TIME Television

Here’s How George R. R. Martin Would Improve HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
HBO

Author would make each season last longer if he had his way

With the season 4 finale that premiers this Sunday looming, the HBO series’ fans cannot help but wish Game of Thrones were longer — and George R. R. Martin agrees.

In an interview with the New York Times, the author of the books on which the series is based said he regrets that the show’s writers have had to leave out scenes because of the 10-episode cap on each season.

“I wish we had more episodes,” he said in the phone interview. “I’d love to have 13 episodes. With 13 episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer.”

For instance, Martin explained, a scene from the first book was left out in which sisters Arya and Sansa Stark argue when invited to meet with Queen Cersei because Arya would prefer to go hunting. He said he thinks the scene would have been helpful in developing the relationship between the two sisters. He added, however, that he understands “battles are expensive”—an episode of Game of Thrones reportedly costs around $6 million.

Martin’s first book in the Ice and Fire series, A Game of Thrones, is 825 pages long — so it is not surprising that the show’s writers had to be selective. Season 4 of the show covered the second half of the third book, A Storm of Swords, and the author has yet to publish the remaining two books in the seven-novel series, which has left some fans wondering whether writers will be able to keep each character’s storyline interesting as they use up the show’s source material.

Ironically, Martin began his career as a science fiction writer in the 1970s by writing short stories. Now, his A Song of Ice and Fire series numbers some 5,000 pages — and he cannot write the rest fast enough.

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