All this conjecture about season 5 just reinforces to me how lousy book 4 and 5 are.... a decent editor could have eliminated so much filler and combined both together for one book. I'm so lukewarm about book 6 because I just don't care about any of the remaining story arcs anymore.
Im not sure what you mean about conjecture, do you mean the fact people are discussing what they could cut from season 5 demonstrates that it's not important? Maybe, but the TV audience is a lot more fickle than the readers.
[spoiler]GRRM has said that originally there was going to be no AFFC and ADWD. Basically there would have just been a gap and everyone would be a few years older, but he felt there would have been too much backtracking explaining how all of the characters had evolved during the gap.
That's why Im so excited about the 6th book, because it's time for action. Winter has arrived, it's time for the contenders for the iron throne to battle it out, and it's time to sort out the magic and the white walkers.[/spoiler]