Recently, ‘Game of Thrones’ (or to be more accurate, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’) scribe George R.R. Martin sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss his opus, the end of the television series that has brought him such fame, and how the book version of the franchise is coming along, especially in light of the reaction the fans have had to the end of the show. Martin began by speaking about the effect the internet and spoilers have had on media in recent years, and the temptation to react to the fans directly:
“The internet affects all this to a degree it was never affected before. Like Jon Snow’s parentage. There were early hints about [who Snow’s parents were] in the books, but only one reader in 100 put it together. And before the internet that was fine — for 99 readers out of 100 when Jon Snow’s parentage gets revealed it would be, ‘Oh, that’s a great twist!’ But in the age of the internet, even if only one person in 100 figures it out then that one person posts it online and the other 99 people read it and go, ‘Oh, that makes sense.’ Suddenly the twist you’re building towards is out there. And there is a temptation to then change it [in the upcoming books] — ‘Oh my god, it’s screwed up, I have to come up with something different.’ But that’s wrong. Because you’ve been planning for a certain ending and if you suddenly change direction just because somebody figured it out, or because they don’t like it, then it screws up the whole structure. So no, I don’t read the fan sites. I want to write the book I’ve always intended to write all along. And when it comes out they can like it or they can not like it.”
Which you cannot help but admire, because he should continue to write the books as he sees them, and not just write what he thinks the fans will want. The key thing here, as always, is that he needs to get to writing since this latest book is several years behind. When asked how it felt watching events unfold on the series while still writing the books, Martin admitted it was a bit odd:
“The whole last three years have been strange since the show got ahead of the books. Yes, I told [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] a number of things years ago. And some of them they did do. But at the same time, it’s different. I have very fixed ideas in my head as I’m writing The Winds of Winter and beyond that in terms of where things are going. It’s like two alternate realities existing side by side. I have to double down and do my version of it which is what I’ve been doing.”
RELATED: George R.R. Martin Shares The End Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Won’t Be “That Different” From “A Song Of Ice And Fire”
Does this mean that Martin had a better ending in mind, something that loosely echoes what we saw on the show, but feels more complete, and satisfying? That does not feel as rushed, makes more sense for the characters, and justifies some of the drastic character changes of the last season? I’m hoping that it does, otherwise there really is no point in reading the final novels and getting annoyed by how characters like Dani were handled all over again. When Martin was asked how much pressure he feels now that the series had ended, and fans are looking at him to bring the series to a more conclusive (and satisfying) ending, he replied:
“I felt a tremendous amount of pressure for years now. The most pressure I felt was a few years ago when I was desperately trying to stay ahead of the show. There was a point when the show was coming out in April and my editors said if I could finish the book by December they’d rush it out. And the pressure I felt that fall was the greatest pressure I’ve ever felt and then at a certain point it became apparent I’m not going to finish it by then. I don’t only want to finish it, I want to make it as good as I possibly can. Since then there’s been pressure but not like there was at that point. There’s no longer a race. The show is over. I’m writing the book. It will be done when it’s done.”
The curious, and alarming part of this statement, is the fact that Martin considered it a “race” with the show, a race which he woefully lost, even though he had a 5 book head start. I cannot be the only one worried that now that the “pressure” of keeping up with the series is off, the man might take even more time to finish the series, which means we may never see those final novels.
What are your thoughts on his statements to EW? Do you think his ending is going to be better? Feel free to sound off below!