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George R.R. Martin‘s A Dance With Dragons from the Song of Ice and Fire series has officially been released and is already receiving rave reviews. In a new interview, the author explains what he intended to do with the new book and why he’s happy Games of Thrones is a TV show, specifically, one on HBO.

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George admits to Entertainment Weekly that he actually wanted Book 5 to go even further than it did.

“It’s always difficult to know where to break each book. You’re walking a fine line,” he explained. “Like Lord of the Rings, you’re writing one story. At the same time, I want each book to represent a phase of the journey. I try to end each character with a cliffhanger or some kind of resolution. And I try to make the cliffhangers the smaller portion — I don’t want eight cliffhangers. [Dance] had more cliffhangers than I ideally would have liked.”

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One phase of the journey that he has been happy with the TV show of his Games of Thrones. Especially, George is glad the sex scenes in the series made it into the show!

“One of the reasons I wanted to do this with HBO is that I wanted to keep the sex,” he admitted. “We had some real problems because Dany is only 13 in the books, and that’s based on medieval history. They didn’t have this concept of adolescence or the teenage years. You were a child or you were an adult. And the onset of sexual maturity meant you were an adult. So I reflected that in the books.”

But that’s a problem for a TV show.

“So we ended up with a 22-year-old portraying an 18-year-old, instead of an 18-year-old portraying a 13-year-old,” George said. “If we decided to lose the sex we could have kept the original ages. And once you change the age of one character you have to change the ages of all the characters, and change the date of the war [that dethroned the Mad King].”

“The fact we made all these changes indicates how important we thought sex was.”

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