There are only four episodes left in Season 4, then a year-long wait for Season 5. We may have to wait longer than that for George R.R. Martin to publish book six of A Song of Ice and Fire, The Winds of Winter. Experience has shown that nagging GRRM to write faster does not work; worse, he reacts to the whingeing by taking on more side projects.
The history of Westeros, out in October
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said that they know how the story ends. It is likely that the TV series will end before the books do. It is not likely that the HBO series will go on hiatus in order to wait for the two remaining books to be written. The child actors are growing fast—good thing Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran Stark, is seated all the time because he’s now as tall as the adults.
The current season features events from the second half of A Storm of Swords, and from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, which are simultaneous in the Westerovian timeline, having been the same book until GRRM chopped it in two. (Hence the early appearance of Reek, for instance.) We have no problem with the way the TV series diverges from the source material—for instance, the way Vargo Hoat became Locke, who became involved in the lives of two characters linked by crippling. There was a controversy over the apparent rape at the wake, which may or may not have happened in A Storm of Swords, where the scene is told from Jaime’s POV. That is a murderous, incestuous pair—they cannot be expected to behave. Yes, there is plenty of violence against women on the show—that is the world they live in, and that is what Arya, Daenerys, Brienne and the other female characters are up against, making their triumphs especially awesome.
We like the changes to the character of Shae, who in the books is a simple whore. On the show she is smart and fiercely loyal—when she told Varys that she would kill for Sansa, it took us by surprise. It would not bother us at all if the show’s writers change Shae’s storyline, in fact we hope they do. (Also, we hope Syrio Forel is still alive.) The Jaime and Brienne romance is hinted at in the series (mostly through lingering glances), but it is, shall we say, non-canonical. The almost-encounters of the Stark siblings are heart-rending.
With the recent revelation as to who got the whole Game of Thrones started in the first place, plus the seemingly accidental revelation that legendary characters do exist, where do you think the story is headed? How does it end? Does R+L equal J? Who is Azor Ahai and is he the prince who was promised, or are they two different people?
Presumably Daenerys rides Drogon; who are the other two dragon riders? What was the point of recasting Daario Naharis when neither is particularly interesting? Why is Grey Worm so cute? How can he and Missandei get together when he is Unsullied? Where is Rickon? Is Jaquen H’ghar still around, just wearing a different face? When will someone get reanimated? Who wins the Game of Thrones?
It goes without saying that spoilers abound in Comments, but we’ll say it anyway.
P.S. Here’s a Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones theme that is vastly superior to the rotating Tyrion version that everyone sent us two weeks ago.