I'm seriously afraid of the TV series having an non-worthy ending because of Martin 1) using too much time on the books because of too much content (the two books becoming super large) or 2) the material becoming so much that he has to make a 8th. I guess we just have to believe him when he says he still plans on ending the series with 7 and is writing as fast as he can to prevent the TV series from screwing him from behind.
A Storm of Swords will take two seasons at least to cover the material. If you consider the content from Feast and Dance as one big whole because of them running concurrently then that's another 3-4 seasons. I think we're going to start seeing D&D making choices when to end a season and start one come into play because books no longer fit in a single season anymore. So if The Winds of Winter is out within the next few years I think there won't be a HUGE issue with having enough content, considering that that will probably add at least 2 more seasons of content until A Dream of Spring HAS to be out.
But yeah, there's really no reason to assume that the gap between Dance and Winds will only be 4 years...
Yeah, I've thought about that. We know Swords is 2 seasons like you said. Since Feast and Dance are over 2000 pages together, I picture them doing them in 3 seasons. That gives George 5 years to finish Winter, which should be fine, but only 7 to finish Winter and Dream. However since he has a head start on Winter by pushing chapters over from Dance, and has already been writing for a year minus touring/other work/etc (last I read he was about 200+ pages into Winter), Winter should be out in 3 years. At least that's what George should aim for as a "last deadline", as that will leave him 4 years for Dream, which I honestly think he needs. Of course this is assuming Feast + Dance = 3 seasons and not 4 (no way they'll be 2), and that Winter is 2 seasons.
He did say previously that just because he cut a POV or chapters from Dance, doesn't mean it will show up in a later book. He's mentioned cutting chapters from previous books and not ending up using them in an interview, so we can't assume that Sansa's story is going to stay intact. Especially not since we're further down the timeline of the narrative. So that doesn't really bode terribly well for his progress as we assume...
I know about lost writing/chapters, that's indeed a shame for several reasons. But we already have confirmed POVs like Damphair, who's chapter we've been told was taken out of Dance. However it's debatable whether taking out a chapter and adding it in Winter means progress or not. Will it only make Winter +20 pages, or does it mean he has to write 20 pages less? Who knows really.
I'm kind of anxious about Sansa's POV too. The worst scenario would be if George goes "back in time" with her. I'd rather get her happenings from mid-Dance to the present told in summaries, "flashback" as in her thinking back a little etc.
I don't think he'll have to really. Since they were on their way to The Gates of the Moon in her final chapter in Feast and it was in the latter third of the book, that would place it just before midway in Dance so not THAT much time will have past. Obviously Winter will be in full swing though. It'll probably be more about Littlefinger's plan and gathering more dirt on the Lords Declarant through Lyn Corbray.
I'm not sure if Aeron interests me more than Sansa, but he has been missing from the story for quite some time so I wouldn't mind it. I also think a Brienne or Jaime chapter would be awesome. I guess this is assuming that it won't be a chapter he's already shared at readings.
I don't know if I could say I don't see Brienne as a POV anymore, but that completely depends on both their fates as well. But I agree that it might spoil too much for it to be considered a preview.
Assuming that George doesn't write TOO out of order, and if he's around 200+-pages into the writing...it could be more given when that information was obtained...I'm thinking that the chapter almost HAS to be away from the main action. I don't think it will be in the North since Theon I is online, Asha would be redundant, and I don't think he would share a Melisandre chapter as it would give away too much. It probably won't be in the Riverlands with Jaime and Brienne. I would say Selmy is a perfect character to do one for since he isn't a main character, but we already know what's going on in Slaver's Bay from Victarion and Tyrion info being leaked out. It might be possible that it's a Cersei chapter, and it'll be interesting to see what's going on there given what happened in the Epilogue. I suppose a Connington chapter is a possibility. I can't see it being a Area Hotah chapter because he's too ancillary and nothing is going on in Dorne.
My thinking with Dany is that there isn't much mystery to where her story is going. You'll probably go "HUHWAT?", but what I mean is, death isn't staring her in the face...she's not like Jon or Jaime. She knows Dothraki, these Dothraki know her, and if they don't they know of her. It also gives the wow-factor of "Holy shit a Dany chapter!" which isn't really a lot of people are clamoring for, but it's still a major plot-point. There's also the fact that since George solved the Meereenese knot and got her the hell out of there, the writing for what he does next may come easier to him and it might be included in what he's written already.
With Cersei...I don't know. Just thinking about her being the only POV character left in King's Landing.
I guess Arya could also be an option since she's becoming that dude's apprentice...but I would be disappointed with her honestly.
---------- Post added at 04:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:11 AM ----------
Nah, fuck what I wrote in the last two posts.........DAVOS!
I'm not going to expect him to be in Skagos already, but he's another one we haven't heard from in forever.
No man, he HAS to be in Skagos! He had his last chapter in like page 300 somewhere! That dude can't use THAT much time to get to that island. Travel chapters suck! I except Davos' first chapter to start with him already having been on Skagos a while, or arriving on the first page(s).
Assuming that Wex wasn't wrong and that Ghost seeing Shaggydog fighting a goat with "one extra-long horn" was really just a goat...then yeah there's no reason to assume Skagos wasn't just a red herring. I didn't say I was expecting him to be there, but it would be nice if he was. That is to assume that the seas are calm and he can get to Skagos in one piece.