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Seems like there's a lot of story to tell and very little time.
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I just don't think the Starks will be reunited, if only because what I want it's not what the story needs, and Brandon, Arya & Jon have already proven to bigger than what their family originally envisioned for them.

Rickon will probably fill Ned's role in Winterfell, but I don't see any of them returning home for their home is already somewhere else at this point on the show.
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That is not a problem! As all good novelas go, intertwining and revenge lasting for generations, it could go on forever. But a good ending is Danny ruling Westeros, having proved herself in the slave states. Starks being redeemed and ruling somewhere with children on the way, as well as Tyrion living out his days in his kingdom"by right", by the sea. A Baratheon boy (one of the many bastards) in the Queen's guard....should wrap it up nicely.
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When Robert Jordan died, leaving the Wheel of Time books unfinished, Brandon Sanderson ghost wrote the last books. Maybe GRRM will do the same? Not necessarily Sanderson, but someone.

I stopped reading after book 3 for a time, because I was going to give him time to finish. Now I am rereading and watching the show. I hope that at least book 6 will be out next year as hinted.
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At the rate George Martin keeps adding characters, the book series may have to go to double digits.
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As long as the show doesn't catch up with the books, the only problem I have is the waiting between books. I'm sure the show will be motive enough for him to finish and do things "his way", but you can't really blame HBO for going their own way if he can't adhere to writing deadlines. I think that enough people are worried over his progress that he'll soon distance himself from distractions and get it done, or at least get some outside help to finish ASAP.
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The thing is, the show will be completely caught up with the books by the end of next season. Heck, Bran's storyline is nearly caught up even now!
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True, but remember that some of the storylines haven't even started. Princess Myrcella (King Tommen's sister) hasn't been seen since she left for Dorne and there's a whole storyline of her with Oberyn Martell's children, not to mention Oberyn's older brother and some new / rarely seen characters.
as for the rest, there's still a lot of story left for Jon Snow, skinchangers and Bran Stark, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. It's not as if a tv show has never filled out seasons with less important stuff either and George Martin has such a rich and deep world to use for that.
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I will be thrilled when people that have read the books cannot ruin it for the rest of us.
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Then again, it must be frustrated for them: I know I get a sick pleasure whenever someone tries to spoil me only to fail miserably at it.
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Right, but with the pace that they are going at, it seems like a Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons will get finished being told in one season instead of 2 like many people thought. They already have some storylines going on now that happen in those books. (Theon, Sansa, and starting next week - Bran apparently). IMO, the tv show will have passed the books by next season unless GRR Martin gets the book out this year.
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Fair enough. early indications do show that the next book will be out next year, so even if HBO can fold two books into one, there is still a year left between books and show. Martin should really get a move on thou.
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Not really, mostly because the individual stories are really well told: I know what happened to Robb, how Ned Stark died, where Catelyn's quest led her, I've seen what happend to Khal Drogo & Dany's love story, how Jon & Ygritte ended up, what brought Jaime & Brienne together, I've read and seen what happened to Arya's childhood, to Bran's legs, to Jon's coming of age.

I may feel sad if I don't get to read what finally happens once The White Walkers roam the earth, or that I don't get to say "I told you so" to whoever sits in the Iron Throne at the time, but I won't feel cheated because I've lived and died with every individual character.
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he better states in his will the fates of all major characters and who sits on the iron throne in the end.
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He has at least told the Game of Thrones producers his intended ending.
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Yes.
But, at least the show is there to finish things off to some degree if something does happen.

Hopefully though, by the end of the sixth book he'll have set up everything where he wants it for the last one, so it may not take so long to write.
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All the time. He has said himself he may not finish. Not because he doesn't want to but what if he himself dies.
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yes, but he also says that he has the end outlined, so if God forbid, something did happen to him, HBO will surely finish it the way he wants.
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I have read that as well. Did you read that the series may now possibly flow into an 8th book! POSSIBLY.
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I had not heard that, no. I did hear him say in an interview about having it outlined, but nothing was said about HBO moving forward after that... it could be interesting though, everyone surprised at the same time. :)
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Agreed!
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