George R.R. Martin, the creator of ‘A Song of Ice and Fire‘ has finally laid blame as to why he hasn’t finished his epic series and feels that it squarely falls on the shoulders of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones‘ adaptation. With the fifth novel, ‘A Dance With Dragons’, having been released in 2011 it has been over eight years spent waiting for the sixth and seven chapters. The last novel came out shortly after HBO kicked off the first season and to some, this was a sign that progress was being made!
However, this wasn’t the case. According to Martin:
“There were a couple of years where, if I could have finished the book, I could have stayed ahead of the show for another couple of years, and the stress was enormous. I don’t think it was very good for me, because the very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day — and a good day for me is three or four pages — I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.'”
This isn’t to say that Martin disliked how the polarizing final season ended up telling his story because “It doesn’t change anything at all. You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself.”
Anyone who has read Martin’s novels and watched the series knows that some changes will come into play:
“I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one. There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books… so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…”
Not only is ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ in a different format but specifically, the character and plot changes will cause the “butterfly effect” which Martin mentioned above. Yes, many of the overall arcs will likely remain the same, but the stories and characters will be further fleshed out. Even those who loved how the characters ended up in the final season can agree that pacing was an issue on the show. This likely won’t be as much of a problem in the novels.
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Does George R.R. Martin’s reason for the delay in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ make sense to you? Do you feel that even if many of the overall stories end up the same that it will be more satisfying to read in the books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!