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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. 4th, 2013 02:58 am (UTC)
But some guys like me still need the next book, Mr. Kill'em All.
Olivier Montbazet
Apr. 4th, 2013 05:52 am (UTC)
About piracy
Dear George,

Here, in France, we have to wait some time before we get each episode... and it is so good we can't wait... :)
Plus the fact that we only can get it from channels for which we should pay each month while most of the time we only can watch sh.t...
That's why I'm among the pirates who download the show.
But I read your books since 15 years at least, I offer them, I've been talking of them around me, I created a mod on a strategy game (Civ IV), and... I buy the DVDs. I'm probably not the only one.
So don't fear nor sigh on piracy, it is part of success and contributes to it.
Albano Calefato
Apr. 4th, 2013 06:18 am (UTC)
Greetings from Argentina!
Dear George, I'm a crew member of the first and only website in Argentina about Game of Thrones, Song of Ice and Fire, and let's say... about you. It would mean the world to us if you could just read this, and it will mean our world and Westeros world if you can check the website and tell us what you think. The website is www.juegodetronos.com.ar

Anyway, I know you'd surely be busy as hell these days (so are we)but we want you to know just how important your work (and HBO's) is here in the lowest side of the world.

Our best wishies to you, and keep going the way you are in everything. You are got damn doing it right.

Edited at 2013-04-04 06:20 am (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2013 06:44 am (UTC)
I suspect that many people who have downloaded the show through *ahem* unofficial channels may be unable to get HBO or any other channel that broadcasts the show. Speaking personally, I'm in the UK and can't get Sky Atlantic because I'm in a rented flat and can't attach a satellite dish to the external walls of the building, and we don't have cable in this area so I'm limited by the narrow range of terrestrial broadcasts.

What I will add is that I own all the books in the series, and will be buying the box sets when they are available (the Season 1 Blu-ray set is on my shelf as we speak, and Season 2 will be bought shortly), none of which would have happened if someone online hadn't recommended I see the show, at which point I downloaded the first episode.

It's great news that Season 4 is being picked up, and I look forward to seeing it (and then buying the box set) in due course!
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:17 am (UTC)
I wish we could just see HBO shows on pay-per-view here in the UK. I won't get Virgin Atlantic because I don't want to give money to Rupert Murdoch and I don't want to use piracy - so I'll be waiting a year to watch season 3, just like I did for seasons 1and 2 :-(
Apr. 4th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
I hate to say this, but you're already giving money to Rupert Murdock if you read my novels. In addition to Sky Atlantic (NOT Virgin), he also owns my British publisher, Harper Collins.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 4th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
Satellite TV is a great option to cable.

I have DirecTV myself, and love it.
Apr. 4th, 2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
Piracy record
I wouldn't worry too much about the piracy record. Almost everyone I know downloads the episode because they want to see it as soon as possible. The only legal option that HBO gives them is to pay a local cable provider every month for a package of channels which is something like 4 channels. Most of these people don't have cable TV as it is so it ends up being something like $60/month just to see Game of Thrones...

If there was a way to subscribe to HBO for only game of thrones and without paying a local cable provider I'm sure the piracy rates would drop off.

The good news is that pretty much all of these people buy the DVD's when they come out or at least other game of thrones merchandise. If they couldn't 'pirate' the episodes then I'm sure they would have never seen the show.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 4th, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
I let HBO handle those decisions. I don't know enough about all the factors involved in such to have an informed opinion.
Apr. 4th, 2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the next season! As for piracy, I would never pirate the show. Even if I didn't have ethical reasons against it, I work in The Industry and suspect that sort of thing could get me fired. I would gladly pay $20 a month for an HBO subscription. Hell, I'd pay $6 an episode even given an extra week or so after broadcast of waiting, however...

