At long last, HBO's 'Game of Thrones' returns for its third season this Sunday, making it the three words on everyone's lips and rightly so. We've long known that the upcoming season will prove the most complicated yet with regard to series creator George R.R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' novels, adapting pieces of the third and fourth books of the series, but what does Martin himself have to say of the HBO series catching up to him? Find out Martin's plan for continuing 'Game of Thrones' side-by-side with HBO inside!

'Game of Thrones' fans recognize what a massive achievement HBO has performed in adapting George R.R. Martin's point-of-view novels into a coherent TV series, which will grow even more widespread in the third season. Not only that, but readers of the novels know that Martin writes at a much slower pace than the HBO series, currently at work on the sixth of seven novels.

So what does Martin have to say of the fan-fueled fear that HBO could conceivably catch up to his writing in the next few years? Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin said:

My dream chronology is that the books finish first, and I do have a considerable lead over them. It's true that they're moving faster than I am, the series has its own speed, but I don't see us catching up for another three years or so -- by which time another book will be out. That should give them another two seasons of material. And while I'm writing the last book, they'd be making those.

If HBO follows the current mold established by 'Game of Thrones' season 3, Martin's seventh book 'A Dream of Spring' would presumably unfold over seasons 9 and 10 of the TV series. We've heard executive producers and show-runners Dan Weiss and David Benioff express a desire for ten seasons previously, though it seems a gargantuan commitment on HBO's part.

As Martin points out, 'The Sopranos' began taking extended breaks in between seasons toward its later years, with a nearly two-year break in between seasons 5 and 6, which ultimately concluded the series. While advantageous for Martin to finish his series, that could potentially see HBO's 'Game of Thrones' wrapping up in the 2020's, too far-flung a future for us to fathom.

For now at least, we'll keep our minds focused on the 'Game of Thrones' season 3 premiere "Valar Doheris," airing Sunday night opposite 'The Walking Dead' season 3 finale "Welcome to the Tombs." We'll be on hand for full coverage of the premiere, so tell us your expectations in the comments, watch the latest trailer below, and stay tuned for the latest on 'Game of Thrones' season 3!

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