution of the funds, but more seasons makes for more episodes with the same amount of funding.
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comparing TWD with GOT is hysterical.
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production and budget wise but disagree with the story. If you read the books then you know there is a lot more material in each season that they could have included. While none of it is major its entertaining and Arya in specific could have had a whole episode herself in season 2 to included all the stuff they left out from the books.
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Ten episodes a season is simply a producing and budgeting decision. They would love to do more, and the show would definitely benefit from having, say, two more episodes each season, but it's not possible since HBO wants a new season every Spring. Ten is the maximum they can produce in a year and keep up the chosen level of production values.
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Agreed, and it's an expensive show so they probably can't afford to make more episodes without compromising the quality.
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I hope this show stays on the air until at least 2025... that would be nice
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At the rate George Martin writes his books, it will take him til 2025 at least to finish writing them.
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Yay! HBO would be stupid not to renew GOT. Also from now on they should extend each season to 13 episodes. 10 episodes is not enough!
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They never do 13 episode orders...though I would gladly take 12!
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superstitious?
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WOOT!!! *doing a Gus/Shawn happy dance* :D
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YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I wish they can make more then just 10 episodes per season, simply not enough GOT for me.
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No real big surprise there. The show is a Major hit for HBO.
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