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Old July 9 2013, 05:38 PM   #1735
Brendan Moody
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Re: A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones Spoiler-Filled Discussion

Venardhi wrote: View Post
As I recall, the original plan for a trilogy would have had the events of books 2 and 3 as one book, and everything that followed as the last. While writing, book 2 got too big so he split it into ACoK and ASoS, which necessitated splitting the final book into 2 also, then while writing book 4(of 5 at the time) he dropped the gap and it became 7.
Not quite. Unnecessarily detailed explanation follows.

It started as a trilogy: A Game of Thrones, A Dance with Dragons, and The Winds of Winter. Book one would have included the Red Wedding (I think ending with it, but I can't find a source for that part at the moment), while book two would have included Dany's arrival in Westeros. (See here.) At this stage there was no five-year gap.

He worked on A Game of Thrones, and had done about 1400 manuscript pages (roughly 400,000 words) with no end in sight when he said, "So maybe it's not a trilogy." He took the first 1100 manuscript pages, sent them to his publishers, and divided the series into four books: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Dance with Dragons, and The Winds of Winter.

Then he was working on A Clash of Kings and the same thing happened. (I don't think he's ever specified how far he was into the book at that point.) So he took a step back, looked at the structure of the series, and decided on six books: Game, Clash, A Storm of Storm, Dance, Winds, and A Time for Wolves. He also introduced the five-year gap, to compensate for the shorter-than-expected timescale of what he'd written so far, which was leaving certain characters younger than he'd planned them to be. I imagine he was also trying to keep the series from spilling beyond six books. It didn't work.

Somehow, even when he abandoned the five-year gap, he was still trying to hold it to six, dropping A Time for Wolves as a title because he'd never really liked it (so the series was Game, Clash, Storm, A Feast for Crows, Dance, Winds) and restructuring the story so that some of the "gap" events now happened simultaneously with things that had been planned to happen years later. (Judging by his comments, much of what happens at the Wall and in the North in A Dance with Dragons after Stannis leaves was supposed to come after the five-year gap.)

Then A Feast for Crows got too big to be published as a single volume, and Martin expanded the series to seven books. On the advice of friend, fellow fantasy author, and sometime collaborator Daniel Abraham (who now does the script for the A Song of Ice and Fire graphic novel), he went with a split by character rather than down the middle, and decided to shift the titles again, making A Dance with Dragons the northern and eastern half of A Feast for Crows, rather than the following book, and bringing back A Time for Wolves as the title of the final volume. Then he came up with a final volume title he liked better, giving the series the seven-book structure he's hoping for today: Game, Clash, Storm, Feast, Dance, Winds, A Dream of Spring. Whether he'll be able to keep to that is an open question. My own guess is that an eighth book is at least as likely as not, but no one can really say.

He's never clarified which books correspond to what in the three versus six/seven structure, but obviously Game, Clash, and Westerosi events in at least the first sixty percent of Storm were all part of his notion of book one of the trilogy, and at least as far as Daenerys is concerned, we're not yet all the way through book two. But the various adjustments in relative chronology over the years probably render comparison tricky.
The point of the early Jaime chapters is not telling us about the horrors of war, it's the character development of Jaime.
There's some of that, obviously, but there's also "horrors of war" stuff, complete with some of the same characters and settings from Arya's storyline in that book and the previous one.
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