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Season Four!!!

HBO has officially renewed GAME OF THRONES for a fourth season. (And I'm almost finished with the first draft of my script. No, sorry, not going to tell you which one it is).


Record ratings for our season three premiere, "Valar Dohaeris."


Also (sigh) record levels of piracy.


On other topics... no, no, Peter Dinklage is NOT being replaced by Warwick Davis in the role of Tyrion. That was just HBO's little April Fools joke. (I was so busy I forgot to make my own April Fools joke). So calm down, boys and girls. Peter is still with us.


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Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:18 pm (UTC)
see the download record as a compliment - so many people cannot wait to see their favourite show! in some countries it takes another year for the season to air...
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
There was never any doubt but good to hear the word from you, and HBO. Looking forward to seeing how dorne will look, as well as the Red Viper and more goodies from the last half of "A Storm of Swords". As much as I love HBO shows and quality, and George, this is nothing on you, I'm not too fond of how they handle things (I have a HBO sub). It's not like Netflix or many on demand / stream services or programs where you *don't* need a cable subscription to watch programs. There is a bunch of ways to watch AMC shows, legally, if you don't have a cable or satellite subscription.

My favorite way to watch Game of Thrones is on blu-way...but thankfully I have an HBO sub so I can catch the episodes as they air. Waiting can be hard...

Also, in regards to season 5 until...well, the story ends, it'll be interesting to see how they adapt "A Feast For Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons" to television.

Edited at 2013-04-03 06:25 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:38 pm (UTC)
I reposted that Peter Dinklage April Fools story on Google+, and then several of my friends thought that I thought it was true.

The piracy thing always makes for an interesting discussion. It's the most pirated show partly because most of its fans are the kinds of people who are computer savvy (also partly because it's an awesome show, needless to say). People will tell you to accept the piracy as a compliment, a jumped-to conclusion which I think is far too simplistic.

But IMHO, in that perfect, utopian parallel universe where HBO makes their content available the same way Netflix, Hulu etc. do, the piracy would be way down.

Edited at 2013-04-03 06:08 pm (UTC)
Devdeep Roy Choudhury
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
Great news!
Hi George,
It is great that HBO decided this just after the first episode! I really love the books and the show. Is it true that you might have a cameo in the next season and if so then what would you like to be?

Edited at 2013-04-03 05:52 pm (UTC)
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
Man, I haven't even seen Season 3 and I'm already champing at the bit for Season 4! I simply can't wait to view all that's in store.

Congrats to you, George!
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
HBO has officially renewed GAME OF THRONES for a fourth season.
Was there any conceivable doubt?
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
I'm an HBO subscriber for GoT, but I already have to have a cable subscription for work. I know from reading message boards and conversations around local geek circles that a lot of the "pirates" either cannot afford the $100 plus a month for a cable subscription plus HBO, or they live where the show is not aired. Most of these same people buy the DVDs as soon as they are available and would likely buy the episodes or HBOGO access directly from HBO were that available.

I couldn't tell you what percentage that actually represents, but I know access has become an issue for a lot of people.
Apr. 3rd, 2013 07:33 pm (UTC)
Is it a sign of my advancing age that I consider "waiting" to be a better response than piracy?
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Graham Blake
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
I hope the piracy sigh was a sigh about how difficult (impossible) HBO makes it for people without cable to watch their shows. That significantly affects the piracy levels. This is not a cavalier "information wants to be free" fact. This is an "information wants to be convenient" fact. So long as piracy is more convenient than legitimate on-demand streaming, expect it to happen in huge numbers for such a popular show within the "Internet demographic".
Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Sigh
Yeah, we're struggling with our bills, and HBO was one of the luxuries we had to let go. I'm hoping to be able to hijack my parents' TV when I visit over there and catch up. I miss being able to watch the show, and wish there was some easy way to do so.
(no subject) - suidae - Apr. 3rd, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sigh - gianetta - Apr. 3rd, 2013 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sigh - Henning Bauer Westbye - Apr. 3rd, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Sigh - Jake Blackwell - Apr. 4th, 2013 12:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sigh - idemandjustice - Apr. 4th, 2013 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 3rd, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
I will admit to having seen copies of previous episodes that were not acquired through legitimate channels, but I also buy the Bluray sets when they come out. Do you feel this is an adequate recompense for the work?
Apr. 3rd, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC)
I certainly
feel like that is fair recompense. I pirated the episode, but I also pay for HBO in my country and I buy the Blu-Ray set when it comes out, so not like anything was lost.

