Post-AGOT Plans Update

Hey folks, now that I’ve finished A Game of Thrones, I thought I’d fill you all in on what my upcoming plans are:

  • “Hollow Crowns and Deadly Thrones,” Part V – after a nine-month wait, I’m finally working on Hollow Crowns again. The final segment in this series – focusing on Joffrey “Baratheon” and Aegon VI “Targaryen”(?) – is my current project and should be finished within the week. I know some of you have been waiting for this a long time, and I think you’ll like it.
  • “March of Madness” on –  if you enjoyed my more topical piece on Obama and Game of Thrones over on, you might like this forthcoming series where I set up an NCAA-style tournament of the major players in Game of Thrones and their historical counterparts and set them against each other.
  • Clash of Kings Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis, Starting Late March – don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about my bread-and-butter. I have all of A Clash of Kings already highlighted, and I’m starting to write up outlines for the epic Prologue and the first few chapters as I prepare for this most political volume of ASOIAF.
  • Race for the Iron Throne E-Book, Launching April 6th – as I announced earlier, I’m publishing an e-book that collects all of my essays on A Game of Thrones into a handy package that’ll be launching on’s Kindle marketplace on the 6th. This is a huge deal for this blog; if the e-book sales go well, it’ll help in terms of freeing up time for me to do nothing but write about this stuff, and hopefully pave the way for future e-books on the rest of the books.
  • Game of Thrones Season 4, Premiering April 6th – as everyone is no doubt aware, we’re heading into a new season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, which may well be the high point of the series. SEK and I will absolutely be podcasting about the 4th Season, and this time in a much more punctual fashion – so once you’ve finished watching the show, drop by the blog that same evening for our reaction.
  • Season 1 Podcasting, Catching Up Between Now and April 6th – while it might not look like it at the moment, SEK and I have actually finished our podcasts for all of Season 1, which should be airing in quick succession in the next three weeks.
  • Race for the Iron Throne AMA on r/asoiaf Week of April 13th – also previewed earlier, I’ll be doing an “Ask Me Anything Thread” on r/asoiaf where I’ll be fielding questions for a whole day. I hope you drop by to join the discussion!
  • “Essos: A Laboratory of States,” Starting Late April – next up is a brand-new multi-part essay series on Tower of the Hand, taking a comparative look at the economics, society, and above all the politics of each of the various city-states of Essos, how they developed out of the wreckage of the Valyrian Freehold and why a political vacuum has persisted for 400 years, why there is such diversity between the anti-slavery cosmopolitan metropolis of Braavos and the slave cities of Old Ghis, and Daenerys’ role as a revolutionary leader challenging the economic underpinnings of much of the continent.
  • Tower of the Hand: A Hymn of Spring, Launching June 19th – Tower of the Hand is *the* site for Game of Thrones essays, and its first edited volume of essays, “A Flight of Sorrows,” contains some must-have essays from authors like Stefan Sasse, Amin and Mimi from Podcast of Ice and Fire, and many more. This summer, the second volume, “A Hymn of Spring,” will be launching, including no less than two essays from yours truly.
  • Season 2 Podcasting, Starting Late June – once Season 4 of Game of Thrones is in the can, SEK and I will be returning to Season 2, the difficult middle child of the show, and try to figure out what worked and what didn’t.

As you can see, there’s a lot of exciting stuff coming over the next quarter. Come along for the ride…


30 thoughts on “Post-AGOT Plans Update

  1. Ivan T. W. says:

    I think I had discovered your wonderful writing from the Hollow Crowns essay on TOTH, that might have been the first thing of yours I read (as you say, it’s been a while) and look forward to a chapter on Joff and Egg. I don’t have an eReader so I’m hoping that your eBook will be available as a PDF, I’ll buy that as well, for sure. As for the show, what with the announcement of a possibly 7-season run meaning that we’re already almost halfway done with the series, I had contemplated season 4 being the last one I watch till the book series is over. What are your thoughts on this? Will HBO leave GRRM in the dust, and will we be risking serious spoilers of unwritten moments if we keep watching?

    • I’ll see what I can do about a PDF.

      As someone who actually likes spoilers, I’m going to keep watching.

      I also think people are over-hyping the show catchup thing – I figure TWOW will probably be out in early 2015 by the latest, at which point season 5 will be wrapping up filming. That gives him two years for ADOS – unless they go with his plan for a prequel interstitial season about Dunk and Egg.

      • Sean C. says:

        Even if Martin completes the fifth book by early 2015 (I’d hope for that, but I’m skeptical), there’s no way he can write the final one in two years. Even at his peak speed in the 1990s he couldn’t do that, and that’s without him doing a months-long book tour on which he’ll do no writing, etc.

        They’ve already ruled out a prequel season, which wouldn’t make any sense for the series anyway, because it wouldn’t solve their cast problems.

        • Did they rule out a prequel season? I don’t remember that.

          • Sean C. says:

            At various times, as I recall.

