Game of Thrones fans obviously had a lot of strong feelings about the plot twists in the show’s final season – at least some of which were inspired by saga author George R.R. Martin.
But Martin says none of the outspoken reactions, positive or negative, will change anything he has planned for his final two A Song of Ice and Fire novels (though the author admits there can be a certain degree of temptation to do so).
“The internet affects all this to a degree it was never affected before,” Martin says, when asked about fan reaction to the final season. “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.”
Martin added that watching the recent GoT final season was a bit of a strange experience given the different version he’s still writing. “The whole last three years have been strange since the show got ahead of the books,” he says.
“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.”
Asked if he feels more pressure or less now that the TV series has concluded, Martin explained that the pressure already peaked for him a few years ago.
“I felt a tremendous amount of pressure for years now,” he says. “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.”
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