After months of HBO releasing Game of Thrones news in stingy drips, today there’s a flood of details coming your way about the eagerly anticipated series. Here’s what I’ve heard so far…

— A representative for Martin’s publisher Random House says that, regarding George R.R. Martin’s long-long-long-long awaited fifth book in the series, Dance With Dragons, that an announcement may be coming soon (the fact he’s at press tour is interesting in itself … perhaps the publisher just employs a guy to follow Martin around urging him to finish the damn book already). The rep notes Random House is very aware of the HBO series (premiere date posted here) and the potential opportunity for cross promotion … hmm.

— Martin says his biggest concern about the HBO series is…

The show’s budget. Not that Thrones is remotely cheap, you understand. The show is expected to be the most lavish TV fantasy of all time. But Martin’s books have such an epic quality and he’s worried that sci-fi fans might have unrealistic expectations:

“My fear is there may be an element of fantasy fans that are like, ‘It’s not Lord of the Rings,'” Martin says, who also has his own blog here. “We don’t have have Peter Jackson’s budget … we can’t do Battle of Pelennor Fields. We have to accept this is television … it’s spectacular TV.”

“The Battle of Blackwater,” he adds, “is a potential budget buster. They’re gonna have to figure out how do to that. It could be an entire episode of battle.

— Regarding the length of the first season, was Martin happy with telling the story in 10 hours? “I think 10 hours has proved to be enough. You’re always a little greedy. I wouldn’t have minded 12 hours. But 10 worked too.”

— His third book, Storm of Swords, should be split into two seasons (amen to that).

— One critic asked if the author “hates children” since young characters have such harsh lives in his series: “The children were always at the heart of this. The were always very central. The whole series is harsh [not just for the kids]. My inspiration draws not only from Tolkien, but also historical fiction. If you read about the real Middle Ages, god it was brutal time. Children weren’t sentimentalized the way they are today. They were taken into battle at 12 years old … people hacking at you with swords. I wanted to reflect some of that.”

Episode Recaps

Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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