It's the people who pirate the show while they have the option of subscribing to HBO that are just pathetic.
Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
Pretty good timing too. Justified ended last night after another great season and Game of Thrones is back! Vikings has been good on History Channel as well. Ever notice how they never put good TV on Sundays during football season though!
Apr. 3rd, 2013 07:50 pm (UTC)
Love JUSTIFIED. The season finale kicked ass.
Charles Schexnayder
Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
Season 4 script
Hopefully your script features a viper "climbing" a mountain. Or pigeon pie, that would be acceptable as well.
Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
So, going back to the question I asked when GoT was first announce...are they going to duplicate the structure of the books for seasons four and five, or will they try and tell the story more linearly? (When I asked this before, you said something like "Let's make sure there's a season 4 first.)

I don't think this will count as any kind of spoiler here.
Apr. 3rd, 2013 08:31 pm (UTC)
The TV shows need action. Books 4 and 5 don't have a lot of action that really advances the story narrative. I could see the series ending after Season 4. Either that or "A Feast For Crows" and "A Dance For Dragons" being combined into one season of TV. If "The Winds of Winter" is just more of the same from the last two books, I could see the show departing from the books and finishing the story by themselves.

I'm not saying "A Feast For Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons" are poor books, no, not at all. But the first three books are crackerjacks and the last two aren't.
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Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
piracy and foreign countries
I'm a Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones fan from Belgium, and it takes forever for a show to be aired here. And when it is available of TV for everyone, it's dubbed in French. Could you imagine hearing ANY of the characters speaking with a different voice? Me neither.

Hopefully there's gonna be some sort of settlement soon, where foreign TV air dates are closer to the original HBO air date, that's probably the only solution for the piracy issue.
Michael Mischnick
Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
As other have already stated, the high piracy has as much (if not more) to do with HBO's policies than it has to do with some moral failing among us unwashed masses.

I suspect that here in the U.S., the piracy rate would go down significantly if HBO simply allowed episodes to be purchased from iTunes (or whatever source they choose) on a per-episode basis as they come out OR if HBO allowed people to subscribe to HBOGo without requiring them to also be cable subscribers. But sadly, HBO seems to believe it is in their business interests to tightly control the release of its content and to make it frustratingly painful for people who either don't want or can't afford cable to watch shows like GoT.

Just my two cents.
Apr. 3rd, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear the confirmation for Season 4, but I was under the impression there was no doubts there was going to be a Season 4. The question is, When does Filming commence? That's how we KNOW for sure it's coming. For instance we KNOW The Walking Dead is going back in next Month to film the new Season that comes back in Oct.

As for "piracy", I concur with the comments by everyone else. I pay for HBO and I purchase HBO products. It's a complicated topic. I'm not that worried about HBO not making enough money. I Love HBO, I totally appreciate their production and support of raising the bar for commercial free quality Television entertainment.
I hope this does not put me in ill light in thine eyes Ser Martin.
Jacob Klein
Apr. 3rd, 2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
Peter Dinklage April Fools
Hey George!

This is Jacob from over at HBOWatch.com. The April fools joke was actually ours, a fan site NOT affiliated officially with HBO. Just wanted to make that clear!

Big fan though and part of me feels a little guilty about the whole thing-- crushing people's hopes and dreams and all that. Something you might know a little bit about, we hope?

Sorry for the confusion.
Apr. 3rd, 2013 08:51 pm (UTC)
1. Thank you, THANK YOU for coming to TAMU! It was wonderful hearing you talk all about geekdom. Sadly I was hit with the shy bug that weekend and was unable to thank you in person.

2. Ep 1 of Season 3 was fabulous and I wouldn't have been able to see it until next year when the DVDs come out if it wasn't for you bringing it to TAMU. So thank you again for that.

3. Yea...with cable and internet I'm already paying over $100 a month. HBO was just too much to add. In the meantime I'm reading all of the books and looking very much forward to the others...whenever they come out. On the plus side I won't have to worry about spoilers coming from the show. I know that writers have no control over how the shows are distributed, however it would be nice to have on-demand access to the eps after they air via iTunes or similar service. Maybe one day....

4. People wouldn't be frothing at the mouth to see more eps/books if the story wasn't excellent and engaging. Thank you for reminding all of us that it's all about the story. And thanks for writing one worth reading.
Henning Bauer Westbye
Apr. 3rd, 2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
People are going to pirate your show no matter what you do. A record set in piracy simply means that it's the most popular show. If the show didn't make such a record it would not mean that people aren't pirating, but that the show isn't that popular. No matter how you look at it, it's a good thing for Game of Thrones.

