I think this marks the point at which George Martin has officially lost the plot. I never thought he was likely to finish all seven books, but now they’re talking about stretching the series to eight? I assume they’ll end up enlisting Joe Abercrombie, or one of the HBO screenwriters, to finish them after Martin goes the way of all Starks in Westeros, but I think that Martin should instead consider pulling an epic literary prank that would dwarf the HBO campaign featuring Sean Bean that misled all the viewers who hadn’t read the books.
What if everything that has “happened” is just a terrible nightmare of the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen? How AWESOME would that be? After A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, it would probably be considerably more entertaining than whatever perversions and grotesqueries Martin, or his successor, attempts to gin up in order to prod his torpid readers into feeling some sort of emotional reaction to the events in the books.