George R.R. Martin has become notorious for his snail-paced writing — six seasons of Game of Thrones have come and gone while The Winds of Winter has yet to hit bookshelves. But there might be a perfectly sound explanation for this. In a new interview, Martin cited the number of kingdoms in Westeros as a factor.
“Sometimes I look back and say, ‘Did it really have to be Seven Kingdoms?’ The Five Kingdoms of Westeros, that would have been good, right?” he said at the Guadalajara International Book Fair.
Of course, that begs the question, which two kingdoms could be eliminated? The seven are as follows:
The North, ruled by the Starks.
The Riverlands, ruled by the Tullys.
The Vale, ruled by the Arryns.
The Westernlands, ruled by the Lannisters.
The Stormlands, ruled by the Baratheons.
The Reach, ruled by the Tyrells.
Dorne, ruled by the Martells.
And that’s not even counting the Iron Islands ruled by the Greyjoys and Dragonstone, formerly ruled by House Targaryen — and perhaps once more in Season 7.
Game of Thrones has done an admirable job of trimming the fat from the books, most notably in the Meereen plot line. The show has yet to feature the Stormlands, the Westernlands, or the Reach — though that also might change in Season 7.
Even so, the real obvious answer for a kingdom to eliminate is Dorne — because although its intriguing in the books, its absence would have prevented this line from ever happening.
Here’s George R.R. Martin’s interview in its entirety.