Three months ago, Big J and I decided to crack open our shiny new 7-pack of Game of Thrones novels.
As latecomers to the Westerosi world (missed season 1 but were on board by season 2), this seemed the next logical step in our increasingly desperate obsession with the show.
What anybody failed to mention before I started reading George R.R. Martin’s books, though, was that the books AREN’T ACTUALLY FINISHED.
This news didn’t affect Big J so much. He was averaging about a chapter a month. I however had gone underground for weeks – months – smug in the knowledge that when I finally resurfaced and returned to society, I would hold all the GoT answers in the palm of my hand.
Would Cersei get her way? Would dragons rule the realm? Could anything right the Red Wedding? And just what exactly was going on with Jamie and Brienne?
Half-way through Dance With Dragons: Part 2, doubts started niggling me at every page I turned. My answers seemed to be getting further away from me, not closer. There were new characters still popping up.
George couldn’t possibly wrap things up so quickly. Oh hell, he was going to rush the ending wasn’t he? Wait a minute, hang on, there’s only 20 pages to go… and everyone is still all over the realm so…. oh my god…
He’s not finished.
Not only had the man brainwashed me into using GoT phrases in real life (“what a mummer’s farce” and “half a hundred times” were the worst of them) but then he went and pulled the ending out from under me too.
That’s when I finally googled old Georgey boy and his books. This article from Screen Rant had plenty of answers, just not the ones I really wanted dammit. (Seriously, Jamie and Brienne, yes or no?)
Turns out while it is true there are seven books in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, that doesn’t include the books split in half such as Dance With Dragons Part 1, and Dance With Dragons Part 2. The seven I already had were really books 1-5. The final two, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, are yet to arrive.
On top of that, I learned it has actually taken George 20 YEARS to write the existing novels. Sometimes he lets four or five years go by in between instalments. Which isn’t really how tv execs like to run their schedules, so there’s been some concern about how soon the tv series could overtake the printed version.
I intend to take this up with George myself when we have a little tete-a-tete this weekend. Ok, so it’s not so much a one-on-one as it is a seminar he’s doing at Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Brisbane on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (and later this month, at Supanova Adelaide too).
Should my heckling fail to entice any answers, someone I can actually pump for info – alone – is Queen Cersei herself, Lena Headey, who is doing photo booth, autograph and stage sessions exclusively at the Brisbane event. Sure, fans only get five seconds with the stars, but I’ll be ready for you Ms Lannister.
GoT‘s Bronn (Jerome Flynn) and King Robert (Mark Addy) are also doing the expos, where other special guests include Australia’s Todd Lasance, Liam McIntyre and Christian Antidormi of Spartacus: War of the Damned, plus geek poster girl Summer Glau (The 4400, The Big Bang Theory) and Hobbit folk Dominic Monaghan and New Zealand’s Dean O’Gorman.
There’s heaps more, of course, check out the complete program here.
Until George does see fit to release another novel, I’ll try not to go too crazy. (Too late.) I knew I bloody should have taken up Hunger Games…
Supanova Pop Culture Expo Brisbane is on November 8 to 10 at RNA Showgrounds, Bowen Hills. Supanova Pop Culture Expo Adelaide is on November 15 to 17 at Adelaide Showgrounds, Wayville.