In my area, just basic cable, which you have to subscribe to in order to be permitted to pay for the premium channels, is $50. That's $50 for endless "reality" shows about stupid people doing stupid shit and bitches being crazy. There are at any given time maybe two shows worth watching on the whole damn thing. Now I love Justified, but when I'm essentially paying $50 a month for one good show, a lot of programming revolving around despicable oxygen thieves, and 18 minutes worth of sitcom interrupted by 12 minutes of advertising, it's just not worth it to me. I cut the cable last month and don't miss it one bit.

I look forward to buying it legally when it comes out, but as a keen reader, I already know the arc of what's going to happen, if not the details. If HBO would like some of my money earlier, they can make their programming available to me and others like me - not FREE, but maybe within a reasonable amount of time for a fair amount of money. Until then, they are missing a huge revenue stream.
Apr. 4th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
dunk e egg
i want to know if dunk e egg will be published in brazil, i´d want much to read it while i wait for winds of winter
Apr. 4th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
I feel HBO was being insensitive.
I feel like that joke is insensitive to little people. What I think would be funny is if the rumour was of some gigantic actor being tapped to take over the role. You could even go with another Harry Potter alum, Robbie Coltrane. That would be funny. Dinklage got the role because he earned it, not because he is short. The new actor playing the Mountain does not physically fit the part. Lena Heady and Emilia Clarke do not have the right hair to play their parts, but because they are good, with costuming, wigs and makeup, they get to play those roles. But if Peter laughs at, I'm fine.
Apr. 4th, 2013 11:27 pm (UTC)
Re: I feel HBO was being insensitive.
Actually, I erred. If you will check the comments here, you will see that the prank was not done by HBO, but by an unaffiliated site that covers HBO programming.
Re: I feel HBO was being insensitive. - Jacob Klein - Apr. 5th, 2013 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 4th, 2013 11:47 pm (UTC)
Plot/Cast Changes?
I've been a fan since the beginning (well, the print beginning of SOI&F). I have also been thrilled by the HBO work so far. Your novels has always been worth the wait due to so many things...first and foremost, for me, the depth and balance you give to characters. The world you build is grand, the game is glorious, but the best, what holds it all together, keeps me coming back, is the growth and development of the main characters who are introduced early and allowed to come of age, to fulfill promises, destinies. I am referring to Jon, Tyrion, and Daenerys. When you mention that P. Dinklage was rumored to have been replaced; another show was brought to mind - Downton Abby. The entire plot of Downton was changed to accommodate the whims of the actor playing one of the roles on the show last season. Granted, the show is written for TV. Your work is taken from print. HOWEVER, I fear what might happen if one of the main cast members DID decide to quit? What might you do? At the end of DWD Jon is obviously in dire straights. I noticed on the interactive timeline available online that he is marked as DEAD! At such an inopportune time; his character is far from realizing his potential, growth, dreams! What gives? Surely the boy who plays Jon is not putting pressure? Surely your work is more important that any actor. Please do not change your work to accommodate TV. Please remain true to your standards, to yourself, to your fans. Thank you.
Apr. 5th, 2013 12:17 am (UTC)
Re: Plot/Cast Changes?
This is a problem any TV show can face.

I have direct experience with this, since I was on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST when Linda Hamilton left the series at the end of the second season. We were faced with a hard choice: either recast the role of Catherine with a different actress, or kill the character and bring in a new beauty. We chose the latter, as being inherently more dramatic. It was probably a wrong choice. But there may not have been a right choice. The fans did not accept the new beauty... but they would not have accepted a recasting either, I fear.

It is a puzzlement. Actors change all the time in Broadway plays, and everyone takes it in stride. In film, there have been eight or nine James Bonds, a bunch of Charlie Chans, a couple Jack Ryans, and everyone is okay with that. But TV viewers for some reason react with outrage at any recasting.

