Published On: Mon, Jul 15th, 2019

Game of Thrones: Will BACKLASH over TV finale affect books? | Books | Entertainment


Literary saga A Song of Ice and Fire formed the inspiration for the Game of Thrones TV show, which ended in May.

Although the show caught up with the books several years ago and forged its own narrative path, the basic points of its ending are thought to align with George RR Martin’s plans for the novels.

Now, as Martin continues work on The Winds of Winter – book six of a planned seven – he’s revealed whether the mixed reception the show received has changed his plans.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, he said: “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.’”

He added: “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.”

This lines up with what Martin previously said five years ago about whether fan theories that correctly predict the stories tempt him to change his mind.

He said at the Edinburgh International Book Festival at the time: “I’ve wrestled with this issue, because I do want to surprise my readers.

“I hate predictable fiction as a reader, I don’t want to write predictable fiction.

“I want to surprise and delight my reader and take them in directions they didn’t see coming. But I can’t change the plans.

“That’s one of the reasons I used to read the early fan boards back in the 90s but stopped. One, I didn’t have the time, but two is this very issue.”

He elaborated: “So many readers were reading the books with so much attention that they were throwing up some theories and while some of those theories were amusing bulls**t and creative, some of the theories are right.

“At least one or two readers had put together the extremely subtle and obscure clues that I’d planted in the books and came to the right solution.

“So what do I do then? Do I change it? I wrestled with that issue and I came to the conclusion that changing it would be a disaster, because the clues were there.

“You can’t do that, so I’m just going to go ahead.

“Some of my readers who don’t read the boards, which thankfully there are hundreds of thousands of them, will still be surprised and other readers will say: ‘see, I said that four years ago, I’m smarter than you guys’.”

The Winds of Winter does not yet have a release date.



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