Does each season of Game of Thrones roughly equal a book?

  • Does each current Game of Thrones season roughly equal one A Song of Ice and Fire book? And do we know which future seasons will cover which books?

    I am planning to read the first book after the TV show has finished depicting the events in the first book. I would like to know if after each TV season ends I can expect to be able to read a book covering the events depicted on screen?

    Exactly the question I wanted to ask. Want to watch the show but also wanting to read the books, so... :)

    But then you would be spoiled when reading the books... ;)

    Yep, that's always been the tragedy. I think I'll first start with the books as it's often "better" and will then check the TV show as the scenario is often an adaptation from the books.

    I think reading the books first would be better actually. I find it fascinating to see how the TV writers are adapting the story for a different format. A very nice touch is seeing some previously 1-dimensional villains humanized, which would be lost to someone who hasn't read the books :)

    I disagree. First watch it in black and white, then read it in color.

  • This is how it has broken down so far (more or less):

    • Season 1 (2011): A Game of Thrones
    • Season 2 (2012): A Clash of Kings
    • Season 3 (2013): The first half of A Storm of Swords (aka Steel and Snow)
    • Season 4 (2014): The second half of A Storm of Swords (aka Blood and Gold)
    • Season 5 (2015): Both A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons and new material
    • Season 6 (2016): Both A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons and new material

    We also know:

    • Season 7 (2017): Unpublished material and new material
    • Season 8 (2018): Unpublished material and new material

    Seasons 1 and 2 were a book each, but it was changed for Season 3, which became the first half of Storm of Swords, and Season 4 became the second half. The producers then, somewhat surprisingly, managed to squeeze the next two books, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, into Season 5, by removing lots of what many people saw as extraneous plot lines.

    It's worth noting that there has has been some overlap. Certain events have drifted into different seasons, so the above isn't always strictly true -- just mostly true.

    Season 6 took most of its story from The Winds of Winter (although there were some unused things from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons that appeared in it). George RR Martin confirmed this in a Vanity Fair article ("George R.R. Martin Has a Detailed Plan For Keeping the Game of Thrones TV Show From Catching Up To Him").

    Note that reading A Clash of Kings before season 3 spoils the identity of a mystery character. I did this but it did not reduce my enjoyment of the TV show.

    Yes, thanks for that. Some events are moved forward/backwards depending how they better fit the TV show.

    Thinking about it, taking a third of AFFC and ADWD and combining them is about the size of the other books used for a season (going purely by word count). This could mean that AFFC and ADWD could comfortably fill Seasons 5, 6 and 7 of the TV show without any padding :)

    From the characters who have been cast, it looks like the fourth season will contain the second half of *A Storm of Swords* and small parts of *A Feast for Crows* and *A Dance with Dragons*.

    @PeterShor Thanks for sharing that.

    Season 4 wasn't exactly the second half of Storm of Swords. There were some chapters from ADWD as well

    Could you please update your answer, now that season 5 has ended? Especially I'm interested in whether AFFC and ADWD have been covered by season 5 or how much is left from these two books for season 6. (But please, no spoilers^^.)

    @Chris Most of AFFC and ADWD have been covered, apparently. There may be some bleed (like there was in Season 4), but Season 6 will be based on the unpublished book The Winds of Winter.

    Thank you for the update! - It's strange to see that book 3 had two seasons and books 4 & 5 have together one season. That's an information density approximately four times as high, wow!

    @Chris I was surprised, too. They cut out a fair bit of stuff from the books -- but nobody seems to mind. Apparently it was just all the dull stuff. It's also worth remembering that AFFC and ADWD take place over the same time period, so essentially they're one, incredibly long, book.

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