So all I can say is, I hope it never happens on GAME OF THRONES.
Re: Plot/Cast Changes? - ext_1738519 - Apr. 5th, 2013 12:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Plot/Cast Changes? - grrm - Apr. 5th, 2013 01:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Plot/Cast Changes? - stephen1985 - Apr. 8th, 2013 01:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Plot/Cast Changes? - gabriellives - Apr. 6th, 2013 05:29 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 5th, 2013 01:47 am (UTC)
I've been away from Lj for years and I decide to log in, checked my messages and the first thing I see is your reply to a message I sent you back when the GoT series was still in the planning process. Needless to say this put a goofy smile on my face and had to show it to my kids hehehehe. I'm so glad the series is going strong and will go on. You have four fans in this household George. Thanks for the stories.
Brian Golden
Apr. 5th, 2013 05:21 am (UTC)
April Fools
I thought the April fools joke was quite good. I can remember bursting into laughter reading it in class, and getting the Professorial sneer I deserved:P
Apr. 5th, 2013 12:25 pm (UTC)
Strong Belwas
Is he out of the show?? and Barristan Selmy is recognized straight away??
Apr. 5th, 2013 07:07 pm (UTC)
Neil Gaiman on piracy
"You're not losing sales by getting stuff out there. When I do a big talk now on these kinds of subjects and people ask "What about the sales you are losing by having stuff floating out there?" I started asking the audience to raise their hands for one question -- Do you have a favorite author? And they say yes and I say good. What I want is for everybody who discovered their favorite author by being lent a book put up your hand. Then anybody who discovered their favorite author by walking into a book story and buying a book. And it's probably about 5-10%, if that, of the people who discovered their favorite author who is the person they buy everything of and they buy the hardbacks. And they treasure the fact they've got this author. Very few of them bought the book. They were lent it. They were given it. They did not pay for it. That's how they found their favorite author. And that's really all this is; it's people lending books."

He has more to say on the subject, but basically he recognises that it is a positive thing.
Apr. 6th, 2013 05:18 am (UTC)
Can George at least tell us the episode number he is writing?
Apr. 6th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Season4

And it's done and delivered.
Re: Season4 - KalikAAbigaiL - Apr. 9th, 2013 12:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Season4 - werthead - Apr. 10th, 2013 10:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Season4 - KalikAAbigaiL - Apr. 10th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Season4 - ryanwritesalot - Apr. 9th, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 6th, 2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
Im a freeloader... or am I?
I first read GoT in 1996... and since then i've encouraged everyone i know (and who likes to read fantasy) to read the books. I have bought every book in the series (some twice). I collect the comicbooks both HC and TP, I have the table top game (both editions) with all expansions, I have all the books with Dunk and Egg stories... including the comic books. I make sure to have a new ASOIAF calender on my wall every january first. I have bought both series on DVD.

I live in sweden where i eventually will see the series for free (well, paid by taxes, wich i pay) on SVT1 a swedish public service chanel.

Yes i download the series one day after it airs in the states... so in many peoples opinion... im a freeloader.

Money, I have paid and will keep paying (books, comicbooks, games, dvd-boxes).
The series, I will still see it for "free" so whats the harm in me wanting to see it a bit earlier since you already got loads of money from me... not to mention the others I by word of mouth got to read the books before the series ever aired.

So keep sighing Georgie... but this "freeloader" will keep throwing money your way.

Edited at 2013-04-06 04:36 pm (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
GoT Pirating
The real reason why so many people pirate GoT is because it's.. actually very very hard to get episodes of GoT around the time it airs. Only Australia has it available in the iTunes store and you can't get HBO Go unless you have HBO and you can't get HBO unless you shell out the money for cable tv.