I pirate the series myself, but I still buy the Blu-rays when they come out. I even re-watch the series when it airs on TV here in Norway. If I hadn't started watching the show I would never have bought the books, and now I have read all of them. I've also bought the collector's edition of Inside HBO's Game of Thrones. Your books have inspired me to read, and now I try to read a new book every couple of weeks. I've always been one of those who hated reading. I don't only read your books, I read many others as well. I spend a lot of money on books now, and several has been published by Harper Voyager. Only when I started buying books did I start pirating them too. These connections don't show up on your financial loss estimates. You count a pirated copy as a lost sale. In my experience a few pirated copies usually means an extra sale, as it means someone are dedicated. Where people once bought (e.g.) 4 movies and pirated none, they might now buy 10 and pirate 20. That's not 20 lost sales; it's 6 gained.

I spend basically all my spare money on movies, books, music and video games. However, I download a lot of pirated copies and I quite often share as well. I will never stop pirating. I don't pirate because I want to avoid paying; I pirate because I love the material.

I personally need a lot of variation, so I pirate on auto-pilot whenever I see something interesting. That is +1 in pirate stats, but I don't always read/watch/play it; most times it just stays on my hard drive for a few months until it's deleted. I'm not one that re-reads a book; I don't replay that many games; I rarely play online; I don't like to listen to the same album over and over; I usually just watch a TV series or a movie once (there are some exceptions, like GoT). Most products goes away quite fast, and I can't pay for it all. I pirate all, and I buy some of it. I try to spread the money among products I can enjoy, but I focus especially on what I really love (like the GoT and ASoIaF series).

From my perspective I'm one of the companies' best customers when it comes to relative amount spent compared to income. Yet most people in the market where I spend my money call be a bastard and a thief, and their companies would like to prosecute me for several hundred thousand dollars and ruin my life forever.

Edited at 2013-04-03 11:08 pm (UTC)
Apr. 11th, 2013 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Piracy
It's great that you buy the Blu-Rays, but what you have to understand is that HBO's subscription-based revenue model is what makes projects such as "Game of Thrones" possible without the creators having to compromise on many things or water down the content.

Other networks rely on sponsors & ratings for revenue.

The sponsors come with decency requirements since they want to sell their products to mid-west Christian soccer moms as much as they do you and I. If a show has content that is too graphic & vulgar, sponsors are afraid that potential customers will turn away from their products because they are supporting something they are offended by.

Dependence on ratings (in order to keep sponsors interested in buying commercial time) comes with required input from marketing people (who are much more interested in the results of focus groups and demographics than they are in quality, creative content).

HBO is by no means perfect or devoid of these detracting factors, but they are far, far less prevalent due to the guaranteed revenue from subscriptions. This also is what makes it possible for HBO to take chances on concepts that go against the grain & may or may not catch on, but show potential (see "Six Feet Under", "Big Love", and certainly "Game of Thrones").

You might not like everything on HBO, but look at paying for a subscription as a right to entertainment that is uncompromisingly artistic and original.
David Brewer
Apr. 3rd, 2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
Atleast they should let it on iTunes
I would pay $3-$4 an episode and still turn around and buy the dvd's
Jason Dole
Apr. 3rd, 2013 09:37 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear, I never had a doubt!

So Season three is the first half or 3/4 of the book. Does that mean next season will finish up book three and then lead into where book 4 and 5 start? I imagine they will be combining those two books and get two seasons or so out of it.

That sound right or am I off the mark?
Apr. 3rd, 2013 09:49 pm (UTC)
Great news!
Apr. 3rd, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)
Westeros astrophysics
I noticed an "astrophysics" paper was submitted on April 1st analyzing the seasons of Westeros. I think I got flagged as spam for posting a link to it, but just Google "astro-ph 1304.0445" and you'll find it. :)
Apr. 4th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Westeros astrophysics
that's so funny, i laughed my head off!
we need more such serious scientific work about westerosi phenomena :)
Apr. 3rd, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
This post is just full of awesome news! Except the piracy part.
Adam Minahan
Apr. 3rd, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Hey mister, why the break with the tradition of telling your episode number and name? Is this something you will reveal in the near future or are we going to have to wait until next year?
Apr. 4th, 2013 12:08 am (UTC)
Brilliant! So glad to hear there'll be another season!
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George R.R. Martin
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