George R.R. Martin says Game of Thrones backlash won’t affect how he writes his final books
The crunched-for-time final season of Game of Thrones garnered some—ahem, a lot of—negative reactions from fans who were crushed to see the finely tuned character development of their favorite citizens of Westeros fall to the wayside. The uneven season led many fans to hope that George R. R. Martin, the author behind the books that inspired the series, would swoop in and right the wrongs with his own unique ending. (Right? Right?)
On June 15th, Martin told Entertainment Weekly that despite the Season 8 backlash, he will not change any of his plans for the last two novels in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. And yes, some of those plans were translated to screen for the final season, which means we still might be disappointed.
Martin explained that he can’t let the Game of Thrones internet reactions affect his plans for the book series, and he talked about how much the internet has changed since he first started publishing.
“The internet affects all this to a degree it was never affected before,” Martin told EW. “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 continued. “Suddenly the twist you’re building towards is out there.”
Once the spoilers and fan theories are out there, Martin said, it can be tempting to change your plans based on the reactions, positive or negative. However, he said, he can’t bow to that pressure for the sake of his story.
“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,” Martin told EW. “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.”
Does this mean that some of the things fans “don’t like” about Season 8 of Game of Thrones will still exist in the books? We’ll have to wait until Martin finishes his series to know for sure. And because he’s no longer under pressure to try to rush the books before the show airs, Martin plans to take his time with the last two novels, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. According to a post on his website, as of May 2019, Winds was currently in progress and Spring had yet to be started. Though it may seem like a long wait, at least we know the final two books will not feel as rushed as the final two seasons did.
For those of us who have read the books and watched the HBO show, we may encounter a few plot points while reading that have already been spoiled in the show. However, knowing how much the series diverged from the books as early as Season 3, we have high hopes that Martin will still stun us and rip our hearts out in one way or another.