            The show is an intricate machine with a million moving pieces, and if they stop the production cycle, it may well prove impossible to reassemble. You can’t have most of the cast without any work for two years or more, and it would kill the series’ narrative momentum anyway. HBO does not care whether it spoils the books or not.

          • Winnie says:

            Yeah, they did. They also said they’re doing seven seasons. Plus, the more I think about it, the more I feel they’ll HAVE to include a few things from book six at the end of Season Five, because leaving so much unresolved…and viewers waiting for climaxes that don’t happen is just bad tv.

      • JT says:

        I think it’s highly unlikely he finishes the books in time. If TWOW comes out in early 2015 (which is no way guaranteed), GRRM will still need to spend the following ~6 months touring and doing promotion. After ADWD came out (mid 2011), Martin said that he didn’t get any writing done the rest of the year as he was traveling and doing appearances promoting the book. Throw in his episode for that season of GOT and we’re looking at 2016 by the time he gets back to the ADOS.

        There’s is a small chance that the series goes 8 seasons (D&D have said 7, but HBO’s president has said 7 or 8 multiple times, even recently), but prequels, longer breaks in between seasons etc. have been flat out ruled out by everyone on the TV side.

        • Unless he doesn’t do 6 months of travel and promotion and just launches into the next book. After all, by this point, I think his name recognition is about as high as it’s going to get.

          • JT says:

            That would be nice! I suspect that GRRM likes the fan adulation (not pointing fingers here as if I spent ~4 years writing a book, I’d love to go on the road and read it to fans/get kudos/get additional money by drumming up book sales) that comes with a tour, and a tour may actually be contractually obligated.

            At any rate, we’re assuming that TWOW comes out in early 2015. If it comes out any later, it seems almost impossible for Martin to finish ADOS and get it edited/published in the <2 years he'll have before season 7 debuts. If the show goes 8 seasons (a decision that will be informed by the ratings of the first few episodes of this season), then he has a chance.

            My hope is that the final book is the fastest for him to write, since at that point all of the chess pieces are in place and it's just a matter of finishing out the game. Whether that proves to be true is anybody's guess.

            Of course there's always the worst case scenario: ADWD comes out in 2016 as the show is coming out, the press tour (and his season 7 episode) put him out of commission for most of the rest of the year and the show finishes up in 2017. Martin looks at his workload and decides that it's not worth spending 2-3+ years of his late 60s finishing a book where the ending will have been spoiled for several years by the time he finishes so he moves onto other projects and ASOIAF remains unfinished. Shudder.

      • ajay says:

        My own (not entirely serious) prediction is that TWOW will be the last in the series, and GRRM, who has spent the last two decades overturning the tropes of the fantasy genre from Handsome Princes and Noble Knights to Star-Crossed Lovers and Hero’s Journeys, will finish it off by overturning the biggest trope of all: the Happy Ending. The idea that there’s going to be a seventh book called “A Dream Of Spring” has always been nothing more than a hoax to play with readers’ expectations: in TWOW Stannis will be beaten, Dany will be condemned by the elders, Jon Snow will be confirmed dead, Tyrion will succumb to disease, the Others will break the Wall and sweep south across the continent. Rocks fall, everyone dies.

  2. Andy says:

    I will be checking all of this out, Steven, and I’m really psyched that you’re able to do all this writing while presumably having a more traditional source of income, not to mention a social life and what have you. It’s an inspiration, really. I’m raising a cup of Arbor gold to the success of your e-book. Thanks for educating and entertaining me!

  3. JT says:

    Uh oh – somebody is pulling a GRRM and letting the side projects multiply ;).

    Seriously though, I’m really excited to read whatever you put out. Thanks for all the entertainment so far!

  4. drevney says:

    Have you thought about writing your PhD thesis on ASOIAF? It would probably be the first among many.

  5. Winnie says:

    Looking forward to it all Steve!

  6. David Neff says:

    Hey Steve – Where can I get Hollow Crowns I-IV? Haven’t read any of those yet…

  7. Abbey Battle says:

    Master Steven, I can see that the wait for ‘The World of Ice and Fire’ will not be nearly so long as I had thought; ‘The Rogue Prince’ by Maester Martin himself and your own articles shall keep my hunger for more food for thought nicely satisfied!

    (I am particularly interested in ‘Essos: A Laboratory of States’ and your own personal Mad March!); please accept all my best wishes for your first publication as well (or at least your fair share of same, for another acquaintance of mine is seeing his first novel in publication as well!).

  8. JT says:

    I’d love at some point to see your predictions of TWOW/ADOS. What do you think happens to Stannis? Cersei? Dany? Westeros? etc etc

  9. Abbey Battle says:

    Maester Steven, may I please ask if the price of this Kindle version of ‘Race for the Iron Throne’ has been set yet?

  10. rw970 says:

    Any ETA on the next LGM podcast?

  11. Update Update:

    – Part V of Hollow Crowns is done and should be up shortly.

    – March of Madness will be up on on Monday.

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