As most of you know, Game of Thrones is based upon the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, which currently consists of five volumes (there should be seven books by the time the series is over).

So far, the show has done a pretty good job of adapting the material from the books chronologically. The first season of the show was based on the first book, Game of Thrones, the second season drew material from book two, A Clash of Kings, and the third season featured stories from the first half of book three, A Storm of Swords, since book three is the most plot-heavy of the series. People have been assuming the Season 4 will be based on the  latter half of  A Storm of Swords but recent casting announcements lead us to believe that it will also feature material from the fourth and fifth books, potentially changing the order of things or speeding up the series in a big way. So, how much of this later material can we expect to see next season?

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Click away now if you don't want to know!

One character who throws a bit of a wrench into things is Anya Waynwood. Anya doesn’t show up until well into the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, where she plays an important role in Sansa Stark’s storyline. While book three ends with Sansa having been in the Vale for a very short time, the inclusion of Anya points to Sansa arriving in the Vale early next season and spending a good amount of time there.

Another character who has a strong presence in AFFC is Tommen Baratheon. While his character hasn’t been seen on the show since Season 4, he’s been recast for Season 4. This suggests that his role will increase, the reason for that being that Tommen is crowned king after Joffrey’s death in Season 3. Tommen isn’t actually crowned until book fou. While there’s no guarantee we’ll see his coronation next season, the recasting makes it seem likely.

Moving onto book five, A Dance With Dragons, the presence of two new characters indicates major plot acceleration for Jon Snow and Dany, respectively. Iron Bank representative Tycho Nestoris shows up at the Wall in book five, looking for Stannis. By the time he arrives, Stannis has already left the Wall to battle the Boltons at Winterfell, so Tycho meets with Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow before heading out again to seek Stannis. Since we haven’t seen Stannis arrive at the Wall yet, or Jon be crowned Lord Commander, is seems like the Wall is going to be a very busy place next season, unless the show wants to introduce Tycho elsewhere first.

As for Dany, she’ll be introduced to Hizdahr zo Loraq. Hizdahr is a noble in the city of Mereen, which is the next stop on Dany’s tour of conquest. At the end of book three, Dany declares herself Queen of Mereen, and is not seen again until book five, where she meets Hizdahr. Since we know Hizdahr will be around next season, we can safely assume we’ll get to see Dany spending some time as queen. Eventually, Dany marries Hizdahr, but we’ll have to wait and see if this makes it into Season 4 or is pushed further out.

As for our own speculation, we wouldn’t be shocked to see Arya’s storyline venture into book four territory either. Though no new casting suggests this, her storyline from book three is essentially finished on the show, and she has a lot to do in book four. Seeing how she’s one of the show’s most popular characters, it would make sense for her to have a lot of screen time in season four.

Are you excited to see some of the material from the later books incorporated into Season 4? Sound off in the comments below!

Rebecca Martin is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and genre TV expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!


Credit: Celebified Photo: Game Of Thrones Mastermind George R. R. Martin Talks Character Development & Writing The Sixth Novel, The Winds Of Winter