vs how many more books were sold due to the show? Those box sets (and a ton of hardcover ADWD) were selling like hotcakes to people who had no interest before the show. HBO didn't want the show to go forward if they couldn't end it and with the way print media is dying, I'm sure the publishers would take a fat royalty check + a bunch of new sales now over a possible reduction in sales on the final two books in the future.
The show has been great for the books. As I pointed out that makes the publishers even more determined to protect the franchise because as munchausen says...
They're making 100 million dollars from the sale of the 15 million or so books. Who's going to fuck that up for a few million dollars in royalties?
Lefty, get your point from the publisher's perspective. But why would HBO shackle themselves to a contract where they're reliant on a guy that takes up to 6 years to get an installment completed? I suppose they could simply cancel the show in the event any serious problems come up. As of now they're gauranteed a 4-5 years of great press and ratings (i'm actually not sure of the numbers for GoT relative to other/previous HBO shows). They may just walk away if Martin puts them in a bind. What if some viewers switch/cancel their subscriptions, it was bound to happen at some point anyway. Plus there'll always be another show to bring new viewers to the channel.
4.4 million viewers on the last episode, that's why. HBO needs martin more than the publishers/martin need hbo.
It going to be interesting as the show is a slog to produce and will be more and more expensive as the main actors demand more compensation for giving up a decade of their lives. HBO will be faced with a tough decision - shut it down or end it quickly. And I don'r believe the latter will be an option.
Here's what I think - everyone will deliver their end. Martin probably has reams of chapters ready to go. The show will slow down next year and still have two massive books to get through.
If I could engineer it I would have the final book and the show dovetail into a perfect simultaneous release. It will be a geek's wet dream.