Earlier this week, I found myself in a discussion about the lengths of various novels. It was spurred by two similar conversations I’ve found myself in repeatedly, based on the recent Game of Thrones TV show and the release of the final Harry Potter film. They go like this:
|Game of Thrones||Harry Potter|
|Friend: *complaint about TV show, usually about a character being killed off*||Friend: *complaint about final movie, usually regarding the slowness of Part I*|
|Me: You should try reading the books. I think it’s a much better experience. When characters are killed off so quickly, you don’t have a chance to get attached to them in the TV show. You also don’t see the variety of points of view that the book offers.||Me: Did you read the books first? The movies have to cut a lot out, so it seems like people who didn’t read didn’t understand a lot of the first part of Deathly Hallows.|
|Friend: There are books?!||Friend: Yeah, they’re just too long.|
A Dance With Dragons, the latest book in George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series, weighs in at 1,040 pages. (The series title is actually A Song of Ice and Fire, but TV-only people have never heard that name.) Deathly Hallows is practically bite-sized in comparison at 784 pages.
All this got me wondering how those two compared to other epic series. Available word counts vary, and since I’m not inclined to count the words individually myself, consider the following to be reasonably accurate, but not perfect.
Your favorite may be missing from this sampling–feel free to add it in the comments. But there’s one that I intentionally left out because it threw the chart off so far. If you decide to get into Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, you’re in for 4,012,859 words, over 635 chapters and 11,308 pages. Even in audio format, you’ll be committing to 17 days, 11 hours, and 30 minutes. Deathly Hallows doesn’t sound so bad any more, does it?