The new season of Game of Thrones starts up at the end of the month; it will tell half the story of book three, A Storm of Swords, leaving the rest for season four. With a promised seven novels in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, how many seasons will the show have to last to tell the whole story?
Just eight or nine, say David Benioff and DB Weiss. Talking to Mother Jones they say:
Yes [we would like eight or nine seasons], if we live that long and HBO keeps wanting to make the show. We have the opportunity here to tell a coherent story that lasts for 80 hours. And while a canvas of that size presents all sorts of storytelling problems, it also allows us to spend more time with these characters we love than we'll ever get again.
Eight or nine is spitballing, a number suggested by the interviewer, but it does sound about right. The wild card is the lengths of the final two novels (A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons can really be condensed in a major, major way). The next book, The Winds of Winter, is being written right now. The final one, A Dream of Spring, is just a dream itself. And there's no guarantee this series will be seven books - it was supposed to be six until book four got split into Feast and Dance.
Maybe they should go for the even ten. By then there will be a new home video technology that will force me to buy a whole new box set!