Personally, I would love to be able to cut my cable cord and just purchase a monthly sub to HBO Go but alas.. that's not happening any time soon.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 6th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
The producers have said that season four will be the second half of the third book, they had to divide because of the extensive content and season 5 and maybe 6 will mix the books 4 and 5 because of the parallel story
Guilherme Bauer
Apr. 6th, 2013 11:15 pm (UTC)
Season four will be the events from book four and five or just Feast of crows? Love the show and the books. A fan from Brazil.
Apr. 7th, 2013 05:19 am (UTC)
Most of season four will be drawn from the third book, A STORM OF SWORDS, though some material from the fourth and fifth books may be added. Books four and five, remember, take place simultaneously, not sequentially.
(no subject) - lord_varys - Apr. 10th, 2013 08:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Thomas Hammond
Apr. 7th, 2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
Comment on Piracy
Hi George! You may see this one coming, I live in Australia! Our piracy issue in my opinion is one of digital availability. I have personally not seen Valar Dohaeris yet (watched the rest though!) as on the Venn Diagram of this situation, I fall between the categories "Does not torrent episodes of TV programs" and "Does not have pay-TV". However, I know that Season 3 has been broadcast 2 hours after the US broadcast on our pay-TV networks. This is awesome, and I think it's a great effort, but I think more can be done! Even with our crappy internet (don't even ask!), I would still like a way to stream it at a time after first broadcast, in such a way that the wonderful people who make the show are properly compensated, and I get a convenient, time & place independent experience watching the show.

I'm planning on picking up the Blurays of Seasons 1 & 2 on my next trip to the shopping mall, and I think I can comfortably wait for season 3 to be released on a disc format anyway (being a reader of the books, none of it is OMGSPOILER to me at this point, simply the joy of seeing the performances and production) but I can also see the need for HBO etc. to start recouping production costs immediately upon release, otherwise there's a chance the show won't get to continue. As an IT student, and a committee member in a campus Anime Club (we watch a lot of things), the digital availability/monetizing content balance is an issue I am passionate about having a crack at, but it's hard without a good idea of the realities of the studio end of things. Game of Thrones keeps smashing piracy records, which goes to show how incredibly popular it is (world's most popular show I'd say!), perhaps you and the producers are in a uniquely public position to have this conversation. I think you should all be rewarded for your works, and HBO should have a return on its investment, especially if we are to see the series made to completion! If GoT was the show that made a good attempt at fixing the media industry's biggest problem, it could make waves! Everyone needs to win here.

Keep up the good work, write at your pace too because I want time for several re-reads of the entire series before TWoW comes out, as I'm relatively new to the books!
Apr. 11th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
Re: Comment on Piracy
Hey there,

You know you can buy it on iTunes in Australia, right? $33 for the whole season in HD, about five bucks less for SD.

I'm also an Aussie, it downloads at about 1am every Tuesday morning... so only 2 days after the US. I'm pretty happy with that :)

Cheers, Aaron
Joe Nazzaro
Apr. 7th, 2013 11:54 pm (UTC)
Are the pirates stealing...

Or are they paying the Iron Price? Eh?
Apr. 8th, 2013 08:28 am (UTC)
Poor marketing begets piracy. That is my opinion having lived outside of US for last 15 years. In an era of global Internet and instant access to content, the studios (and HBO among others) stick to ancient formulas of staggered releases, waiting for "locally customized/translated" version, and often simply not even legally offering the content (because some exec has decided it will not sell in the particular market - relevant for many US TV shows). And it is not even the case of not having Cable subscription (like in US) to get HBO - in many places HBO is simply not even available. Worse - in many places even the BD or DVD versions are not available. I wish media industry finally entered 21st century. People who want the content will get it - it is not even that particularly difficult. If you don't want to sell to them then they will get it elsewhere (it is a general phenomenon anyway - war on drugs or prohibition example comes to mind). What is amazing me is that for all the complaints, media industry does not seem to want to make money and leaves it off to pirates without a fight. And yes, some of it is caused by legal constraints (say French requirements to dub everything which takes time and cost or Chinese censorship that simply bans any foreign content) but why not simply allow paid downloads of DRM content off US sites (or even allow some middle-men - say Amazon, to sell such downloads) - I would argue a lot of people worldwide would do so.
James Dring
Apr. 9th, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
To their credit HBO did go out of their way to make the show more available through outlets to minimize the piracy. On the plus side also, I read an article that despite piracy of the show, the DVD sales of the seasons have not been slowed. I for one cannot wait to own Season 3 just like I do 1-2 so that my Son can grow up watching it!
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George R.R. Martin
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