Winds of Winter: George R R Martin Writing Pace Not a Problem for HBO, Assure Execs

HBO executives stressed this week they’re not concerned with the writing pace of George RR Martin–the “Game of Thrones” creator and “A Song of Ice and Fire” author.

Martin is slated to release “Winds of Winter,” the next book in his “Ice and Fire” saga, within the next few years. There’s been concerns that the pace in which he writes the books will be outpaced by “Game of Thrones,” which will have its fifth season next spring.

HBO head Richard Plepler and programming president Michael Lombardo said, “No … we’re committed to it and [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] are committed to it,” according to EW.com.

Lombardo stressed: “Obviously George is an integral part of the creative team. So next season every move is being choreographed very closely with him. Certainly after next year we’ll have to figure it out with George, but we’re not concerned about it.”

Season 5 will draw from Martin’s books, “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons.” And seasons six and seven will likely draw from “Winds of Winter” and the next book.

Martin hasn’t issued any updates on his “Not A Blog” page on LiveJournal.

Recently, “Game of Thrones” was nominated 19 times for Emmy awards–the most of any series.

The sprawling and bloodthirsty saga “Game of Thrones,” defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for such fantasy fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series.

Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, “Fargo,” with 18 bids, and “American Horror Story: Coven,” with 17. The AIDS drama “The Normal Heart” received 16 nominations, including best TV movie. The meth kingpin tale “Breaking Bad” got 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and a best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.

The 66th prime-time Emmy Awards ceremony will have big-screen star power to spare. This year’s Academy Awards best-actor winner Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”) are both nominees for TV projects, as is past Oscar winner Julia Roberts.

In the competitive best-drama series category, “Game of Thrones” will compete with “Breaking Bad,” ”Downton Abbey,” ”House of Cards,” ”Mad Men” and “True Detective.”

Whether HBO’s “Game of Thrones” can take home the top trophy is another question: Only one fantasy or sci-fi series, “Lost,” has ever captured it, according to Tom O’Neil, author of “The Emmys” and organizer of the Gold Derby awards site.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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