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‘Game Of Thrones’ Faces Slow Pace Of Books

HBO planning ‘every move’ with author George R.R. Martin; plus, series earns 19 Emmy nods

After pulling in 19 Emmy nominations last week, “Game of Thrones” remains poised for a successful run into Season 5 and beyond despite the threat of outpacing its source material, according to Michael Lombardo, HBO’s programming president.

“Game of Thrones” is HBO’s most-watched series and is based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. Martin’s next book, “The Winds of Winter,” is unfinished, leaving the network with only two more novels to adapt — 2005’s “A Feast for Crows” and 2011’s “A Dance with Dragons.”

Elements from both novels — originally intended by Martin to be one book — have already been featured in Season 4 and will fully play out during Season 5. Past that, HBO’s intentions remain murky.

“George is an integral part of the creative team, so next season every move is being choreographed very closely with him,” Lombardo recently said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Certainly after next year we’ll have to figure it out with George, but we’re not concerned about it.”

And with deadlines looming, speculation that “Game of Thrones” could include a feature film was dismissed by Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive officer.

“In my conversations with George, he’s 100 percent focused on the books and the show,” Plepler said.

In 2012, Martin was already feeling the growing pressure, saying: “The last thing I want is for the TV series to catch up with me. I’ve got a considerable head start, but production is moving faster than I can write. I’m hoping that we’ll finish the story at about the same time … we’ll see.”

Regardless, casting for the new season is already in progress, and actress Keisha Castle-Hughes of 2002′s “Whale Rider” is reportedly being considered to play one of Oberyn Martell’s (Pedro Pascal) bastard daughters, either Obara or Nymeria Sand, who are famous warriors in the desert kingdom of Dorne.

“Game of Thrones” was the most-nominated program for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, including nods for best drama series and acting by Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Diana Rigg.

The series chronicles a treacherous clash among royal families to secure ultimate power in Westeros, a vast kingdom facing peril at every corner. It stars Dinklage, Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington.

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